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Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

Subhas Chandra Bose
Subhas Chandra Bose
Born (1897-01-23)23 January 1897
Cuttack, Orissa Division, Bengal Province, India
Died 18 August 1945[1]
Nationality India
Alma mater University of Calcutta
Known for Figure of Indian independence movement
Title President of Indian National Congress (1938), General of Azad Hind army (1943–1945)
Political party Indian National Congress, Forward Bloc
Religion Hinduism
Spouse(s) Emilie Schenkl (unacknowledged publicly by Bose, without legal record, affirmed by extended family in 1993)
Children Anita Bose Pfaff
Signature Signature of Subhas Chandra Bose

Subhas Chandra Bose (

Earlier, Bose had been a leader of the younger, radical, wing of the Indian National Congress in the late 1920s and 1930s, rising to become Congress President from 1938 to 1939.[3] However, he was ousted from the Congress in 1939 following differences with the high command,[4] and subsequently placed under house arrest by the British before escaping from India in early 1941.[5] He turned to Germany and Japan for help in gaining India's independence by force.[6] With Japanese support, he organised the Indian National Army, composed largely of Indian soldiers of the British Indian army who had been captured in the Battle of Singapore by the Japanese. As the war turned against them, the Japanese came to support a number of puppet and provisional governments in the captured regions, including those in Burma, the Philippines and Vietnam, and in addition, the Provisional Government of Azad Hind, presided by Bose.[6]

Bose's effort, however, was short lived. In 1945 the British army first halted and then reversed the Japanese U Go offensive, beginning the successful part of the Burma Campaign. Bose's Indian National Army was driven down the Malay Peninsula, and surrendered with the recapture of Singapore. Bose died soon thereafter from third degree burns received after attempting to escape in an overloaded Japanese plane which crashed in Taiwan,[7] which many Indians believe did not happen.[8][9] The trials of the INA soldiers at Red Fort, Delhi, in late 1945 caused widespread public unrest in India.[10][11]

Early life


Subhas Chandra Bose was born on 23 January 1897 (at 12.10 pm) in Cuttack, Orissa Division, Bengal Province, to Prabhavati Devi and Janakinath Bose, an advocate.[12] He was the ninth child of a total of fourteen siblings. He was admitted to the Protestant European School like his other brothers and sisters in January, 1902. He continued his studies at this school which was run by the Baptist Mission up to the year 1909 and then shifted to the Ravenshaw Collegiate School. The day Subhas was admitted to this school, Beni Madhav Das, the then Headmaster of the school, understood how brilliant and scintillating was the genius of this little boy. After securing the second position in the matriculation examination in 1913, he got admitted to the Presidency College where he studied briefly.[13] His nationalistic temperament came to light when he was expelled for assaulting Professor Oaten for the latter's anti-India comments. He later joined the Scottish Church College at the University of Calcutta and passed his B.A. in 1918 in philosophy.[14] Bose left India in 1919 for England with a promise to his father that he would appear in the Indian Civil Services Examination (ICS). He went to study in Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and matriculated on 19 November 1919. He came fourth in the ICS examination and was selected but he did not want to work under an alien government which would mean serving the British. As he stood on the verge of taking the plunge by resigning from the Indian Civil Service in 1921, he wrote to his elder brother Sarat: "Only on the soil of sacrifice and suffering can we raise our edifice".[this quote needs a citation] Finally, he resigned from his civil service job on 23 April 1921 and returned to India.[15] He started the newspaper Swaraj and took charge of publicity for the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee.[16] His mentor was Chittaranjan Das who was a spokesman for aggressive nationalism in Bengal. In the year 1923, Bose was elected the President of All India Youth Congress and also the Secretary of Bengal State Congress. He was also editor of the newspaper "Forward", founded by Chittaranjan Das.[17] Bose worked as the CEO of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation for Das when the latter was elected mayor of Calcutta in 1924.[15] In a roundup of nationalists in 1925, Bose was arrested and sent to prison in Mandalay, where he contracted tuberculosis.[18]

National politics

Indian National Congress


In 1927, after being released from prison, Bose became general secretary of the Congress party and worked with Jawaharlal Nehru for independence. Again Bose was arrested and jailed for civil disobedience; this time he emerged to become Mayor of Calcutta in 1930.[18] During the mid-1930s Bose travelled in Europe, visiting Indian students and European politicians, including Benito Mussolini. He observed party organisation and saw communism and fascism in action. By 1938 Bose had become a leader of national stature and agreed to accept nomination as Congress President. Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar known for his close friendship with Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose.

He stood for unqualified Swaraj (self-governance), including the use of force against the British. This meant a confrontation with Mohandas Gandhi, who in fact opposed Bose's presidency,[19] splitting the Indian National Congress party. Bose attempted to maintain unity, but Gandhi advised Bose to form his own cabinet. The rift also divided Bose and Nehru. Bose appeared at the 1939 Congress meeting on a stretcher. He was elected president again over Gandhi's preferred candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya.[20] U. Muthuramalingam Thevar strongly supported Bose in the intra-Congress dispute. Thevar mobilised all south India votes for Bose.[21] However, due to the manoeuvrings of the Gandhi-led clique in the Congress Working Committee, Bose found himself forced to resign from the Congress presidency.[22]

All India Forward Bloc

On 22 June 1939 Bose organised the Forward Bloc,[23] aimed at consolidating the political left, but its main strength was in his home state, Bengal. U Muthuramalingam Thevar, who was a staunch supporter of Bose from the beginning, joined the Forward Bloc. When Bose visited Madurai on 6 September, Thevar organised a massive rally as his reception When Subash Chandra Bose was heading to Madurai, on an invitation of Muthuramalinga Thevar to amass support for the Forward Bloc, he passed through Madras and spent three days at Gandhi Peak. His correspondence reveals that despite his clear dislike for British subjugation, he was deeply impressed by their methodical and systematic approach and their steadfastly disciplinarian outlook towards life. In England, he exchanged ideas on the future of India with British Labour Party leaders and political thinkers like Lord Halifax, George Lansbury, Clement Attlee, Arthur Greenwood, Harold Laski, J.B.S. Haldane, Ivor Jennings, G.D.H. Cole, Gilbert Murray and Sir Stafford Cripps . He came to believe that a free India needed socialist authoritarianism, on the lines of Turkey's Kemal Atatürk, for at least two decades. Bose was refused permission by the British authorities to meet Atatürk at Ankara for political reasons. During his sojourn in England, only the Labour Party and Liberal politicians agreed to meet with Bose when he tried to schedule appointments. Conservative Party officials refused to meet Bose or show him courtesy because he was a politician coming from a colony. In the 1930s leading figures in the Conservative Party had opposed even Dominion status for India. It was during the Labour Party government of 1945–1951, with Attlee as the Prime Minister, that India gained independence. On the outbreak of war, Bose advocated a campaign of mass civil disobedience to protest against Viceroy Lord Linlithgow's decision to declare war on India's behalf without consulting the Congress leadership. Having failed to persuade Gandhi of the necessity of this, Bose organised mass protests in Calcutta calling for the 'Holwell Monument' commemorating the Black Hole of Calcutta, which then stood at the corner of Dalhousie Square, to be removed.[24] He was thrown in jail by the British, but was released following a seven-day hunger strike. Bose's house in Calcutta was kept under surveillance by the CID.[25]

Escape from British India to Germany and Japan

Bose's arrest and subsequent release set the scene for his escape to Germany, via Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. A few days before his escape, he sought solitude and on this pretext avoided meeting British guards and grew a beard on the night of his escape, he dressed as a Pathan to avoid being identified. Bose escaped from under British surveillance at his house in Calcutta. On 19 January 1941, accompanied by his nephew Sisir K. Bose in a car that is now on display at his Calcutta home.[26][27]


He journeyed to Peshawar with the help of the Abwehr, where he was met by Akbar Shah, Mohammed Shah and Bhagat Ram Talwar. Bose was taken to the home of Abad Khan, a trusted friend of Akbar Shah's. On 26 January 1941, Bose began his journey to reach Russia through British India's North West frontier with Afghanistan. For this reason, he enlisted the help of Mian Akbar Shah, then a Forward Bloc leader in the North-West Frontier Province. Shah had been out of India en route to the Soviet Union, and suggested a novel disguise for Bose to assume. Since Bose could not speak one word of Pashto, it would make him an easy target of Pashto speakers working for the British. For this reason, Shah suggested that Bose act deaf and dumb, and let his beard grow to mimic those of the tribesmen. Bose's guide Bhagat Ram Talwar, unknown to him, was a Soviet agent.[26][27][28]

Supporters of the Aga Khan III helped him across the border into Afghanistan where he was met by an Abwehr unit posing as a party of road construction engineers from the Organization Todt who then aided his passage across Afghanistan via Kabul to the border with Soviet Russia. After assuming the guise of a Pashtun insurance agent ("Ziaudddin") to reach Afghanistan, Bose changed his guise and travelled to Moscow on the Italian passport of an Italian nobleman "Count Orlando Mazzotta". From Moscow, he reached Rome, and from there he travelled to Germany.[26][27][29] Once in Russia the NKVD transported Bose to Moscow where he hoped that Russia's traditional enmity to British rule in India would result in support for his plans for a popular rising in India. However, Bose found the Soviets' response disappointing and was rapidly passed over to the German Ambassador in Moscow, Count von der Schulenburg. He had Bose flown on to Berlin in a special courier aircraft at the beginning of April where he was to receive a more favorable hearing from Joachim von Ribbentrop and the Foreign Ministry officials at the Wilhelmstrasse.[26][27][30]


In Germany, he instituted the Special Bureau for India under Adam von Trott zu Solz, broadcasting on the German-sponsored Azad Hind Radio. He founded the Free India Center in Berlin, and created the Indian Legion (consisting of some 4500 soldiers) out of Indian prisoners of war who had previously fought for the British in North Africa prior to their capture by Axis forces. The Indian Legion was attached to the Wehrmacht, and later transferred to the Waffen SS. Its members swore the following allegiance to Hitler and Bose: "I swear by God this holy oath that I will obey the leader of the German race and state, Adolf Hitler, as the commander of the German armed forces in the fight for India, whose leader is Subhas Chandra Bose". This oath clearly abrogates control of the Indian legion to the German armed forces whilst stating Bose's overall leadership of India. He was also, however, prepared to envisage an invasion of India via the USSR by Nazi troops, spearheaded by the Azad Hind Legion; many have questioned his judgment here, as it seems unlikely that the Germans could have been easily persuaded to leave after such an invasion, which might also have resulted in an Axis victory in the War.[29]

In all, 3,000 Indian prisoners of war signed up for the Free India Legion. But instead of being delighted, Bose was worried. A left-wing admirer of Russia, he was devastated when Hitler's tanks rolled across the Soviet border. Matters were worsened by the fact that the now-retreating German army would be in no position to offer him help in driving the British from India. When he met Hitler in May 1942, his suspicions were confirmed, and he came to believe that the Nazi leader was more interested in using his men to win propaganda victories than military ones. So, in February 1943, Bose turned his back on his legionnaires and slipped secretly away aboard a submarine bound for Japan. This left the men he had recruited leaderless and demoralised in Germany.[29][31]

Bose lived in Berlin from 1941 until 1943. During his earlier visit to Germany in 1934, he had met Emilie Schenkl, the daughter of an Austrian veterinarian whom he married in 1937. Their daughter is Anita Bose Pfaff.[32] Bose's party, the Forward Bloc, has contested this fact.[33]

In 1943, After being disillusioned that Germany could be of any help in liberating India, he left for Japan. He travelled with the German submarine U-180 around the Cape of Good Hope to the southeast of Madagascar, where he was transferred to the I-29 for the rest of the journey to Imperial Japan. This was the only civilian transfer between two submarines of two different navies in World War II.[26][27]

Leadership of Azad Hind Fauj and later events

Main articles: Azad Hind Fauj and Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind

The Indian National Army (INA) was originally founded by Captain General Mohan Singh in Singapore on 1 September 1942[34] with Japan's Indian POWs in the Far East. This was along the concept of—and with support of—what was then known as the Indian Independence League, headed by expatriate nationalist leader Rash Behari Bose. The first INA was however disbanded in December after disagreements between the Hikari Kikan and Mohan Singh, who came to believe that the Japanese High Command was using the INA as a mere pawn and propaganda tool. Mohan Singh was taken into custody and the troops returned to the prisoner-of-war camp. However, the idea of a liberation army was revived with the arrival of Subhas Chandra Bose in the Far East in 1943. In July, at a meeting in Singapore, Rash Behari Bose handed over control of the organisation to Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose was able to reorganise the fledgling army and organise massive support among the expatriate Indian population in south-east Asia, who lent their support by both enlisting in the Indian National Army, as well as financially in response to Bose's calls for sacrifice for the national cause. INA had a separate women's unit, the Rani of Jhansi Regiment (named after Rani Lakshmi Bai) headed by Capt. Lakshmi Swaminathan, which is seen as a first of its kind in Asia.[35][36]

Even when faced with military reverses, Bose was able to maintain support for the Azad Hind movement. Spoken as a part of a motivational speech for the Indian National Army at a rally of Indians in Burma on 4 July 1944, Bose's most famous quote was "Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom!" In this, he urged the people of India to join him in his fight against the British Raj. Spoken in Hindi, Bose's words are highly evocative. The troops of the INA were under the aegis of a provisional government, the Azad Hind Government, which came to produce its own currency, postage stamps, court and civil code, and was recognised by nine Axis states—Germany, Japan, Italy, the Independent State of Croatia, Wang Jingwei regime in Nanjing, China, a provisional government of Burma, Manchukuo and Japanese-controlled Philippines. Recent researches have shown that the USSR too had diplomatic contact with the "Provisional Government of Free India". Of those countries, five were authorities established under Axis occupation. This government participated in the so-called Greater East Asia Conference as an observer in November 1943.


The INA's first commitment was in the Japanese thrust towards Eastern Indian frontiers of Manipur. INA's special forces, the Bahadur Group, were extensively involved in operations behind enemy lines both during the diversionary attacks in Arakan, as well as the Japanese thrust towards Imphal and Kohima, along with the Burmese National Army led by Ba Maw and Aung San.

Japanese also took possession of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1942 and a year later, the Provisional Government and the INA were established in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with Lt Col. A.D. Loganathan appointed its Governor General. The islands were renamed Shaheed (Martyr) and Swaraj (Independence). However, the Japanese Navy remained in essential control of the island's administration. During Bose's only visit to the islands in early 1944, when he was carefully screened, by the Japanese authorities, from the local population who at that time were torturing the leader of the Indian Independence League on the Islands, Dr. Diwan Singh, who later died of his injuries, in the Cellular Jail. The islanders made several attempts to alert Bose to their plight, but apparently without success. Enraged with the lack of administrative control, Lt. Col Loganathan later relinquished his authority and returned to the Government's headquarters in Rangoon.[37][38]

On the Indian mainland, an Indian Tricolour, modelled after that of the Indian National Congress, was raised for the first time in the town in Moirang, in Manipur, in north-eastern India. The towns of Kohima and Imphal were placed under siege by divisions of the Japanese, Burmese and the Gandhi and Nehru Brigades of INA during the attempted invasion of India, also known as Operation U-GO. However, Commonwealth forces held both positions and then counter-attacked, in the process inflicting serious losses on the besieging forces, which were then forced to retreat back into Burma.

When Japanese funding for the army diminished, Bose was forced to raise taxes on the Indian populations of Malaysia and Singapore. When the Japanese were defeated at the battles of Kohima and Imphal, the Provisional Government's aim of establishing a base in mainland India was lost forever. The INA was forced to pull back, along with the retreating Japanese army, and fought in key battles against the British Indian Army in its Burma campaign, notable in Meiktilla, Mandalay, Pegu, Nyangyu and Mount Popa. However, with the fall of Rangoon, Bose's government ceased to be an effective political entity. A large proportion of the INA troops surrendered under Lt Col Loganathan. The remaining troops retreated with Bose towards Malaya or made for Thailand. Japan's surrender at the end of the war also led to the eventual surrender of the Indian National Army, when the troops of the British Indian Army were repatriated to India and some tried for treason.

On 6 July 1944, in a speech broadcast by the Azad Hind Radio from Singapore, Bose addressed Mahatma Gandhi as the "Father of the Nation" and asked for his blessings and good wishes for the war he was fighting. This was the first time that Gandhi was referred to by this appellation.[39]

His most famous quote/slogan was Give me blood and I will give you freedom. Another famous quote was Dilli Chalo ("On to Delhi)!" This was the call he used to give the INA armies to motivate them. Jai Hind, or, "Glory to India!" was another slogan used by him and later adopted by the Government of India and the Indian Armed Forces. Another slogan coined by him was "Ittefaq, Etemad, Qurbani" (Urdu for "Unity, Agreement, Sacrifice"). INA also used the slogan Inquilab Zindabad, which was coined by Maulana Hasrat Mohani.[40]

Disappearance and alleged death

Bose is alleged to have died in a plane crash at Taipei, Taiwan, on 18 August 1945 while en route to Tokyo and possibly then the Soviet Union. The Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Mitsubishi Ki-21 bomber he was travelling on had engine trouble and when it crashed Bose was badly burned, dying in a local hospital four hours later. His body was then cremated, and a Buddhist memorial service was held at Nishi Honganji Temple in Taihoku. His ashes were taken to Japan and interred at the Renkōji Temple in Tokyo.[41] This version of events is supported by the testimonies of a Captain Yoshida Taneyoshi, and a British spy known as "Agent 1189."[42]

His alleged disappearance on August 18, 3 days after the Japanese surrendered to the British may have been to ward off his British pursuers, or may be at their instance. The latter is more probable, as had it been otherwise we'd have seen his political resurgence in some form or the other.[43]

The absence of his body has led to many theories being put forward concerning his possible survival. One such claim is that Bose actually died later in Siberia, while in Soviet captivity. Several committees have been set up by the government of India to probe into this matter.[44]

In May 1956, a four-man Indian team known as the Shah Nawaz Committee visited Japan to probe the circumstances of Bose's alleged death. However, the Indian government did not then request assistance from the government of Taiwan in the matter, citing their lack of diplomatic relations with Taiwan.[45]

However, the Inquiry Commission under Justice Mukherjee, which investigated the Bose disappearance mystery in the period 1999–2005, did approach the Taiwanese government, and obtained information from the Taiwan government that no plane carrying Bose had ever crashed in Taipei, and there was, in fact, no plane crash in Taiwan on 18 August 1945 as alleged.[46] The Mukherjee Commission also received a report originating from the U.S. Department of State supporting the claim of the Taiwan Government that no such air crash took place during that time frame.[47]


The Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry submitted its report to the Indian government on 8 November 2005. The report was tabled in Parliament on 17 May 2006. The probe said in its report that Bose did not die in the plane crash, and that the ashes at the Renkoji Temple (said to be of Bose's) are not his. However, the Indian Government rejected the findings of the Commission, though no reasons were cited.

Recently Bose's grand nephew Sugata Bose in his book His Majesty's Opponent claimed that the founder of the Indian Independence League in Tokyo, Rama Murti, had hidden a portion of alleged cremated remains of Bose as "extra precaution" in his house and secondly, this portion has been brought to India in 2006 and the Prime Minister was informed about the development. But the Prime Minister's Office refused this claim in a statement issued in response to an RTI application, as "As per records, no such information exists."[48]

On the other hand in February 2012 Dr Purabi Roy, an expert on Russia and research scholar who also held a Chair in St Petersburg University, claimed that Bose was in the USSR during the Second World War. Roy claims to have found "a unique photograph of Subhas Chandra Bose taken during Second World War" that might have been taken in Siberia.[49][50]

Mystery over Bose's disappearance was first revealed by Satyendra Narain Sinha, who went to Japan, Taipei and China to follow the missing links. His article were published in a national daily in 1960s. But, Dr. Roy is the first who is claiming that Bose was in Russia. Reportedly Khrushchev had told an interpreter during his New Delhi visit that Bose can be produced within 45 days if Nehru wishes. But, that never happened. the Third Enquiry Commission on Netaji Disappearance, led by Justice Mukherjee, categorically announced Bose did not die at the Taihoku plane crash in 1945 as there was no plane crash during that period in an around the air strip, now in Taipei. Thus the Commission had quashed the so-called urn of Netaji at Renkoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan.

In 1992, Bose was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, but it was later withdrawn in response to a Supreme Court directive following a Public Interest Litigation filed in the Court against the "posthumous" nature of the award. The Award Committee could not give conclusive evidence on Bose's death and thus the "posthumous" award was invalidated. No headway was made on this issue however.[51] Bose's portrait hangs in the Indian Parliament, and a statue of him has been erected in front of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly.

Bose mystery in contemporary India

On 31 January 2013 the Allahabad High Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to investigate the identity of Gumnami Baba, a man who some people claimed was Bose; he died and was cremated in 18 September 1985.[52]

Books on the mystery

Main article: India's Biggest Cover-up

Many books have been published in independent India, dealing with the subject of Bose's death. These include Netaji: Dead or Alive? by Samar Guha and Back from Dead: Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery by Anuj Dhar. Dhar's India's Biggest Cover-up contains many allegations and uses many "top secret" documents and photographs to argue that Bose was alive at least until 1985. The book accuses Pranab Mukherjee and the Indian Intelligence Bureau of foul play to prevent the truth from being revealed.[53]

Ideology and philosophy

Bose advocated complete unconditional independence for India, whereas the All-India Congress Committee wanted it in phases, through Dominion status. Finally at the historic Lahore Congress convention, the Congress adopted Purna Swaraj (complete independence) as its motto. Gandhi was given rousing receptions wherever he went after Gandhi-Irwin pact. Subhas Chandra Bose, travelling with Gandhi in these travels, later wrote that the great enthusiasm he saw among the people enthused him tremendously and that he doubted if any other leader anywhere in the world received such a reception as Gandhi did during these travels across the country. He was imprisoned and expelled from India. Defying the ban, he came back to India and was imprisoned again.

Bose was elected president of the Indian National Congress for two consecutive terms, but had to resign from the post following ideological conflicts with Mohandas K. Gandhi and after openly attacking the Congress' foreign and internal policies. Bose believed that Gandhi's tactics of non-violence would never be sufficient to secure India's independence, and advocated violent resistance. He established a separate political party, the All India Forward Bloc and continued to call for the full and immediate independence of India from British rule. He was imprisoned by the British authorities eleven times. His famous motto was: "Give me blood and I will give you freedom".

His stance did not change with the outbreak of the Second World War, which he saw as an opportunity to take advantage of British weakness. At the outset of the war, he left India, travelling to the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, seeking an alliance with each of them to attack the British government in India. With Imperial Japanese assistance, he re-organised and later led the Azad Hind Fauj or Indian National Army (INA), formed with Indian prisoners-of-war and plantation workers from British Malaya, Singapore, and other parts of Southeast Asia, against British forces. With Japanese monetary, political, diplomatic and military assistance, he formed the Azad Hind Government in exile, and regrouped and led the Indian National Army in failed military campaigns against the allies at Imphal and in Burma.

His political views and the alliances he made with Nazi and other militarist regimes at war with Britain have been the cause of arguments among historians and politicians, with some accusing him of fascist sympathies, while others in India have been more sympathetic towards the realpolitik that guided his social and political choices.

Political philosophy

Subhas Chandra Bose believed that the Bhagavad Gita was a great source of inspiration for the struggle against the British.[54] Swami Vivekananda's teachings on universalism, his nationalist thoughts and his emphasis on social service and reform had all inspired Subhas Chandra Bose from his very young days. The fresh interpretation of the India's ancient scriptures had appealed immensely to him.[note 1] Many scholars believe that Hindu spirituality formed the essential part of his political and social thought throughout his adult life, although there was no sense of bigotry or orthodoxy in it.[55] Subhas who called himself a socialist, believed that socialism in India owed its origins to Swami Vivekananda.[56] As historian Leonard Gordon explains "Inner religious explorations continued to be a part of his adult life. This set him apart from the slowly growing number of atheistic socialists and communists who dotted the Indian landscape.".[57]

Bose's correspondence (prior to 1939) reflects his deep disapproval of the racist practices of, and annulment of democratic institutions in Nazi Germany.[58] However, he expressed admiration for the authoritarian methods (though not the racial ideologies) which he saw in Italy and Germany during the 1930s, and thought they could be used in building an independent India.[24]

Bose had clearly expressed his belief that democracy was the best option for India.[59] The pro-Bose thinkers believe that his authoritarian control of the Azad Hind was based on political pragmatism and a post-colonial recovery doctrine rather than any anti-democratic belief. However, during the war (and possibly as early as the 1930s), Bose seems to have decided that no democratic system could be adequate to overcome India's poverty and social inequalities, and he wrote that a socialist state similar to that of Soviet Russia (which he had also seen and admired) would be needed for the process of national re-building.[60] Accordingly, some suggest that Bose's alliance with the Axis during the war was based on more than just pragmatism, and that Bose was a militant nationalist, though not a Nazi nor a Fascist, for he supported empowerment of women, secularism and other liberal ideas; alternatively, others consider he might have been using populist methods of mobilisation common to many post-colonial leaders.[24] Bose never liked the Nazis, but when he failed to contact the Russians for help in Afghanistan, he approached the Germans and Italians for help. His comment was that if he had to shake hands with the devil for India's independence he would do that.

On 23 August 2007, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Subhas Chandra Bose memorial hall in Kolkata.[61][62] Abe said to Bose's family "The Japanese are deeply moved by Bose's strong will to have led the Indian independence movement from British rule.[61] Netaji is a much respected name in Japan."[62] However, in India, many believe that Bose was not given the due respect that he deserved. Infosys Technologies founder-chairman N. R. Narayana Murthy, delivering the annual Netaji oration, said, "We have not paid him due respect. It is time this is corrected." Adding, "If only Netaji had participated in post-independence nation building."[63]

Desh Prem Divas

The West Bengal government decided in 2011 to observe Bose's birth anniversary (23 January) as Desh Prem Divas which means Day of Patriotism.[64] Though the Forward Bloc requested the Indian government to declare Bose's birth anniversay as Desh Prem Divas at a national level, the government did not approve of it, citing that "Many eminent personalities took part in the freedom struggle of India and the immense contribution made by them cannot be judged relatively. If at all a day is to be declared as Desh Prem Divas, it does not appear to be appropriate to be so declared on the birth anniversary of any particular personality. Even the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi has not been declared as any special day relating to the freedom movement of India."[65]

Legacy

Mahatma Gandhi described Bose as the "Patriot of patriots".[66]

Bose's chair at Red Fort

The following words are inscribed on a brass shield in front of a chair which rests in a glass case 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 organized 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 head-quarter at Rangoon on January 7, 1944. On the 5th April, 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 was also housed. Afterwards, at the time of leaving Burma, the British handed over the chair to the family of Mr. A.T. Ahuja, a well-known businessman of Rangoon. The chair was officially handed over to the Government of India in January 1979. It was brought to Calcutta on the 17th July, 1980. It has now been ceremonially installed at the Red Fort on July 7, 1981."

Artistic depictions

Films

Books

Further information: Bibliography of Subhas Chandra Bose
  • 1986: Netaji Kaaviyam (Epic on Netaji) was a poetic book written by Vaaymainaathan in Tamil published by New Century Book House
  • 1989: In a satirical novel The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor, the character of Pandu is simultaneously based on Bose as well as the mythological character Pandu.
  • 2005: Back from Dead: Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery by Anuj Dhar.
  • 1994: Netaji: Dead or Alive by Samar Guha.
  • 2005: Mrityu Se Vapsi: Netaji Ka Rahasya (Hindi translation of Back from Dead: Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery).
  • 2008: CIA's Eye on South Asia by Anuj Dhar.
  • 2012: India's Biggest Cover-up by Anuj Dhar.

Educational Institute

See also

References

Notes

Citations

Books cited

Further reading

Main article: Books on Subhas Chandra Bose

External links

  • The Tribune of India: New look at Netaji
  • Subhaschandrabose.org
  • The True Story of Bose

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