- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was born on 23 January 1897 in Cuttack, Orissa to Prabhavati Dutt Bose and Janakinath Bose.
- He was the ninth in a family of 14 children. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was born into wealthy family.
- His parents admitted him to the Protestant European School (presently Stewart High School) in Cuttack in January 1902.
- He secured second position in the matriculation examination in 1913. Soon, he got admitted to the Presidency College. He studied briefly in Presidency College.
- The College Management expelled him for assaulting Professor Oaten for his anti-India comments.
- He later joined the Scottish Church College at the University of Calcutta and passed his B.A. in 1918 in philosophy.
- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose left India in 1919 for England with a promise to his father that he would appear in the Indian Civil Services (ICS) examination.
- He went to study in Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and matriculated on 19 November 1919.
- Subhash Chandra Bose came fourth in the ICS examination. But, he did not want to work under an alien government.
- He resigned from his civil service job on 23 April 1921 and returned to India.
- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose started the newspaper Swaraj and took charge of publicity for the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee.
- His mentor was Chittaranjan Das who was a spokesman for aggressive nationalism in Bengal.
- In the year 1923, people elected Bose as the President of All India Youth Congress and also the Secretary of Bengal State Congress.
- British government elected Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose sent to prison in Mandalay, where he contracted tuberculosis in 1925.
- In 1927, british government released him from prison. Later, Congress party selected Bose to the position of general secretary.
- In late December 1928, Subhash Chandra Bose organised the Annual Meeting of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta.
- A little later, British government arrested Bose and jailed him for civil disobedience.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose European Tour
- After British government released him from the from jail, he Bose travelled in Europe. There, he visited Indian students and European politicians, including Benito Mussolini.
- During his earlier visit to Germany in 1934, he had met Emilie Schenkl, the daughter of an Austrian veterinarian whom he married in 1937. Their daughter is Anita Bose Pfaff.
- He also researched and wrote the first part of his book The Indian Struggle, which covered the country’s independence movement in the years 1920–1934.
- The British government banned the book in the colony out of fears that it would encourage unrest although it was published in London in 1935,
- By 1938 Bose had become a leader of national stature and agreed to accept nomination as Congress President.
- He stood for unqualified Swaraj (self-governance), including the use of force against the British.
Conflict with Mahatma Gandhi
- This meant a confrontation with Mohandas Gandhi, who in fact opposed Bose’s presidency, splitting the Indian National Congress party.
- Bose attempted to maintain unity, but Gandhi advised Bose to form his own cabinet. The rift also divided Bose and Nehru.
- Furthermore, Bose appeared at the 1939 Congress meeting on a stretcher. He was elected president again over Gandhi’s preferred candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya.
- However, due to the manoeuvrings of the Gandhi-led clique in the Congress Working Committee, Bose found himself forced to resign from the Congress presidency.
Formation of Forward Bloc
- On 22 June 1939 Bose organised the All India Forward Bloc a faction within the Indian National Congress, aimed at consolidation and promotion of the socialists idealogue. The faction’s main strength was in his home state of Bengal.
- He came to believe that an independent India needed socialist authoritarianism, on the lines of Turkey’s Kemal Atatürk, for at least two decades.
- On the outbreak of war, Bose advocated a campaign of mass civil disobedience to protest against British government decision to join second world war without consulting the Congress leadership.
- Having failed to persuade Gandhi of the necessity of this, Bose organised mass protests in Calcutta.
- Soon, British government jailed him. However government released him following a seven-day hunger strike. CID kept him under the watch in his house in Calcutta.
Escape from India
- Bose’s arrest and subsequent release set the scene for his escape to Soviet union via Afghanistan.
- He journeyed to Moscow where he hoped that Russia would support for his plans for a popular rising in India.
- Bose found the Soviets’ response disappointing. So, Russian was rapidly passed him over to the German Ambassador in Moscow, Count von der Schulenburg.
- He had Bose flown on to Berlin in a special courier aircraft at the beginning of April. There he was to receive a more favourable hearing from Foreign Ministry officials at the Wilhelmstrasse.
- In Germany, he was attached to the Special Bureau for India under Adam von Trott zu Solz which was responsible for broadcasting on the German-sponsored Azad Hind Radio.
- He founded the Free India Center in Berlin. He alsocreated the Indian Legion (consisting of some 4500 soldiers) out of Indian prisoners of war. These prisoner previously fought for the British in North Africa prior to their capture by Axis forces.
- He came to believe that the Nazi leader was more interested in using his men to win propaganda victories than military ones.
- So, in February 1943, Bose turned his back on his legionnaires and slipped secretly away aboard a submarine bound for Japan. This left the men he had recruited leaderless and demoralised in Germany.
Leader of Indian National Army
- The Indian National Army (INA) was the brainchild of Japanese Major (and post-war Lieutenant-General) Iwaichi Fujiwara, head the Japanese intelligence unit Fujiwara Kikan
- Indian National Army was formed as a result of discussion between Fujiwara and Mohan Singh in December 1941.
- The first INA was however disbanded in December 1942 after disagreements between the Hikari Kikan and Mohan Singh.
- However, Japanese Government revived the the idea of an independence army after the arrival of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in 1943.
- Soon, Bose able to organise the fledgling army and organise massive support among the expatriate Indian population in south-east Asia.
- Indian National Army (INA) had a separate women’s unit, the Rani of Jhansi Regiment headed by Capt. Lakshmi Swaminathan. This regiment was first of its kind in Asia.
- Even when faced with military reverses, Bose was able to maintain support for the Azad Hind movement.
- Bose’s spoke his most famous quote was “Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom!” at a rally of Indians in Burma on 4 July 1944.
- When Japanese funding for the army diminished, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was forced to raise taxes on the Indian populations of Malaysia and Singapore.
Later Life and Death
- Soon, British army defeated Japanese at the battles of Kohima and Imphal. The Provisional Government’s aim of establishing a base in mainland India was lost forever.
- Bose’s government ceased to be an effective political entity with the fall of Rangoon.
- A large proportion of the INA troops surrendered under Lt Col Loganathan. The remaining troops retreated with Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose towards Malaya or made for Thailand.
- Japan’s surrender at the end of the war also led to the surrender of the remaining elements of the Indian National Army. Soon, British government repatriated INA prisoner to India and some tried for treason.
- On 6 July 1944, in a speech broadcast by the Azad Hind Radio from Singapore, Bose addressed Mahatma Gandhi as the “Father of the Nation” and asked for his blessings and good wishes for the war he was fighting.
- Subhas Chandra Bose’s died on 18 August 1945 after his overloaded Japanese plane crashed in Japanese-ruled Taiwan.