One should have a pen of steel dipped in blood to write about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, whose name is one to conjure with India. In the modern India, he is looked upon as a mystery and legend. It should be left for the posterity to decide what he was, what he did and achieved and how his life came to a sad and sudden end. He disappeared from the scene of Indian politics in a set of complicated situations and did not return. Although it was thought at one time that he met a tragic death in an aeroplane accident on his way to Farmosa from Singapore after the Japanese surrender in August, 1945, many sensible persons in India believe that he is still alive and will return to his motherland at an appropriate moment.
His career is thrilling
Subhash Chandra Bose’s career has been thrilling and sympathy-quickening. He was described by the Englishmen as the most violent man in India. He was not trusted by many of his companions and colleagues in the Congress High Command. He was imprisoned many times and was subjected to physical and mental tortures by the foreign Government.
Birth, parentage, education and resignation from I. C. S.
Subhash Chandra Bose saw the light of day on January 23, 1897 as the sixth son and the ninth child of Janakinath Bose and Prabha vati at Cuttuck. It was a Saturday. His father was at Cuttuck. He matriculated from the Rowneshaw College, Cuttuck and joined the Presidency College, Calcutta. He was the Secretary of the College Union from 1913 to 1914 and even at that time, he displayed the courage and determination of his character by vigorously dealing with a member of the staff who had made an offensive comment about Indian character being conscious of his English nationality. About this time, he left his home and wandered from place to place all over India, contemplating renunciation of worldly life as he possessed a stain of mysticism in him. He took this B. A. degree in 1919 with First Class Honours in Philosophy. He left for Cam bridge in the same year where he studied for his Tripos which he obtained in 1921. In the meantime, he had passed the Indian Civil Service Examination, standing fourth in order of merit and first in English composition. It was the time when the Non-Cooperation Movement in India had overpowered the rulers and the ruled and young Bose preferred the life of vigours, trials and tribulation to that of comforts and luxuries. He resigned from the Indian Civil Service while still in London. On coming back to India, he plunged into Indian politics and in no time became a centre of attraction and attention.
As an organiser
In 1922, Subhash exhibited his outstanding organising capacity when he became in-charge of the North Bengal Food Relief. In 1923, he was the Manager of a Calcutta daily ‘The Forward’. He was the Chief Executive Officer of Corporation in 1924. In the same year, he was arrested under Regulation 3 of 1818 and sent to Mandlay. On the grounds of health, he was released by the British Government. But he was under constant gaze of the watchful eyes of the police as he was suspected to have terroristic tendencies. In 1930, he was sentenced to 12 months rigorous imprisonment. The same year, he was elected the Mayor of Calcutta. After this, he had to go outside India for medical treatment. During his stay in Europe, he came in contact with all the great European leaders including Hitler. It was beyond doubt that Subhash, as a political thinker, had moved in with Hitler and Mussolinit than with Stalin. He had the belief that India cannot attain freedom without some kind of dictatorship and the use of violence.
He in A. I. C. C. and escape from India-Subhash Chandra Bose was elected President of the Indian National Congress in 1938.
In, 1939 when he stood for his election for the second time, there was a cleavage in the Congress. He had to resign in spite of his being elected. Then he formed Forward Block plans for which he had kept in mind for a sufficient time, as his autobiography reveals. His differences with Mahatma Gandhi became very wide and serious. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was all for launching an India-wide Civil Disobedience Movement without delay in order to bring the British Government to its heels. If his advice had been accepted, the unfavourable situation of 1942 would have been averted. Bose found himself in minority and full of frustration. Then he was sent to jail. He was released in 1941 and then he suddenly disappeared from Calcutta and nobody knew his whereabouts. A few months hence, he was heard broadcasting from Berlin. How he left India and reached Berlin is a separate historical episode which is highly thrilling and thought-provoking. By the middle of 1942, he was in Japan. He came to Singapore and formed the Azad Hind Government and organised the Indian National Army to emancipate India from the British regime. The stupendous story of the India National Army and the splendid deeds performed by it are immortal in the annals of India because they are connected inseparably with the holy name of Netaji. Bose was never favoured by luck. The I. N. A. came to Manipur but had to retreat on account of shortage of rations and air support. In August 1940, when Japan surrendered, Bose again disappeared and there was the rumor of his death in a air-crash in Formosa.
His end -A tragic mystery
Nothing can he said with certainty about the death of the great man. Some persons in India still hold the belief that Subhash is in prison in Russia or Siberia. Mr. H. B. Kamath an earnest and ardent friend and follower of Subhash Chandra Bose, is of the opinion that the mystery surrounding the Indian revolution still persists even 2 years after his reported death. Mr. Kamath said in a public meeting that he had found evedence of a plane-crash in Taiwan but in that particular mishap of 1945, there was no record of an Indian among the casualties. The Taiwan Committee assigned to inquire into the reported death of Subhash Chandra Bose could find no evidence of the Indian leader’s demise. Visits to the crematorium in Taiwan produced no results he said, since all the records were either destroyed or removed. Mr. Kamath said that he visited Taiwan in December, 1966 on the invitation from the Taiwan Government. The site of the historic place crash which took place on August 18, 1945, is now occupied by a modern hotel. It is necessary for India to clear up the mystery in view of the fact that the life and death of Netaji is arousing considerable interest abroad. Several European and American writers and historians have written requesting for material relating to Netaji.
Freedom for India was a passion with Subhash Chandra Bose and he sent his call across the world. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” was his slogan. He realised that England’s difficulty was India’s opportunity. His goal was unity and freedom though faith and sacrifice. No one has ever doubted his genuine and burning patriotism. His love for India was a living aspiration and through the son of a rich aristocrat, he had sacrificed every thing on the altar of his dear motherland. Secondly, Bose prossessed a boundless capacity for organisation. India should pattern herself according to the aims set by him. Subhash belongs to the ages.