Paragraph on Subhas Chandra Bose

One of the great freedom fighters produced by Mother India in the struggle for freedom, was Subhas Chandra Bose, regarded Deshnayak by Ravindranath Tagore.

He was a well-known social reformer, social activist and a reputed organizer and leader. Subhas was born in an educated and cultured Bengali family in 1897 and exhibited deep love towards India from his childhood.

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At the age of 15, he wrote to his mother ‘India is God’s beloved land’.

Such was his deep conviction of the greatness of India and at the end of his life; he exhorted his fellow countrymen “Never for a moment falter in your faith in India’s destiny. There is no power on earth that can keep India enslaved. India shall be free before long”. Subhas was a product of the resurgent Bengali milieu of the 20th century. He had his collegiate education in Bengal and was qualified for Indian Civil Service but inspired by the sacrifices of the earlier leaders of Indian National Congress resigned the post of ICS and plunged into freedom struggle voluntarily.

Chittaranjan Das was his political guru. His training as political activist committed to non-violent way of peaceful protest started with the non-cooperation movement launched by Gandhi in 1920. He also played a major role in the student, youth and labour movements. He was imprisoned more than ten times by the British government. Bose was a man of firm conviction of courage and had definite ideas about the destiny of India.

He advocated that India should become an independent federal republic. His exhortation to the nationalists of India not to become a queer mixture of political democrats and social conservatives reflects his social and political ideals. He stood for the upliftment of women, depressed classes and labouring masses. In 1928 itself, at the Calcutta session, he demanded Purnaswaraj or complete independence instead of dominion status.

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Bose had the courage of conviction to oppose the persons and the views he did not accept. This can be seen in opposing Gandhi followers and standing for the Presidency of the Indian National Congress. He himself resigned his post when they non-cooperated with him. The British government put him in prison on 2 July, 1940 and he was released on 5 December and was imprisoned again. On January 16-17, 1941 he planned an escape and finally reached Germany.

Subhas left India and reached Germany to win over the Indian soldiers in the British Indian army who were held prisoners of war. From Germany, he reached South-East Asia. Subhas too was inspired by the goal of achieving total independence for India like Gandhi. The path chosen by Gandhi was non-violent, non-cooperation and civil disobedience through mass struggle in stages but the path chosen by Subhas was through military action with the support of the enemies of the Raj. Exasperated by waiting and delay, Subhas chose this path to reach the goal early.

Subhas assumed the leadership of INA as its supreme commander and gave a call for ‘Delhi Chalo’ and ‘Jai Hind’. INA was not the idea of Subhas but was conceived by Mohan Singh, an Indian officer of the British Indian army in Malaya. With the help of Japan, Mohan Singh successfully recruited and organized INA and the outbreak of the ‘August Revolution’ gave fillip to the INA. Anti-British demonstrations were organized in Malaya expressing solidarity with Congress-led Quit India movement.

Japan encouraged INA because it wanted INA to be a party to the planned invasion of India. But by December 1942, differences arose between Japan and INA over its role in future and Mohan Singh and Niranjan Singh Gill, the two important senior leaders of INA were arrested.

After the landing of Subhas in Singapore by July 1943, the next phase of INA began: Bose met Tozo, the Prime Minister of Japan and got assurance from him that Japan entertained no territorial ambition on India. Totally convinced of Japan’s motives, Subhas returned to Singapore and set up the Provisional Government of Free India on 21 October, 1943.

It is to be remembered that Bose sought the blessings of Gandhi in his operations of INA. It clearly indicates that Bose differed with Gandhi about the path but he has great respect and admiration towards Gandhi as leader of the masses. The self-proclaimed provisional Government of Free India declared war on the Britain and the USA Axis powers and their satellites recognized the Government of Free India.

Subhas set up two headquarters of INA at Rangoon and in Singapore. Subhas also created a women’s regiment called Rani Jhansi Regiment. An army contingent of INA commanded by Shah NawaJ participated in the Imphal campaign along with the Japanese forces but the discrimination shown by the Japanese demoralized the INA. INA family surrendered to the British by 1945.

Though the experiment of INA failed, Subhas successfully proved that Hindus, Muslims, North Indians and South Indians, Sikhs and Pathans can be mobilized to move as one family in the realization of the liberation of the motherland. He also successfully proved by example how to achieve Hindu-Muslim unity and amity and make women the rightful claimants to their place of honour as equal partners along with men by giving them their due share in INA or Azad Fouz.

Though Subhas and INA appear to have failed in their mission of achieving independence faster by military force, his alternative vision made him eternally admired for his courage of conviction and deep commitment in what he believed to be correct and appro­priate. As hailed by Gandhi, Subhas is undoubtedly ‘a Prince among Patriots’ and certainly deserves the title of Netaji or the respected leader. It is because of this only, when the British tried to try INA as war prisoners, the whole country as one individual condemned their trial and praised them as heroes who stood for the liberation of the motherland.

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