Subhas Chandra Bose remains one of the most important and enigmatic leaders of the Indian Independence Movement.
His defiant patriotism made him the hero that folklores are made of. The honorific title Netaji was given to him by the Indian Soldiers of Azad Hind Fauj and later on came to be used throughout the nation.
His entire life, his brand of patriotism remains one which can be emulated and thus till this day, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose remains an Independence Movement leader whose birthday commemorations are held with lot of devotion.
- Life of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
Subhas Chandra Bose was born on the 23rd of January, 1897 in Orissa, Cuttack to Janakinathab Bose, an advocate and Pravabati Devi. He conducted schooling in a school run byy Baptist Mission and then in Ravenshaw College. For a period he studied in Presidency College when he was expelled from the college for having assaulted Professor Oaten for his anti- India comments. He went on to study in the Scottish Church College and completed his graduation from there. Post his graduation he went to study in Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and came 4th in the Indian Civil Service exam. He however refused to work under the British Government, and thus resigned and returned to India.
After coming back to India, he took the responsibility of the newspaper Swaraj and is mentor was Chittaranjan Das, himself an advocate of aggressive nationalism. Bose worked as the CEO of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation when Chittaranjan Das was elected as the Mayor of Calcutta. However, he was picked up by the police and sent in a prison at Mandalay for his Nationalist views. After he was released from prison, Bose became the secretary of the Indian National Congress and worked with Jawaharlal Nehru. Bose was again arrested and jailed for what was called civil disobedience but went on to become the Mayor of Calcutta in 1930. He travelled to Europe, met students and leaders including Mussolini and wrote the first part of his book The Indian Struggle. The British Government however banned that book in fear of unrest.
Subhas Chandra Bose became the Congress President in 1938 and stood for unqualified Swaraj which put his ideology in direct contrast to that of Mahatma Gandhi who opposed Bose in every move including his presidency. Gandhi’s meddling in the affairs also created a rift between Nehru and Bose. Even in the face of this Bose was reelected as the Congress President in 1939 against Gandhi’s preferred candidate. However, Gandhi created a situation where he was forced to resign from the post of the President.
He founded the All India Forward Bloc and attended rallies everywhere. He disliked British subjugation and felt that discussions and pleading were not the ways to gain independence from the alien powers. His radical views brought much discomfort to the British Government and he was placed under House Arrest in 1940. Bose however took a disguise and escaped from the house arrest and arrived in Germany in 1941. The German authorities showed sympathy towards the Indian Nationalist cause and with their financial aid a Free India Center and a Free India Radio was set up from where Bose telecasted every day. 3000 strong Free India Legion or the Azad Hind Fauz was created, comprising of Indians arrested by the Afrikaa Corps of Rommel. Bose was by this time keen to move on to south eastern Asia and Hitler too felt the same and offered to arrange for a submarine for Bose.
By this time Bose had married Emilie Schenkl and had a baby girl. Bose took a Japanese submarine and reached Sumatra in 1943. With the Japanese supporting him, Bose reorganized the Indian National Army. He also formed Provisional Government of Free India in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. However, the Japanese forces were defeated and had to surrender; but Bose chose not to surrender and took a flight to Manchuria. En-route his plane crashed and Bose suffered third- degree injuries and died. Though Indian National congress did not like Subhas Chandra Bose’s brand of patriotism, they applauded his zeal and fervor for freeing India and granting a complete Swaraj to his motherland.
Bose had always advocated and demanded complete freedom and not in phases. That is the call the INC took at the Lahore Convention.
- Celebrations of Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti
Celebration of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth Anniversary is celebrated with great fervor all over India. Mostly almost all the schools and colleges across West Bengal and Orissa celebrate the birth anniversary of Netaji. Lots of children dress up as Netaji on this day. People also organize various meetings and talk about Netaji’s political views and organize cultural activities.