Although Subhas Chandra Bose was an Indian nationalist who was revered by many Indians for his defiance of British authority, his legacy is complicated by his alliances with Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan during World War II, which were characterized by authoritarianism, anti-Semitism, and military failure.
In early 1942, the honorific Netaji was first applied to Bose in Germany—by the Indian soldiers of the Indische Legion and by the German and Indian officials in the Special Bureau for India in Berlin. Now, it is used throughout India. Subhas Bose was born into a large Bengali family in Orissa during the British Raj.
Facts About Subhas Chandra Bose:-
– After college, he took the Indian Civil Service examination in England, having received an Anglocentric education early on. He succeeded with distinction in the vital first exam but chose not to take the routine final exam, citing nationalism to be a higher calling. After returning to India in 1921, Bose joined the nationalist movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress. Jawaharlal Nehru was a leader in a group within the Congress which was less keen on constitutional reform and more open to socialism.
– In 1938, Bose became Congress president. Different attitudes arose between him and the Congress leaders, including Gandhi, after his reelection in 1939, over the future federation of British India and princely states. The discomfort had also grown among the Congress leadership over Bose’s negotiable attitude to non-violence, and his plans for greater powers for himself. Bose resigned as president after the large majority of the Congress Working Committee members resigned in protest and was eventually ousted from the party.
– Bose arrived in Nazi Germany in April 1941 and the leadership there offered unexpected but equivocal sympathy for India’s independence. A Free India Centre was opened in Berlin with German funds. Bose recruited a 3,000-strong Free India Legion from among Indian POWs captured by Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps.
– The Germans considered a land invasion of India throughout 1941, although it was peripheral to their main goals. Bose became keen to move to southeast Asia, where Japan had just won quick victories, by the spring of 1942 when the German army was mired in Russia. During his only meeting with Bose in late May 1942, Adolf Hitler offered to arrange a submarine. Bose became a father during this time; his wife, or companion, Emilie Schenkl, gave birth to a baby girl.
– In May 1943, he was transferred from a Japanese submarine to Japanese-held Sumatra. Bose revamped the Indian National Army (INA) with Japanese support, which comprised Indian prisoners of war of the Indian Army who had been captured by the Japanese in the Battle of Singapore. Bose presided over the declaration of a Provisional Government of Free India on the Japanese-occupied Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
– The Japanese considered Bose to be militarily unskilled, although he was unusually driven and charismatic, and his soldierly effort was short-lived. The Japanese attack on India was reversed by the Indian Army in late 1944 and early 1945. Almost half of the Japanese forces and the participating INA contingent were killed. The recapture of Singapore also led to the surrender of the remaining INA forces still driving down the Malay Peninsula. Bose chose to escape to Manchuria to seek a future in the Soviet Union, which he believed had turned anti-British.
– He died from third-degree burns on August 18, 1945, when his overloaded plane crashed in Japanese Taiwan. Not all Indians believed that the crash had occurred, expecting Bose to return and secure India’s independence. Although the Indian National Congress, the main instrument of Indian nationalism, praised Bose’s patriotism, it distanced itself from his tactics and ideology.