Nethaji- Respected Leader

It is our duty to pay for our liberty with our own blood

Subash Chandra Bose,India

Subhas Chandra Bose, byname Netaji (Hindi: “Respected Leader”), (born c. January 23, 1897, Cuttack, Orissa , India—died August 18, 1945, Taipei, Taiwan?), Indian revolutionary prominent in the independence movement against British rule of India. He also led an Indian national force from abroad against the Western powers during World War II. He was a contemporary of Mohandas K. Gandhi, at times an ally and at other times an adversary. Bose was known in particular for his militant approach to independence and for his push for socialist policies.

The son of a wealthy and prominent Bengali lawyer, Bose studied at Presidency College, Calcutta (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.

In 1921, Bose worked under Chittaranjan Das, a powerful politician in Bengal. He worked as the editor for Das’s newspaper, Forward, and later started his own newspaper, Swaraj. In 1923, Bose was elected the President of the All India Youth Congress and also the Secretary of Bengal State Congress. He also served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, with Das as mayor of Calcutta. He was regarded as a vigilant and charismatic youth icon in the Indian National Congress. Bose was arrested countless times, and deported to Burma (Myanmar) in 1925 because he was suspected of connections with secret revolutionary movements. During the mid-1930s Bose travelled in Europe, visiting Indian students and European politicians, including Benito Mussolini. He observed party organisation and saw communism and fascism in action. In this period, he researched and wrote the first part of his book The Indian Struggle, which covered the country’s independence movement in the years 1920–1934.

With Japanese support, Bose revamped the Indian National Army (INA), then composed of Indian soldiers of the British Indian army who had been captured in the Battle of Singapore.To these, after Bose’s arrival, were added enlisting Indian civilians in Malaya and Singapore. The Japanese had come to support a number of puppet and provisional governments in the captured regions, such as those in Burma, the Philippines and Manchukuo. Before long the Provisional Government of Free India, presided by Bose, was formed in the Japanese-occupied Andaman and Nicobar IslandsBose had great drive and charisma—creating popular Indian slogans, such as “Jai Hind,”—and the INA under Bose was a model of diversity by region, ethnicity, religion, and even gender. However, Bose was regarded by the Japanese as being militarily unskilled, and his military effort was short-lived. In late 1944 and early 1945, the British Indian Army first halted and then devastatingly reversed the Japanese attack on India. Almost half the Japanese forces and fully half the participating INA contingent were killed.The INA was driven down the Malay Peninsula and surrendered with the recapture of Singapore. Bose had earlier chosen not to surrender with his forces or with the Japanese, but rather to escape to Manchuria with a view to seeking a future in the Soviet Union which he believed to be turning anti-British. He died from third-degree burns received when his plane crashed in Taiwan. Some Indians, however, did not believe that the crash had occurred, with many among them, especially in Bengal, believing that Bose would return to gain India’s independence.

Categories: Culture and History, India