Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose
The son of a wealthy and prominent Bengali lawyer, born c. January 23, 1897, Cuttack, Orissa, India and died August 18, 1945, Taipei, Taiwan? Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose studied at Presidency College, Kolkata, from which he was expelled in 1916 for nationalist activities, and the Scottish Churches College (graduating in 1919). He then was sent by his parents to the University of Cambridge in England to prepare for the Indian Civil Service. In 1920 he passed the civil service examination, but in April 1921, after hearing of the nationalist turmoils in India, he resigned his candidacy and hurried back to India. Throughout his career, especially in its early stages, he was supported financially and emotionally by an elder brother, Sarat Chandra Bose (1889-1950), a wealthy Calcutta lawyer and Indian National Congress (also known as the Congress Party) politician.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose joined the noncooperation movement started by Mohandas K. Gandhi, who had made the Indian National Congress a powerful nonviolent organisation. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was advised by Gandhi to work under Chitta Ranjan Das, a politician in Bengal. There Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose became a youth educator, journalist, and commandant of the Bengal Congress volunteers. His activities led to his imprisonment in December 1921. In 1924 he was appointed chief executive officer of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, with Das as mayor. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was soon after deported to Myanmar because he was suspected of connections with secret revolutionary movements. Released in 1927, he returned to find Bengal Congress affairs in disarray after the death of Das, and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was elected president of the Bengal Congress. Shortly thereafter he and Jawaharlal Nehru became the two general secretaries of the Indian National Congress. Together they represented the more militant, left-wing faction of the party against the more compromising, right-wing Gandhian faction.
His famous slogan “You give me blood, I’ll give you Freedom” has continued to inspire many even today.
When Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose started schooling came out brilliant and scored top ranks throughout his study in school and university. He completed his BA in Philosophy with a first class score in 1918. He was strongly influenced by Shree Swami Vivekananda’s teachings and was known for his patriotic zeal as a student. He also adored Vivekananda as his spiritual Guru. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s father wanted him to become a civil servant and therefore, sent him to England to appear for the Indian Civil Service Examination. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was placed fourth with highest marks in English. But his urge for participating in the freedom movement was intense that in April 1921, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose resigned from the coveted Indian Civil Service and came back to India.
He, later joined the Indian National Congress, and also elected as the president of the Youth wing party. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose had been a leader of the younger, radical, wing of the Indian National Congress in the late 1920s and 1930s, rising to become Congress President in 1938 and 1939. He was expelled from Congress leadership positions in 1939, following differences with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose always believed that non-violence would never be sufficient to secure independence and advocated violent resistance. On the outbreak of the war Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose protested against Viceroy’s decision to declare war on India as he advocated mass campaign of civil disobedience. He escaped from India in 1941 and gone to Germany to work for India’s independence.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose travelled to a number of countries, including Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, so as to seek alliance with each and to attack the British government in India. In 1943, he came to Singapore to lead the Indian Independence league and re built Indian Azad Hind Fauj or Indian National Army. Under his leadership, thousands of ex-prisoners and civilian volunteers from Malaya (Malaysia) and Burma joined the army, and together they fought to drive the British imperial rulers out of the country. Along with the Japanese army they brought independence to Andaman and Nicobar Islands and came all the way to Manipur in India. He established the Azad Hind Radio station in Germany and led the Indian nationalist movement in East Asia. Sources reported that death of Subhash Chandra Bose was caused after his overloaded Japanese plane crashed and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose suffered third degree burns. After his death several conspiracy theories surrounded his death.
Although it was believed that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose died in a plane crash on 18 August 1945, his body was never recovered. There have been many theories put forward regarding his disappearance. The government of India has set up a number of committees to investigate the case and come out with truth.
Interesting facts about Netaji and his Indian National Army
- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was born on January 23, 1897 in Cuttack, then a part of Bengal Province’s Orissa Division. After finishing his school education, he briefly studied at Presidency College. He later studied philosophy from Scottish Church College, University of Calcutta and then went to study in Britain.
- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose qualified the prestigious Indian Civil Services Examination (ICS). However, he soon quit as he did not want to work under the British government.
- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose joined the Independence movement and became a member of the Congress party. He, however, had major ideological differences with leading figures like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru. A radical leader in Congress, he became the President of the party in 1938 but was ousted after differences with Gandhi and the party’s high command. He differed with Mahatma Gandhi’s methods of non-violence and wanted to wage war against our colonial rulers.
- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose made his ‘great escape’ from his ancestral house in Kolkata in 1941 when he was under house arrest by the then British government. He made his way to Soviet Union and then to Germany.
- The Azad Hind Fauj was first established by Captain General Mohan Singh in Singapore in 1942 but was later disbanded. With the help of Indians living in Southeast Asia, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose revived the INA and assumed charge of it.
- On October 21, 1943, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose assumed charge of the Supreme Command of the INA and announced proclamation of the Azad Hind Government. A great orator, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose gave a clarion call of independence with his famous ‘Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom!’ speech. The speech was made in Burma in 1944 to members of the Indian National Army.
- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s army clashed with the British forces around Imphal and Kohima in 1944. Britain’s struggle to repel a combined force of Netaji-led INA and Japan during World War II, around Imphal and Kohima in 1944 has been adjudged as the ‘greatest ever battle involving British forces’ in a contest run by the National Army Museum in London.