Subhas Chandra Bose birth anniversary : When Netaji gave Gandhi the title of ‘Father of the Nation’

Subhas Chandra Bose birth anniversary : When Netaji gave Gandhi the title of ‘Father of the Nation’

Context- January 23 is the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, observed as Parakram Diwas. On Monday, President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying tributes to the freedom fighter and revolutionary leader.

Netaji’s slogans of ‘Jai Hind’, ‘Give me blood and I will give you freedom’, ‘Chalo Dilli’, ‘Itmad (Faith), Ittefaq (Unity) and Kurbani (Sacrifice)’ are well-known.

(Credits- Jagran English)

Bose and Gandhi

Much has been said about the relationship between Gandhi and Bose, and their often public differences of opinion. A major flashpoint between the two leaders was when Bose had to step down as Congress president in 1939 in face of Gandhi’s strong opposition to him occupying the post. Yet, that Bose continued to carry the strongest respect for Gandhi is evident in the condolence message he sent after the death of Kasturba Gandhi, over the Azad Hind Radio on June 4, 1944.

When Bose took over the Indian National Army (INA), he constituted four regiments, three of which were named after Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru and Maulana Azad.

What happened in 1939?

  • While Gandhi was willing to wait a long time for Independence, Bose wanted immediate action, if not immediate results.
  • Gandhi was anti-materialistic and hostile to modern technology, Bose saw technology and mass production as essential to survival and dignity.
  • Gandhi wanted a decentralized society and disliked the modern state; Bose wanted a strong central government and saw the modern state as the only solution to India’s problems. And finally, Bose did not share Gandhi’s dedication to non-violence.”

In 1938, Bose was elected the president of the Congress. In 1939, he wanted to contest again, despite the opposition of Gandhi, Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. An election ensued, and Bose defeated Pattabhi Sitaramayya, the Gandhi-backed candidate, by around 200 votes. Gandhi saw this as a personal defeat.

Bose was unhappy that Gandhi had chosen to see his election as a personal setback. Eventually, with the Gandhi-Patel-Nehru faction unwilling to compromise, Bose stepped down as president.

What Indira Gandhi said about Bose?

  • When the relics of Netaji arrived in Delhi on December 17, 1967, Indira Gandhi, speaking on the occasion, talked about the differences Bose had with Congress, but asserted that “Netaji was truly a symbol of India’s bravery”.
  • In the same speech, she added, “His restless and dynamic spirit led him to a path that was somewhat different from our own. Gandhiji used to say that the only wrong path is the path of cowardice. The path of courage can never be wrong. Netaji’s was a path of courage, and it did bring the goal of independence nearer.

Important Facts

  • Subhas Chandra Bose was born on 23rd January 1897, in Cuttack, Orissa Division, Bengal Province, to Prabhavati Dutt Bose and Janakinath Bose.
  • In 1919, he had cleared the Indian Civil Services (ICS) examination. Bose, however, resigned later.
  • He was highly influenced by Vivekananda’s teachings and considered him as his spiritual Guru.
  • Bose won the congress presidential elections at Haripura in 1938.
  • Again in 1939 at Tripuri, he won the presidential elections against Gandhi’s candidate Pattabhi Sitarammayya. Due to ideological differences with Gandhi, Bose resigned and left congress. Rajendra Prasad was appointed in his place.
  • He founded a new party, ‘the Forward Bloc’. The purpose was to consolidate the political left and major support base in his home state Bengal.
  • He reached Japanese-controlled Singapore from Germany in July 1943, issued from there his famous call, ‘Delhi Chalo’, and announced the formation of the Azad Hind Government and the Indian National Army on 21st October 1943.
  • The INA was first formed under Mohan Singh and Japanese Major Iwaichi Fujiwara and comprised Indian prisoners of war of the British-Indian Army captured by Japan in the Malayan (present-day Malaysia) campaign and at Singapore.

Conclusion- SC Bose contributed immensely to our freedom struggle. His legacy will continue to inspire Indians for all the generations to come.

Source- Indian Express

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Syllabus- GS-1; Historical Personalities