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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Remembering the great patriot - Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose : 2021


One man who has left the most indelible impression on India – as fighter par excellence, a great martyr, a man who could have shaped the destiny of India - certainly ‘Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose’ and the Nation remembers him today ..

Train 12311/ 12312 runs 1743 kms for 32 hr 10 mins from Howrah – Kalka and has now been named as ‘Netaji Express’ after the great Subhash Chandra Bose.   The train first operated in the year 1866 and it has been in service of the nation for more than 150 years.   The train currently operates as 02311 and 02312 special train due to covid and it will run with its once Indian Railways normalises the operations. It is said that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose took this train from Gomoh under Dhanbad district to escape from the British administration 80 years ago.

A Nation must remember its martyrs who gave its freedom.  We became independent in 1947 and 73  years have rolled since.   There have been many unsung heroes – slowly we are losing generation which fought or witnessed the Freedom struggle ~ sometimes the news that we read in media about them are heart-rending.  After their first defeat at the hands of British in 1757, there arose many instances  when Indian patriots formed groups and fought hard and bitter battles exhibiting selfless sacrifice.  Alongside hundreds of Velu Thampi, Peshwa Baji Rao, Sardar Shyam Sing, Rani Laximibhai, Tantia Tope, Maharaj of Dumraon, Nana Sahib, there are many hundreds hidden whose exploits, history did not record or were neglected by the British historians and later partisan historians. .. towering among them all would be ‘Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose’.  Ever since India attained freedom and PM addressed the Nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in August 1947 – there have been Congress politicians and most of the heroes never received the attention and mention they deserved.

Movie is only a form of entertainment, yet there are some films / some scenes that move us. Shankar directed ‘Indian’ [Bharatheeyudu] was a good film.  To many the hero was not the young Kamal but the older Indian Senapathy. The flashback in black & white was really moving taking us to older days, especially the footage of the great Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose.  The story shows Senapathi as a young valiant fighter joining  Bose’s army with the full support of his wife Amirthavalli. The handful of Nation’s soil to be smeared on forehead daily is poetic.  Senapathi gets captured,  survives the brutalities and comes to back in free India riddled with corruption, and he fights that !!

                      On Sept 16th, 1985, in a dilapidated house in Faizabad, formerly the capital of Oudh province in India, a reclusive holy man known as Bhagwanji or Gumnami Baba (‘the saint with no name’) breathed his last. Locals had long suspected that he was none other than Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945),  the greatest revolutionary  who raised an independent army against the British Empire seeking  total independence for India. The Second World War had enabled him to practise what he preached and his Indian National Army  fought with the Japanese in Burma attempting to drive the British out of the subcontinent.  Sadly, his death has remained mysterious.  Nethaji was reported killed in an air crash  in August 1945, while trying to escape to the Soviet Union, many believed then and continue to believe now that, helped by his Japanese allies, he faked his death, reached Russia and returned to India many years later to lead the secret life of a hermit.

Thus the Great Man’s memory is still to be property documented ! ~ and what we did we do on our part to remember him ?  The history of freedom movement in India, often is  summarized in one pithy sentence: "Mahatma Gandhi gave us freedom through non-violence." For sure freedom was not that easy and there were so many sacrifices of persons with varied thought processes. The best and the bravest men and women of an enslaved nation hastened the demise of the mighty British empire by resisting them tooth and nail in the trenches of every part of the Nation.  They were brutally crushed by the Imperialist regime and have been relegated, not getting their due share in history. 


Give Me Blood! I Promise You 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 utilise this opportunity for liberating our motherland from the British yoke.  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. ~ excerpts of speech addressed at a rally of Indians in Burma, July 4, 1944 – the very famous words of one of the greatest sons of this soil - Subhas Chandra Bose,  very popularly known as Nethaji (lit. "Respected Leader").  From history books, we read that the great person Nethaji was born on 23rd Jan 1897 and lived till  18th Aug 1945 [this will remain disputed as the Nation yearns to know of the reality, the mystery shrouding his disappearance !] 

Shri Narendra  Modi government recently  decided to constitute a high-level committee headed by home minister Amit Shah to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The panel will work out activities for year-long commemoration starting on January 23. History records that Subash Bose, whose success in Indian National Congress was not accepted by Mahatma Gandhi had their last face-to-face meeting and ‘long conversation’ in June 1940 before Subhas’s imprisonment and daring escape. Subhas made ‘a passionate appeal to Mahatma to come forward and launch his campaign of passive resistance’. Gandhi was ‘ non-committal’ because he felt ‘the country was not prepared for a fight’.

Interestingly, do you know that he was conferred with Bharat Ratna but the award was subsequently withdrawn. The award was established by the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad, on Jan 2, 1954. The original statutes did not make allowance for posthumous awards but later added in 1955 statute. Subsequently, there have been  posthumous awards, including the award to Subhash Chandra Bose in 1992, which was later withdrawn due to a legal technicality, the only case of an award being withdrawn. It was withdrawn in response to a Supreme Court of India directive following a Public Interest Litigation filed in the Court against the “posthumous” nature of the award. The Award Committee could not give conclusive evidence of Bose’s death and thus it invalidated the “posthumous” award.

A few years Union Home Ministry declassified files of Nethaji kept with National Archives – the files did throw open some dirty secret. For two decades, between 1948 and 1968, the government placed the Bose family members under intensive surveillance. Sleuths intercepted, read and recorded letters of the family of a freedom fighter who was Nehru's political co-worker for 25 years. IB sleuths discreetly tailed family members as they travelled around India and abroad, recording in minute detail who they met and what they discussed. The surveillance was exactly as it would be today on a wanted terrorist's family-rigorous, methodical yet unobtrusive. The revelations have shocked the Bose family. "Surveillance is conducted on those who have committed a crime or have terrorist links. Netaji and his family fought for the freedom of the country, why should they be placed under surveillance?" asked his grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose. 

Hidden in government and police lockers for years, 64 classified files with over 12,000 pages are now  on display at the Kolkata police museum.  "We know the birth date of Netaji but not his death date. It's unfortunate and unbelievable. One such intelligence file revealed in 1997 reports that eight months after Netaji purportedly died in an air crash in at Taihoku in Taiwan on 18 August, 1945, Mahatma Gandhi had publicly said he believed Netaji was alive. Four months after he made the statement at a prayer meeting in Bengal, Gandhiji wrote an article: "No reliance can be placed on such unsupported feeling". The intelligence file - dated 8 April, 1946 - noted that Gandhiji ascribed the feeling to "an inner voice" but Congressmen believed it was based on secret information he got. The file adds: "There is a secret report which says Nehru received a letter from Bose, saying he was in Russia and that he wanted to escape to India... It is probable that the letter from Bose arrived about the time that Gandhi made his public statement."

Secret documents declassified by the West Bengal government revealed  that all letters addressed to and from Netaji's Elgin Road residence in Kolkata were intercepted, photographed and records of the same were maintained. A separate file on Mr Amiya Nath Bose, maintained by the Special Branch of the city police, contains copies of the intercepted letters and records of all the meetings he attended as well the speeches made in those meetings.  The files also reveal police keeping records of meetings attended by Mr Amiya Nath, the son of Netaji's older brother Sarat Chandra Bose. Also an eminent lawyer, he was India's ambassador to Burma in the 1970s.

Sad, Nethaji did not get the full honours that he deserved.  Remembering the great martyr, freedom fighter Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose today.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar



  1. நாங்கள் பள்ளியில் படித்த காலத்தில் சுதந்தர தினம், குடியரசு தினம், மாணவர் சங்கம் ஆகியவை நடக்கும்போது இது போன்ற தேசிய தலைவர்கள் குறித்து பேச சொல்வார்கள். எல்லா மாணவ மாணவிகள் கலந்து கொள்வோம். ஆனால் விஷயங்கள் சேகரித்து கொடுக்க வசதிகள் கிடையாது. நீ எழுதும் பாரதியார், வாஞ்சி நாதன் போன்ற தேசத் தியாகிகள் கட்டுரைகள் படிக்கும் போது எங்கள் காலத்தில் இது போல

  2. சொல்வார் இல்லை.. மாறாக இப்போது இவைகளை உபயோகிக்கும் குழந்தைகள் இல்லையே எனவருத்தமாக இருக்கிகறது. மிக மிக அருமையான கட்டுரை. எல்லா விவரங்களும் கூறப்பட்டு உள்ளது. மிக்க மகிழ்ச்சி.