By Srikant Mohanty: A proud nation pays rich tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 116th birth anniversary today. The legend is the idol of millions of people, for his noble sacrifice and able leadership during freedom struggle of India. His unique vision for his country is still an inspiration for Indians from generation to generation. Although his life remains an open book, certain facts in his life show his brilliance and rare courage.
1. Netaji was born in the year 1897 as the 9th child of his parents at Cuttack in Odisha. He was exceptionally brilliant and secured top ranks throughout his study in the school and university. He was placed 4th in order of merit in the examination of Indian Civil service and qualified as an ICS Officer. He showed his depths in nine subjects, while appearing at the civil services, which proved his exceptional brilliance.
2. Netaji refused to obey the prohibition to carry his umbrella while meeting the Governor General at his office in Kolkata after being successful in Indian Civil Services (ICS) examination. It was then a traditional dignity to carry the umbrella for every Bengali gentleman. When the Governor General objected to this, asking him to explain his behavior, he dared to put the umbrella around the neck of British Governor General and warn him to mind his behavior.
3. Netaji resigned from the lucrative career of civil service to join the freedom struggle.
4. During the period of 1921-1941, he was imprisoned eleven times in various jails in India.
5. In the year 1941, with a daring escape from house arrest in India, Netaji Subhas Bose went from Kolkata to Gomo by a car and from there travelled to Peshawar by train. From Peshawar (now in Pakistan), he went to Kabul and from there he travelled to Germany to seek help from Adlof Hitler.
6. During his stay in Berlin in the year 1943, Netaji had established the Free India Center and Azad Hind Radio station. In January 1943, the Japanese invited Bose to lead the Indian nationalist movement in East Asia. He accepted and left Germany on 8 February and later led INA.
7. Netaji Subhas Bose travelled from Germany to Madagascar by a German Sub-marine named U-180 and from there a Japanese sub-marine called I-29 took him to Japan. The voyage in two sub-marines covering such a long distance was extremely hazardous and it does not find any parallel in any freedom struggle.
8. Netaji differed from Mahatma Gandhi’s view of gaining independence through a non-violent struggle. In a unique comment, he described the British dominion of India as a fortress and the non-violent struggle would be like just raising a commotion around it without any effect.
9. Netaji appeared at the 1939 Congress meeting on a stretcher. He was reelected as president over Gandhi’s preferred candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya.
10. Netaji’s death in a plane crash is still not proven by any evidence. There are many of evidences in favour of Netaji’s existence in Russia and India even after many years of India’s independence.