‘Netaji’ : A Glance Through The Sheets

Samskriyā pays homage to Netaji..!!  #Tribute #Salute #Respect _/\_

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‘Netaji’ Subhash Chandra Bose

Let’s have a quick walk through his life journey today.

Birth, Education, Family

Born on January 23, 1897 in Cuttack, Orissa, to Mr. Jankinath Bose and Mrs. Prabhavati Bose, was a man of multitudinous persona and valor, whom the world later looked up as ‘Netaji’, better known as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. He was one of the greatest freedom fighters and the founder of Azad Hind Radio and Azad Hind Fauj.

As raised, Subhash Chandra Bose believed Bhagavad Gita and Swami Vivekananda’s teachings to be a great source of inspiration for the struggle against British.

Netaji’s father Mr. Janakinath Bose was an opulent and successful lawyer. Owing to his fame and respect, he was bestowed with the honorary title of “Rai Bahadur”. His mother, Smt. Prabhavati Bose was a devout and religious lady and spent her life as a housewife.

He was admitted to the Protestant European School where he studied till 1909 and later in Ravenshaw Collegiate School, where he emerged 2nd in the matriculation. He had always been a meritorious student. He was admitted to the prestigious Presidency College, Calcutta for B.A. in Philosophy. However, seeing the plight of the Indians as mistreated by the British, his nationalistic temperament rose and he retaliated to the anti-Indian remarks of his British Prof. E. F. Otten by beating him in 1916. This was the instance where his super-patriotism came into sight. This resulted in his expulsion from the Presidency College. Later on he was admitted to the Scottish Church College from where he completed his B.A. in Philosophy in 1918.

In 1934 in Germany, he met Emilie Schenkl, daughter of an Austrian veterinarian, and married her in 1937. They had a daughter Anita Bose Pfaff.

Turning Point : Indian Civil Services

His father dreamt of him cracking the prestigious and elite Indian Civil Services. He was enrolled in Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, to appear for the Indian Civil Services in 1919. He set forth another example of his merit by securing the 4th position with highest score in English, but resigned from the services on April 23, 1921, as his morale always disapproved him of working under the imperialistic, oppresive and unjust government.

Contribution in Freedom Struggle

Unlike other prominent leaders of the Indian freedom struggle, Netaji strongly believed that an armed rebellion was necessary to wrest independence from the British.

In 1921, he left home to join hands with the Indian National Congress and soon became an active member. He considered Chitarranjan Das as his political mentor and Guru and worked under him. Under his guidance and helping hands, he took charge of the Bengal Provincial and started a newspaper named “Swaraj”. While Chitarranjan Das developed strategies on national note, Bose started enlightening students, youths and labourers in Calcutta. Chitarranjan Das along with Motilal Nehru founded the Swaraj Party. Soon, Netaji was elected the President of All India Youth Congress and the Secretary of State for Bengal State Congress in 1923. Das founded a magazine “FORWARD”, which Netaji was the editor of. Under the Mayorship of Das, he held the position of the CEO of Calcutta Municipal Corporation.

Association with Indian National Congress

Bose was widely praised and admired for his silver-tongued oratory, eloquence, and skills in organizational development. For his nationalist approach, he was sent to Mandalay prison in 1925. Netaji always envisaged India to be a free and independent republic with a federal structure.

Upon being released in 1927, he became the General Secretary of Congress and worked with Pt. Nehru in the struggle of Independence. In 1928, he hosted the Annual Congress Meet and visited Europe to see Indian students and European Politicians. Owing to rising popularity, he was selected as a nominee for the Congress President Election.

Dissociation with Indian National Congress

During the Guwahati session in 1928, there emerged a rift between the ideologies of the old and new members. Youths led by Netaji wanted a complete self-rule while old leaders led by Gandhiji opted for a dominion status under British ruled India. The differences resurfaced to such a height that it became mandatory for Netaji to defeat the Gandhiji nominated Pattabhi Sitaramayya. He won but without second thought resigned and formed his own Forward Bloc in 1939.

House Arrest & Escape Route

During World War- II he initiated a Civil disobedience move against Lord Linlithgow’s decision to declare war on Indian behalf without the Congress leadership and consent. This resentment landed him in seven days of imprisonment and forty days of house arrest. However, on the 41st day, he disguised himself as a Maulavi and escaped, firstly to Gomoh (Bihar) and then to Peshawar (now in Pakistan). Then, with the help of Aga Khan, he fled to Kabul (Afghanistan) and from there to Germany on an Italian passport, with the name Orlando Mazzota.

Hitler in Germany

In Germany he met Hitler and in November 1941, with the help of German fund, a Free India Centre was set up which comprised 3000 Indian prisoners of war. Very soon Germany failed in the war, which made him realize that the German Army was no longer in place to help him. In 1943 he slipped from Germany to Japan in a submarine and with the support of the Japanese Government, Netaji arrived at Singapore to restructure the Azad Hind Fauj. Bose was flown to Singapore and became commander of the INA and head of the Free India provisional government.

Azad Hind Fauj and India’s Step to Independence

In Singapore, he revamped the soldiers of the British Indian Army who got captured in the Battle of Singapore. The Indian National Army or Azad Hind Fauj included both the Indian prisoners of war from Singapore and the Indian civilians in Southeast Asia. The strength of INA grew to 50, 000 and fought Allied forces in 1944 inside the borders of India at Imphal and in Burma.

He re-organized the army troops and attracted immense support, both morally and financially. The Azad Hind Fauj had a separate women unit too, Rani Jhansi Regiment. The Fauj functioned under Azad Hind Government, which was declared on October 21, 1943 and had their postage stamps, currency, and civil codes. It was formerly founded by Rash Behari Bose and Capt. General Mohan Singh. The control was handed over to Netaji. INA reflected the diversity of region, color, creed and ethnicity, truly depicting the essence of India.

On his journey to London, he had met British Labor Party thinkers Clement Attlee, Arthur Greenwood, Harold Laski, G.D.H Cole and Sir Stafford Cripps to discuss the future of India. With Netaji as the Chief Commander of the Azad Hind Fauj, the army marched to free India and en-route freed the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and named them as Swaraj and Shaheed and Rangoon became the base camp. The army fought a tough battle against the British in Burma, and finally managed to hoist the national flag in Imphal, Manipur. They then cried DILLI CHALO. In the regime of labor party and Clement Attlee as the Prime Minister, India gained independence.

On July 6, 1944, he asked for Gandhiji’s blessings for the first time in any such war.

Slogans

Netaji was a man of appeal, gravity and charisma.

“Tum mujhe khoon do, main tumhen azaadi doonga”, “Dilli Chalo”, “Jai Hind”, “Ittefaq, Etemad, Qurbani” were his historically famous quotes. He is remembered for his salutation and slogan of ‘Jai Hind’.

Death and Mystery

On his plane board to Russia, or some sources claim Tokyo, on August 18, 1945 Netaji met a tragic accident, resulting to death in Formosa, now Taipei, Taiwan where the plane Japanese Army Air Force Mitsubishi K-21 bomber crashed owing to engine faults.  His body was cremated at Nishi Honganji Temple in Taihoku on 20th August 1945 and ashes were interred at Renkoji Temple, Tokyo in Japan.

His death has still been a subject of discussion since no strong evidence has been produced yet.

Netaji was a man of charisma, valour, leadership, eloquence, simplicity, faith, persistence, courage, determination, honesty, discipline and strong character. His peculiarity shall truly inspire the youth today. A man of inspiration, Netaji will always be embedded in our hearts and soul and keep us pushing to the threshold.

Today, as the Government of India is going to declassify the secret files concerning the death of Netaji, we really hope that the mystery around his death is unveiled.

JAI HIND … … …

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