January 23, 2021, marks the 125th birth anniversary of one of India’s most enigmatic freedom fighters, Subhas Chandra Bose, a revolutionary and a nationalist who continues to inspire millions of Indians.
The commander of Azad Hind Fauj had unflinching patriotism and his contribution to India’s independence movement is remembered even today. Every year the country celebrates Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti to honour his contribution.
In 1943, Netaji led the Indian National Army or the Azad Hind Fauj to free India from the British rule. The title ‘Netaji’ was given to Subhas Chandra Bose by German and Indian officials at the Special Bureau of India in Berlin.
Bose proclaimed the establishment of a provisional independent Indian government on October 21, 1943, and fought the British alongside Japanese troops. He believed military strength was required for India to win its independence. Despite being born into a well-to-do family, he also espoused strong socialist values. He was also a follower of Swami Vivekananda.
Let’s remember one of India’s bravest freedom fighter with some his memorable quotes:
1. “Give me blood and I will give you freedom!” One of his most quoted lines is from a speech that Bose delivered to the soldiers of Indian National Army that he commanded along with Mohan Singh.
2. “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.”
3. “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.”
4. “It is only on the basis of undiluted nationalism and of perfect justice and impartiality that the Indian Army of Liberation can be built up.”
5. “One individual may die for an idea, but that idea will, after his death, incarnate itself in a thousand lives.”
6. “Freedom is not given - it is taken”
7. “Soldiers who always remain faithful to their nation, who are always prepared to sacrifice their lives, are invincible.”
8. “India is calling. Blood is calling to blood. Get up, we have no time to lose. Take up your arms! 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 that will bring our Army to Delhi.
9. “No real change in history has ever been achieved by discussions.”
10. “The secret of political bargaining is to look more strong than what you really are.”