Subhash Chandra Bose

Biography


Subhash Chandra Bose was born in Bengali Kayasth family on January 23, 1897 at Cuttack, in Orissa.
Father: Shri. Janakinath, an advocate
Mother: Smt. Prabhavati Bose.

Subhash was an excellent student. Bose studied in an Anglo school at Cuttack until standard 6 (now known as Stewart School) and then shifted to Ravenshaw Collegiate School of Cuttack. Bose topped the matriculation examination of Calcutta province in 1911 and passed his B.A. (Philosophy) in 1918 from the Scottish Church College of the University of Calcutta

He wanted to work for the poor but his father, had other ideas. He sent Subhash to study in Fitzwilliam Hall of the University of Cambridge, England.

His father wanted him to appear for the Indian Civil Service. In July 1920, barely eight months later Subhash Chandra Bose appeared in the Civil Service Examination and passed it with distinction, meant an almost automatic appointment. But he didn’t want to be a member of the bureaucracy, He then took his first conscious step as a revolutionary and and resigned from the service. His belief was, “best way to end a government is to withdraw from it.” He then returned to india.

Returning to India, Bose wrote for the newspaper Swaraj and took charge of publicity for the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee. His mentor was Chittaranjan Das, spokesman for aggressive nationalism in Bengal. Bose worked for Das when the latter was elected mayor of Calcutta in 1924. In a roundup of nationalists in 1925, Bose was arrested and sent to prison in Mandalay, being thrown into jail made him more determined. Two years later he was Released from prison. Bose became general secretary of the Congress party and worked with Jawaharlal Nehru for independence.

Bose was again arrested and jailed for civil disobedience; this time he emerged Mayor of Calcutta.
During the mid-1930s Bose traveled in Europe, visiting Indian students and European politicians, as well as Hitler in 1936.

By 1938 Bose had become a leader of national stature and nominated for Congress president.
He stood for unqualified Swaraj (independence), including the use of force against the British. He knew, for instance, that the fall of the Roman Empire had led to the freedom of its colonies. He decided to seek foreign help for his cause of freeing India.
This meant a confrontation with Mahatama Gandhi (he was against doing anything anti-Britain), he then opposed Bose’s presidency, splitting the Congress party. Bose attempted to maintain unity, but Gandhi advised Bose to form his own cabinet. The rift also divided Bose and Nehru.
Though he was elected president again, over Gandhi’s preferred candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya
However, due to the manoeuvrings of the Gandhi-led clique in the Congress Working Committee, Bose found himself forced to resign from the Congress Presidency. “I am an extremist, ” Bose once said, and his uncompromising stand finally cut him off from the mainstream of Indian nationalism.

Bose then organized the Forward Bloc on June 22, aimed at consolidating the political left, but its main strength was in his home state, Bengal. U Muthuramalingam Thevar, who was disillusioned by the official Congress leadership, joined the Forward Bloc. When Bose visited Madurai on September 6, Thevar organised a massive rally as his reception.

When world war II erupted in Europe, Bose was again imprisoned for civil disobedience and kept in his house under detention. On January 17, 1941, while everyone was asleep, Bose slipped out of his house into a waiting car. Disguised as a Muslim religious teacher, Bose managed to reach Peshawar two days later.

Bose went to Italy, Germany and even Russia to seek help but without much use. Subash decided to organize Indians on his own. He landed in Singapore and grouped Indians there into the Indian National Army or the Azad Hind Fauj and declared himself the temporary leader of the free Indian government.

Japan, Germany and Italy recognizied Subhash’s government and the whole of India rejoiced.

His call for nation was

“GIVE ME BLOOD AND I SHALL GIVE YOU FREEDOM”
The INA marched to Andaman and Nicobar islands, liberating and renaming them as Shaheed and Swaraj islands. On March 18, 1944, it crossed the Burmese border and reached Manipur where free India’s banner was raised with the shouts of ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Netaji Zindabad’. But heavy rain prevented any further movement and the units had to fall back. Even then Netaji was determined. On August 17, 1945, he issued a Special Order to the INA which said that “Delhi is still our goal”.

He then wanted to go to Russia to seek Soviet help to fight the British. But the ill-fated plane in which he was flying, crashed in Taipei on August 18, 1945, resulting in his death.

Some people believe that Subhash Chandra Bose didn’t die, that he faked his own crash to escape the British who wanted to arrest him. There were even reports of Bose living in Russia and other foreign countries, even some claims of having seen him as a sadhu but none were ever proved and today his death in the plane crash is the accepted version.

He was a devout Hindu and spent much time in meditation. Strongly influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s teachings, he was known for his patriotic zeal as a student.

” Subhas Chandra Bose’s political views “

Subhas Chandra Bose, believed that the Vedanta and the Bhagavad Gita were the sources of inspiration for the struggle against the British.
Swami Vivekananda’s teachings on universalism, his nationalist thoughts and his emphasis on social service and reform had all inspired Subhas Chandra Bose from his very young days.

Many scholars believe that Hindu spirituality formed the essential part of his political and social thought through his adult life, although there was no sense of bigotry or orthodoxy in it. Subhas who called himself a socialist, believed that socialism in India owed its origins to Swami Vivekananda.

As historian Leonard Gordan explains “Inner religious explorations continued to be a part of his adult life. This set him apart from the slowly growing number of atheistic socialists and communists who dotted the Indian landscape.”

Bose’s correspondence (prior to 1939) reflects his deep disapproval of the racist practices of, and annulment of democratic institutions in Nazi Germany. However, he expressed admiration for the authoritarian methods (though not the racial ideologies) which he saw in Italy and Germany during the 1930s, and thought they could be used in building an independent India.

Bose had clearly expressed his belief that democracy was the best option for India. The pro-Bose thinkers believe that his authoritarian control of the Azad Hind was based on political pragmatism and a post-colonial recovery doctrine rather than any anti-democratic belief. However, during the war (and possibly as early as the 1930s) Bose seems to have decided that no democratic system could be adequate to overcome India’s poverty and social inequalities, and he wrote that an authoritarian state, similar to that of Soviet Russia (which he had also seen and admired) would be needed for the process of national re-building. Accordingly some suggest that Bose’s alliance with the Axis during the war was based on more than just pragmatism, and that Bose was a militant nationalist, though not a Nazi nor a Fascist, for he supported empowerment of women, secularism and other democratic ideas; alternatively, others consider he might have been using populist methods of mobilisation common to many post-colonial leaders. Bose never liked the Nazis but when he failed to contact the Russians for help in Afghanistan he approached the Germans and Italians for help. His comment was that if he had to shake hands with the devil for India’s independence he would do that.

On August 23, 2007, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Subhas Chandra Bose memorial hall in Kolkata. Abe said to Bose’s family “Japanese are deeply moved by Bose’s strong will to have led the Indian independence movement from British rule.” “Netaji is a much respected name in Japan.”


To Delhi! to Delhi!

Speech at a military review of the Indian National Army,

5 July 1943

Soldiers of India’s Army of Liberation!

Today is the proudest day of my life. Today it has pleased Providence to give me the unique privilege and honour of announcing to the whole world that India’s Army of Liberation has come into being. This army has now been drawn up in military formation on the battlefield of Singapore, which was once the bulwark of the British Empire.

This is not only the Army that will emancipate India from the British yoke, it is also the Army that will hereafter create the future national army of Free India. Every Indian must feel proud that this Army, his own Army, has been organized entirely under Indian leadership and that when the historic moment arrives, under Indian leadership it will go to battle.

There are people who thought at one time that the Empire on which the sun did not set was an everlasting empire. No such thought ever troubled me. History had taught me that every empire has its inevitable decline and collapse. Moreover I had seen with my own eyes, cities and fortresses that were once the bulwarks but which became the graveyards of by-gone empires. Standing today on the graveyard of the British empire, even a child is convinced that the all mighty British empire is already a thing of the past.

When France declared war on Germany in 1939 and the campaign began, there was but one cry which rose from the lips of German soldiers–“To Paris, To Paris !” When the Brave soldiers of Nippon set out on their march in December 1941 there was but one cry which rose from their lips-“To Singapore. to Singapore !” Comrades ! Soldiers ! Let your battle-cry be-“To-Delhi To Delhi ! ” How many of us will individually survive this war of freedom, I do not know. But I do know this, that we shall ultimately win and our task will not end until our surviving heroes hold the victory parade on another graveyard of the British empire, the Lal Kila or Red Fortress of ancient Delhi.

Throughout my public career, I have always felt that though India is otherwise ripe for independence in every way, she has lacked one thing, namely an army of liberation. George Washington of America could fight and win freedom, because he had his army. Garibaldi could liberate Italy, because he had his armed volunteers behind him. It is your privilege and honour to be the first to come forward and organize India’s national army. By doing so, you have removed the last obstacle in our path to freedom. Be happy and proud that you are the pioneers, the vanguard, in such a noble cause.

Let me remind you that you have a two-fold task to perform. With the force of arms and at the cost of your blood you will have to win liberty. Then, when India is free, you will have to organize the permanent army of Free India, whose task it will be to preserve our liberty for all time. We must build up our national defence on such an unshakable foundation that never again in our history shall we lose our freedom.

As soldiers, you will always have to cherish and live up to the three-ideals of faithfulness, duty and sacrifice. Soldiers who always remain faithful to their nation, who are always prepared to sacrifice their lives, are invincible. If you, too, want to be invincible, engrave these three ideals in the innermost core of your hearts.

A true soldier needs both military and spiritual training. You must, all of you, so train yourselves and your comrades that every soldier will have unbounded confidence in himself, will be conscious of being immensely superior to the enemy, will be fearless of death, and will have sufficient initiative to act on his own in any critical situation should the need arise. During the course of the present war, you have seen with your own eyes what wonders scientific training, coupled with courage, fearlessness and dynamism, can achieve. Learn all that you can from this example, and build up for Mother India an absolutely first-class modern army.

To those of you who are officers, I should like to say that your responsibility is a heavy one. Though the responsibility of an officer in every army in this world is indeed great, it is far greater in your case. Because of our political enslavement, we have no tradition like that of Mukden, Port Arthur or Sedan to inspire us. We have to unlearn some of the things that the British taught us and we have to learn much that they did not teach. Nevertheless. I am confident that you will rise to the occasion and fulfil the task that your countrymen have thrown on your brave soldiers. Remember always that officers can make or unmake an army. Remember, too, that the British have suffered defeats on so many fronts largely because of worthless officers. And remember also that out of your ranks will be born the future General Staff of the Army of Free India.

To all of you I should like to say that in the course of this war you will have to acquire the experience and achieve the success which alone can build up a national tradition for our Army. An army that has no tradition of courage, fearlessness and invincibility cannot hold its own in a struggle with a powerful enemy.

Comrades ! You have voluntarily accepted a mission that is the noblest that the human mind can conceive of. For the fulfilment of such a mission no sacrifice is too great, not even the sacrifice of one’s life. You are today the custodians of India’s national honour and the embodiment of India’s hopes and aspirations. So conduct yourself that your countrymen may bless you and posterity may be proud of you.

I have said that today is the proudest day of my life. For an enslaved people, there can be no greater pride, no higher honour, than to be the first soldier in the army of liberation. But this honour carries with it a corresponding responsibility and I am deeply conscious of it. I assure you that I shall be with you in darkness and in sunshine, in sorrow and in joy, in suffering and in victory. For the present, I can offer you nothing except hunger, thirst, privation, forced marches and death. But if you follow me in life and in death, as I am confident you will, I shall lead you to victory and freedom. It does not matter who among us will live to see India free. It is enough that India shall be free and that we shall give our all to make her free. May God now bless our Army and grant us victory in the coming fight !

Inquilab Zindabad ! Azad Hind Zindabad !

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