Role of Subhash Chandra Bose in the Struggle for Freedom
Subhas Chandra Bose, also known as Netaji, was widely regarded as the most influential freedom fighter, a charismatic orator, and possessed exceptional leadership qualities. He is remembered for his active and aggressive participation in the Indian independence movement. His leadership style was not only appealing, but it also motivated many people to join the Indian freedom struggle. His political views were initially in favour of complete freedom for India with a classless society and state socialism, whereas the majority of the Congress Committee wanted it in stages, via Dominion status.
Facts Related to Subhas Chandra Bose:
Subhas Chandra Bose was one of India’s most prominent freedom fighters. Born in 1897 into a wealthy family in Cuttack, Bengal province. He received his education in Calcutta, where he earned a degree in philosophy. Subhas Chandra Bose was chosen for the Indian Civil Services (ICS), but he refused to serve because he did not want to work for the British government.
In 1921, Bose joined the Indian National Congress. He was the All India Youth Congress’s President as well as Secretary of the congress for Bengal State. He also founded the ‘Swaraj’ newspaper. He was appointed CEO of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation in 1924 and elected as Mayor of Calcutta in 1930. Bose wrote ‘The Indian Struggle,’ which discusses the Indian independence movement from 1920 to 1942.
The Approach of Subhas Chandra Bose in the Struggle for Freedom:
- Subhas Chandra Bose’s approach was influenced by leftist authoritarianism and socialism. He demanded complete independence from the British and was in the favour of using military force to end British rule in India.
- He was a warrior who had to fight for freedom. He not only wholeheartedly supported the freedom movement but also became an inspiration for freedom. Because of the charisma of his philosophy and personality, anyone who listened to him was drawn to him.
- His method emphasises the use of arms and violence to achieve freedom. He believed that in order to rid India of the British, an armed struggle was required.
- Subhas Chandra Bose saw the Bhagavad Gita as a powerful source of inspiration in his fight against the British.
- Swami Vivekananda’s teachings on universalism, nationalist ideas, and emphasis on social service and reform had all influenced Subhas Chandra Bose since his childhood.
- According to some scholars, Hindu spirituality was an important part of his political and social thought.
- He began preparing to awaken the country with the slogan “Give me blood, and I will give you freedom“.
- He sought the support of Germany and Japan against the British Empire, operating under the adage “an enemy’s enemy is a friend“.
- On October 21, 1943, he made his well-known “Delhi Chalo” call and announced the creation of the Azad Hind Government and the Indian National Army in Singapore.
- In his Indian National Army, Netaji demonstrated how people of different castes, religions, and languages could be brought together under one banner and one slogan freedom for India.
- The INA continues to be a shining example of how people of various faiths and backgrounds can come together and fight for a common cause.
Subhas Chandra Bose and the Journey of the Azad Hind Fauj:
- Bose criticized the government for not consulting Indians before enrolling them in the Second World War. When he organized rallies in Calcutta to call for the removal of the monument honouring the Black Hole of Calcutta, he was arrested.
- After a few days, he was allowed to leave, but was still kept under observation.
- Then, in 1941, he left the nation for Germany via Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. He had earlier visited Europe where he had meetings with European political figures and Indian students.
- He met with Nazi leaders while in Germany with the intention of launching an armed insurrection against the British to win independence. Since they were fighting his “enemy,” the British, he sought to make friends with the Axis powers.
- He left Germany in 1943 after becoming frustrated with the Germans’ lethargic assistance to Azad Hind.
- The Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj), which had been established earlier with Japanese assistance in 1942, was resurrected upon Bose’s arrival in Singapore.
- He replaced Rash Behari Bose as leader of the Indian Independence Movement in East Asia in Singapore and established the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) on 21st October 1943, which was primarily composed of Indian prisoners of war.
- Bose became the leader of the government-in-exile known as Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind, also known as the Provisional Government of Free India. Its headquarters was located in Singapore.
- The INA seized control of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands while aiding the Japanese army in their invasion of northeast India. However, after the 1944 Battles of Kohima and Imphal, the British forces forced them to surrender.
How is the Approach of Subhas Chandra Bose different from that of Mahatma Gandhi:
Both Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi were pivotal figures in the freedom movement. They were both internationalists and humanists, as well as secular and anti-social in outlook. Despite their shared thought process, their approaches were markedly different. Some of the differences are:
- Subhas Chandra Bose defined freedom as freedom from socioeconomic inequalities, casteism, intolerance, and other forms of oppression whereas Gandhi’s concept of freedom was based on self-rule and self-control.
- Bose advocated for complete independence from British rule. He desired Swaraj through an all-out struggle. Gandhi, on the other hand, believed in the Struggle-Truce-Struggle model. Gandhi supported trusteeship theory and desired for villages to have self-sustaining economies.
- Bose was a radical socialist who sought to alter the existing socio-economic situation, whereas Gandhi was a conservative.
- The young members of the INC, including Bose, demanded complete self-rule without any compromise, whereas the senior members were content with India’s dominion status under British rule.
- Bose believed in revolutionary action to achieve freedom and thus led the Indian National Army, whereas Gandhi was a firm believer in nonviolence and led peaceful mass protests.
- Subhas Chandra was a staunch supporter of radical leftist ideology and organised labour unions whereas Gandhi supported a socialist pattern of society in which the fruits of labour were evenly distributed and favoured a trusteeship pattern of relationship between capitalists and labourers.
- Subhas Chandra Bose wanted to seize the opportunity provided by WWII for India’s freedom, so he approached Germany and Japan, whereas Gandhi saw fascism and Nazism as a greater threat to Indian polity and society, so he cooperated with the British.
- Bose was open to the idea of accepting foreign aid to achieve freedom, as evidenced by the formation of the Indian National Association, whereas Gandhi was completely opposed to any such idea.
There is no doubt that it was Subhas Chandra Bose’s charisma and leadership that brought all Indians together – Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, and Christians – to fight for India’s freedom. Today, we have Netaji’s shining example and inspiration to build a united India in which not only the Hindu majority, but all other communities, can enjoy equal rights and opportunities under the Indian constitution, with no appeasement for any particular community.