Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (23 January 1897 – 18 August 1945) was an Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism made him a so popular in India, but whose attempt during World War II to away India of British rule with the help of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan left an ambivalent legacy. The honorific Netaji, the name granted to him in the early 1940s by the Indian soldiers of the Indices Legion and by the German and Indian officials in the Special Bureau for India in Berlin, was later used all over India.
Early life and family
Subhas Chandra Bose was born on 23 January 1897 (at 12.10 pm) in Cuttack, Orissa Division, Bengal Province, to Prabhavati Dutt Bose and Janakinath Bose, an advocate in a Kayastha family. He was the ninth in a family of 14 children. His family was good to do. He was admitted to the Protestant European School (currently Stewart High School) in Cuttack, like his brothers and sisters, in January 1902. He continued his studies at this school which was run by the Baptist Mission up to 1909 and then dislocated to the Ravenshaw Collegiate School. He was inspired by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna after reading their works at the age of 16. He felt that his religion was more vital than his studies. He accomplished his study in Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and matriculated on 19 November 1919. He came fourth in the ICS examination and was selected, but he did not want to serve under an alien government which would mean serving the British. As he stood on the horizon of taking the plunge by resigning from the Indian Civil Service in 1921, he wrote to his elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose: “Only on the soil of sacrifice and suffering can we raise our national edifice.”
After Bose returned to India, Subhash Chandra Bose was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi views. He then came in Indian National Congress and worked under the leadership of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, who later became his political guru. He opposed the Dominion Status for India declared by the Congress under the leadership of the Motilal Nehru Committee. They were in favor of total independence and nothing else. In 1930, in the Civil Disobedience, he was sent to jail and released only after the Gandhi-Irwin pact was signed in 1931.
Subash Chandra Bose was gone from India to Europe; he took advantage of this opportunity and tried to create political and cultural ties between India and Europe by forming centers in the various capital cities of Europe. He was in prison for a year for not obeying the ban on his entry to India. Congress was nominated in seven states during the general elections of 1937 and he was released. Defying the ban on his entry to India, Subash Chandra Bose came back to India and was again arrested and sent to jail for a year. After the General Elections of 1937, Congress came to power in seven states and Bose was released. Next year he was chosen as the President of the Haripura Congress Session. He took a very tough decision and brought a resolution and asked Britishers to hand India over to the Indians within six months.
Following opposition to his tough stand, he resigned from the post of president and formed the Forward Block. He went to Germany via Afghanistan and tried to persuade Germany and Japan to cooperate against the British Empire. He then went to Singapore from Germany in July 1943 and formed the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army). The army combined mainly of Indians who were prisoners of war. The army crossed the Burma border and reached the Indian soil on March 18, 1944.
Japan and Germany were defeated in the Second World War and as a consequence, the INA could not fulfill its objective. On August 18, 1945, Subhash Chandra Bose was declared killed in an air crash over Taipei, Taiwan (Formosa). But there are people who believe that he is still alive and many Commissions were set up to find the truth but nothing could be found about his whereabouts.
His most popular quote was “Give me blood and I will give you freedom”. Another popular quote was “Dilli Chalo”. This was the call he used to give the INA armies to motivate them. Jai Hind, or, “Glory to India!” was another slogan used by him and later adopted by the Government of India and the Indian Armed Forces. Another slogan penned by him was “Ittihad, Etemad, Qurbani”. INA also used the slogan Inquilab Zindabad, which was penned by Maulana Hasrat Mohani.