Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Biography – Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was born on 23rd January, 1897. This year marks his 125th birth anniversary. To pay tribute to him, the Republic Day celebrations will start from 23rd January this year. This tradition will continue for the coming years as well.
Born in a privileged family during British Raj, Netaji became India’s hero due to his patriotism. His life was full of different events and ideologies, which played a role in shaping modern India. He had his share of disagreements, quarrels, and controversies, but he is idolized to date for being an Indian hero!
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Even though he studied in an Anglocentric school and graduated from Cambridge University in England, he believed in Indian culture and values. He learned the Indian values from his mother, who told him stories from Mahabharata and Ramayana. His mother inspired him to help people in need. Netaji had five elder brothers, and he followed their path in his early stages of life. His father was a lawyer and government pleaser. He wanted his sons to learn the English language and speak it flawlessly. Therefore, they were sent to the Anglo-Indian school.
After getting graduating from Calcutta University, he went to England and agreed to appear for the Indian Civil Services exam on his father’s pursual. In 1919, he started studying Mental and Moral Sciences at the Cambridge university alongside preparing for the civil exams. In 1920, he cleared the first examination and has to appear for the final exam in 1921. However, during this period he lost interest in pursuing the civil service exam. He believed he can serve his country better than he would from being in the civil services. He informed of his decision to his brother. However, he received blessings and support from his mother for his decision.
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On his return in 1921, he met Mahatma Gandhi. Although he looked forward to the meeting, it did not go well. There were differences in both their ideals and understanding. However, it took him to the path of Indian politics. Gandhi and C.R. Das introduced him to the Indian National Congress.
Soon in 1923, Netaji was elected as the President of All India Youth Congress and Secretary of Bengal State Congress. He started his newspaper ‘Swaraj’, and became the editor of the newspaper ‘Forward’. He also became the CEO of Calcutta Municipal Corporation.
In 1925, he got arrested on suspicion of his ties to revolutionary groups. He was later released in 1927, when he became the General Secretary of the Congress. He worked closely with Jawahar Lal Nehru for India’s freedom from the British Raj. He was again arrested in 1930 for civil disobedience but was later released. He went on to become the mayor of Calcutta.
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After his release, he went to Europe to meet Indian students and foreign politicians. It was during this time, he wrote and released his book, ‘The Indian Struggle’. However, the British Government had banned the book in the country.
In 1938, Netaji became the President of the Congress as opposed to Gandhi’s wishes. Netaji was in favour of using force against the British, but Gandhi’s ideals were non-violent. Hence, a rift was created in the party. Even though Netaji was re-elected as the President in 1939, he later resigned and formed the All India Forward Bloc.
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During the next 2 years, he met with various leaders and politicians to discuss India’s future. He was really impressed by the systematic and disciplinarian approach of the Britishers and wanted to create socialist authority in India to eradicate poverty and social issues.
However, with the onset of world war, he organized several civil disobedience protests. He was later arrested for his movements. Even though he was released after a few days, his house was kept under surveillance. On 16 January, 1941, he escaped from under British surveillance. He reached Germany via Afghanistan and Russia with the help of trusted friends and allies.
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In Germany, he created an Indian Legion consisting of Indian war soldiers who fought for the British during the war and were captured by axis powers in North Africa. The legion swore its alliance to Bose and Hitler. However, later he realized that Hitler did not share his interests in freeing India from the British reigns. Therefore, Netaji left for Japan in 1943, leaving his army leaderless.
With his arrival, he was able to reform the Indian National Army, which was earlier disbanded due to disagreements between the earlier leaders. Bose gained support for his Azad Hind movement, and during his speech in Burma in 1944, he gave the famous slogan, ‘Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom!’. The speech motivated the soldiers, and later the axis governments gave recognition to the army.
The INA fought with the Japanese troops to gain control of the north-eastern frontier and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands. However, the Japanese were defeated in the war, and Bose’s provincial government was unable to establish its base in mainland India.
Later in 1945, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose succumbed to third-degree burns from a crash in Taihoku (present-day Taiwan) in Japan. He died on 18 August, 1945. He was cremated on 20th August, 1945 in Japan, and his ashes are still preserved in Renkoji Temple in Tokyo.
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There have been controversies around his death. His supporters were shocked and did not believe it to be an accident. His death remains a mystery to date.
However, Netaji played a pivotal role in India’s freedom. He fought on several fronts to get his country free from the British Raj. During his speech on Azad Hind Radio, broadcasted via Singapore, he gave the title of ‘Father of the Nation’ to Mahatma Gandhi seeking his blessing for his fight for freedom. He sacrificed his life for the nation, and therefore, he will forever remain the Hero of India!
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