Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: Champion of freedom who inspired the world

By Prahlad Singh Patel

Published on Jan 23, 2021 06:35 AM IST

Netaji was born in Cuttack in Odisha in 1897, graduated from Kolkata, and proved his mettle by becoming an Indian Civil Services (ICS) officer. But he was not accustomed to a life of comfort and amenities that came with his job. He was a warrior, who had to wage the freedom struggle. Not only did he embrace the freedom movement wholeheartedly, but also became an inspiration for freedom. With the slogan “Give me blood and I will give you freedom”, he started preparing to awaken the country. Such was the charisma of his philosophy and personality that whoever listened to him was attracted to him. His popularity skyrocketed and he became “Netaji” to the general public.

He was so fond of Bharat Mata that his country tied to the chains of slavery did not let him live peacefully. People beyond India’s borders also developed a fascination for him. Heads of states of important countries stood by him and Netaji lit the fire of the freedom struggle beyond India’s shores. He built a force and presented that force before the enemies of the country as the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army). He gave the slogan of “Dilli Chalo” with a new spirit. Thousands of soldiers of his 60,000-strong army sacrificed their lives for the country.

“Success always stands on the pillar of failure.” Bose lived with this philosophy and also inspired others. Netaji encountered failures several times, but he converted those failures to triumph with his struggle. Whether it is municipal politics, the journey from a common Congressman to the Congress president’s position, the formation of the Forward Bloc or the struggle of the Indian National Army, he passed every test with distinction.

At the time of India’s independence, Clement Attlee was the British Prime Minister. He came to Kolkata in 1956. At that time, his host, governor and former Calcutta high court chief justice PB Chakravartti, tried to find out from him the reason behind the British decision to grant freedom to India. In response, Attlee said that the loyalty of the Indian army and navy to the British state was declining due to the increasing military activities of Bose’s Azad Hind Fauj. This was one of the major reasons. This acknowledgement proves the great contribution of Bose to India’s independence. It finds a mention in a letter written to the publisher by Justice Chakravartti in the book “A History of Bengal” by RC Majumdar.

Netaji was also fluent in many Indian languages. Bose’s struggle for freedom proved to be an inspiration not just for India, but also for all colonized countries. The Indian freedom struggle and the war of independence led by Bose had a profound impact on those countries. Netaji’s status establishes him as the “hero of freedom” globally.

The writer is minister of state (Independent Charge), ministry of Culture and Tourism

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