Give me blood and I will give you freedom!
These are the famous words of a brave freedom fighter, Subhas Chandra Bose. He was fondly known as ‘Netaji’ by everyone. He was born on January 23, 1897. On his birthday, let us remember this hero who sacrificed his life in the freedom struggle for India.
Subhas was born in Cuttack, Orissa to a famous lawyer. He was a very intelligent and a disciplined child. A born leader, as he grew older he felt unhappy that British ruled India. Once his English teacher at college, made unpleasant remarks about Indians in his class. He protested, and in turn was expelled from the college. He never regretted it and was only proud that he stood up for what was right.
After completing his college education, Subhas went to England and passed the civil service examination with merit. But Jalianwala Bagh massacre disturbed him. It was then he decided to dedicate his life for India’s freedom struggle.
Subhas’s approach to take on the Britishers was that of an armed revolution. But Mahatma Gandhi, staunchly supported nonviolence. They tried to work together but couldn’t continue to do so because of their strong differences. Bose went on to form his own party – the Forward Bloc party. The party threatened to bring down the Holwell Monument of Calcutta that was built by the British. He was jailed where he started to fast until death. His arrest caused hullabaloo around the country. He was released from the jail but was not allowed to move out of his residence in Calcutta.
Determined Subhas stealthily escaped from his residence and went first to Germany and then to Japan to seek their cooperation against the Britishers. Then he formed the Indian National Army (INA) with soldiers that were Indian prisoners of war. Under his leadership, INA crossed the Burma Border and entered India. It even hoisted the India flag in Kohima, Assam. However, Japan and Germany got defeated in the Second World War. Without their help, it was impossible to continue the revolution. His army surrendered. He left in a Japenese war plane for an undisclosed destination which crashed in Taiwan on August 17, 1945, killing everyone on board.
The contribution made by Subhas Chandra Bose in India’s freedom struggle was exceptional.
India is so proud of you Netaji !!