Subhash Chandra Bose
Subhash Chandra Bose, (January 23, 1897 – August 18, 1945?note), also known as
Netaji, was one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian Independence
Movement against the British Raj. He is immortalised in Indian History for
having formed the Azad Hind Government in exile, and regrouping and leading
the Indian National Army to battle against the allies in Imphal and Burma
during the World War II. It is widely regarded that the actions of his nationalist
army, and the revolts that it inspired in the British Indian Armed Forces
after the war were one of the main driving forces behind the British decision
to relinquish the Raj.
Bose was elected president of the Indian National Congress for two consecutive terms. However, he had to resign from the post in the face of a motion of no-confidence, stemming from ideological conflicts with Mahatma Gandhi. Bose felt that Mahatma Gandhi's tactics of non-violence would never be sufficient to secure India's independence, and advocated violent resistance. He established a separate political party, the All India Forward Bloc and continued to call for the full and immediate independence of India from British rule. His stance did not change with the outbreak of War, which he saw as an opportunity to take advantage of British weakness.
He was imprisoned by the British authorities 11 times. At the outset of
World War II, in a daring act of escape from the eyes of the British, he
fled from India, and reached Germany by a lengthy and dangerous route. He
sought an alliance with the Axis powers with the aim of attacking the British
in India from the Northwest. When this plan was foiled by the Nazi invasion
of the USSR, he headed for Japan and helped to organise and later lead the
Indian National Army, put together from Indian prisoners-of-war and plantation
workers from Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia, against British
forces during the Second World War. His political views and the alliances
he made with Nazi and other militarist regimes opposed to the British Empire
have been the cause of arguments among historians and politicians, with
some accusing him of Fascism. He is believed to have died on 18 August 1945
in a plane crash over Taiwan, however, contradicting evidence exists regarding
his death in the accident.
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