Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

Subhas Chandra Bose was an Indian nationalist whose contribution to Indian independence and development is incomparable. Subhash Chandra Bose, the dynamic leader who gave all his sweat and blood for India’s freedom movement continues to inspire millions of mind with his words even today.

Netaji was born in Cuttack in Odisha in 1897 in a well-to-do family. His father’s name was Janakinath Bose and his mother’s name was Prabhavati Dutt Bose. He was the ninth child among the fourteen.

Bose was a bright student and also the topper in matriculation examination from Calcutta. Since childhood he was influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and was popular for his patriotic enthusiasm.

He graduated from Kolkata, and to pursue his career in Indian Civil Services, he went to England and appeared for competitive examination and stood fourth in it. He proved his mettle by becoming an Indian Civil Services (ICS) officer. But he was not accustomed to a life of comfort and amenities that came with his job. He was a warrior, who had to wage the freedom struggle.

Not only did he embrace the freedom movement wholeheartedly, but also became an inspiration for freedom. With the slogan “Give me blood and I will give you freedom”, he started preparing to awaken the country. Such was the charisma of his philosophy and personality that whoever listened to him was attracted to him. His popularity skyrocketed and he became “Netaji” to the general public.

He was so fond of Bharat Mata that his country tied to the chains of slavery did not let him live peacefully. People beyond India’s borders also developed a fascination for him. Heads of states of important countries stood by him and Netaji lit the fire of the freedom struggle beyond India’s shores. Netaji was influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and he soon joined Indian National Congress. In 1930, he was sent to jail during the civil disobedience movement and was released in 1931. Later, he was expelled from India to Europe but taking the advantage of the situation he worked to strengthen the ties between the two countries. Challenging the ban in the home country he returned, but was again sent to jail. In 1937, after Congress came in to power, he was released.

He built a force and presented that force before the enemies of the country as the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army). He gave the slogan of “Dilli Chalo” with a new spirit. Thousands of soldiers of his 60,000-strong army sacrificed their lives for the country.

Netaji was an active member of the Indian National Congress. He was elected as the President of the All India Youth Congress in 1923. His views as a freedom fighter were very different from those of Mahatma Gandhi. Netaji was a part of the Non-Cooperation Movement led by Gandhiji. He was given the title of Netaji in Germany by Indian soldiers in early 1942. Since then, he has been popularly known as Netaji among people.

“Success always stands on the pillar of failure.” Bose lived with this philosophy and also inspired others. Netaji encountered failures several times, but he converted those failures to triumph with his struggle. Whether it is municipal politics, the journey from a common Congressman to the Congress president’s position, the formation of the Forward Bloc or the struggle of the Indian National Army, he passed every test with distinction.

Bose accepted the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, but ironically, Gandhiji himself became the cause of him leaving the Congress. But the two leaders always had respect for each other.

At the time of India’s independence, Clement Attlee was the British Prime Minister. He came to Kolkata in 1956. At that time, his host, governor and former Calcutta high court chief justice PB Chakravartti, tried to find out from him the reason behind the British decision to grant freedom to India. In response, Attlee said that the loyalty of the Indian army and navy to the British state was declining due to the increasing military activities of Bose’s Azad Hind Fauj. This was one of the major reasons. This acknowledgement proves the great contribution of Bose to India’s independence.

Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh had a major contribution in the life of Netaji. The banks of the Narmada transformed his life. The Tripuri Congress session was held from March 4-11, 1939 in Jabalpur. Despite poor health, Netaji had arrived on a stretcher to participate in it. Thereafter, he came again to Jabalpur on July 4, 1939 to form the Forward Bloc. The people of Madhya Pradesh have a deep relationship with Netaji. In every town of the state, there’s a ward in his name. Subhas Chandra Bose’s message to his colleagues was: “Success may be distant, but it is imperative”. Bose used to say, “If a person is not obsessed, he can never become great. But he should also have something else inside him.” Bose is credited with giving global identity to the Indian leadership. Earlier, Swami Vivekananda had enlightened the world about India’s spiritual and cultural superiority and identity.

Netaji was also fluent in many Indian languages. Bose’s struggle for freedom proved to be an inspiration not just for India, but also for all Third World countries. The Indian freedom struggle and the war of independence led by Bose had a profound impact on those countries. Netaji’s status establishes him as the “hero of freedom” globally.

Unfortunately, on August 18, 1945, he was killed in a plane crash in Taiwan.

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