Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was India's greatest nationalist during the twentieth century. His charismatic and selfless leadership, as well as the patriotic zeal and sacrifices of his INA soldiers, deserve much of the credit for our independence in 1947.
Subhash was an exceptional visionary and statesman. He was a firm believer in India's historical and cultural heritage, as well as in the country's future as a democratic, just, humane, prosperous, and strong India founded on nationalism, patriotism, discipline, service, and sacrifice. Through education and industrialization, he emphasized religious cohesion and socioeconomic justice.
Today, 71 years since independence, and despite significant progress in several fields, our country is facing difficult and turbulent times. Terrorism from outside our borders, cast and religious rifts in society, a self-serving polity, corruption, lopsided socioeconomic development, and a crisis of values and identity are really just a few of the symptoms of a serious malaise that, if not acknowledged, can threaten the fabric of our society and, indeed, the very integrity of the country. We should take a leaf from Netaji's book.
Unfortunately, his role and contribution to our freedom struggle, in addition to his advice on building a democratic, prosperous, and strong India, have been stigmatized and ignored over the past seven decades. Our youth must be taught Netaji's ideology, philosophy, and advice in order to meaningfully lead the nation to a better tomorrow.
Considering the many remarkable milestones in Subhash Chandra Bose's life, from his contribution to our country to his thought leadership. We would like to show various stages of his life in a mixed-media format.
HIGHLIGHTS OF NETAJI'S PERSONA
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was born on 23 January 1897 in Cuttack (Orissa) to Prabhavati Dutt Bose and Janakinath Bose. His father was a successful lawyer in Cuttack and received the title of "Rai Bahadur"
1902: Subhas entered the Baptist Mission's Protestant European School in Cuttack in January 1902. English was the medium of all instruction in the school, the majority of the students being European or Anglo-Indians of mixed British and Indian ancestry. The curriculum included English-correctly written and spoken Latin, the Bible, good manners, British geography, and British History; no Indian languages were taught. The choice of the school was Janakinath's, who wanted his sons to speak flawless English with flawless intonation, believing both to be important for access to the British in India. The school contrasted with Subhas's home, where only Bengali was spoken. At home, his mother worshipped the Hindu goddesses Durga and Kali and told stories from the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana.
2. Young Adult:
1909: In 1909 the 12-year-old Subhas Bose followed his five brothers to the Ravenshaw Collegiate School in Cuttack. Here, Bengali and Sanskrit were also taught, as were ideas from Hindu scriptures such as the Vedas and the Upanishads not usually picked up at home. Although his western education continued apace, he began to wear Indian clothes and engage in religious speculation. To his mother, he wrote long letters which displayed acquaintance with the ideas of the Bengali mystic Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and his disciple Swami Vivekananda, and the novel Ananda Math by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, popular then among young Hindu men. All these inculcate in Bose a sense of need for freedom, strength, and spiritual awaking. Despite the preoccupation, Subhas was able to demonstrate an ability when needed to focus on his studies, compete, and succeed in exams. On entry to Rameshwar Collegiate School Subhash had to face much ridicule both at the hands of his class fellows and teacher for his anglicized Bengali and poor command of the same. In fact, it is mainly to learn Bengali he had to change schools as Calcutta University had made it compulsory. Year-end exams gave way to his Determination when he came out with flying columns having second the highest marks. In 1912, he secured the second position in the matriculation examination conducted under the auspices of the University of Calcutta.
1913: Subhas Bose followed his five brothers again in 1913 to Presidency College, Calcutta, the historic and traditional college for Bengal's upper-caste Hindu men. He chose to study philosophy, his readings included Kant, Hegel, Bergson, and other Western philosophers.
1915-18: On 15 February, some students accosted Nr Oaten on Englishmen who taught at Presidency College and was very Contemptuous of Indian culture on a stairway, surrounded him, beat him with sandals, and took to flight. An inquiry committee was constituted. Although Oaten, was unhurt, he could not identify his assailants. A college servant testified to seeing Subhas Bose among those fleeing, confirming for the authorities what they had determined to be the rumor among the students. Bose was expelled from the college and rusticated from the University of Calcutta. The incident shocked Calcutta and caused anguish to Bose's family. He was ordered back to Cuttack. His family's connections were employed to pressure Asutosh Mukherjee, the Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University. Despite this, Subhas Bose's expulsion remained in place until 20 July 1917, when the Syndicate of Calcutta University granted him permission to return, but to another college. He joined Scottish Church College, receiving his B.A. in 1918 in the First Class with honors in philosophy, placing second among all philosophy students at Calcutta University.
3. National Movement:
1919-21: At his father's urging, Subhas Bose agreed to travel to England to prepare and appear for the Indian Civil Services (ICS) examination. Arriving in London on 20 October 1919, Subhas readied his application for the ICS. For his references, he put down Lord Sinha of Raipur, Under Secretary of State for India, and Bhupendranath Basu, a wealthy Calcutta lawyer who sat on the Council of India in London. Bose was eager also to gain admission to a college at the University of Cambridge. It was past the deadline for admission. He sought help from some Indian students and from the Non-Collegiate Students Board. The Board offered the university's education at an economical cost without formal admission to a college. Bose entered the register of the university on 19 November 1919 and simultaneously set about preparing for the Civil Service exams. He chose the Mental and Moral Sciences Tripos at Cambridge, its completion requirement was reduced to two years on account of his Indian B. A.
1919-21: He appeared for the Indian Civil Service competitive examination in 1920, and came out fourth in order of merit. However, Subhas Chandra Bose was deeply disturbed by the 13'* April 1919 Jallianwalla Bagh massacre and left his Civil Services apprenticeship midway through to return to India in 1921.
4. Leadership Episode:
1921: After returning to India Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose came under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi and joined the Indian National Congress. On Gandhiji's instructions, he started working under Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, whom he later acknowledged as his political guru, Swami Vivekananda's teachings of universalism, and nationalistic thoughts also greatly influenced bose since his young days. He was influenced by Bhagavad Gita and believed Gita to be a source of inspiration for the struggle against the British.
1923: Subhas Chandra Bose was elected the President of the All India Youth Congress and also the Secretary of the Bengal State Congress. He was also the editor of the newspaper 'Forward', founded by Chittaranjan Das.
1924: He also served as the CEO of the Calcutta Municipal corporation when Das was the mayor of Calcutta.
1925: He was arrested and sent to prison in Mandalay, where he contracted tuberculosis.
1927: He was released from prison, and later became the general secretary of the Congress party.
1930: Subhas Chandra Bose was jailed during the Civil Disobedience movement in 1930. He was released in 1931 after the Gandhi-Irwin pact was signed. He later became the Mayor of Calcutta. He protested against the Gandhi-Irwin pact and opposed the suspension of the Civil Disobedience movement specially when Bhagat Singh and his associates were hanged on 23 March 1931. Subash Chandra Bose was soon arrested again under the infamous Bengal Regulation. After a year he was released on medical grounds and was banished from India to Europe.
1937: Congress came to power in seven states and Subash Chandra Bose was released. Shortly afterward he was elected President of the Haripura Congress Session in 1938.
1938: He was elected President of the Haripura Congress Session (Gujarat), during this term as Congress President; he talked of planning and setting up a National planning Committee in October that year. During his term as Congress President, he talked of planning in concrete terms, and set up a National planning Committee in October that year. At the end of his first term, the presidential election to the Tripuri Congress session took place early 1939. Subhas Chandra Bose was re-elected, defeating Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya who had been backed by Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress Working Committee. Clouds of World War Il were on the horizon and he brought a resolution to give the British six months to hand India over to the Indians, failing which there would be a revolt. There was much opposition to his rigid stand, and he resigned from the post of president and formed a progressive group known as the Forward Block.
1939: He also won the presidential election to the Tripuri Congress session, defeating Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya who had been backed by Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress Working Committee.
This led to the Tripuri Crisis in Congress due to ideological differences between Bose, who had strong leftist thinking and older leaders who were more right-wing thinkers lacked by Mahatama Gandhi. As a result, Bose resigned and formed the 'Forward Bloc', the left-wing party within the Congress at Unnao in U.P.
5. Arrest & Escape from Elgin Road:
1940: It was Savarkar, who suggested to Bose, on 22 June 1940 that he should try to leave India and undertake the risk of going over to Germany to organize the Indian forces there fallen in German hands as captives and then with German help should proceed to Japan to join hands with Rash Behari Bose. When INC organized Individual Satyagraha, Subash Chandra Bose
organized an *Anti-Compromise Conference' at Ramgarh, Bihar. He was arrested by the British shortly afterward for organizing a protest for the removal of the Holwell Monument (Memorium for Blackhole tragedy of Calcutta). He was later released and placed under House arrest in Calcutta.
1941: Bose escaped from house arrest in Calcutta on 17 January 1941. Dressed as a Pathan, he was driven by his nephew, Sisir Kumar Bose, to Gomoh, now Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, station in Jharkhand. From there, he traveled overland and in disguise to Peshawar, then to the Soviet Union as the Italian Count Orlando Mazzotta, escorted from Afghanistan to Moscow by NKVD or the People's Commissariat of Internal[7:13 pm, 01/11/2022] H: Affairs. The Soviets, however, were not interested in helping him or the cause of Indian independence. They handed him over to the German Ambassador. Flown in a special plane to Berlin in April, Bose met foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, Heinrich Luitpold Himmler, Head of the Schutzstaffel (SS), and the Gestapo. Bose also met the German Führer und Reichskanzler, or "Leader and Chancellor", Adolf Hitler. During his stay in Germany, Bose founded the Free India Centre in Berlin, raising a small army of 4,500 soldiers called the Indian Legion consisting of British Indian prisoners of war captured from North Africa. But Germany was unable to devote the resources or manpower to free India, nor was an overland campaign through so many territories or terrains feasible. Bose escaped house arrest in disguise and traveled out of India. He started garnering support from Nazi Germany and even met Adolf Hitler. He founded the Free India Center in Berlin and created the Indian Legion (consisting of some 4500 soldiers) out of Indian prisoners of war who had previously fought for the British in North Africa before their capture by Axis forces. Bose was given the honorific title of Netaji in Germany in 1942 by the Indian soldiers of the Indian Legion and officials of the Special Bureau for India in Berlin.
6. Indian Legion:
1942: An Indian Independence League (IIL) was established and its conference was held in Bangkok in June 1942. Over 100 delegates participated from Burma, Malaya, Thailand, Indo-China, Philippines, Japan, China, Java, Sumatra, Hong Kong, and the Andamans. The conference raised the tricolor flag of India and also invited Subhas Bose to East Asia. Indian soldiers who had been captured by the Japanese in the war but had now sworn allegiance to liberate their motherland and eschew the British were also recruited in this group. More than 25,000 volunteers swore to join the INA which was formally set up on 1 September 1942.
7. Submarine Journey Germany - Madagascar - Singapore:
1942-43: World War Il was underway, and Nazi Germany was losing footing in the west. In the east Japanese were advancing rapidly. In India, Bengal Famine and Quit India movement were raging. Japan, on the other hand, had been spectacularly successful on the eastern front of World War II, with victory after sensational victory. Following the dramatic fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942, the mighty British empire itself did not look invincible. A charismatic leader that he was, the defiant patriot Subhas Chandra Bose, soon after he accepted the presidency of the Indian Independence League (IIL), the civil administrative wing of the Indian National Army (INA), on July 4, 1943, on arrival at Singapore, decided that to stimulate nationalism among the Indians in southeast Asia, the INA needed dates and events to celebrate. The very next day, on July 5, he announced to the world the existence of the INA and its aim: to march to Delhi (Delhi Chalo). His next step was the formation of a women's regiment. The Rani of the Jhansi Regiment was announced on July 12. This force of several hundred was led by Captain Lakshmi Swaminathan, a doctor living in Malaya since 1940. On July 13, he reorganized and expanded the IL from five departments to 12, by starting the Department of Recruitment, Department of Training, Department of Supplies, Overseas Department, and others.
8. Mobilisation of Azad Hind Fauj:
A month after he announced the existence of the INA and its mission, he took over as the supreme commander, on August 5. Proclamation of the Provisional Government of Free India The grandest day was October 21, 1943. On this day Bose announced the formation of the Provisional Government of Free India (PGFI), Arzi Hakumat- e-Azad Hind, or, in short, Azad Hind Government, an Indian government-in-exile. It started functioning from Singapore with 11 ministers and eight representatives from the INA. The GFI was a culmination of the political movement originating in the early 1940s outside India with the purpose to liberate her from British rule. The government of Azad Hind soon had its own currency, court, civil code, and national anthem "Subh Sukh Chain'. The INA had its motto, "Ittehad, Itmad aur Qurbani® (unity, faith, and sacrifice), and its national greeting Jai Hind'. Its existence gave greater legitimacy to the independence struggle. The PGFI was recognized by nine Axis-aligned countries: Japan, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Burma, Thailand, Philippines, Manchukuo (Manchuria), and the Republic of China (Wang Jingwei regime). It received a note of congratulations from the Prime Minister of Ireland, Eamon de Valera. Celebration of Gandhi's and Netaji's birthdays In addition to Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, the INA-IIL started celebrating Netaji's birthday. Massive processions were taken out in Singapore. Sports events were held, and school children participated. And, at the end of the program, they reaffirmed their allegiance to Bose. Netaji's week It was also decided that 'Netaji week' will be celebrated every first week of July to commemorate the arrival of Netaji in Singapore. The week was observed not only in 1944 and 1945 but continued even after the War.
1943: Bose went to Japan after disappointment in Germany. In February 1943, Netaji boarded a German U-180 submarine at Laboe, Northern Germany, first heading westward, across the heavily mined North Sea. Bose transferred to a Japanese I-29 submarine after rounding the Cape of Good Hope. On 11 May 1943, he finally reached Tokyo in Imperial Japan, after a short stop in Singapore. In Tokyo, he received the support of Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo as well as the army's high command. Bose's Indian National Army was the second such army raised in Singapore. The first attempt, made by Rash Behari Bose in 1942, after the fall of Singapore, failed. It was Netaji who was destined to make it happen. He landed in Singapore from Japan on 2 July 1943 to an enthusiastic welcome, assuming command of the Indian National Army on 4 July 1943. Addressing his troops the following day, he gave them the resounding call, "Chalo Dilli" or "Onward to Delhi." Subhas was made the leader of the Indian independence movement and hailed as Netaji by his followers, with the war cry of "Jai Hind'. Bose called his army Azad Hind Fauj (Free India Force). Under Bose, INA's motto was Ittefaq (Unity), Itmad (Faith), and Kurbani (Sacrifice). Nationalism was no less than a sort of religious faith.
1944: Declaration of Independence Indians would do well to remember that before we became a republic or even achieved Independence, great freedom fighters and revolutionaries had already announced India's Independence. India's independence was proclaimed from Singapore on 21 October 1943, with the formation of an interim government, which eleven countries actually recognized. In a motivational speech for the Indian National Army at a rally of Indians in Burma on 4 July 1944, Bose's most famous quote was "Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom!" In this, he urged the people of India to join him in his fight against the British Raj.
1944: The INA's first commitment was to the Japanese thrust towards the Eastern Indian frontiers of Manipur. INA's special forces, the Bahadur Group, were involved in operations behind enemy lines both during the diversionary attacks in Arakan, as well as the Japanese thrust towards Imphal and Kohima. The Japanese also took possession of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1942 and a year later, the Provisional Government and the INA were established in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. On 6 July 1944, in a speech broadcast by the Azad Hind Radio from Singapore, Bose addressed Mahatma Gandhi as the "Father of the Nation" and asked for his blessings and good wishes for the war he was fighting.
1944-45: History however holds that the title of Father of the Nation was given to the Mahatma by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, who in his address on Singapore Radio on July 6, 1944, addressed Mahatma Gandhi as Father of the Nation.
Azad Hind Fauj proceeded toward India to liberate it from British rule. En route it liberated Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The I.N.A. Head quarters were shifted to Rangoon in January 1944. Azad Hind Fauj crossed the Burma Border and stood on Indian soil on March 18, 1944. Subash Chandra Bose Indian National Army Singapore Subash Chandra Bose laid the foundation stone of the Indian National Army War Memorial on 8 July 1945 in Singapore. Soon, thereafter, British troops entered Singapore on September 5, and on September 6, they dynamited the memorial reducing it to rubble. However, the defeat of Japan and Germany in the Second World War forced INA to retreat and it could not achieve its objective. Subhas Chandra Bose was reportedly killed in an air crash over Taipeh, Taiwan (Formosa) on August 18, 1945. Though it is widely believed that he was still alive after the air crash not much information could be found about him.
Azad Hind Day on 21st March 1946 was celebrated at Kuala Lumpur when Jawaharlal Nehru arrived on a tour to Singapore and Malaya from 18-26 March 1946 to collect data for the INA trial at Red Fort. He was greeted by a guard of honor of Rani of Jhansi veterans together with INA veterans. Given the change in circumstances leading to India's independence and public mood, the British deemed it wise not to interfere. Earlier, while in Singapore, he laid wreaths, a bunch of roses, at the INA memorial on 19 March after which he addressed a mammoth gathering at Jalan Bear Stadium. The next month, April 21 was celebrated again in Kuala Lumpur where J.A Thivy, former general secretary of Azad Hind Government, addressed an association of Indians, saying, "The war has awakened Indians to a sense of unity and they are now conscious of their own rights" 'Netaji week' was again celebrated in July 1947. India's independence day Next month, the celebration on the 21st gave way to celebrate India's independence on the 15th of August 1947. At 11.30 am, former INA and IIL members proceeded to the INA Memorial site to lay wreaths. Thousands of Indians who assembled there were addressed, "This greatest event fulfills the prophecy made here in Singapore four years ago by our great leader Subhas Chandra Bose. Netaji had confidently predicted that 'India shall be free - and before long' Today, that prophecy has come true, and sooner than anyone of us expected." Netaji's speech S.R. Nathan, a second-generation Singaporean, who became president of Singapore from 1999 to 2011, then still in his teens, recounts that in July 1943, he was watching from the sidelines of a meeting organized by the Indians. Subhas Chandra Bose began to speak on the fight against the British for India's independence. It began to drizzle. The people in the seats were mostly well-dressed Indian couples sitting in the front rows became restless and began to move to take shelter. At that moment, Bose raised his voice over the microphone and boomed: he declared, he had come a long way at great risk to himself, to pursue the struggle for independence. He was shocked to see those in front of him run at the slight sign of drizzle. What kind of people are they? He had come to ask for their blood and they ran just because of a light drizzle? He asked what the British had turned them into - so weak and cowardly? Did they not see it as their duty to liberate their struggling brothers and sisters from British bondage? The crowd quietly sat down again and stayed in their places until the function was over.