Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Subhas Chandra Bose a leader in the Indian independence movement.

Subhas Chandra Bose born January 23, 1897; presumed to have died August 18, 1945 although this is disputed), popularly known as Netaji (literally "Respected Leader"), was a leader in the Indian independence movement.
Bose attempted to maintain unity, but Gandhi advised Bose to form his own cabinet. The rift also divided Bose and Nehru. Bose appeared at the 1939 Congress meeting on a stretcher. Though he was elected president again, over Gandhi's preferred candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya, this time differences with Gandhi led to Bose's resignation. "I am an extremist, " Bose once said
When war erupted in Europe, Bose was again imprisoned for civil disobedience and put under house arrest to await trial. He escaped and made his way to Berlin by way of Peshawar and Afghanistan. In Europe, Bose sought help from Germany for the liberation of India. He got Nazi permission to organize the Indian Legion of prisoners of war from Africa, but the legion remained basically German in training. Bose felt the need for stronger steps, and he turned to the Japanese embassy in Berlin, which finally made arrangements for Bose to go to Asia. Bose's impressive appearance and charisma attracted women admirers, including his Austrian secretary, whom he secretly married and by whom he had a daughter. It was also in Germany that Bose acquired his popular name, "Netaji.

Arriving in Tokyo in May 1943, Bose attracted the attention of the Japanese high command, including Hideki Tojo, Japan's premier. The Japanese agreed to cooperate in founding an Axis-supported Indian National Army (INA) in Southeast Asia. Bose was flown to Singapore and became commander of the INA and head of the Free India provisional government (Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind).

The INA included both Indian prisoners of war from Singapore and Indian civilians in Southeast Asia. The strength of INA grew to 43,000 and fought Allied forces in 1944 inside the borders of India at Imphal and in Burma. For Bose any means and any ally were acceptable in the struggle to liberate India. By the end of World War II none of Bose's Axis allies had helped, and Bose then turned to the Soviet Union. [1] Three officers of the INA were tried after the war in Delhi; the trial attracted so much popular sympathy (including statements by Nehru and Gandhi that the men were great patriots) that the British decision to withdraw from India followed. Bose indirectly and posthumously achieved his goal of Indian independence.

Officially, Bose died in a plane crash over Taiwan, while flying to Tokyo on 18 August 1945. It is believed that he was on route to the Soviet Union in a Japanese plane when it crashed in Taiwan, burning him fatally. However, his body was never recovered, a

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