[Note: I wish all the readers a very happy Independence day. We are in a position to celebrate because countless people sacrificed their lives for the nation. Let us honour them and propel our nation towards it’s lost glory. Least we can do is to be honest and responsible citizens of Bharat ]
तुम मुझे खून दो, मैं तुम्हे आज़ादी दूंगा!!!
Rarely do we find somebody of the calibre of this man. His organisational and leadership skills need no introduction. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, best known as the leader of Indian National Army, was a man who commanded respect. He was born on 23rd January 1897 in Orissa. Legend has that his father thought he could never successfully compete IAS exams. He proved his father wrong, achieved fourth position in merit list of administrative services (April 1921) and then went ahead to quit it as he was very disturbed of Jalianwala Bagh Massacre!! What fine example of willpower!
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He went ahead and joined politics. Soon due to his amazing mass mobilisation skills he became a very popular leader and became the president of Indian National Congress in 1938. But it was evident from the start that he was not cut for the congress style of non-violent leadership. He stood for unqualified Swaraj, including the use of force against the might British empire. This meant a confrontation with Mahatma Gandhi, who opposed Bose’s presidency. Bose attempted to maintain unity, but Gandhi advised Bose to form his own cabinet. The rift also divided Bose and Nehru. Bose appeared at the 1939 Congress meeting on a stretcher.
Though he was elected president again, over Gandhi’s preferred candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya, U Muthuramalingam Thevar strongly supported Bose in the intra-Congress dispute.Thevar mobilised all south India votes for Bose. However, due to the manoeuvrings of the Gandhi-led clique in the Congress Working Committee, Bose found himself forced to resign from the Congress presidency. He again was re-elected as the president of congress in 1939 but his ideological clashes with Mahatma Gandhi made him quit congress. (Here)
He believed Gandhi’s policies would never secure a fully independent Bharat and even if it could, the nation would be weak from within due to the policies which congress was fast acquiring. He created a party called ‘All India Forward Block’ and continued his mission of freeing Bharat from Britishers by violent mass uprising. After the outbreak of World war II, where the congress supported Britain in the war, he saw an opportunity. Bose advocated a campaign of mass civil disobedience to protest against Viceroy Lord Linlithgow’s decision to declare war on India’s behalf without consulting the Congress leadership. He started mobilising youth against the empire and was promptly put on a House arrest in Kolkata. But there is not tying up winds and he was a tornado. He miraculously escaped the arrest with his nephew Shishir Bose dressed as a pathan and went o Afghanistan and then Germany. He believed “An enemy’s enemy is a friend”.
Following this maxim he visited USSR, Germany and Japan to seek help for fighting against Britain. In January 1942, he began his regular broadcasts from Radio Berlin, which aroused tremendous enthusiasm in Bharat. In July 1943, he reached Singapore from Germany to take over the reins of the Indian Independence Movement in East Asia from Rash Behari Bose and organised the Azad Hind Fauj comprising mainly of Indian prisoners of war. With Japanese assistance, he regrouped the Indian POWs who were captured from various parts of British empire and trained them to form a well trained army. Indians living in various parts of world donating generously and even everything they had just for the sake of gaining independence of their nation.
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Azad Hind Fauj proceeded towards India to liberate it from the shackles of slavery. First to be liberated was Andaman and Nicobar islands. Later the army successfully reached Imphan to touch Indian soil. But fate had something else in store for these bravehearts. USA had dropped nuclear bomb on Japan and all the monetary and food supplies to INA were cut. They were left stranded and had to shift it’s head-quarters to Rangoon in 1945.
Netaji Subhash’s small aircraft, it is reported, met a crash over Taiwan on 18th August 1945. But he was believed to be alive and waiting for a right chance to strike back on the British empire. Till date there are no official details over his death. Our nation needs more leaders like him who could leave everything to take his nation back to glory. I just wish he would have been given the respect and position which he deserved in independent Bharat.