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Subhash Chandra Bose
সুভাষচন্দ্র বসু
Subhas Chandra Bose
Subash Chandra Bose

(1897-01-23)23 January 1897
Died August 18, 1945(1945-08-18) (aged 48)
Taipei (Taihoku), Japanese Taiwan
Nationality Indian
Education Ravenshaw Collegiate School, Cuttack
Alma mater University of Calcutta
University of Cambridge
Known for Figure of Indian independence movement
Title President of Indian National Congress (1938)
Head of State, Prime Minister, Minister of War and Foreign Affairs of Provisional Government of Free India based in the Japanese-occupied Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1943–1945)
Political party Indian National Congress 1921–1940,
Forward Bloc faction within the Indian National Congress, 1939–1940
Spouse(s) or companion, Emilie Schenkl
(secretly married without ceremony or witnesses in 1937, unacknowledged publicly by Bose.)
Children Anita Bose Pfaff
Parent(s) Janakinath Bose (father)
Prabhavati Devi (mother)
Relatives Bose family

Subhas Chandra Bose ( shuub-HAHSS-_-CHUN-drə-_-bohss; 23 January 1897 – 18 August 1945) was an Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism made him a hero in India, but whose attempts during World War II to rid India of British rule with the help of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan left a troubled legacy. The honorific Netaji (Hindustani: "Respected Leader") was first applied to Bose in Germany in early 1942—by the Indian soldiers of the Indische Legion and by the German and Indian officials in the Special Bureau for India in Berlin. It is now used throughout India.

Subhas Bose was born into wealth and privilege in a large Bengali family in Orissa during the high noon of the British Raj. His teenage and young adult years were interspersed with brilliant academic success, religious yearning, and rebellion against authority.

Sent to England at his father's urging to take the Indian Civil Service examination. He cited nationalism to be a higher calling than the civil service.

Returning to India in 1921 to join the nationalist movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress, Bose at first worked with C. R. Das in Bengal. He flowered under Das's mentorship. He then followed Jawaharlal Nehru to leadership in a group within the Congress. The group was younger, less keen on constitutional reform, and more open to socialism.

Bose rose to become Congress president in 1938. After reelection in 1939, differences arose between Bose and Gandhi. The senior leadership in the Congress supported Gandhi, and Bose resigned as president, and was eventually ousted from the party.

In July 1940, Bose was arrested by the Bengal government over a small protest, and later kept housebound under a strict police watch. In mid-January 1941, he escaped from India heading northwestward into Afghanistan.

In April 1941, Bose arrived in Nazi Germany, where the leadership offered unexpected sympathy for India's independence. In November 1941, German funds were used to open a Free India Centre in Berlin, and to set up a Free India Radio on which Bose broadcast nightly. A 3,000-strong Free India Legion was recruited from among Indian POWs captured by Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps to serve under Bose.

Throughout 1941 the Germans intermittently considered a land invasion of India. Although it wasn't close to their main goals in Eastern Europe, Bose remained optimistic about its likelihood. By the spring of 1942, however, the German army had become mired in Russia, and Japan had won quick victories in Asia. A German land invasion of India wasn't possible, and Bose became keen to move to southeast Asia. Adolf Hitler, during his only meeting with Bose in late May 1942, suggested the same and offered to arrange a submarine. During this time Bose became a father; his wife, or companion, Emilie Schenkl, whom he had met during an earlier visit to Europe in 1934, gave birth to a baby girl in November 1942.

Subhas Bose with Emilie, Nambiar, and others, Bad Gastein, Austria, December 1937
Bose, INC president-elect, center, in Bad Gastein, Austria, December 1937, with (left to right) A. C. N. Nambiar (Bose's second-in-command, Berlin, 1941–1945), Heidi Fulop-Miller, Schenkl, and Amiya Bose.
19430428 japanese submarine crew i-29
The crew of Japanese submarine I-29 after the rendezvous with German submarine U-180 300 sm southeast of Madagascar; Bose is sitting in the front row (28 April 1943).

Identifying strongly with the Axis powers, Bose boarded a German submarine in February 1943. Off Madagascar, he was transferred to a Japanese submarine from which he disembarked in Japanese-held Sumatra in May 1943. His wife, child, and 3,000 Indian men remained in Germany, the latter left to an uncertain future.

The Indian National Army (INA) had been formed in 1942 from the Indian POWs of the British Indian army captured by the Japanese in the Battle of Singapore. After arrival in Singapore, Bose enlisted Indian civilians, chiefly Tamil ones, in Malaya and Singapore. The Japanese had come to support a number of puppet and provisional governments in the captured regions. With Japanese support, a Provisional Government of Free India under Bose was formed in the Japanese-occupied Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Although the Japanese military at all times exercised firm control over the islands, Bose's visit in December 1943 was widely publicized.

Charismatic and driven, Bose displayed unflagging enthusiasm for the cause of liberating India. The INA under Bose became a model of diversity by region, ethnicity, religion, and gender. However, the Japanese considered Bose to be militarily unskilled and unrealistic, and Bose's military effort was short-lived.

In late 1944 and early 1945, the British Indian Army first halted and then devastatingly reversed the Japanese attack on India. Almost half the Japanese forces and fully half the participating INA contingent were killed. The INA was driven down the Malay Peninsula and surrendered with the recapture of Singapore.

Bose chose not to surrender with his forces or with the Japanese. He aimed to escape to Manchuria with a view to seeking a future in the Soviet Union which he believed to be turning anti-British. En route to Manchuria, his plane crashed in Taiwan, and he died.

Some Indians did not believe that the crash had occurred. Many among them, especially in Bengal, believed Bose would return to gain India's independence.

The Indian National Congress, the main instrument of Indian nationalism, praised Bose's patriotism but distanced itself from his tactics and ideology, in particular his collaboration with fascism. The British Raj, never seriously threatened by the INA, charged 300 INA officers with treason in the INA trials, but eventually backtracked in the face of both popular sentiment and of its own end.



Bose was featured on the stamps in India from 1964, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2016 and 2018. Bose was also featured in ₹2 coin in 1996 and 1997, ₹ 75 coin in 2018 and ₹125 coin in 2021. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at Kolkata, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, formerly Ross Island and many other institutions in India are named after him. On 23 August 2007, Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe visited the Subhas Chandra Bose memorial hall in Kolkata. Abe said to Bose's family "The Japanese are deeply moved by Bose's strong will to have led the Indian independence movement from British rule. Netaji is a much respected name in Japan."

In 2021, the Government of India declared 23 January as Parakram Divas to commemorate the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Political party, Trinamool Congress and the All India Forward Bloc demanded that the day should be observed as Deshprem Divas.

In popular media

Clipping from Japanese newspaper, published on 23 August 1945.
Subhas Chandra Bose (tokyo)
A memorial to Subhas Chandra Bose in the Renkōji Temple, Tokyo. Bose's ashes are stored in the temple in a golden pagoda.
  • Netaji Subhash, a feature documentary film about Bose was released in 1947, it was directed by Chhotubhai Desai.
  • Subhas Chandra is a 1966 Indian Bengali-language biographical film, directed by Pijush Basu.
  • Neta Ji Subhash Chandra Bose is a 1966 Indian biographical drama film about Bose by Hemen Gupta.
  • In 2004, Shyam Benegal directed the biographical film, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero depicting his life in Nazi Germany (1941–1943), in Japanese-occupied Asia (1943–1945) and the events leading to the formation of Azad Hind Fauj. The film received critical acclaim at the BFI London Film Festival, and has garnered the National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration, and the National Film Award for Best Production Design for that year.
  • Mahanayak, 2005 published Marathi historical novel on the life of Subhash Chandra Bose, written by Marathi author Vishvas Patil.
  • His Majesty's Opponent, a biography of Subhash Chandra Bose, written by Sugata Bose published in 2011.
  • Subhash Chandra Bose: The Mystery, a 2016 documentary film by Iqbal Malhotra, follows conspiracy theories regarding Bose's death.
  • Netaji Bose - The Lost Treasure is a 2017 television documentary film which aired on History TV18, it explores the INA treasure controversy.
  • In 2017, ALTBalaji and BIG Synergy Media, released a 9-episode web series, Bose: Dead/Alive, created by Ekta Kapoor, a dramatised version of the book India's Biggest Cover-up written by Anuj Dhar, which starred Bollywood actor Rajkummar Rao as Subhas Chandra Bose and Anna Ador as Emilie Schenkl. The series was praised by both audience and critics, for its plot, performance and production design.
  • In January 2019 Zee Bangla started broadcasting the daily television series Netaji.
  • Gumnaami is an 2019 Indian Bengali mystery film directed by Srijit Mukherji, which deals with Netaji's death mystery, based on the Mukherjee Commission Hearings.

Other tribute forms

The Ministry of Railways of India renamed one of the oldest running trains of India, Kalka Mail as Netaji Express from 23 January 2021.

Images for kids

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