Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose
Subhash Chandra Bose was born into an affluent Bengali family on January 23, 1897 in Cuttack, Orissa. Subhash's public prosecutor father ensured that his son availed the best of education in eminent institutions such as Scottish Church College, Calcutta and Fitzwilliam College at Cambridge University. In 1920, at the insistence of his parents, Bose appeared in the prestigious Indian Civil Service and secured the fourth place.
During this period the civil disobedience movement called by Mahatma Gandhi was sweeping across the country and Bose resigned from the ICS in April 1921 to join his fellow countrymen in the freedom struggle. He joined the youth wing of the Congress Party and soon rose up the party hierarchy by virtue of his eloquence and leadership skills. At an early stage of his life Subhas Bose accepted Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das as his political guru.

Over a span of 20 years, Bose was imprisoned eleven times by the British, the first one being in 1921. In 1924, after a brief period of incarceration, Bose was exiled to Mandalay in Burma. Subhash Bose was imprisoned again in 1930 and deported to Europe. During his stay in Europe from 1933 to 1936, Subhash Bose zealously espoused the cause of Indian freedom while meeting a number of prominent European statesmen.

Subhash Bose was twice elected president of the Indian National Congress (1938 and 1939) but following his disagreements with Mahatma Gandhi he relinquished his post and formed a progressive group known as the Forward Block. The Second World War broke out in 1939 and Bose launched a campaign of mass civil disobedience to protest against the Viceroy's decision to declare war on India's behalf. Bose was put behind the bars but because of his hunger strike he was later placed under house arrest.
Taking advantage of the laxity of the house guards and aided by his cousin Sishir Bose, Subhash managed to escape and traversing through enemy territories he reached Moscow. Bose tried to garner the help Nazi Germany but due to the indifferent attitude of Hitler and other German leaders he left for Japan and soon assumed the leadership of Indian National Army (INA) founded by Rash Behari Bose.

Bolstered by material assistance from the Japanese forces, the INA attacked the British forces in Manipur and Nagaland in northeastern India and hosted the National Flag in the town in Moirang, in Manipur. But with the defeat of Japan, the invasion by the INA soon petered out and Netaji was forced to retreat to Malaya. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose allegedly died in a plane crash over Taiwan, while flying to Tokyo on August 18, 1945.

Philosophy of Subhash Chandra Bose
The principles and the philosophy of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose were instrumental factors in his embracing of armed revolution in the later part of his political career. Initially Bose was a follower of the Gandhian way of freedom movement but years of travel in European countries during exile and the ripening of mental faculties with age made him disenchanted with the ways of the Indian National Congress.

Subhash Chandra's hatred for the British ran deep and he vehemently called for the immediate ouster of the colonial rulers from Indian soil. Disappointed with the leniency shown by some Congress leaders towards the British, Bose became increasingly convinced that the goal of achieving freedom would remain a pipedream as long as the British held sway over the land and peaceful protests would never be able to throw the British out.

While outlining his vision for a free India, Subhash Chandra Bose proclaimed that socialist authoritarianism would be required to eradicate poverty and social inequalities from a diverse country like India. He openly espoused for an authoritarian state on the lines of Soviet Russia and Kemal Atatürk's Turkey. Bose was also an exponent of socialism and opined that industrialization and Soviet-style five-year plans held the key to a vibrant Indian nation.

Indian National Army
The Indian National Army was the manifestation of Subhash Chandra Bose's transformation from a Gandhian freedom fighter to an armed revolutionary challenging the might of the British Empire. Originally the brainchild of expatriate nationalist leader Rash Behari Bose, the INA saw Subhash Chandra assuming the leadership of the outfit as its supreme commander in 1943. With characteristic vigor and zeal, Bose set about strengthening the fledgling organization and proclaimed the Provisional Government of Free India in Singapore on October 21, 1943.

The Indian National Army was also known as the Azad Hind Fauj and it owed allegiance to the Provisional Government which was recognized by nine Axis states. The INA had a combat strength of 40,000 troops comprising mainly of Indian expatriates in South Asia and Indian prisoners of war. The INA also boasted of an exclusive women's combat unit named the Rani of Jhansi regiment.
As the Japanese troops launched a major offensive through Burma, the Azad Hind Fauj soldiers fought alongside them in the frontlines and contributed in many victories. Previously in December, 1943 the Azad Hind government had established its rule in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and renamed them as Shaheed (Martyr) and Swaraj (Self-rule). On 18 April 1944, the INA troops captured the town of Moirang in Manipur and in a glorious display of patriotism, raised an Indian tricolor.

However the INA's total dependence on the Japanese troops for arms and logistics support proved to be its undoing and as the might of the Japanese began to wane, the INA too was forced to retreat. With the subsequent surrender of Japan the INA resistance collapsed and a number of officers and troops were captures by the British. The government brought these officers to the Red Fort in Delhi for court martial but eventually had to relent in the face of nationwide protests and incidents of mutiny in the ranks of British Indian Army.

Subhash Chandra employed his great oratory skills to inspire the troops of Indian National Army. On July 4, 1944, at a rally of Indians in Burma, Bose famously proclaimed, "Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom." "Delhi Chalo," another phrase attributed to him, became the clarion call of the INA combatants as they marched towards Indian territory.

Give Me Blood,and I Promise you Freedom!
At a rally of Indians in Burma, July 4, 1944

Friends! Twelve months ago a new programme of 'total mobilisation' or' maximum sacrifice' was placed before Indians in East Asia. Today I shall give you an account of our achievements during the past year and shall place before you our demands for the coming year. But, before I do so, I want you to realize once again what a golden opportunity we have for winning freedom. The British are engaged in a worldwide struggle and in the course of this struggle they have suffered defeat after defeat on so many fronts. The enemy having been thus considerably weakened, our fight for liberty has become very much easier than it was five years ago.

Such a rare and God-given opportunity comes once in a century. That is why we have sworn to fully utilize this opportunity for liberating our motherland from the British yoke. I am so very hopeful and optimistic about the outcome of our struggle, because I do not rely merely on the efforts of three million Indians in East Asia. There is a gigantic movement going on inside India and millions of our countrymen are prepared for maximum suffering and sacrifice in order to achieve liberty. Unfortunately, ever since the great fight of 1857, our countrymen are disarmed, whereas the enemy is armed to the teeth. Without arms and without a modern army, it is impossible for a disarmed people to win freedom in this modern age.

Through the grace of Providence and through the help of generous Nippon, it has become possible for Indians in East Asia to get arms to build up a modern army. Moreover, Indians in East Asia are united to a man in the endeavor to win freedom and all the religious and other differences that the British tried to engineer inside India, simply do not exist in East Asia. Consequently, we have now an ideal combination of circumstances favouring the success of our struggle- and all that is wanted is that Indians should themselves come forward to pay the price of liberty. According to the programme of 'total mobilisation', I demanded of you men, money and materials. Regarding men, I am glad to tell you that I have obtained sufficient recruits already. Recruits have come to us from every corner of east Asia- from China, Japan, Indo-China, Philippines, Java, Borneo, Celebes, Sumatra, Malaya, Thailand and Burma. You must continue the mobilisation of men, money and materials with greater vigour and energy, in particular, the problem of supplies and transport has to be solved satisfactorily.

We require more men and women of all categories for administration and reconstruction in liberated areas. We must be prepared for a situation in which the enemy will ruthlessly apply the scorched earth policy, before withdrawing from a particular area and will also force the civilian population to evacuate as was attempted in Burma. The most important of all is the problem of sending reinforcements in men and in supplies to the fighting fronts. If we do not do so, we cannot hope to maintain our success at the fronts. Nor can we hope to penetrate deeper into India.

Those of you who will continue to work on the Home Front should never forget that East Asia- and particularly Burma- from our base for the war of liberation. If this base is not strong, our fighting forces can never be victorious. Remember that this is a 'total war'- and not merely a war between two armies. That is why for a full one year I have been laying so much stress on 'total mobilisation' in the East. There is another reason why I want you to look after the Home Front properly. During the coming months I and my colleagues on the War Committee of the Cabinet desire to devote our whole attention to the fighting front- and also to the task of working up the revolution inside India.

Consequently, we want to be fully assured that the work at the base will goon smoothly and uninterruptedly even in our absence. Friends, one year ago, when I made certain demands of you, I told you that if you give me 'total mobilization', I would give you a 'second front'. I have redeemed that pledge. The first phase of our campaign is over. Our victorious troops, fighting side by side with Nipponese troops, have pushed back the enemy and are now fighting bravely on the sacred soil of our dear motherland.

Gird up your loins for the task that now lies ahead. I had asked you for men, money and materials. I have got them in generous measure. Now I demand more of you. Men, money and materials cannot by themselves bring victory or freedom. We must have the motive-power that will inspire us to brave deeds and heroic exploits. It will be a fatal mistake for you to wish to live and see India free simply because victory is now within reach. No one here should have the desire to live to enjoy freedom. A long fight is still in front of us. We should have but one desire today- the desire to die so that India may live- the desire to face a martyr's death, so that the path to freedom may be paved with the martyr's blood.

Friend's! My comrades in the War of Liberation! Today I demand of you one thing, above all. I demand of you blood. It is blood alone that can avenge the blood that the enemy has spilt. It is blood alone that can pay the price of freedom. Give me blood and I Promise you freedom

- October 11
- December 09

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