Subash Chandra Bose
Also refer: Std 7 – Quest for freedom
Famous As: Freedom fighter, Founder of Indian National Army
Born: January 23, 1897
Death: Not known
Subash Chandra was born on 23 January, 1897 in Cuttack. His father named Rai Bahadur Janakinath Bose was a Government pleader working there. Subash had obtained his early education at Cuttack. In his childhood, the influence of his mother Probhavati Devi and that of the Headmaster named Beni Madhav Das taught him to learn about the ancient heritage of his motherland and to love India more than anything else in his life.
Subash had his college education at Calcutta. He left for England on 15 September, 1919 to appear at the Indian Civil Service Examination, as desired by his father. He passed the examination by coming out ‘Fourth‘ among the successful candidates, but he did not want to serve the British Government. So he resigned to the lucrative post offered to him. He returned to India and joined the Indian National Congress to fight for the independence of India.
Subash was in favour of armed revolution in order to drive out the British. Mahatma Gandhi was then the leader of Indian Politics, and a supporter of nonviolence. Though Gandhi disagreed with Subash’ path to freedom, he suggested Subash to join Chittaranjan Das, who was then the leading politician of Bengal. The British, at that time, extended self rule to the Indians and allowed them to democratically elect their leaders in such civilian administrations as municipality. Chittaranjan Das founded the Swaraj party and Subash worked hard in its landslide victory for the election of municipal seats of Calcutta Corporation (1924). Subash became the chief executive and Chittaranjan Das, the mayor of Calcutta.
Soon Subash introduced khadi, a home-made cloth, as the official dress in place of British mill-made clothes. This was a direct protest of the British policy of making clothes in England for the Indian market. Use of khadi was banned. Subash protested and sent volunteers to jail. At this time a European was killed and Subash was blamed for that. He was arrested and sent to Mandalay jail in Burma, notorious for its unhealthy conditions.
Public revolted for keeping Subash in jail without a trial. Looking into the worsening mood, British government released Subash unconditionally. Unfortunately, he contracted tuberculosis while in jail. Subash took some time to recover while planning out his future strategy. Chittaranjan Das had died and Subash took over the Swaraj party. He began to organize volunteers, making the government uneasy. Finally Subash was arrested once again. But the people of Calcutta made him the Mayor and the British had to release him.
When the World War II broke in 1941, Subash was interned in his Calcutta home under constant police guard‘. He did not come out of his house for 40 days, nor did he see anyone during that period. And on the 41stmidnight, he escaped in the disguise of a Maulavi and reached Germany under an Italian diplomatic passport with an Italian name of Rolando Mazola.
In Berlin, he formed the first Indian National Army (I.N.A.) with the ‘prisoners of war’ who were Indian soldiers serving the British Army. Now he came to be known as ‘Entail‘. Sub ash also founded an Indian Radio Station called Azad Hind Radio in Berlin, from where he had very often to broadcast for his countrymen suggesting about their political activities during the war.
From Berlin, Sub ash went to Japan, where the I. N. A. was enlarged with the addition of more soldiers and civilians. The I.N.A. was now a large army. Entail, as the Chief Commander of the I.N.A., declared war against the British. The I.N.A. fought tooth and nail in the Burma front, and hoisted Indian national flag in Impala at Manipur. The war took suddenly a strange turn, because the Japanese who were I.N.A.’s allied forces surrendered. So Entail had to order retreat of his I.N.A.
Entail’s senior army officials advised him to go to Russia for help. He started for Russia in a Japanese aircraft which unfortunately met with an accident at the time of taking off, and the great Indian leader Entail was said to be died on the spot or 18 August, 1945.
Although it was believed that Entail Subhash Chandra Bose died in a plane crash, his body was never recovered. There have so many theories been put forward regarding his abrupt desertion. The government of India set up a number of committees to investigate the case and come out with truth.
In May 1956, the Shah Nawaz Committee visited Japan to look into the situation of Bose’s assumed death. Citing their lack of political relations with Taiwan, the Centre, did not seek for the assistance from their government. The reports of Justice Mukherjee Commission, tabled in Parliament on 17 May, 2006 said, “Bose did not die in the plane crash and the ashes at Renkoji temple are not his”. However, the findings were rejected by the government of India.