Netaji, as he was popularly known was born in Cuttack, Orissa on January 23. His father Janaki Nath Bose was a noted lawyer and his mother Prabhadevi was from a well-known family of Hathkola. They believed in English education alone, though they ignited in him a love for the motherland.
Subhash Chandra Bose was very brilliant and he passed his Bachelors of Arts Exam with Honours. In 1919, on September 15, he went to study at Cambridge in England to fulfill his father’s wish of appearing for the Indian Civil Services Examination. This period had a lasting effect on him, as at Cambridge there were students from various British colonies and there ensued a free discussion of problems faced by different countries. Subhash also noticed the way people lived in free countries and this left a great impact on him.
Under British rule people always lived in fear and insecurity. He also got to know the nature and the values of British people, who were not aware of the imperialistic nature of the rule which destroyed the values of India. The British people were not aware of how the British ruled in these countries giving the British a bad name back home. Though he was selected for the Indian Civil Services, he decided against joining the British government. Instead, he met Mahatma Gandhi and decided to join the Indian National Congress. His first activity was the boycott of the visit of Prince Wales to India. For this, he was arrested and sent to jail in Calcutta in December 1921.
Netaji realizes the potential of the youth of the country. Though an active member of the Congress he did not agree to some of Gandhiji’s principles and policies. His was a more revolutionary approach. He used to organize groups of young as volunteer corps and trained them on military lines. These men were dressed in military uniforms and used to maintain Law and Order at locations where Congress sessions were held. Groups like the Hindustan Republican Armed Group led by Bhagat Singh, the Anusilan Samiti, and many other revolutionary groups realized that Netaji was their supporter and held him in high regard. He was the unspoken leader of the youth and as the President of the Trade Union Congress, he realized the strength of the working classes in India for the freedom struggle. He was elected as the Mayor of Calcutta in 1930 and he was also elected as the President of the session on the Indian Nation Congress in 1938.
Netaji resigned as the President of the All India Congress in 1939. His views were opposed to Gandhiji’s and they had their individual supporters. Netaji believed in more forceful action while Gandhiji’s methods were ‘non-violence’ and ‘co-operation’. Subhash Candra Bose eventually resigned from the post after efforts to solve the dispute between him and Gandhiji failed. In May 1939, he formed the Forward Block within Congress. They opposed the non-violence policy of the Congress and after the outbreak of violence of the Second World war in September 1939, he launched more forceful anti-British and anti-war campaigns all over India.
In 1940, after his arrest, he disappeared from his home in January 1941. He went to Germany to try and to enlist their support as they too were anti-British. He formed the Azad Hind Fauz (Indian National Army) and recruited Indian prisoners of War. He also enlisted support from the Japanese, for creating an army big enough to liberate India. He also assumed command of the Indian National Army at Singapore on October 21, 1943. He took over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with the help of the Japanese government who decided to hand over these islands to India. The INA crossed the Burma-India border in 1944 and marched into the Imphal and Kohima area of Manipur. However, due to the surrender of Japan during the Second World War, the INA was isolated and did not receive any help from Japan. Hence they had to call off the war.
Categories: Culture and History