Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose : life

http://100legends.blogspot.com/ i am legend

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

"History had taught me that every empire has its inevitable decline and collapse. Moreover I had seen with my own eyes, cities and fortresses that once were the bulwarks had turned into graveyards of by-gone empires. Standing today on the graveyard of the British empire, even a child is convinced that the almighty British empire is already a thing of the past".

Speech at a military review of the Indian National Army, July 5, 1943.

Netaji Subhash Chandra was born on January 23, 1897 in Cuttack (in present day Orissa) as the ninth child among fourteen, of Janakinath Bose and Prabhavati Devi. He was expelled from Presidency College in 1916 when he beat the then English rector, named Otten because of his racist attitude towards Indians. Later he graduated from Scottish Church College, Kolkata. He participated as a member of the India Defence Corps, then a newly formed military training unit at the University of Calcutta. In 1920, Bose cleared the Indian Civil Service entrance examination and placed second, but he resigned in April 1921 and joined Indian National Congress. His ideals were strongly evocative of Swami Vivekananda's teachings and did not match with that of Gandhi's belief in non-violence. He therefore returned to Kolkata to work under Chittaranjan Das.The sudden loss of his mentor, Chittaranjan Das in June 1925, affected him deeply. Elected as a candidate for the Bengal Legislative Assembly, he then became the Mayor of Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1930.

Bose advocated complete freedom for India at the earliest, whereas the Congress Committee wanted it in phases, through a Dominion status. Finally at the historic Lahore Congress convention, the Congress had to adopt Poorna Swaraj (complete freedom) as its motto. Bhagat Singh's martyrdom and the inability of the Congress leaders to save his life infuriated Bose and he voiced a movement opposing the Gandhi-Irvin Peace Pact, that lead to his imprisonment and expulsion from India. During this time he travelled extensively in India and in Europe before stating his political opposition to Gandhi. He became the president of the Haripura Indian National Congress in 1938, against Gandhi's desire. Elected for a second term in 1939 in Tripuri Congress Session where Gandhi had supported Pattabhi Sitaramayya and commented "Pattabhi's defeat is my defeat", he resigned after winning the election.

He then formed an independent party, the All India Forward Bloc.The famous speech by him resonates with will-power even today when he says...

"For enslaved people, there can be no greater pride, no higher honour, than to be the first soldier in the army of liberation. But this honour carries with it a corresponding responsibility and I am deeply conscious of it. I assure you that I shall be with you in darkness and in sunshine, in sorrow and in joy, in suffering and in victory. For the present, I can offer you nothing except hunger, thirst, privation, forced marches and death. But if you follow me in life and in death, as I am confident you will, I shall lead you to victory and freedom. It does not matter who among us will live to see India free. It is enough that India shall be free and that we shall give our all to make her free. May God now bless our Army and grant us victory in the coming fight!

Speech at a military review of the Indian National Army, July 5, 1943 -

During his stay in Europe from 1933 to 1936, he met several European leaders and thinkers, including Benito Mussolini, Eduard Bene, Karl Seitz, Eamon de Valera, Romain Rolland and Alfred Rosenberg.At the time the Second World War began, great divisions existed in the Indian independence movement about whether to exploit the weakness of the British to achieve independence. But when in 1941, the British learned that Bose had sought the support of the Axis Powers, they ordered their agents to assassinate Bose.In November 1941, his broadcast from German radio made a stunning impact among the British when he said in Azad Hind Radio (or the Free India Radio) and opened its program with an announcing speech saying " I am Subhash Chandra Bose who is still alive and talking to you". During this broadcast he called Gandhiji as the father of the nation.

Bose later travelled and was warmly received in Japan. He was declared the head of the Indian army, which consisted of about 40,000 soldiers from Singapore and other eastern regions. Bose called it the Indian National Army (INA) and a government by the name "Azad Hind Government" was declared on the 21 October, 1943. INA marched through Burma and occupied Coxtown on the Indian Border.His speech became the milestone of Indian history for freedom of independence...

"It will be a fatal mistake for you to wish to live and see India free simply because victory is now within reach. No one here should have the desire to live to enjoy freedom. A long fight is still in front of us. We should have but one desire today- the desire to die so that India may live- the desire to face a martyr's death, so that the path to freedom may be paved with the martyr's blood. Friend's! my comrades in the War of Liberation! Today I demand of you one thing, above all. I demand of your blood. It is blood alone that can avenge the blood that the enemy has spilt. It is blood alone that can pay the price of freedom. Give me blood and I Promise you freedom".

At a rally of Indians in Burma, July 4, 1944 -

They were now inside of India and were determined to drive out the British! Delhi Chalo (Let's march to Delhi) was the war cry.The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was another turn that made Japan surrender. Bose was in Singapore then and decided to go to Tokyo for his next course of action. Unfortunately, the plane he boarded crashed near Taipei and he died in the hospital of severe burns. He was just 48.The British Government was wary to face open rebellion or mutiny and a general amnesty for INA soldiers was given. But burning issues about his mysterious death have been raised ever since and even until recently when the Taiwanese government confirmed to the Mukherjee Commission as well in January 2005, that Bose could not have died in a plane crash in that country, stating that there "were no plane crashes at Taipei between 14 August and 20 September 1945."

Bose's death has been a matter of large and small debates ever since but always with one idea in mind-an assertion of a courageous death that never could erase him from the memory of the Indian people even today.

There are theories that Bose had kept contact with the Soviets after the defeat of the Axis powers became apparent, and travelled to Manchuria instead of Taiwan (Manchuria was occupied by the Soviets in the final days of the war). Documents to this effect are also claimed to be in existence.

The Mukherjee Commission has recently submitted its report on the death of Netaji and speculations are high regarding what actually happened.

Whatever be it, this "Patriot of Patriots" as addressed by Gandhiji in 1942, was the stalwart of a freedom movement that saw world politics with a larger and newly defined ideology. He was the mind that saw a Nation in the making and his cry of "Jai Hind" has become India's national slogan.

Books on Netaji:

• Brothers Against the Raj -- A biography of Indian Nationalists Sarat and Subhas Chandra Bose / Leonard A. Gordon, Princeton University Press, 1990

• Lost hero: a biography of Subhas Bose / Mihir Bose, Quartet Books, London ; 1982

• Democracy Indian style: Subhas Chandra Bose and the creation of India's political culture / Anton Pelinka ; translated by RenĂ©e Schell, New Brunswick, NJ : Transaction Publishers (Rutgers University Press), 2003

• Subhas Chandra Bose: a biography / Marshall J. Getz, Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., USA, 2002

• The Springing Tiger: Subhash Chandra Bose / Hugh Toye : Cassell, London, 1959

• Netaji and India's freedom: proceedings of the International Netaji Seminar, 1973 / edited by Sisir K. Bose. International Netaji Seminar (1973: Calcutta, India), Netaji Research Bureau, Calcutta, India, 1973

• Indian Pilgrim: an unfinished autobiography / Subhas Chandra Bose ; edited by Sisir Kumar Bose and Sugata Bose, Oxford University Press, Calcutta, 1997

• Indian Struggle, 1920-1942 / Subhas Chandra Bose ; edited by Sisir Kumar Bose and Sugata Bose, Oxford University Press, Calcutta, 1997

• Correspondence and Selected Documents, 1930-1942 / Subhas Chandra Bose ; edited by Ravindra Kumar, Inter-India, New Delhi, 1992.

• Letters to Emilie Schenkl, 1934-1942 / Subhash Chandra Bose; edited by Sisir Kumar Bose and Sugata Bose, Permanent Black : New Delhi, 2004

• Japanese-trained armies in Southeast Asia: independence and volunteer forces in World War II / Joyce C. Lebra, New York : Columbia University Press, 1977

• Jungle alliance, Japan and the Indian National Army / Joyce C. Lebra, Singapore, Donald Moore for Asia Pacific Press,1971

• The Forgotten Army: India's Armed Struggle for Independence / Peter Ward Fay, Calcutta: Rupa & Co., 1994

Movies on Netaji:

Shyam Benegal in 2005 made a movie on Netaji called Bose: The Forgotton Hero.

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