Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose invokes passion and patriotism in many of us. He had been a great source of inspiration whose famous slogans of “Jai Hind“, “Tum muje khoon do mein tume aazadi dunga” (give me your blood, I’ll give you freedom) have been emboldened with time. But sadly, the “patriot of patriots” has been a man of mystery both in his active life as well as his controversial death.
On the 72nd death anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, it’s an honour to reminiscent his life which was full of adventure, courage, leadership and more importantly dedication to our country.
Subhas was born into a Bengali family on 23 January 1897. Bose’s father Janakinath Bose, an advocate, had migrated from Calcutta, Bengal to Cuttack in Orissa. The importance of education shaped Bose’s views on social issues. He had a very progressive view about women and their empowerment since childhood.
Expelled from Presidency College
Subhas Chandra Bose was a Brilliant student who had nationalistic fervour since childhood. He was expelled from Presidency College for assaulting a professor who made anti-Indian comments. Eventually, he was enrolled in Scottish Church College, University of Calcutta where he graduated in 1918 with Bachelors in Philosophy.
Came 4th in the prestigious Civil Service Exam held in England
Bose left India to study in Cambridge and eventually came 4th in the Civil Service exam. Although he was selected for the honourable position, he did not want to work under an imperial government. Subhas wrote to his brother quoting “Only on the soil of sacrifice and suffering can we raise our national edifice”. He resigned from the Job and returned to India.
Joined Congress and Started Newspaper
After foregoing his hard-earned job he came back to India and joined the Indian National Congress to be a part of the Independence struggle. He started the newspaper ‘Swaraj’ to be able to express his views to the people. He was highly influenced by Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, under whose guidance Bose’s spirit of nationalism increased several folds. Chittaranjan Das and Motilal Nehru left the Congress to start their own party names as Swaraj Party in 1922. Bose was elected as the Mayor of Calcutta and soon secured the chair of the President of the All India Youth Congress. Bose also became the editor for a newspaper ‘Forward’ which was founded by Chittaranjan Das and also rose to the post of CEO of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation. His nationalistic attitude was not accepted by the British and was hence sent to prison in Mandalay in 1925 for 2 years.
He left the Congress Party because of the opinion differences he had with Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1939 and founded his own Forward Bloc Party. He was against Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence movement and believed that a violence movement was necessary to bring freedom to our country.
Formation of Azad Hind Fauj
Bose went away to Germany and then Japan, to form his own army the Indian National Army also called the Azad Hind Fauj which was made up of Indian prisoners of war and Indian resident of these countries to fight against the British rule. His army’s slogans were Delhi Chalo and Jai Hind. He was against contributing help to the British during World War II, this mass movement of his received tremendous response by the people; the British hence imprisoned him. He went on a hunger strike which deteriorated his health placing him under house arrest after being freed. In the year 1941 he suddenly disappeared and worked on a master plan to free his motherland.
Although it is considered that Netaji died in a plane crash in 1945, his body was never retrieved. According to reports his death was due to third degree burns during the Japanese plane crash. But, he is still remembered for the great works and contributions made by him for the country’s independence.
Article by MS Aditya and Srividya