Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose
Born: January 23, 1897
Death: Not known
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was a freedom fighter of India. He was the founder of the Indian National Army. During pre-independence period Netaji had visited London to discuss the future of India, with the members of the Labor party. His sudden disappearance from Taiwan, led to surfacing of various theories, concerning the possibilities of his survival.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was born on 23 January, 1897 in Cuttack (Orissa) to Janakinath Bose and Prabhavati Devi. Subhash was the ninth child among eight brothers and six sisters. His father, Janakinath Bose, was an affluent and successful lawyer in Cuttack and received the title of "Rai Bahadur". He, later became a member of the Bengal Legislative Council.
Subhash Chandra Bose was a very intelligent and sincere student but never had much interest in sports. He passed his B.A. in Philosophy from the Presidency College in Calcutta. He was strongly influenced by Swami Vivekananda's teachings and was known for his patriotic zeal as a student. He also adored Vivekananda as his spiritual Guru.
British Professor Thrashed
After reading so many incidents about the exploitation of the fellow Indians by the British, Subhash decided to take revenge. In 1916, Subhash reportedly beat and thrashed one of his British teachers E F Otten. The professor made a racist remark against the Indian students. As a result, Bose was expelled from the Presidency College and banished from Calcutta University. The incident brought Subhash in the list of rebel-Indians. In December 1921, Bose was arrested and imprisoned for organizing a boycott of the celebrations to mark the Prince of Wales's visit to India.
Indian Civil Service
His father wanted Netaji to become a civil servant and therefore, sent him to England to appear for the Indian Civil Service Examination. Bose was placed fourth with highest marks in English. But his urge for participating in the freedom movement was intense that in April 1921, Bose resigned from the coveted Indian Civil Service and came back to India. Soon, he left home to become an active member of India's independence movement. He, later joined the Indian National Congress, and also elected as the president of the party.
Subhash with Congress
Initially, Subhash Chandra Bose worked under the leadership of Chittaranjan Das, an active member of Congress in Calcutta. It was Chittaranjan Das, who along with Motilal Nehru, left Congress and founded the Swaraj Party in 1922. Subhash would regard Chittaranjan Das as his political guru.
While Chittaranjan Das was busy in developing the national strategy, Subhash Chandra Bose played a major role in enlightening the students, youths and labors of Calcutta. He was eagerly waiting to see India, as an independent, federal and republic nation.
Dispute in the Congress
People began to recognize Bose by his name and associated him with the freedom movement. Bose had emerged as a popular youth leader. He was admired for his great skills in organization development.
In 1928, during the Guwahati Session of the Congress, a difference in the opinion between the old and new members surfaced. The young leaders, as against the traditional leadership, wanted a "complete self-rule and without any compromise". The senior leaders were in favor of the "dominion status for India within the British rule".
The differences were between moderate Gandhi and aggressive Subhash Chandra Bose was swelling. The state was so intense that Subhash Chandra Bose had to defeat Pattabhi Sitaramayya, a presidential candidate, nominated by Gandhiji himself. Bose had won the election but without any second thought he resigned from the party. He, then formed the Forward Bloc in 1939.
Formation of INA
During the Second World War in September, 1939, Subhash Chandra Bose decided to initiate a mass movement. He started uniting people from all over the country. There was a tremendous response to his call and the British promptly imprisoned him. In jail, he refused to accept food for around two weeks. When his health condition deteriorated, fearing violent reactions across the country, the authority put him under house-arrest.
During his house-arrest, in January, 1941, Subhash made a planned escape. He first went to Gomoh in Bihar and from there he went on to Peshawar (now, Pakistan). He finally reached Germany and met Hitler. Bose had been living together with his wife Emilie Schenkl in Berlin. In 1943, Bose left for south-east Asia and raised the army. The group was later named by Bose, as the Indian National Army (INA).
Visit to England
During his sojourn to England, he met with the leaders of British Labor Party and political thinkers including Clement Attlee, Arthur Greenwood, Harold Laski, G.D.H. Cole, and Sir Stafford Cripps. Bose also discuss with them about the future of India. It must also be noted that it was during the regime of the Labor Party (1945-1951), with Attlee as the Prime Minister, that India gained independence.
Although it was believed that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose died in a plane crash, his body was never recovered. There have so many theories been put forward regarding his abrupt desertion. The government of India set up a number of committees to investigate the case and come out with truth.
In May 1956, the Shah Nawaz Committee visited Japan to look into the situation of Bose's assumed death. Citing their lack of political relations with Taiwan, the Centre, did not seek for the assistance from their government. The reports of Justice Mukherjee Commission, tabled in Parliament on 17 May, 2006 said, "Bose did not die in the plane crash and the ashes at Renkoji temple are not his". However, the findings were rejected by the government of India.