Who was Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose?


Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was a revolutionary freedom fighter and leader with indomitable courage and vigour. With his undaunted efforts he moulded himself as one of the most promising leaders during the Indian freedom struggle. Casting his influence on several Indians spread all over the world, he moved ahead with his meticulous plans to wage a war against the British. He had a very unique style of attracting masses to participate in the freedom struggle. His name will be permanently inscribed in the annals of Indian history. Bose was a devout Hindu and influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda.


Early Life of Subhash Chandra Bose
Subhash Chandra Bose

Subhash Chandra Bose (Image Source: Wikipedia)

Subhash Chandra Bose was the ninth child among fourteen children born in a wealthy Hindu Kayastha family in Orissa. Janakinath Bose and Prabhavathi Devi were his parents. His father was an advocate. His initial schooling was done in Cuttack and later he completed his matriculation in Calcutta. In 1918, he was awarded B.A. degree by the University of Calcutta.


To pursue higher studies, he left for England in 1919. In the Indian Civil Service examination, he was among the toppers. Though he got selected to the elite ICS, out of resentment against the British he resigned his job and came back to India.


Initial years of political association

Bose was influenced by prominent Bengali political leader, Chittaranjan Das and joined in the India’s freedom struggle. He started a newspaper “Swaraj” to express his views. Bose vehemently opposed the British and took active interest in Indian politics. He was made in charge of the publicity for The Bengal Provincial Congress committee.  His active participation was the reason he was made the President of All India Youth Congress and Secretary of Bengal State Congress. He was elected as the Mayor of Calcutta Municipal Corporation in 1924. His association with the Congress and freedom struggle became a reason for arresting him in 1925. Later he was released in 1927.


Involvement with Indian National Congress

Bose was elected as the general secretary of the Congress party in 1927. To study various party organizations and varieties of government, he visited several countries in Europe in 1930s. He was exposed to different types of political parties with different theories and he also met Mussolini. With his hard work and commitment he gradually rose to become a prominent figure in Indian politics and he was also nominated as the President of Congress party.


His political views were different from those of other important leaders like Gandhi and Nehru. He differed in his opinions and ultimately it lead to his disassociation with Congress. This move has led to the formation of Forward Bloc by Subhash Chandra Bose in 1939. Bose was of the opinion that India should take advantage of the Second World War in which Britain also participated. He thought that British should grant independence in return to the help Indians will give Britain in the war. But prominent leaders like Gandhi and Nehru differed with him. He was house arrested for his moves against the British.


His getaway to Germany and Japan

He escaped house arrest in a disguise and first went to Peshawar in 1941. He wanted to go to Russia. On the way he crossed Afghanistan and reached Soviet Russia on an Italian passport. Though he expected Russia to support his revolt plans against British, he was disappointed by their response. He received support from Germany. With 4500 soldiers, Bose formed the Free India Center in Berlin. But when Hitler raided Russia, he was taken aback and came to know that Germany will not be helping him in his endeavours. With no other option, he had to leave Germany and visit Japan for garnering support for his plans against British.



He met Emilie Schenkl, an Austrian citizen and married her in 1937. A daughter named Anita Bose Pfaff was born in 1942.


Formation of Azad Hind Fauj

In 1943, he left for Japan from Germany. Indian National Army or Azad Hind Fauj was founded by Captain Mohan Singh in 1942 in Singapore. Bose was successful in reorganizing the unit and increased the strength of the unit to almost 85000 soldiers in 1943. His fleet of army had the support of expatriate Indians who lived in South East Asia. Azad Hind Fauj was under the aegis of a provisional government and had its own currency, court, civil code and postage stamps. This provincial government was recognized in Germany, Japan, China and Philippines. In India, a separate flag of Azad Hind Fauj was hoisted in Manipur. Both Japan and Germany were defeated in the Second World War and it resulted in the disorganization of the Indian National Army in July 1944. Bose spoke in the Azad Hind Radio that was broadcast from Singapore and praised Mahatma Gandhi and sought his blessing for his efforts. Bose coined the famous slogan “Give me blood and I will give you freedom”.


Mysterious disappearance

After disbanding of Azad Hind Fauz, Bose planned to visit Russia and made a plan enroute Tokyo, but on his way the flight crashed at Taihoku in Taiwan and he died in a local hospital on 18th August 1945. This was the testimony given by a Japanese Captain Yoshida Taneyoshi. But no one had a glimpse of his body, there are several rumors that Bose was not died at that time but much later in 1977 in Dehradun. Several Indian governments formed several committees but none of them came out with any valid evidence of his death. Even today his disappearance is a mystery to the world.


Bose’s philosophy and legacy

Subhash Chandra Bose was a staunch believer in religion. Bhagavad Gita inspired him to plan the course of action against the British. He drew lot of inspiration from Swami Vivekanada’s teachings. Spirituality was an essential part of his political thoughts which led to the fight against British.


He always believed that India should be a totally democratic country. But later during the period of war he changed his stand and felt that India should be modeled on the lines of a socialist state like Soviet Russia. Bose was liberal in his thoughts, supported secularism. His approach towards freedom struggle was unique in the sense that most of the time he planned all his actions outside India. Whatever the struggle he has undergone, he will always be remembered as a revolutionary leader who is inseparable in the freedom struggle of India. He is fondly remembered as Netaji.

  • asit guin

    Japan sold Netaji and Netaji-dummy to British;
    In WW-I, Japan was an ally of British. Before WW-II, Japan-US trade war and political war started, this led to actual war between US and Japan. So British became an enemy to Japan by diplomatic manipulation as US – British alliance was there. After WW-II, Japan revived their old connection with British via spies. Japanese and British spies were enough linked before WW-II. Japanese spies agreed to eliminate Netaji. Motive was to appease the British and purchase security for Japan royal family. Thus, Japan sold Netaji to British and British eliminated him. The false news of air crash was Japan’s fabrication. In any controversial case, liar is to be suspected first.
    Netaji’s plan to start second independence war with the help of USSR was known to Japan. There was enough scope for British and Japanese spies to develop a common minimum program against pro-communist agenda of Netaji. Why should Japanese imperialism agree to patronize emergence of independent India as a permanent communist ally? Is it not more logical to fulfill British condition and purchase favor? Why Japan royal family was not tried as a war criminal? What is the mystery behind this favor?
    There is another point about gumnami baba. Who was he? Gumnami baba was a dummy created as a part of common minimum program of Japanese imperialism and British imperialism. In axis camp, creation of dummy by plastic surgery was a common practice. Hitler and Mussolini were having number of dummies. Japan sold Netaji-dummy to British. British deputed this dummy at faizabad of Uttar Pradesh, with a purpose to create confusion that as if Netaji’s death or life is doubtful. The confusion prevented the nation to be doubtful about role of Japan or British. So gumnami baba of faizabad is a common creation of Japanese spies and British spies. Never had he told the truth. If he had told anything, that must be lie. In a controversial case, liar is to be suspected. So, Japan sold Netaji to British and British executed him in secret. Japan sold Netaji-dummy to British and British deputed him at faizabad of Uttar-Pradesh. Japan surrendered to US-UK side on 15th august 1945. Netaji’s last flight was on 18th august 1945. A surrendered Japan was no longer an ally of azad hind. They worked as per their new mentors, the British.

  • asit guin

    British documents show that during last days of WW II, Viceroy Wavell did not want Netaji brought to India as a prisoner. British preferred for dealing with him ‘on the spot’. Bose was stimulating a post-war upsurge against British. He thought that India’s partition was inevitable if British were allowed to “transfer power”. Bose’s aim in 1945 was not just to escape the British pursuit. He had foreknowledge of Japan’s decision to capitulate. In the spring of 1945, he wanted to lead a challenge against the forces of Allies. He wanted to court death in battle. He thought that, after Aung San of Burma switched over to British side at the last moment, the INA needed to set an example of patriotic bravery. He was dissuaded from this course because two divisions of the INA were still intact and he thought of a new role for this patriotic force in the postwar situation. Unlike other leaders of the Japan-occupied Southeast Asian countries, he, at one stage, thought of staying with INA troops in Singapore to await the arrival of the Mountbatten-led British Indian occupation force. This course was abandoned on August 14, 1945, on the advice of members of AH govt. On Aug 14, 1945, some information was brought to him from Thailand. This information led him to abandon the plan that INA should await the capture of Singapore by the British. There is no record of the information that caused the AH govt to ask Netaji to fly to Tokyo for final consultations with Jap govt. Netaji had been forewarned of British preference for dealing with him “on the spot”? Did he fear that he would not be taken to India as a prisoner? He knew of the existence of the Allies’ spies in INA and behind the Japanese lines. As the war drew to a close, important people changed sides. They acted on the Allies’ directives. Even in Japan there were people who wanted to please the victors. They were ready to pay price new masters demanded. The British Foreign Office had ordered the assassination of Netaji in 1941, just after he made his “grand escape”. But his decision to change route and reach Germany via Russia had scuttled their plan. Eunan O’Halpin of Trinity College, Dublin, made this claim at Netaji Research Bureau. O’Halpin said the British Special Operation Executive (SOE) (formed in 1940 to carry out sabotage activities) informed its representatives in Istanbul and Cairo that Bose was thought to be travelling from Afghanistan to Germany via Iran, Iraq and Turkey. They were asked to arrange his assassination. O’Halpin handed over relevant documents to Krishna Bose. On June 13, 1941, the British SOE confirmed to Istanbul that the assassination order still stood. After Japan surrendered again scope came for British to utilize Japan against Netaji. So, British must have utilized this new opportunity and assassinated him in secret.

  • AniketP

    Subhash Chandra Bose is the real hero of India