SUBHASH CHANDRA BOSE
“Give me your blood I’ll give you freedom”, roared Subhash Chandra Bose on the inception of Azad Hind Fauj — Indian National Army to free the country from British rulers. The slogan was just the opposite of the non violent cult of Mahatma Gandhi. Bose was nearer to the ideology of Bal Gangadhar Tilak than to that of Gandhi. Tilak was the first to have courage to declare that ‘Freedom is our birth hight’. He took inspiration from the Gita in which Lord Krishna had inspired Arjuna to fight against the tyranny of the Kauravas. It was the biggest violent war in the world by then. On the other hand Gandhi took inspiration from Jesus and Gautama Buddha to adopt peaceful means even to defeat the designs of the enemy— quite a safe process. It attracted young Jawahar (Nehru) too. The scenario took a strange turn and Gandhi declared Nehru as his successor.
The hard core patriots found a real leader in Subhash. To neutralize the fire brand personality of Subhash the Britishers indirectly patronized the non violent brigade. Still the youth in the Indian National Congress had its own quest. It gave a humiliating defeat to Pattabbhi Sitaramayya. Gandhi conceded “Pattabbhi’s defeat is my defeat.” Subhash wore the thorny crown of President ship of Congress in 1939. But in the face of Mahatma’s opposition he threw it away as he had the bureaucratic post after topping the list successful candidates in the ICS.
Born in Cuttack in a well off family this brilliant youngman rose from position to position. He became Mayor of Calcutta. He joined Congress in 1923. But after sharp differences with the Mahatma in 1939 he started Forward Block. A large number of young men with revolutionary leanings joined it. But he became an eye sore for the Britishers. He was imprisoned again and again. 1940 saw him under house arrest. On l3th of January 1941 he managed to escape under the guise of Zia-Uddin. His first destination was Afghanistan from where he ultimately reached Germany and contacted Hitler. As the war was going on Hitler helped him against the British. Subhash started Azad Hind Fauj. From Germany he shifted to Japan where a large number of Indian soldiers deserted the British army and joined DMA. The INA attacked India and occupied certain areas of North East in 1945. But the war scenario changed immediately after the nuclear bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the USA. Japan had to surrender. Germany and Italy had to follow. The back bone of Azad Hind Fauj was broken. All the patriot soldiers were arrested and sent to Red Fort in Delhi to face their trial. Subhash left for Japan in an aeroplane. The plane was lost somewhere in the wilderness. With it was lost the last of the Indian revolutionary — the personality that was close to Bhagat Singh and Ram Prasad Bismil. The only difference was that they got themselves involved in isolated incidents of revenge while Subhash towered above them by making an organised effort on a large scale. He will always shine of the Indian horizon of bravery and sacrifice as did De Valera in Ireland or Saint Joan in France.