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Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

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Recently New secret files on legendary freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose were released by the West Bengal government and will now be open to the public.

About Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

The famous freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was born on January 23, 1897 at Oriya bazaar of Cuttack district Orissa.

His father Janaki Nath Bose was a famous lawyer and his mother Prabhavati Devi was a devout and religious lady.

Unlike other prominent leaders of the Indian freedom struggle, Subhas strongly believed that an armed rebellion was necessary to wrest independence from the British. Subhas Chandra Bose is popularly known as ‘Netaji’.

Religious beliefs

Subhas Chandra Bose accepted Upanishadic concept of ‘Tyaga’ and imbibed the ideal of renunciation for self-realisation and became determined to work ceaselessly for the benefit of the country and its toiling masses.

Subhas Chandra Bose, being a Secularist, had an attitude of impartiality towards all religions. According to him, the Government of Free India must have an absolutely neutral and impartial attitude towards all religions and leave it to the choice of every individual to profess or follow a particular religion of his faith; Religion is a private affair, it cannot be made an affair of the State.

Social beliefs

Bose wanted that women should be given a very elevated position in the family and society, and believed in female emancipation in the true sense of the term and in liberating women from all shackles and artificial disabilities – social, economic and political.

According to him, in the Free India, there must not be any discrimination on ground of caste, race, sex, creed or wealth.

Netaji’s firm belief was that no country could really be free if her women did not enter the arena in the fight for freedom in various capacities like serving in hospitals as nurses, looking after wounded soldiers and such other auxilliary roles and they can also take up arms against enemies.

The idea propounded by John Stuart Mill that the democracy based on universal suffrage must be preceded by universal education was well understood by Bose and therefore, he advocated elementary education for all.

Economic Concept

He was much impressed by the exemplary success attained by the U.S.S.R. in effecting economic development through rapid industrialization  and became a staunch protagonist for similar forced march like Soviet Union and not a gradual one as in Great Britain.

Subhash Chandra Bose constituted a Planning Committee under the Chairmanship of Jawaharlal Nehru for rapid industrialization of India on modern lines.

According to him, heavy industries are important for rapid economic development.

Political beliefs

Subhash inherited the spirit of nationalism from his father. In his early life, as a student of the Protestant European School run by the Baptist Mission, Subhash exhibited his spirit of nationalism when discriminatory treatment was made against Indian students.

Aurobindo’s synthesis of spiritualism and nationality had immense impact on Subhash. He resigned from the Civil Service on account of his nationalistic zeal.

In his Free India, Subhash Chandra Bose had the aim of creating an egalitarian society in which all members would enjoy almost equal economic benefits and social status, and there would not be any distinction between man and man on account of accident of birth, parentage, caste and creed.

As a true Socialist, he wanted emancipation of the underdogs i.e. peasants and workers. While stating the objectives of Samyabadi Sangha visualised by him, he said

“The party stand for the interest groups of the masses, that is of peasants, workers etc. and not for the vested interests that is the landlords, capitalists and moneylending classes.”

Indian National Army and Netaji

Netaji Arrived Tokyo in May 1943, Bose attracted the attention of the Japanese high command, including Hideki Tojo, Japan’s premier. The Japanese agreed to cooperate in founding an Indian National Army (INA) in Southeast Asia.

Bose was flown to Singapore and became commander of the INA and head of the Free India provisional government. The INA included both Indian prisoners of war from Singapore and Indian civilians in Southeast Asia. The strength of INA grew to 50, 000 and fought Allied forces in 1944 inside the borders of India at Imphal and in Burma.

For Bose any means and any ally were acceptable in the struggle to liberate India. By the end of World War II none of Bose’s Axis allies had helped, and Bose then turned to the Soviet Union.

On Aug. 18, 1945, it is believed that Bose was en route to the Soviet Union in a Japanese plane when it crashed in Taiwan, burning him fatally. However, his death it is very controversial and disputed subject in India. Due to the lack of evidence and records of his final days in his life.

Mystery over Netaji’s death

Three enquiry commissions have been set up to inquire into the Bose mystery so far.

The first two committees, Shah Nawaz Khan Committee of 1956 and Justice G D Khosla Commission of 1970, concluded that Bose died in an air crash.

Scores of files have been declassified over the years, many in the National Archives in Delhi.

One such intelligence file revealed in 1997 reports that eight months after Netaji purportedly died in an air crash in at Taihoku in Taiwan on 18 August, 1945, Mahatma Gandhi had publicly said he believed Netaji was alive.

In April 2015, after it became evident that the government had snooped on the Boses for decades, the Centre set up a committee to explore whether the files could be declassified, and to review the archaic Official Secrets Act, which is impenetrable by the Right to Information in many cases. It would be headed by the cabinet secretary, Ajit Seth, and include officials from intelligence agencies. Although committee’s recommendations are not known yet but the center has decided not to reveal the files

There are some reports said to have been existed with other countries over Netaji but no effective steps have been taken to bring these files in open.

Question:

"Some suggest that Bose's alliance with the Axis during the war was based on more than just pragmatism, and that Bose was a militant nationalist". elaborate.

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