Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

The name of Subhas Chandra Bose is an integral part of the history of India’s fight for freedom. His greatest achievement was the deep sense of national unity that he was able to kindle in his countrymen and the profound love and loyalty, he was able to inspire in his army.

Subhas Chandra Bose was born to Prabhavati Devi and Janaki Nath Bose, a lawyer of Cuttack, Orissa on 23 January 1897.He graduated in 1919 with a first class in philosophy. Submitting to his parents will, he appeared for the Civil Service examination in 1920 and came out fourth in order of merit. Although he joined the service but his mind was deeply disturbed by grave developments at home, specially the heinous Jalianwala Bagh massacre. In April 1921, he resigned. He went home to Kolkata to work under Chittaranjan Das, the Bengali patriot.

Subhas was arrested and lodged in jail for participating in Gandhiji’s Salt Satyagraha (1930). In 1938, he was unanimously elected President of the Haripura Congress session. He resigned from the Presidentship in April 1939. For 'the democratisation, radicalisation and reorientation for the Congress into a sharp instrument of the people’s will,' he announced, in May 1939 the formation of the Forward Bloc within the Congress.

On 26 January1941, he suddenly disappeared from his house to supplement the struggle going on at home from outside. He held talks on a basis of equality, first with Germany and later negotiated an alliance with Japan. In January 1942, he began his regular broadcasts from Radio Berlin. On 04 July, he took over from Rash Behari Bose the leadership of the Indian Independence Movement in East Asia, organised the Azad Hind Fauj (the Indian National Army), became its Supreme Commander on 25 August and proclaimed the Provisional Government of Azad Hind on 21October. The I.N.A. Headquarters was shifted to Rangoon in January 1944, and marching thence towards their Motherland with the war cry "Chalo Delhi" on their lips, the Azad Hind Fauj crossed the Burma Border, and stood on Indian soil on 18 March 1944. He was reportedly killed in an air crash over Taipei, Taiwan (Formosa) on 18 August 1945.

Gandhiji paid his tribute to Netaji in the following words, 'The greatest lesson that we can draw from Netaji’s life is the way in which he infused the spirit of unity amongst his men so that they could rise above all religious and provincial barriers and shed together their blood for the common cause. His unique achievement would surely immortalise him in the pages of history'. Netaji Subhas Bose’s birth anniversary, on 23rd January is also observed as the National Day of Patriotism every year.