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Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose- 10 Interesting facts

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, commonly known as Netaji, was an Indian nationalist who sacrificed his whole life to attain “Poorna Swaraj” for India. He was an eminent leader of Indian National Congress and became general secretary in 1927. Later, he was elected as president in 1938 and 1939 and this was the instance when ideological differences between him and Gandhi surfaced.

Subhash chandra bose and Mahatma Gandhi at a congress rally

 After being ousted from Indian National Congress, Netaji moved to Berlin and formed Indian National Army with the help of Axis powers (Germany, Japan and Italy). Though, he couldn’t fulfill his dream of India’s freedom, his armed struggle against the British forces inspired many Indians for the years to come. The facts regarding his death are still debated and several conspiracy theories appeared. The recent news of snooping by Congress on Subhash created a huge media and public outcry recently. Here are some facts worth knowing about this legend:

Deprived of love and personal attention that Subhash craved for

Born in a Kayastha family, Bose was the Ninth child in the family with 14 children. They were 8 brothers and 6 sisters. In addition, some distant uncles and other relatives also resided there. Due to this Bose always craved for more love and individual attention from his parents. He was an introvert in his childhood.

Complete family picture of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

 The spiritual awakening – Without self abnegation immortal life can’t be attained

In his teenage, he was exposed to the literature and teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramhansa, which led to his spiritual awakening. The acquired knowledge gave his life a new meaning. Subhash Chandra Bose practiced whatever was preached by Ramakrishna, for e.g. renounce lust and gold.

Vivekananda and ramakrishna Paramhansa who were the inspiration in Netaji's life

 Subhash Chandra Bose formed a group of like minded individuals interested in following the path laid by Vivekananda and Ramakrishna. Together they practiced Yoga and did concentration exercises. This was the time of his inclination towards exercising Brahmacharya.

Subhash Bose with his friends

 Subhash Chandra Bose was a brilliant scholar and a noted philosopher

Netaji was sharp in studies since his childhood. His earlier education in an Anglo Indian missionary school gave him an edge over others in terms of command over English language. He was in awe of his headmaster “Beni Madhav” who inspired him to love nature and be ethical. Subash came 2nd in his matriculation exams and did his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Despite his halfhearted efforts, he secured 2nd position at University level.

Securing top position

First confrontation to British atrocities and expulsion from college

Netaji joined Presidency College after matriculation, as it was one of the most reputed colleges of India. But, its students had bad reputation due to involvement in freedom struggle activities. Its hostel was looked upon as hot bed for sedition and frequented by Kolkata police for the search of premises.

Presidency College Kolkata

 In what became Netaji’s first heated encounter with a British, he stood against the manhandling of Indian students by a British professor. He called a student strike and led it from front, which angered the college management and formed the pretext for his expulsion.

Student protest at presidency college

 Cleared ICS exam that was considered to be the father of all exams

Just as every father wants his child to be an Engineer or an MBA, Netaji’s father had a dream for him. He wanted his son to appear for the ICS exams through which he could a Grade “A” officer, which was a prestigious position.

Father expectation meme

 On the directions of his father, Bose moved to England and studied at Cambridge. He cleared the Indian Civil services (ICS) exam in first attempt with nine subjects and secured fourth position in the merit list.

The life changing impact of Jaliawala Bagh massacre on Subhash Chandra Bose

The Jaliawala Bagh massacre was too gruesome for Indians to handle. The mass genocide under the direction of General Dyer stunned the entire nation. Netaji was deeply disturbed and wanted to be a part of the Non-Cooperation movement. In addition, the supportive attitude of the British public towards General Reginald Dyer fuelled his desire to quit his job and work for his country.

The Jaliawala bagh Massacre

 Surge in popularity and transformation as a leader of masses

Subhash Chandra Bose’s selfless image and patriotism made him a leader of masses. His popularity surged and he was elected the mayor of Calcutta in 1930. He was a top leader of Indian National Congress but a difference in ideology led him to leave Congress and form Forward Bloc. Senior leader in Congress saw him as a potential threat to their ideology, which they had been preaching all along.

Netaji as mayor of Kolkata

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose settled for Axis countries as allies instead of Soviet Union for instituting Indian National Army (INA)

Netaji was always in favor of an armed rebellion against the British. He had faith in the ideology that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Approaching Soviet Union for help first was part of that belief. He met Soviet Union leaders for help. However, their inappropriate response left him no option but to look for other avenues.

Netaji with Hitler

 Going for help from Axis powers to tame British forces was never the first choice for Netaji but achieving the larger goal of freedom for India was of utmost importance to him.

Mysteries surrounding Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose death

Certain aspects of his life like his marriage to Emilie Schenkl and their having a child are still disputed. It is said that Schenkl was a stenographer who was helping Bose on a book when they started dating. They had a daughter who currently resides in Germany.

Netaji's wife and daughter Emilie Schenkl and Anita

His death remains a mystery. A common consensus of scholars is that he died due to third degree burns sustained during a plane crash near Taiwan. Government of India, over the years formed several panels to probe the reason and circumstances of his death but none of the reports have been made public. Recently, Bose’s family has pleaded the government to make all those confidential documents public.

Recent protest against congress government which withheld information about Netaji's death

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose – an unfinished autobiography

Bose penned his autobiography by the title “The Indian Pilgrim” which he started writing in 1937 remains unfinished. This autobiography, which has description of his life until 1921, can be downloaded from http://www.subhaschandrabose.org/download/type/1/name/an_indian_pilgrim.pdf

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