It is worth noting that, in his travels, he seemed to interpret everything he saw according to the radical ideologies he had picked up in college and was becoming rather Marxist in his worldview. When he traveled around India, he seemed to only see the negative, the poor, the victimized and little else save for the variety of peoples and beliefs that might pose a problem in his dream of uniting all Indians in opposition to British rule and the whole of traditional Indian society as it had been. Still, he went home to his own palace and was not above using his princely connections to further his own cause. He was able to meet with other pro-independence notables, promote education and household industries to further the cause of economic independence. Eventually this led him to take the dramatic step of leading a campaign to burn all foreign-made clothes in his state. Frustrated by the relatively small impact he was having at home, in 1914 he decided to go abroad and to seek foreign assistance for removing the British from India. Obviously, it was an ideal time as August of 1914 saw the British Empire take on some powerful enemies.
The prince was introduced to men in the German army and officials in Austria-Hungary. He met the Khedive of Egypt while in Vienna and later when on to the Ottoman Empire where he was also warmly received. A German-Turkish expedition set out across Persia to Afghanistan led by General Oskar Ritter von Niedermayer and the diplomat Werner Otto von Hentig. On December 1, 1915 Pratap set up a provisional government in Kabul, Afghanistan for “Free Hindustan” with himself serving as President and other prominent advocates of independence in lesser posts. The Muslims added their voice to that of the Ottoman Sultan by declaring a jihad against the British Empire of India but obtaining the support of the Emir of Afghanistan proved frustrating and ultimately impossible. He demanded much but refused to commit himself and, unaware that the British were already giving him more than the Germans ever would to stay on side, the effort was finally abandoned in disgust. There would be no Muslim army to attack northern India and there would be no mass Indian uprising against the British in World War I. The would-be president was left without a job but he still had enough Marxist credentials to be invited to Russia after the Bolsheviks seized power by Vladimir Lenin.
|The provisional government in Kabul|
In fact, his tendency toward collectivism seemed to grow ever stronger and he even tried to set up his own brand of religion which was to be a sort of combination of all beliefs with the only dogmas being that all religions be accepted, all faiths, all races and all classes be united with no discrimination and all treated equally. He even dreamed of such collectivism on a global scale by doing away with the unequal institutions of the past and creating a sort of world federation where all humanity would be united and everyone would be the same. He set up a “World Federation Centre” to promote such ideas but had been largely sidelined by the time of World War II. Although still in Japan, it was another revolutionary, Subhas Chandra Bose, and another provisional government of Free India that would gain support from the Axis powers in another effort to provoke an Indian rebellion against Britain. Another socialist, though a more authoritarian one, Bose would be no more successful than his predecessor though he did at least manage to get some Indian rebel troops onto Indian soil for a clash with the British but it was swiftly turned back.