Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

History

Subhas Chandra Bose was a prominent figure of the Indian independence movement and was responsible for reorganising and leading the Indian National Army in World War II. Subhas Chandra Bose was born on January 23, 1897 and is presumed to have died on August 18, 1945 (although this is disputed). He was popularly known as Netaji, meaning 'respected leader' in Hindi. He founded the Indian National Army, also known as the Azad Hind Fauj, to overthrow the British Empire from India.

 

AS A STUDENT…

Subhas Chandra Bose was a brilliant student. He topped the matriculation examination of Calcutta province and graduated with a First Class in Philosophy from the Scottish Church College in Calcutta. He was strongly influenced by Swami Vivekananda's teachings and was known for his patriotic zeal even as a student. To fulfill his parents wishes, he went to England in 1919 to appear for the Indian Civil Services examination. He took the exam in 1920 and came out fourth in order of merit. However, he was deeply disturbed by the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre and left his Civil Services apprenticeship midway to return to India in 1921.

 

IN HIS YOUTH…

In the late 1920s, both Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru emerged as ambassadors of the youth and spokesmen of the rising revolutionaries in national politics. However, Bose's mindset and ideologies were very different from those of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. This fact soon became known to the public when Bose called for a parallel government and mobilisation of peasants and workers at the Indian National Congress session in Lahore in 1929.

 

AS A LEADER OF THE INDIAN NATIONAL ARMY…

The Indian National Army (INA) was formed by Indian nationalists in 1942 in Southeast Asia during World War II. The aim of the army was to overthrow the British Raj in colonial India with Japanese assistance. Initially composed of Indian prisoners of war captured by Japan in the Malayan campaign and at Singapore, it later drew large numbers of volunteers from Indian expatriate populations in Malaya and Burma. Subhas Chandra Bose took over leadership of the INA in 1943. In contrast to Mahatma Gandhi, Bose aggressively confronted the British. Though the INA was disbanded, it played a significant role in the Indian independence movement.

 

SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE'S CHAIR AT RED FORT

The following words are inscribed on a brass shield in front of Bose's chair, which rests in a glass case at the Red Fort in Delhi and is a symbol of pride as well as national heritage. "Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in order to free India from the shackles of British imperialism organised the Azad Hind Government from outside the country on October 21, 1943. Netaji set up the Provisional Government of Independent India (Azad Hind) and transferred its headquarters to Rangoon on January 7, 1944. On April 5, 1944, the "Azad Hind Bank" was inaugurated at Rangoon. It was on this occasion that Netaji used this chair for the first time. Later the chair was kept at the residence of Netaji at 51, University Avenue, Rangoon, where the office of the Azad Hind is also housed. Afterwards, at the time of leaving Burma, the Britishers handed over the chair to the family of Mr A T Ahuja, the well known business man of Rangoon. The chair was officially handed over to the Government of India in January 1979. It was brought to Calcutta on July 17, 1980. It has now been ceremonially installed at the Red Fort on July 7, 1981."

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