MY FAVOURITE NATIONAL HERO
“Give me your blood. I shall give you freedom:” No modern national leader would make such an offer. They just beg your votes and promise to give you some material gains. They can purchase your votes. But Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was the person who demanded the ultimate sacrifice of the people. He did not make any personal promises. His only aim was the freedom of the Motherland. He did not let people believe that there are any short cuts to independence. He did not offer any soft paddling war, no personal or individual benefits. It was a national cause and the nation would secure the advantages as a whole. I love and revers this great soul for this basic frankness, and the lesson of renunciation he taught to the people.
He was born on 23rd January, 1897 at Cuttack in Orissa Subhash graduated in 1915 from Presidency College, Calcutta. He accepted the challenge of his father, went to England, did graduation again from Cambridge University and secured fourth position in the I.C.S. Examination. But he refused to serve the British Government. He returned to India in 1920 and associated himself with Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das. He was an active participant in the freedom movement. It was his first experience of Jail.
In 1923 he became Chief Executive officer of Calcutta Corporation when Deshbandhu became Mayor. From October 25, 1924 to May 16, 1927 he was behind the Bars. Subhash met Gandhi in 1928 after being elected twice as the Mayor of Calcutta. He was not satisfied with his non violent methods. In 1930 he was again arrested on 26th of January and was released in 1931 after Gandhi Irwin Pact. He was again arrested. Long imprisonments and having been brutally beaten by police he was seriously ill. He suffered from Tuberculosis and was sent to Vienna for treatment on March 8, 1933. During his stay in Europe he met De Valera of Ireland, King Amanulla Khan, Mussolini in Italy and many others.
Returning to Calcutta in 1938 this young man became the 50th first President of Indian National Congress. But he didn’t see Gandhi eye to eye. Next year was elected again defeating Pattabbhi Sitaramayya. Gandhiji considered it his own defeat. He left the party and formed Forward Bloc. On July 2, 1940 he was again imprisoned. After Jus release he was under house arrest.
From here starts the historic journey. On January 15, 1941 he ran away from his house as a Maulvi. Dressed as a Pathan he passed through Afghanistan as Ziyauddin and reached Moscow on 27th March. When Stalin refused him help he reached Berlin on 28th March, 1941. He formed Azad Hind Fauz in Germany with the Help of Hitler. On 20th June 1943 he was in Japan. Bose became the President of the Azad Hind Government and the Commander of the Army. His headquarter, now, was Andaman and Nicobar Island. The army consisted of 50,000 soldiers and 1,500 officers. It was stationed at Singapore. Later on Rangoon became the head quarter. On 18th March 1944 the army reached Kohima in Assam. But August 1945 saw Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacked with atom bombs. Japan surrendered. Azad Hind Army too had to surrender. But nothing is known of this great son of the Motherland. Some believe that he died in an air crash. Others believe him still alive. Whatever may be the truth? But he lives honourably in the hearts of millions and millions of people in India even today.