Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was a freedom fighter of India. With his undaunted efforts he molded himself as one of the most promising leaders during the Indian freedom struggle. He was one of the most prominent Indian nationalist leaders who attempted to gain India's independence from British rule by force during the waning years of World War II with the help of the Axis powers. Though Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru have garnered much of the credit for successful culmination of Indian freedom struggle, the contribution of Subhash Chandra Bose is no less. He has been denied his rightful place in the annals of Indian history. He founded Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) to overthrow British Empire from India and came to acquire legendary status among Indian masses.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was born on 23 January, 1897 in Cuttack (Orissa) to Janakinath Bose and Prabhavati Devi. Subhash was the ninth child among eight brothers and six sisters. His father, Janakinath Bose, was an affluent and successful lawyer in Cuttack and received the title of "Rai Bahadur". He later became a member of the Bengal Legislative Council. Subhash Chandra Bose was a very intelligent and sincere student but never had much interest in sports. He passed his B.A. in Philosophy from the Presidency College in Calcutta. He was strongly influenced by Swami Vivekananda's teachings and was known for his patriotic zeal as a student.
In his childhood, the influence of his mother Probhavati Devi and that of the Headmaster named Beni Madhav Das taught him to learn about the ancient heritage of his motherland and to love India more than anything else in his life.
His father wanted Netaji to become a civil servant and therefore, sent him to England to appear for the Indian Civil Service Examination in 1919. Bose was placed fourth with highest marks in English, but he did not want to serve the British Government. So he resigned to the lucrative post offered to him. He returned to India and joined the Indian National Congress to fight for the independence of India 1921.
After returning to India Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose came under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi and joined the Indian National Congress. On Gandhiji's instructions, he started working under Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, whom he later acknowledged his political guru. Soon he showed his leadership mettle and gained his way up in the Congress' hierarchy. In 1928 the Motilal Nehru Committee appointed by the Congress declared in favor of Domination Status, but Subhash Chandra Bose along with Jawaharlal Nehru opposed it, and both asserted that they would be satisfied with nothing short of complete independence for India. Subhash also announced the formation of the Independence League. Subhash Chandra Bose was jailed during Civil Disobedience movement in 1930. He was released in 1931 after Gandhi-Irwin pact was signed. He protested against the Gandhi-Irwin pact and opposed the suspension of Civil Disobedience movement especially when Bhagat Singh and his associates were hanged.
Subhash Chandra Bose was soon arrested again under the infamous Bengal Regulation. After a year he was released on medical grounds and was banished from India to Europe. He took advantage of this opportunity and tried to establish political and cultural ties between India and Europe by forming centers in the various capital cities of Europe. He was jailed for a year for not obeying the ban on his entry to India. Congress was elected in seven states during the general elections of 1937 and he was released. Defying the ban on his entry to India, Subhash Chandra Bose returned to India and was again arrested and sent to jail for a year. After the General Elections of 1937, Congress came to power in seven states and he was released. Next year he was elected as the President of the Haripura Congress Session. He took a very stern decision and brought a resolution and asked Britishers to hand India over to the Indians within six months.
Following opposition to his rigid stand, he resigned from the post of president and formed the Forward Block. Subhash Chandra Bose now started a mass movement against utilizing Indian resources and men for the great war. There was a tremendous response to his call and he was put under house arrest in Calcutta. In January 1941, Subhash Chandra Bose disappeared from his home in Calcutta and reached Germany via Afghanistan. In July 1943, he arrived in Singapore from Germany. In Singapore he took over the reins of the Indian Independence Movement in East Asia from Rash Behari Bose and organized the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) comprising mainly of Indian prisoners of war. He was hailed as Netaji by the Army as well as by the Indian civilian population in East Asia. Azad Hind Fauj proceeded towards India to liberate it from British rule. The I.N.A. Headquarters was shifted to Rangoon in January 1944. Azad Hind Fauj crossed the Burma Border, and stood on Indian soil on March 18, 1944.
However, defeat of Japan and Germany in the Second World War forced INA to retreat and it could not achieve its objective. On August 18, 1945, Subhash Chandra Bose was declared killed in an air crash over Taipei, Taiwan (Formosa). But there are people who believe that he is still alive and many Commissions were set up to find the truth but nothing could be found about his whereabouts.