Subhash Chandra Bose (1897 - 1945)


          Subhas Chandra Bose as born on January 23, 1897. His father was Rai Bahadur Janakinath Bose, a prominent lawyer of Cultack, Orissa. His mother was Prabhavati Bose, a remarkable example of Indian womanhood. After completing his early studies at the European Protestant Collegiate School in Curtack, he came to Calcutta to study at Presidency College in 1913. Upon completing his graduation, he left India for England to appear at the Indian Civil Service Examination, but he was reluctant to work under the British Government. Thus he resigned and returned to India on the call of Chittaranjan Das.

          Subhas Chandra Bose felt that young militant groups could be molded into a military arm of the freedom movement and used to further the cause. Gandhiji opposed this ideology because it directly conflicted with his policy of ahimsa (non-violence). The British Government in India perceived Subhas as a potential source of danger and had him arrested without any charge on October 25, 1924. He was sent to Alipore Jail, Calcutta and in January 25, 1925 transferred to Mandalay. Burma. He was released from Mandalay in May. 1927 due to his ill health. Upon return to Calcutta. Subhas was elected President of the Bengal Congress Committee on October 27, 1927.

        In January 1930 Subhas was arrested while leading a procession condemning imprisonment of revolutionaries. He was offered bail on condition that he signs a bond to refrain from all political activities, which he refused. As a result he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment. On his release from jail, Subhas was sworn in as Mayor of the Calcutta Corporation.

        Subhas was elected President of the Indian National Congress Subhas emphasized that political freedom alone would not be sufficient, as the ills of the British reign would continue to haunt post-Independent India. He stressed the need to solve linguistic and religious prejudices and to achieve a high literacy rate amongst Indians.

          Gandhiji found Subhas’s ideologies far too leftist and strongly disagreed with Subhas's criticism of village industries and stress on competing with the rest of the world in the Industrial age. Opposition from Sardar Vallabhai Patel, lack of support from Gandhjji and Nehru’s indecision marked Subhas’s year as the President of the Congress. One of Subhas' major contributions was setting up of a National Planning Committee, for the development of an economic program running parallel to the national movement. Differences between Gandhiji and Subhas led to a crisis when Gandhiji opposed Subhas' idea that the Bengal Government (a coalition between the Krishak Praja Party & Muslim League) be ousted and the Congress take charge in coalition with the Krishak party. The idea was criticized by Gandhiji and Nehru, which resulted in the strengthening of the Muslim League in Bengal and ultimately partition of India It is obvious today that had Subhas been able to carry out his plans, Bengal would be a different entity on the atlas.

           Despite opposition from the Congress brass, Subhas was a favorite amongst the majority as he was re-elected for a second term in March 1939. Gandhiji considered Subhas's victory as his personal defeat and went on a fast to rally the members of the Working Committee to resign. At the time Subhas himself resigned and Dr. Rajendra Prasad assumed the Presidency of the Congress.

           Later, the world came to know him as Netaji. It is believed that he died of a plane crash in 1945 while travelling to Tokyo.

This list was prepared by Dr. Jinadatha

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