Top Facts You Didn’t Know About Subhash Chandra Bose
In today’s world of social media and technology, we often forget our history, and the many great leaders who contributed in shaping the India of today. Of all these leaders, one of the most famous was Subhash Chandra Bose, also known as Netaji (which translates to ‘our leader’). He was a freedom fighter who fought against British rule in India, with some members of his family having ties to Indian royalty. His life was filled with patriotism and heroic acts that would inspire anyone living in India today to stand up for their country. Here are 10 facts about Subhash Chandra Bose that you may not have known!
He was against the British rule
He was anti-British and believed in Indian Independence. He took part in activities against British rule. He was not happy with Congress’ pacifist stance so he broke away from it. He formed his own political party, which played a crucial role during India’s independence movement.
He wanted India to be self-sufficient in every way
He is noted for making a passionate appeal to Indians overseas to return and participate in India’s struggle for independence. He said: Return we must; return we shall! In order to return Bose organised The Indian National Army (INA) with Japanese help, but kept its existence secret until it was ready to be deployed for action. This was accomplished by writing his closest colleagues in Japan only days before his arrival there, telling them that he intended to raise an army against British rule in India. Some twenty thousand Indian prisoners of war who had surrendered after Rangoon fell to Japanese forces were induced by him (with offers of higher pay and accelerated promotion) into joining it.
He established INA
The Indian National Army or (Azad Hind Fauj) was an armed force formed by Indian nationalists in 1942 in Southeast Asia, with Japanese support during World War II. The aim of the army was to secure Indian independence from British rule by fighting alongside Japan. It was also known as Jai Hind (‘Victory to India’). The INA had its origins in young men, such as Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad, joining peaceful protests against British colonial rule during 1919-1920.
He gave equal rights to all women including Muslim, Hindu and Christian women
He formed an all women’s regiment within Rani of Jhansi Regiment called Lal-Bal-Pal in 1942. It was India’s first Women’s Battalion. In fact, it is believed that one of his bodyguards was a Muslim girl named Noor Jehan, who later became famous as Bollywood actor Meena Kumari after India got its independence in 1947. He gave equal rights to all women including Muslim, Hindu and Christian women: He formed an all women’s regiment within Rani of Jhansi Regiment called Lal-Bal-Pal in 1942. It was India’s first Women’s Battalion.
He was married
In his early twenties, before he went to Europe for higher studies, Netaji married a freedom fighter named Emilie Schenkl. They were together for two years and had no children. After he left her to go to Germany, she was married to her close friend Hermann Otto Neubronner. He took care of her until she died in 1985. The letters between them have been published by Bengal government.
INA was made up of Indian troops and volunteers from allied countries
A lot of people think that INA was comprised of all Indian forces but that’s not true. The 14th Army was made up mostly of Burmese, Chinese and British troops. INA though, had volunteers from places as far apart as Australia and America, fighting side by side for Indian freedom. The only thing these volunteers had in common? They were willing to give up their lives for India’s freedom!
Japan gave INA weapons training
Japan was an ally of Germany and Italy during World War II. So, why did they support India’s National Army? What made them do so? Japan was under pressure from Britain at that time due to their involvement in China. So, by supporting India, they were sending a message to their enemies that they had other options if they were pushed against a wall. As such, Japanese military officials trained many soldiers of INA in guerrilla warfare and sabotage tactics using modern technology like bombs and explosives. These training sessions happened in Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia including Thailand and Indonesia between 1943-44. Soldiers also underwent physical training as well as instruction on use of weapons like machine guns or light machine guns (which were provided by Japanese army). They were even taught how to operate tanks.
Most soldiers were true patriots
Most people who served in Netaji’s INA were not professional soldiers. Many of them left their jobs to join Netaji, and most of them stayed with him for two years at least. They came from all walks of life and fought for India’s freedom because they believed in him. The INA was a microcosm of India, made up entirely of patriotic individuals drawn together by one man. And while some might have left after a year or two, many continued to fight until August 1945 when news reached them that Japan was about to surrender unconditionally. The soldier was just as important as his uniform: Of course soldiers are indispensable in any army, but it is equally true that without proper leadership they cannot become martyrs either.
Netaji wanted his ashes immersed in Ganga river at Haridwar and Delhi both. The UPA government in 2015 decided to immerse his ashes only at Haridwar. The BJP government in 2016 said that his ashes would be immersed at Kolkata. This means we don’t know where his actual ashes are.
Recently it was brought to light that among Netaji’s ashes, a DNA sample was sent to Tokyo University. The Japanese government after testing found out that it was of a person related to Netaji. These were handed over to Indian government, but where they were kept is unknown till now.