The unheeded and unsung jewel: Can you ask back Netaji?

Heralded as the Patriot of Patriots and the Prince among Patriots even by an Ahimsa vocalist Mohandas Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose remains the most prominent figure in Indian history being at the receiving end of contempt, scoff and disdain ever since India got its much awaited freedom. People fail to recognize the worth and value of such an inspirational leader who grabbed the distinction of ‘deal with Subhas on the spot’ by a highly flustered Britain as early as 1941! Subsequent rulers and their textbooks despised his efforts and Netaji was largely ignored. People started following Gandhi and a self-hyped and toady-hyped star on the horizon Jawaharlal Nehru with immense interest, and the memories of Netaji started to fade out with time. At a time, when patriots like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru are being stamped as terrorists by the ruling parties, the future may well write off Netaji’s efforts to liberate India as another terrorist move against the king and the kingdom. Nobody would care that the king was British and the kingdom was Britain. Young generations may be taught to excoriate him for his tie-ups with Adolf Hitler. Let me ponder a few opinions (in a random and assorted order) on Netaji Subhas Bose given by various people and organizations regarding his valour, illustriousness and bravery followed by some inspirational quotes from the man himself.

Mohandas Gandhi: “Netaji will remain immortal for all time to come for his service to India. The hypnotism of the Indian National Army has cast its spell upon us. Netaji’s name is one to conjure with. His patriotism is second to none. . . His bravery shines through all his actions. He aimed high and failed. But who has not failed?”

Michael Edwardes (in his book ‘The last years of British India’) : “Only one outstanding personality (Netaji) of India took a different and violent path and in a sense India owes more to him than to any other man.”

Pradip Bose (in his book ‘Subhas Bose and India today’) : “Thus, unlike Nehru, Bose was not enamoured by the ideological slogans and stances either of communism or fascism, and was not prepared to put the cause of India’s freedom on a back-burner during the second world war, as Nehru did.”

Wikipedia: “The decision was extraordinary, unusual and rare, and it seemed that the British took Bose much more seriously than many had thought. In fact, the plan to liquidate Bose has few parallels, and appears to be a last desperate measure against a man whose uncompromising radicalism had seriously worried the leadership of the British Empire.”

Wikipedia: “At a time, when no one in Germany dared criticise Hitler, Bose was openly critical of Hitler’s treatment of Jews, the destruction of democratic institutions in Germany and the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.”



Quotes by a great visionary: –
  • Give me blood and I shall give you freedom
  • Freedom is not given, it is taken
  • No real change in history has ever been achieved by discussions
  • Jai Hind
  • As soldiers, you will always have to cherish and live up to the three-ideals of faithfulness, duty and sacrifice. Soldiers who always remain faithful to their nation, who are always prepared to sacrifice their lives, are invincible. If you, too, want to be invincible, engrave these three ideals in the innermost core of your hearts.
  • One individual may die for an idea; but that idea will, after his death, incarnate itself in a thousand lives. That is how the wheel of evolution moves on and the ideas and dreams of one nation are bequeathed to the next.
  • Blood is calling to blood. Arise! We have no time to loose. Take up your arms. There in front of you is the road our pioneers have built. We shall march along that road. We shall carve our way through the enemy’s ranks, or, if God wills, we shall die a martyr’s death. And in our last sleep we shall kiss the road, which will bring our army to Delhi. The road to Delhi is the road to freedom. Chalo Delhi!
  • For the present, I can offer you nothing except hunger, thirst, privation, forced marches and death. But if you follow me in life and in death….. I shall lead you to victory and freedom
  • This is not only the Army that will emancipate India from the British yoke; it is also the Army that will hereafter create the future national army of Free India. Every Indian must feel proud that this Army, his own Army, has been organized entirely under Indian leadership and that when the historic moment arrives, under Indian leadership it will go to battle.
  • With the force of arms and at the cost of your blood you will have to win liberty.
  • We must build up our national defence on such an unshakable foundation that never again in our history shall we lose our freedom.
  • We have to unlearn some of the things that the British taught us and we have to learn much that they did not teach.
  • I assure you that I shall be with you in darkness and in sunshine, in sorrow and in joy, in suffering and in victory.
  • It does not matter who among us will live to see India free. It is enough that India shall be free and that we shall give our all to make her free.
  • I regard myself as the servant of the 38 crores of my countrymen, who profess different religious faiths. I am determined to discharge my duties in such a manner that the interests of these 38 crores may be safe in my hands and every single Indian will have reason to put complete faith in me.
  • When we stand, the Azad Hind Fauj has to be like a wall of granite; when we march, the Azad Hind Fauj has to be like a steamroller.
  • Thirty-eight crores of human beings, who form about one-fifth of the human race, have a right to be free and they are now ready to pay the price of freedom
  • There is consequently no power on earth that can deprive us of our birthright of liberty any longer.
  • Ultimately victory will certainly be ours, I assure you.
  • With the slogan ‘Chalo Delhi’ on our lips, let us continue to fight till our National Flag flies over the Viceroy’s House in New Delhi, and the Azad Hind Fauj holds its victory parade inside the ancient Red Fortress of the Indian metropolis.
  • It will be a fatal mistake for you to wish to live and see India free simply because victory is now within reach. No one here should have the desire to live to enjoy freedom. A long fight is still in front of us.
  • We should have but one desire today- the desire to die so that India may live- the desire to face a martyr’s death, so that the path to freedom may be paved with the martyr’s blood.
  • The future will bless you and will speak with pride of your sacrifices at the altar of Indian independence and of your solid achievements.
  • There is no power on earth, which can keep India in bondage. India will be free and, that too, soon.
  • Comrades! You have voluntarily accepted a mission that is the noblest that the human mind can conceive of. For the fulfillment of such a mission, no sacrifice is too great, not even the sacrifice of one’s life…
  • For an enslaved people, there can be no greater pride, no higher honor, than to be the first soldier in the army of liberation. But this honor carries with it a corresponding responsibility, and I am deeply conscious of it.
  • I ask those who have any doubts or suspicions in their minds to rely on me.
  • May God now bless our Army and grant us victory in the coming fight!
  • I shall always be loyal to India alone. I will never deceive my motherland. I will live and die for India… The British could not bring me to submission by inflicting hardships on me. British statesmen could neither induce me nor deceive me. There is no one who can divert me from the right path.
  • Friends! You will now realize that the time has come for the three million Indians living in East Asia to mobilize all their available resources, including money and man-power. Half-hearted measures will not do. I want Total Mobilization and nothing less, for we have been told repeatedly, even by our enemies, that this is a total war… Out of this total mobilization I expect at least three hundred thousand soldiers and three crores of dollars [$30,000,000]. I want also a unit of brave women to form a death-defying regiment who will wield the sword which the brave Rani of Jhansi wielded.
  • I do not mean only to cajole you with empty words. I know the capabilities of our womanhood well. I can, therefore, say with certainty that there is no task which our women cannot undertake and no sacrifice and suffering which our women cannot undergo… To those who say that it will not be proper for our women to carry guns, my only request is that they look into the pages of our history. What brave deeds the Rani of Jhansi performed during the First War of Independence in 1857… Indians — both common people and members of the British Indian army — who are on the border areas of India, will, on seeing you march with guns on your shoulders, voluntarily come forward to receive the guns from you and carry on the struggle started by you.
  • Friends! I would implore you to assist in the awakening of youth and in the organization of the youth movement. Self-conscious youth will not only act, but will also dream; will not only destroy, but will also build. It will succeed where even you may fail; it will create for you a new India — and a free India — out of the failures, trials and experiences of the past.
  • Indian nationalism is inspired by the highest ideals of the human race, satyam (the true), shivam (the god), sundaram (the beautiful). Nationalism in India has… roused the creative faculties which for centuries had been lying dormant in our people.
  • I have no doubt in my mind that our chief national problems relating to the eradication of poverty, illiteracy and disease and the scientific production and distribution can be tackled only along socialistic lines.
  • Gird up your loins for the task that now lies ahead. I had asked you for men, money and materials. I have got them in generous measure. Now I demand more of you. Men, money and materials cannot by themselves bring victory or freedom. We must have the motive- power that will inspire us to brave deeds and heroic exploits.
  • It is our duty to pay for our liberty with our own blood. The freedom that we shall win through our sacrifice and exertions, we shall be able to preserve with our own strength.
  • In the name of God, I take this sacred oath that to liberate India and the three hundred eighty million of my countrymen. I, Subhas Chandra Bose, will continue the sacred war of freedom till the last breath of my life. I shall remain always a servant of India, and to look after the welfare of three hundred eighty million of Indian brothers and sisters shall be for me my highest duty. Even after winning freedom, I will always be prepared to shed even the last drop of my blood for the preservation of India’s freedom.

If you are interested, please copy the image in this post and send it across to your friends and contacts. You can also join Mission Netaji to explore more on this issue.
This post is my tribute to Netaji, who expired (most probably) on September 16, 1985. Information for this post have been taken from books and the Internet, and I am grateful to all the books and websites that provided the info.

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29 responses to The unheeded and unsung jewel: Can you ask back Netaji?

  1. Who else, but you..?
    Yes a glorious tribute to a great visionary and legend. Who can do it better than you..? I was wondering while reading this post.

    A nice post, a sticky one this should be..Nice Extraction too..

    With Best Regards,
    Srijith Unni.

    Like

  2. Re: Srijith Unni

    I feel honoured. Thanks a lot for the kind words Srijith.

    There are many of my friends at Mission Netaji who are passionate and who write really really well!

    Like

  3. thanks srijith for this detailed post on Netaji. I also pay tribute to him, and I have started to acknowledge his contribution to Indian Independence more than ever before!

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  4. Re: Gaurav Jain

    It is great to know that you have started recognizing his efforts to free India. You must feel honoured to have studied at an institution named after Netaji (NSIT)

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  5. — A continuation from my comment on your previous post on Netaji—

    If indeed Stalin freed him from captivity and allowed to return to India, why did he take up the mask of one Gumnami Baba ?? Don’t you think that he would have lived in full public visibility? What could be the reason for that disguise ? I can’t really think of any possibility..Eventhough he maynot have been killed in the aircrash, i think he would have probably died in captivity either in Russian/American/British hands.

    Bose was very well aware that Germany and Japan were going to lose the war..By the time INA had reached Imphal, the tide of war was turning against the axis powers with reversals in pacific and europe.. Maybe, if he had captured a significant part of Bengal/ Bangladesh the story would have been different..

    Btw, a wonderful post..Hope some truth comes out finally πŸ™‚

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  6. Re: Ajith

    Yah, your views are sound and are practical.

    But we need to do a circumstantial analysis of the situations also. The Japanese officers have divulged that Bose had plans to escape to Russia, and it is undoubted that he eventually made it there. There are various letters and documents in support of this.

    Consider Netaji was dead in Russia. Why do you think the government is not willing to disclose its conversation with them over this issue? If he is dead in Russia, it is fine; and nobody would question the Indian govt for that. Since they are not willing to disclose the truth, it is absolutely clear that there is another twist in this story. In that case, the govt will need to answer why didn’t he come out. Believe my friend, truth is 100% stranger than fiction, and in this case it is 1000. Otherwise, why would all these govts fear the truth coming out? Not only India, but Russia, US and UK?

    Nobody would need to create a long and persistent presence in the form of a monk to deceive and mislead people. It was just after the death of Stalin in 1953 that Bhagwanji entered India. How long can a person in disguise fool the general public and the govt by changing residences and names? How will take the pain to perform this for a long 32 years? According to Bhagwanji, for a saint, he is dead to his past life and a sanyasi would only prefer to die a civilian death. This indicates that Bose was one of the War Criminals the Allies wanted, though not on records. But was he afraid of a war criminal trial or death? NEVER! There were some other reasons for his not coming out. What is that? The Indian govt knows the answer best.

    But the INA was able to make their presence felt in Kohima and Imphal, it was only fate that they needed to withdraw. Natural calamities and spread of diseases caused that painful decision.

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  7. Well, the version that I consider likely is, suppose Subhash was in prison under Stalin’s regime. There is a high probability that because of the fear of his influence in Indian political landscape and the problems that his return can create to the congress, Nehru / somebody else would have probably used their influence in Soviet system to keep himself there itself..And in due course, he would have died. Either after Stalin’s death or before.. If he was freed by Krushchev after Stalin’s death, he would have very well came to India and entered the political landscape..Maybe, the only reason why I see he didn’t come into public life was because, there is a chance that Krushchev would have freed him with a rider that he’d remain anonymous ( Though I think the possiblity of soviets releasing him with such a rider seems to be very very less as they are known for the purges that they did even among their men.)

    Thinking from the soviet’s perspective, I dont think they would have freed him as he’s known to have allied with Germans. ..If, he ever managed to escape their captivity and return to India, he had every reason to enter into the political picture here.

    So, if Netaji died in Russia in their captivity , Indian Government (read Congress) has every reason to suppress that fact as the revelation of that would probably mean the end of congress-rule in India just because of the reason that they didnt do enough to secure his release from Allied captivity.

    From another perspective, can you think of some reason why ,if Subhash was indeed Gumnami Baba, did he lead a life in disguise ?

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  8. WOW!!
    that is quite a research you have done! I yet to have to read the whole post, but I am very imprtessed at your compilation.

    May be one day the mystery of Netaji will no more a mystery..

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  9. Re: Ajith

    I like the points you have inserted into this thread. But there is a story behind all these….. since Gumnami Baba was in fact Netaji, for a 100%. πŸ™‚

    Let’s wait and see as it unfolds….

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  10. I am just too amazed at the sheer passion and verve with which you write about Netaji.

    Or anything else for that matter.

    πŸ™‚

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  11. A determined Leader gets a deserving tribute and words from an equally determined writer.

    I trust we failed to give due credit and respect to many heroes. Without their efforts the independence movemnet would have not been fuelled. It was on their dead bodies this struggle gained momentum.

    who can explain this, our national game is hockey but yet we do patronise cricket…?

    SOme heroes who went unsung here i believe got their respect in the hearts of people, who are honest, who know what is to demand with command.

    well written post SReejith…… its your passion for him that speaks volumes here.

    Like

  12. Re: Passerby55

    Thanks a million for the encouragement. It is true that on most occasions we fail to recognize the true side and value of people and things. Your example of cricket vs hockey was a brilliant one!

    Yah… it is sheer passion that drives me to write more and more about him. The more you write, the more scope you find for writing in this case! πŸ™‚

    πŸ™‚ There is no problem in flooding my inbox! πŸ˜‰ In fact, I have enabled comment moderation so that I will need to approve the comments before they appear on the blog; just to prevent spam entries. But in this case, you posted your comment on this in another post on my blog. Please see the post “Rush to Kottayam” just below this one.

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  13. Re: Strictly for my friends

    Thanks a lot for the comment Strictly!

    With pleasure, I accept the tag!

    I had tried to post comments on your blog, but since you are still using the non-beta blogger and allow only Bloggers to comment, it is not allowing my comments. (I am using Blogger Beta) Belated greetings on getting a new job!

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  14. Re: Strictly for my friends

    It would be nice if you allow commenting by ‘Others’ also in your blog. Most of the bloggers use Beta blogger these days, and they cannot comment on your blog if you do not allow ‘Others’ to comment….

    Like

  15. Sreejith, great work!

    I have not gone thru all details… but people like Netaji can not hide from public. India needed him equaly badly after 1947 also… and people like Subhash can not just keep quite! It ill go against his hole attitude/personality! Gumnami baba theory…does not apeal to me.

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  16. Re: Ravindra

    Thanks a lot Ravindra for the comment.

    Yes, people like Subhas cannot be suppressed in anyway. But the more we probe into this issue, the more clear becomes the Baba angle. Why couldn’t Subhas come out? It must be some story that can capture the whole world. Wait for the full myth to unravel!

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  17. Hi
    was going thru your articles!good to know young India still feels so passionately about Netaji.
    I was going thru your articles where I was very surprised to find my uncle Prof.Samar Guha’s name being mentioned.I thought all these days he is all forgotten.Anyways would feel honored if I can be of any help.
    regards
    ananda

    Like

  18. Re: Ananda

    Oh! You are the nephew of Prof. Samar Guha? Great to meet you and honoured to find your comments here!

    Yes, you can be of great help! If possible please send me an email. My email address can be seen on the homepage of this site just under my picture. (View my complete profile)

    I am not posting it here, fearing spam! πŸ™‚

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  19. Hi,

    Sreejith,like you I too am a pursuer of truth, specially when the most worthy son of India Mr Subhas Chandra Bose is concerned. I have been closely watching Mission Netaji & other such sites on the net & I feel the passion this topic evokes.
    However, I feel just writing wont help. Let us make a plan of action. Let us meet,sit & think what we can do. Let us not let the status-co be, till we die. Let our next generation know who the real heros are. Let us now say, ACTION.

    Like

  20. Re: Debojit

    Hi! As you have said, we know that there is no point in mere verbal exercise and we are into the real action field now. Please check the RTI crusade updates on the Mission Netaji website homepage….

    Like

  21. Hello, sreejith kumar

    I wish to thank you for your brief
    comment on our Weblog.

    Is there a comment that you can
    post about the recent RR bombing in your Capital City of Mumbai
    (Bombay)?

    When children are taught to hate,
    With Cartoons, before they can read
    it appears this sad planet is now
    facing decades more of War! reb

    http://www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

    Like

  22. Re: Snake Hunters

    It is sad that children are taught to hate others, their religions and places. We are moving into a world deprived of any peace whatsoever. Mumbai blasts were another example for the same. It is time people and govts stood firm against these perpetrators and their deeds.

    Like

  23. wow!that’s quite an exotic collection of netaji’s inspiring speeches.india has produced gems in ‘netaji and swami vivekananda’and rank scoundrals in ‘nehru,gandhi,khosla,lallu prasad….’.

    Like

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