SUBHASH CHANDRA BOSE -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography
SUBHASH CHANDRA BOSE -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography
Subhas Chandra Bose was born on January 23, 1897. His father was Rai Bahadur Janakinath Bose, a prominent lawyer of Cuttack, Orissa. His mother was Prabhavati Bose, a remarkable example of Indian womanhood.
After completing his early studies at the European Protestant Collegiate School in Cuttack, he came to Calcutta to study at Presidency College in 1913. Upon completing his graduation, he left India for England to appear at the Indian Civil Service Examination, but he was reluctant to work under the British Government. Thus he resigned and returned to India on the call of Chittaranjan Das.
Subhash Chandra Bose felt that young militant groups could be moulded into a military arm of the freedom movement and used to further the cause. The British Government in India perceived Subhash as a potential source of danger and had him arrested without any charge on October 25,1924. He was sent to Alipore Jail, Calcutta and in January 25, 1925 transferred to Mandalay, Burma. He was released from Mandalay in May, 1927 due to his ill health. Upon return to Calcutta, Sub hash was elected President of the Bengal Congress Committee on October 27,1927.
In January 1930 Subhash was arrested while leading a procession condemning imprisonment of revolutionaries. He was offered bail on condition that he signs a bond to refrain from all political activities, which he refused. As a result he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment.
On his release from jail, Subhash was sworn in as Mayor of the Calcutta Corporation.
Subhash was arrested again while returning from Bombay to Calcutta, and imprisoned in several jails outside West Bengal in fear of an uprising. His health once again deteriorated and the medical facilities diagnosed him with tuberculosis. It was recommended that he be sent to Switzerland for treatment. Realising that his avenues abroad were greater with the restrictions of the British, Subhash set sail for Europe on February 23,1933. Subhash stayed in various parts of Europe from March 1993 to March 1936 making contacts with Indian revolutionaries and European socialists supporting India's Struggle for Independence. Subhash met Mussolini in Italy and made Vienna his headquarters. On March 27, 1936 he sailed for Bombay and but was escorted to jail immediately after disembarking.
After lying low for a year, he was able to work actively. He attended the All India Congress Committee Session in Calcutta, the first one he attended after a lapse of nearly six years. He went to England for a month in 1938 and rallied for the Indian freedom cause amongst Indian students and British labour leaders sympathetic toward India's cause. Upon his return to India in February 1938, Subhas was elected President of the Indian National Congress.
Once again despite opposition from the Congress brass, Subhash was a favourite amongst the majority as he was re- elected for a second term in March 1939. Gandhiji considered Subhash's victory as his personal defeat and went on a fast to rally the members of the Working Committee to resign. Subhash resigned and Dr. Rajendra Prasad assumed the Presidency of the Congress.
In May 1939, Subhas formed the Forward Bloc within the Congress as an umbrella organization of the left forces within the Congress. On September 3, 1939 Subhash was informed that war had broken out between Britain and Germany. Subhas discussed the idea of an underground struggle against the British with members of the Forward Bloc.
The Forward Bloc progressively became militant and by April 1940 most of its senior members were arrested. Subhash was convinced that the only way he could bring about India's Independence was by leaving the country and fighting from foreign territories. He had made contact with radical Punjab and Pathan activists who had contacts in Afghanistan and Russia to organize a militia. Subhash knew that Britain was in a vulnerable position following the surrender of France in June 1940.
Netaji believed that foreign assistance was a must to free India from British rule. In 1939, when the Second World War broke out, Subhash sought assistance from Germany, Italy, and Japan as they were enemies of Britain and thus would be natural allies. In 1941, he evaded a house-arrest in Calcutta by disguising himself as a Pathan and going to Kabul, Afghanistan. Later, he procured an Italian passport and fled to Berlin, Germany.
There he met Hitler and discussed his plans and sought his assistance to free India. He also sought assistance from Mussolini. From time to time, he aired his speeches on the Azad Hind Radio from Berlin to communicate his intentions to fellow Indians and to prove that he was still alive. After the defeat of Germany, Netaji realized that he could not continue his struggle from Germany anymore.
Ultimately, Netaji reached Japan in June, 1943. He established the Indian National Army (INA) with some 30,000 Indian soldiers. He also set up a radio network in South East Asia in order to appeal to the people, both in India and outside, for support. The INA declared war against Britain and America. However, the INA had to retreat from the Indo-Burmese border after a heavy defeat of the Japanese troops there. But Netaji proved to the world that his determination was strong and his attitude was positive in his dream to free India from the clutches of the British.
On August 16, 1945 Netaji boarded a plane from Singapore to Bangkok. Netaji was scheduled to fly in a Type 97-2 bomber 'Sally' from Bangkok to Saigon. The plane made a stopover in
Taipei and crashed within minutes of take-off from Taipei. Netaji's body was cremated in Taipei on August 20, 1945 and his ashes were flown to Tokyo on September 5, 1945 where they rest in the Renkoji Temple. To this day, many believe that Netaji escaped from the air crash and went into hiding.
Netaji wanted unconditional and complete freedom. He dreamed of a classless society with no caste barriers, social inequalities or religious intolerance. He believed in equal distribution of wealth and destruction of communalism. His slogan 'Jai Hind' still acts as a great binding force today.