“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
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 frredom movement.
In 1956 when Clement Atlee (British PM in 1947) visited India, AP Chakrabarti, 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 War II. Atlee said that there were so many reasons, but the most important reason was the activities of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Dr RC Mazumdar has 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 January 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 spiriual 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 examination and cleared it with fourth rank in 1920. But Bose'sunbounded love for his motherland forced him to throw away the heaven-born 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 Begining of his political career, Bose had followed the path of Mahatma Gandhi. But later he deviated from Gandhiji'spath 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 was to capture political power by Indian masses as early as possible, and the reconstruction of India'seconomy on a socialist basis. Netaji'sultimate aim was the feedom of his motherland. To achieve his aim he had joined with Axis powers i.e., Germany, Italy and Japan. Though he was a worshipper of shakti, he seemed to have entertained an admiration for Hitler and Mussolini. But Netaji'sideolgy 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 critiscisms 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 Expansionalism, there must be an end for British Imperialism. After all nothing would be greater and nobler than trying to regain a nation'sfreedom.?
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 World War II, the very foundation on which the provisional Government and the INA had built their edifice had crumbled.
According to reports, Netaji was killed in an aircrash on August 18, 1945, in Tai Hoku near Taiwan. It is believed that the ashes kept in Rankoji temple in Japan is of Netaji. Many stories have been spread about Netaji'sdeath. Some people believe that he was in an asyllum in Russia. But the most held belief was that Swami Shardanandji 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 inscribed his name in shining letters in the scrolls of Indian history. He has taken his place with Rana Pratap and Chhatrapati Shivaji as a national figure in the heroic tradition. Bose deserves equal credit with Gandhiji in India'sfreedom struggle. Bose'sgreat saga is an inspiration to all Indians as Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan observed: ?Future generations would read the amazing story of Netaji'slife with pride and reverence and salute him as one of the great heroes who heralded India'sdawn.?
(The writer is MCJ student, University Campus, Calicut, Kerala.)