Monday, 6 June 2011

Subhas Chandra Bose

Subhas Chandra Bose

Subhas Chandra Bose (Bengali: সুভাষ চন্দ্র বসু, Shubhash Chôndro Boshu) was an Indian revolutionary who led an Indian national political and military force against Britain and the Western powers during World War II. Popularly known as Netaji (literally "Respected Leader"), Bose was one of the most prominent leaders in the Indian independence movement and is a legendary figure in India today. Bose was born on 23 January 1897 in Cuttack, Orissa to Janakinath Bose and Prabhabati Debi, and is presumed to have died 18 August 1945. However, no actual evidence of his death on that day has been authenticated and many committees were set up by the government of India to investigate his death.
Bose advocated complete unconditional independence for India, whereas the All-India Congress Committee wanted it in phases, through Dominion status. Finally at the historic Lahore Congress convention, the Congress adopted Purna Swaraj (complete independence) as its motto. Bhagat Singh's martyrdom and the inability of the Congress leaders to save his life infuriated Bose and he started a movement opposing the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. He was imprisoned and expelled from India. Defying the ban, he came back to India and was imprisoned again.

Bose was elected president of the Indian National Congress for two consecutive terms, but had to resign from the post following ideological conflicts with Mohandas K. Gandhi and after openly attacking the Congress' foreign and internal policies. Bose believed that Gandhi's tactics of non-violence would never be sufficient to secure India's independence, and advocated violent resistance. He established a separate political party, the All India Forward Bloc and continued to call for the full and immediate independence of India from British rule. He was imprisoned by the British authorities eleven times.

His stance did not change with the outbreak of the Second World War, which he saw as an opportunity to take advantage of British weakness. At the outset of the war, he left India, travelling to the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, seeking an alliance with each of them to attack the British government in India. With Imperial Japanese assistance, he re-organised and later led the Azad Hind Fauj or Indian National Army (INA), formed with Indian prisoners-of-war and plantation workers from British Malaya, Singapore, and other parts of Southeast Asia, against British forces. With Japanese monetary, political, diplomatic and military assistance, he formed the Azad Hind Government in exile, and regrouped and led the Indian National Army in failed military campaigns against the allies at Imphal and in Burma.

His political views and the alliances he made with Nazi and other militarist regimes at war with Britain have been the cause of arguments among historians and politicians, with some accusing him of fascist sympathies, while others in India have been more sympathetic towards the realpolitik that guided his social and political choices.

He is presumed to have died on 18 August 1945 in a plane crash in Taiwan, though the evidence for his death in such an accident has not been universally accepted .


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