"The greatest curse for a man is to remain a slave. The grossest crime is to compromise with injustice and wrong. The highest virtue is to battle against inequity, no matter what the cost may be."
- Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
Lakhs of people pin their faith on the existence of a person who has not been heard since 1945. Not a few of them cherish a hope that , that man may yet return to lead them - this is all about the immortal revolutionary patriot - Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Freedom of our nation is the result of sacrifices made by so many patriots.
Netaji, the prince of patriots, is an integral part of Indian freedom movement.
In 1956 Clement Atlee (British PM in 1947) visited India, AP Chakrabarthi the then Governor of West Bengal asked a question to him, why the British left India so soon after the allied victory in the world second world war.
Atlee said that, there were so many reasons, but the most important reason was the activities of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Dr R C Mazumdar explained this fact in his book 'Struggle for Independence'. These words of the former British PM shows the significance of Netaji in our independence struggle.
Netaji was born on Jan 23, 1897, in Cuttack the then capital of Orissa. During his younger days he was inspired by the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda.
Subhas had the belief that without spiritual upliftment human life had little or no value. Subhas had been very active in the Neo-Vivekananda group of Calcutta.
In 1919 he got a Bachelors degree in Philosophy. In the same year he went to England for ICS and cleared it with fourth rank in 1920. But Bose's unbounded love for his motherland forced him to throw away his ICS career.
The year 1921 witnessed the dawn of Netaji Bose as a young vibrant political figure in Bengal. Bose had found his political Guru in Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das.
At the beginning of his political career, Bose had followed the path of Mahatma Gandhi. But later he deviated from Gandhi's path of non-violence and decided to fight against British with arms in his hands.
In 1939 he formed a political organisation called Forward Bloc. The objective of Forward Bloc would be the capture of political power by Indian masses as early as possible, and the reconstruction of India's economy on a socialist basis.
Netaji's ultimate aim was the freedom of his motherland. To achieve his aim he had joined with Axis powers Germany, Italy and Japan. Though he was a worshiper of shakthi, he seemed to have entertained an admiration for Hitler and Mussolini. But Netaji's ideolgy was neither Nazism nor Fascism.
The Congress and the Communists had criticised Bose for his attitude. For the communists Netaji was a fascist, a Quisling, a Nazi stooge and a puppet of Japan.
Netaji defended all his criticisms with these words,"Any man or state who fight against British imperialism can offer us his aid. Any man or state which marches with British is our foe.
Before one fighting against German Nazism or Italian Fascism or Japanese Expansionism, there must be an end for British Imperialism. After all nothing would be greater and nobler than trying to regain a nation's freedom."
In 1943 he reorganised Indian National Army (INA) and assumed the supreme command of the army. He had also set up a provisional Government of free India. INA became a symbol of India fighting for independence.
Later it was the INA which indirectly sparked the revolts in the Royal Indian Air Force and the Royal Indian Navy.
With the defeat of Japan and its allies in the second World war, the very foundation on which the provisional Government and the INA had built their edifice had crumbled.
According to the official reports, Netaji was killed in an aircrash on18 August,1945, in TaiHoku near Taiwan. It is believed that the ashes kept on Rankoji temple in Japan is of Netaji. There were many stories spread about Netaji's death.
Some people believed that he was in an asylum in Russia. But the most held belief was that Swami Sharda Nandji of Shoulmari Ashram, on the West Bengal- Assam border, was none other than Bose.
Bose was a man of destiny. By his struggle for freedom in the face of overwhelming odds, he has incribed his name in shining letters in the scrolls of Indian history.
He has taken his place with Rana Pratap and Chatrapati Shivaji as a national figure in the heroic tradition. Bose deserves equal credit with Gandhi in Indian Freedom struggle. Bose's great saga is an inspiration to all Indians as Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan observed, " Future generations would read the amazing story of Netaji's life with pride and reverence and salute him as one of the great heroes who heralded India's dawn."
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