New Delhi: Every year on 23rd January, the nation celebrates the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and this year is the 126th year of celebration. He was one of India’s most intriguing liberation warriors, a revolutionary and a nationalist who continues to inspire millions of Indians even today. He was also the commander of Azad Hind Fauj and was a staunch patriot.
Prof. Sugata Bose, of Netaji Research Bureau, who is the son of Netaji’s nephew Sisir Kumar Bose shared tidbits about his life and his role in the Indian National Army with ABP Live.
He said, “Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was not just a warrior hero, he was a far-sighted statesman who had very clear ideas about the social and economic reconstruction of India after freedom had been won.”
Further, taking a comprehensive view of the man he continued, “Given the present situation of the country, the most important contribution that he made which must be remembered now, is the way he united all of the religious communities of India in his Azad Hind movement based on equal rights and equal respect for everyone. Not just different religious communities, but he had members of all linguistic groups, and also both men and women, based on his principle of egalitarianism.”
His Role In The Indian National Army:
After the ‘Great Escape’ on the night of January 16-17, 1941, he first went in the northwest direction. His nephew Sisir Bose reached him up to Gomoh and then he went to Delhi and finally to Peshawar, where he was received by Miyan Akbar Shah. Akbar Shah arranged Netaji’s onward journey from Peshawar to Kabul, then from Kabul to Moscow and finally to Berlin.
He was very keen to come back to Asia once japan entered World War II and eventually the submarine voyage was arranged which took some time.
Sharing the story with ABP Live, Prof Sugata Bose said, “The escape from here (his home- Netaji Bhawan, which is now Netaji Research Bureau) was the first step towards the formation of the Indian National Army. It signified the transformation of Subhas Chandra Bose to ‘Netaji”
Prof Bose further said, ‘He came to be called ‘Netaji’ in Europe and that is where he formulated the National Greeting ‘Jai Hind’. He also adopted Tagore’s song ‘Jana Gana Mana’ as the National Anthem.
Sharing the story of Netaji becoming the supreme commander of INA, Prof. Bose said, “After arriving in South-East Asia, it was on July 4 that he took over the leadership of the Indian Independence Movement and on July 5, 1943, from a platform in front of the municipal building of Singapore and with about 12,000 soldiers of the Indian National Army, he emerged as supreme commander of the INA and he announced to the whole world that India’s Army of Liberation had come into being.”
“1943 was a remarkable year in his life”, recalled Prof. Bose saying, “At the beginning of the year, he was still stuck in Europe, but he then made the 3-month submarine journey, he inspired not just the Indian National Army, but nearly 3 million Indians living in the diaspora of South-East and East Asia, proclaimed the Azad Hind government and by late December 1943, he was on Indian soil on the Andaman And Nicobar Islands.”
“The INA then fought a brave war of liberation in India’s North-East in Imphal and Kohima in 1944.”, concluded Prof. Bose.
Netaji’s View Of India After Independence:
Prof. Bose said that Netaji wanted a united India based on a just power-sharing arrangement among the different religious communities but he had also advocated for an independent federal republic.
He continued by saying, “Netaji understood that the regions must have some autonomy and on the basis of that be able to bring a truly strong union of India. He also believed in equality, for he had always vouched for the cause of the peasants and workers.”
He recalled something that Netaji used to say in the late 1920s and shared that with ABP Live too. He said, “Netaji used to say that there are three groups being oppressed- one being the working classes, by which he meant both peasants and industrial workers, second being the depressed classes indicating the subordinated castes and finally, the women of India. He wanted the empowerment of women.”
Additionally, Prof. Bose shared, “Netaji is said to have believed in a kind of socialism that was suited to Indian conditions and he typically used an Indian word for it and it was ‘Saamyavada‘ which is egalitarianism in the context of balance and harmony. That is the kind of India that he wanted to build. It is tragic that he died fighting for his country in the year 1945 because had he been around, he would have ensured that there was no partition of India along religious lines.”
Celebration Of 126th Birth Anniversary Of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose:
Keeping in mind the way Netaji united all religious communities and linguistic groups in his Azad Hind Movement, this year, to celebrate the 126th Birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Netaji Research Bureau will focus on the theme ‘Equality And Unity’. As shared by Prof. Sugata Bose, they plan to illustrate the theme by telling people the stories of men and women who worked with him very closely, and who were drawn from all communities, genders, and linguistic groups in the form of wonderful audio-visual presentations of the Azad Hind Movement.