A True Leader Subhas Chandra Bose.

  Sheikh Shariq
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Life of Subhash Chandra Bose

Subhash Chandra Bose was born into an affluent Bengali family on January 23, 1897 in Cuttack , Orissa. Subhash's public prosecutor father ensured that his son availed the best of education in eminent institutions such as Scottish Church College , Calcutta and Fitzwilliam College at Cambridge University . In 1920, at the insistence of his parents, Bose appeared in the prestigious Indian Civil Service and secured the fourth place.

During this period the civil disobedience movement called by Mahatma Gandhi was sweeping across the country and Bose resigned from the ICS in April 1921 to join his fellow countrymen in the freedom struggle. He joined the youth wing of the Congress Party and soon rose up the party hierarchy by virtue of his eloquence and leadership skills. At an early stage of his life Subhas Bose accepted Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das as his political guru.

Over a span of 20 years, Bose was imprisoned eleven times by the British, the first one being in 1921. In 1924, after a brief period of incarceration, Bose was exiled to Mandalay in Burma . Subhash Bose was imprisoned again in 1930 and deported to Europe . During his stay in Europe from 1933 to 1936, Subhash Bose zealously espoused the cause of Indian freedom while meeting a number of prominent European statesmen. In 1937, Bose married Emilie Schenkl who was his secretary.

Subhash Bose was twice elected president of the Indian National Congress (1938 and 1939) but following his disagreements with Mahatma Gandhi he relinquished his post and formed a progressive group known as the Forward Block. The Second World War broke out in 1939 and Bose launched a campaign of mass civil disobedience to protest against the Viceroy's decision to declare war on India 's behalf. Bose was put behind the bars but because of his hunger strike he was later placed under house arrest.

Taking advantage of the laxity of the house guards and aided by his cousin Sishir Bose, Subhash managed to escape and traversing through enemy territories he reached Moscow . Bose tried to garner the help Nazi Germany but due to the indifferent attitude of Hitler and other German leaders he left for Japan and soon assumed the leadership of Indian National Army (INA) founded by Rash Behari Bose.

Bolstered by material assistance from the Japanese forces, the INA attacked the British forces in Manipur and Nagaland in northeastern India and hosted the National Flag in the town in Moirang, in Manipur. But with the defeat of Japan , the invasion by the INA soon petered out and Netaji was forced to retreat to Malaya . Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose allegedly died in a plane crash over Taiwan , while flying to Tokyo on August 18, 1945.

Philosophy of Subhash Chandra Bose

The principles and the philosophy of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose were instrumental factors in his embracing of armed revolution in the later part of his political career. Initially Bose was a follower of the Gandhian way of freedom movement but years of travel in European countries during exile and the ripening of mental faculties with age made him disenchanted with the ways of the Indian National Congress.

Subhash Chandra's hatred for the British ran deep and he vehemently called for the immediate ouster of the colonial rulers from Indian soil. Disappointed with the leniency shown by some Congress leaders towards the British, Bose became increasingly convinced that the goal of achieving freedom would remain a pipedream as long as the British held sway over the land and peaceful protests would never be able to throw the British out.

While outlining his vision for a free India, Subhash Chandra Bose proclaimed that socialist authoritarianism would be required to eradicate poverty and social inequalities from a diverse country like India. He openly espoused for an authoritarian state on the lines of Soviet Russia and Kemal Atatürk's Turkey. Bose was also an exponent of socialism and opined that industrialization and Soviet-style five-year plans held the key to a vibrant Indian nation

Indian National Army

The Indian National Army was the manifestation of Subhash Chandra Bose's transformation from a Gandhian freedom fighter to an armed revolutionary challenging the might of the British Empire . Originally the brainchild of expatriate nationalist leader Rash Behari Bose, the INA saw Subhash Chandra assuming the leadership of the outfit as its supreme commander in 1943. With characteristic vigor and zeal, Bose set about strengthening the fledgling organization and proclaimed the Provisional Government of Free India in Singapore on October 21, 1943.

The Indian National Army was also known as the Azad Hind Fauj and it owed allegiance to the Provisional Government which was recognized by nine Axis states. The INA had a combat strength of 40,000 troops comprising mainly of Indian expatriates in South Asia and Indian prisoners of war. The INA also boasted of an exclusive women's combat unit named the Rani of Jhansi regiment.

As the Japanese troops launched a major offensive through Burma , the Azad Hind Fauj soldiers fought alongside them in the frontlines and contributed in many victories. Previously in December, 1943 the Azad Hind government had established its rule in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and renamed them as Shaheed (Martyr) and Swaraj (Self-rule). On 18 April 1944, the INA troops captured the town of Moirang in Manipur and in a glorious display of patriotism, raised an Indian tricolor.

However the INA's total dependence on the Japanese troops for arms and logistics support proved to be its undoing and as the might of the Japanese began to wane, the INA too was forced to retreat. With the subsequent surrender of Japan the INA resistance collapsed and a number of officers and troops were captures by the British. The government brought these officers to the Red Fort in Delhi for court martial but eventually had to relent in the face of nationwide protests and incidents of mutiny in the ranks of British Indian Army.

Subhash Chandra employed his great oratory skills to inspire the troops of Indian National Army. On July 4, 1944, at a rally of Indians in Burma , Bose famously proclaimed, "Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom." "Delhi Chalo," another phrase attributed to him, became the clarion call of the INA combatants as they marched towards Indian territory .

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