A Tribute to Netaji

- History of Indian Independence

Indian Independence was achieved
at last due to Netaji and the INA

During his entire political career Subhas Chandra Bose was mostly kept in jail or exiled unlike his colleagues. He was singled out as the most obstinate opponent of the colonialists. Close to the people, he was denied their presence for fear of his influencing them. Rulers before and after independence were afraid of his presence, before and after his disappearance from the political scenes.

Under house arrest, he escaped on 16 January 1941and reached Germany incognito. During the perilous days of the Second World War, on 8 February 1943 he reached Madgaskar in German Uboat (Submarine). In the perilous water amid scattered boats, men and whizzing bullets they were transferred in a dinghy to a Japanese submarine and reached Tokyo on 13 June 1943.In Singapore Bose assumed charge of the Indian Independence League as its President. In a speech on 9 July 1943 he asserted to a gathering of 60000 people: “There is no nationalist leader in India who can claim to possess the many-sided experience that I have been able to acquire.”

In August 1943 he assumed Supreme Command of the INA. Netaji is ever remembered for his clarion call to his countrymen, "Give me blood and I promise you freedom" and a battle cry of “March to Delhi or Delhi Chalo”. Bose inaugurated the Provincial Government of ‘Free India’ on 21 October 1943. The provisional Government acquired its first Indian territory when Japan handed over Andaman and Nicober islands to it on 6 November 1943. Indian flag was hoisted in Kohima in March 1944. The INA with the Japanese soldiers carried out a heroic campaign against the Allied Forces. Netaji moved from battle field to battle field. With Axis Power’s fall INA was fallen.

In his speech to the House of Commons (on 15.3.1946) British Prime Minister Clement Attlee said, “The temperature of 1946 is not the temperature of 1920 or of 1930 or even of 1942. The slogans of an earlier day are discarded . . . . I am quite certain that at the present time the tide of nationalism is running very fast in India . . . . Today I think that national idea has spread right through and not least, perhaps, among some of those soldiers who have given such wonderful service in the war.”  

I. K. Gujral, Ex-Prime Minister of India, who was present at the Karachi uprising of the Royal Indian Navy in 1946, wrote on 20.2.2006,

“The naval mutinies of February 1946 remain indelible in the Nation’s mind and even more deep in the psyches of those like me who had witnessed this turning point in history of the freedom struggle. . . .

“Their high morale was inspiring. The on-lookers spilled on the road to join the slogan shouting, ‘Netaji ki jai’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’”.

Once when Lord Atlee visited Calcutta in 1956 he gave an interview to the then Governor of West Bengal, P. B. Chakraborty, in 1956. Chakraborty adds, "My direct question to Attlee was that since Gandhi's Quit India movement had tapered off quite some time ago and in 1947 no such new compelling situation had arisen that would necessitate a hasty British departure, why did they had to leave?"

"In his reply Attlee cited several reasons, the principal among them being the erosion of loyalty to the British crown among the Indian Army and Navy personnel as a result of the military activities of Netaji."

“That's not all. Chakraborty adds, “Toward the end of our discussion I asked Attlee what was the extent of Gandhi's influence upon the British decision to quit India. Hearing this question, Attlee's lips became twisted in a sarcastic smile as he slowly chewed out the word, ‘m-i-n-i-m-a-l!’" 3

Fact is that Indian Defence forces turned entirely against the rulers. This was their main reason for leaving an Empire 200 years old for ever. Indian independence came as a result of armed struggle, not a bit for non-violent movement, not as a result of ‘Quit India’ exactly; it was a part of ongoing Indian Independence movement, violent of course.

“Before he was assassinated in 1948, Gandhi-a senior journalist told me-rebuked Nehru and Patel for not being able to reign in partition madness and wished that his ‘other son’ (Subhas) was here!’ Reminded by Congressman, who had witnessed the dressing down, that Bose was dead and he had himself come to that belief, Gandhi shot back, ‘He’s in Russia.’” (Anuj 45)

From all facts it may be gathered that if Netaji the Hero of Modern India lived in the country then there might not be a partition, at least not a blood-bathed partition as happened. He was the only leader who galvanized all sections of Indian community. He could have ushered in a path of united India towards real development and progress. Should we look clearly at the recordings of events and facts in history and change the notion about how India achieved independence or stick to our prejudiced mindset to teach wrong history to our students and the posterity?


More by :  Aju Mukhopadhyay

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Views: 3633      Comments: 1

Comment The process of transfer of power started long time ago and gathered pace in 1935 when elected representatives took contol of provincial governments. The process slowed down due to war in Europe but effots continued and a cabinet mission was sent under the leadership of Sir Stafford Cripps which was not able to resolve the issues.The efforts were resumed as soon as the war ended. The INA or the Quit India movement in 1942 or the Naval Mutiny in 1946 had little or no effect on the final departure.

Sharad Shah
26-Nov-2019 06:43 AM

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