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Netaji: The monumental man

Netaji: The monumental man
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On 15 August 2013 we had celebrated the 66th anniversary of Independence of the country. Scores of patriots sacrificed their lives to free country from the clutches of foreigners. So the anniversary of Independence is an extremely joyous occasion for all the Indians across the globe. After turning the pages of Indian freedom history, we found that after Mahatma Gandhi, the name that stands out is of Subhas Chandra Bose or Netaji. Netaji is really one of the most influential and charismatic personalities of the country. On Netaji sacrificed everything for the sake of the beloved Indians. Finally, he even gave his life for the sake of our country.

Though Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru have garnered much of the credit for successful culmination of Indian freedom struggle, the contribution of Subash Chandra Bose, a man with a burning desire to excel,   is no less. He has been denied his rightful place in the annals of Indian history.

Subhas Chandra Bose was born on 23 January, 1897 in Cuttack, Odisha. His father Janaki Nath Bose was a very famous lawyer and his mother Prabhavati Devi was a religious and pious lady. Subhas Chandra Bose was the ninth child among 14 siblings. He was strongly influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s teachings.

In early years, he left the most lucrative post of ICS (Indian Civil Service) for entering into freedom struggle. Millions of Indians regard him as one of the greatest heroes of India’s struggle for Independence.

He diferred completely with Mahatma Gandhi on method to achieve freedom from British colonial rule. Mahatma Gandhi as we all know followed non-violence method all along to achieve freedom whereas Netaji believed that British can be driven out of India only through armed struggle. Mahatma and Netaji both had highest regards for each other although their path was diametrically opposite.

Subhas Chandra Bose was guided by two cardinal principles in his search for his country’s emancipation: that there could be no compromise with alien colonialists on this issue, and that on no account would the country be partitioned. The Indian geographical unity was to be maintained at all costs.

It was with the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi that, Netaji was elected president of All India Congress in 1938. But in 1939, he got elected as Congress chief against the wishes of Gandhi, who had opposed former election vehemently because of differences in their strategies to gain Independence and finally within a few months Netaji had to resign from the post.

In January 1941, Netaji escaped British house arrest in India and arrived in Germany when World War II was at peak. He met Hitler, who gave him his unconditional approval for the establishment of a Free India Center and inauguration of a Free India Radio, both beginning their operations in November 1941. These two organisations played vital and significant roles in projecting Bose’s increasing activities in Germany, but a detailed account of their operation lies outside the scope of this article. It should be sufficient to say that the German government put at Bose’s disposal adequate funds to run these two organizations, and he was allowed complete freedom to run them the way he liked at his own discretion. For the first time India’s Tricolor was unfurled on German soil. With a few Indian soldiers who were POW’s (under German Army) Netaji formed Azad Hind Fauz (Indian National army) which was just the beginning of what was to happen in Singapore after 2 years.

Somehow, Netaji felt that it was very difficult to organise any resistance to British from German soil as it was far away from India. He decided to go to Japan with his dream to form a massive force consisting of Indian POW’s in Japanese custody which numbered close to 60,000 which happened after the fall of Singapore.

With German help, Netaji took a perilous U2 submarine voyage from German waters and arrived in south-east Asia in July1943 after a few weeks of travel under water along with his aide Abid Hassan. Japan was already waiting for the arrival of great leader Netaji. With the Japanese help, all 60,000 Indian soldiers were released and were allowed to join Netaji’s newly formed Azad Hind Fauz or Indian National Army (INA).

23 January (Netaji’s birthday) became a special day to collect contributions for Azad Hind Fund. Netaji’s War of Independence brought back nostalgic memories of First War of Independence in 1857. Netaji’s war was one of the biggest event of the history of our freedom fight.

On 21 October 1943, Netaji formally announced from Singapore formation of Azad Hind Fauz (INA) and Azad Hind government. This is one of the most significant moments in the history of India’s struggle for Independence. This was also the most significant day in Netaji’s life as he saw thousands of INA solidiers who took oath to shed blood so as to free India from the shackles of British slavery.

Netaji’s most famous slogans during the war were ‘Chalo Delhi’ and ‘Give me your blood and I will give you your freedom’ inspired Indians all across the globe.

On 6 August 1945, USA dropped atomic bomb on Hiroshima and three days later another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki killing thousands of Japanese. Japan had no way out of this disaster, finally surrendered to allied forces on 15 August, 1945. On 18 August 1945, Netaji’s plane took off Taihoku (Taipei) in the afternoon supposedly heading towards Tokyo but no one knows exactly what happened after this flight. On 23 August, 1945 (8 days after alleged crash), Japan declared that Netaji died in plane crash at Taihoku (now Taipei) on 18 August 1945.
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