Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and the I.N.A.
Subhas Chandra Bose
The appearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Indian National Army (I.N.A) in Indian politics was like the flaming sword of Indian struggle for independence.
Subhas Chandra Bose (Netaji) was born on 23rd January 1897 A.D. at Cuttack. A freedom fighter of his caliber and capability is race in the history of Indian Freedom Struggle. His experience attained maturity with the Swarajya Party of C.R. Das.
The theory of economical freedom of Subhas and Gandhi’s political freedom theories met in a clash, in spite of which Subhas was eager to develop a nationwide movement to achieve the goal of total freedom being inspired Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru took his side. After becoming the President of Congress Party at Haripura in a meeting at Sradhananda Park 1938 A.D. he gave the call for desperate self-sacrifices to his countrymen.
Birth of Forward Bloc
Due to Subhas’s sudden resignation Dr. Rajendraprasad was elected President. On 3rd May, 1939 A.D. Subhas formed the Forward Bloc, within the Congress. Subhas was its President while Sardar Shardul Singh was Vice-President. To unify the Leftists and strengthen the Congress movement Subhas formed ‘Left United Committee”.
Great escape of Subhas
During the Second World War the British Government distressed by Subhas’s popularity put him in confinement. First, Subhas Chandra Bose was kept in Alipore Central Jain (1940 A.D.) and then due to ill health he was kept in his own house under police confinement under ‘Indian Preventive Act’. He escaped on 17th January, 1941 A.D. First he went to Mathura from there he went to Moscow seeking Stallin’s help but was refused. From there he met foreign minister Ribentrop of Hitler on 28th March, 1941 A.D. He also met Mussolini. He then formed a radio station named ‘Azad Hindusthan’ to propagate the anti-British views and formed the ‘Azad Hind Fauz’ (December 1942 A.D.) with about 400 Indians in German confinement. These soldiers used to call him ‘Netaji’. But when Hitler attacked Russia he left for South-East Asia.
Subhas in Japan and Singapore
Meanwhile, Subhas Chandra Bose reached Tokyo, the capital of Japan with Abid Hassan. He took forward a brave expedition in submarine at the invitation of Marshal Tojo, the Prime Minister of Japan. Many Indian soldiers of the allied forces (England) were imprisoned by Japan at that time. After the session at Bangkok (June 1942 A.D.), Rashbehari Bose named this group as Indian Independence League”. On 1st September, 1942, Rashbehari formed the Azad Hind Fauz with 40,000 Indian soldiers of the league at Singapore; Rashbehari put forward three main ideals of the Fauz – sense of unity, self-confidence and self-sacrifice. To develop a strong feeling against the allied forces, Subhas divided the Azad Hind Fauz into a few brigades – for example ‘Azad Brigade’, ‘Gandhi Brigade’, ‘Nehru Brigade’, ‘Subhas Brigade’ (chosen soldiers), ‘Jhansi Brigade’ (army of women and ‘Balsenadal’ with boys and girls). Lakshmi Swaminathan was in charge of the Jhansi Brigade. The other leaders of the other Brigades were G.S. Dhilon, P.K. Saigal and Shahnawaz Khan.
On 6th November, 1943, Marshal Tojo delivered Andaman and Nicobar islands to Subhas who renamed those as ‘Sahid’ and ‘Swaraj’ islands respectively on 31st December 1943 A.D. Netaji had a plan to attack the important port of Chittagong from this placed. To make his plans stronger, Netaji established his ‘Main military cap’ in Rangoon, the capital of Burma on 4th January 1944. On 19th March of the same year, Netaji’s INA went to Kohima, the capital of Nagaland through Imphal, the capital of Manipur and raised the tricolored flag of India there quite happily. Thus the Azad Hind Fauz occupied an area of 1500 miles in Eastern India. It was decided that Bengal would be attacked through Assam during the rains and the I.N.A. would march straight towards the Red Fort in Delhi.
Impact of Subhas Chandra Bose and I.N.A
Through Netaji and his I.N.A. failed at the climax of the Indian Freedom Struggle. Information from ‘Netaji Research Bureau’ and other sources, have praised Netaji for his work. Moulana Abul Kalam Azad had written about the praise of Subhas by Gandhi and stated in his autobiography that though Subhas had failed to reach his aim with foreign support, his brave ideal of sacrifice and love for motherland had hastened the independence of India.
Clement Attlee, the Prime Minister of England himself had acknowledged, that the 20,000 naval soldiers had become anti-British mainly at the encouragement of Subhas. For this reason, Abul Kalam Azad had accepted in his book ‘India Wins Freedom’ that by Subhas’s influence, the army and the police under the British became anxious for the independence of India.
Besides the leaders of all sections and the general public opinion had strengthened the confidence of I.N.A. of Subhas. During the trial of I.N.A. in the Red Fort, the famous lawyers like Jawaharlal Nehru, Tejbahadur Sapru and Bhulabhai Desai etc. took the sides of the imprisoned soldiers of the Azad Hind Fauz and as a result there was a new wave in the anti-British mass movement. Attlee said that, “This country could no more be ruled by Indian army or the police”. Tarachand also praised Netaji and I.N.A.