As we pay tribute to monumental patriot Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary, let’s take a moment to ponder what a man of unfathomable depth, profound knowledge, incredible intelligence and riveting persona he was.
Given the immensity of Netaji’s contribution to India’s freedom, we time and again find ourselves in awe, and wonder what one can possibly say or do to capture the gigantic stature and unparalleled charisma that he embodied.
As we fondly remember him, here are some intriguing facts from the chapters of the exemplary figure’s lifetime; that are inspiring and moving:
1. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The ‘prince among patriot’. Yes, that is what this radical, legendary freedom fighter was called by our Father of the Nation.
2. Subhas Chandra Bose termed Mahatma Gandhi ‘Patriot of Patriots’, even though both shared two different political ideologies. This is an intriguing fact that once again goes on to reveal Netaji’s large-heartedness.
3. Speaking of patriots, Bose was a spiritual patriot himself. Netaji’s psyche was heavily influenced by Swami Vivekananda and Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. He was 15 when he first came across works of Swami Vivekananda, following which his eternal inclination towards spirituality manifested; and a revolution within him grew manifold. He believed both the spiritual gurus were two aspects of one invisible personality.
4. This legendary freedom fighter was imprisoned 11 times during the period from 1921 to 1941. He had assumed the post of mayor of Calcutta in 1930, while he was in prison.
5. Azad Hind Radio station in Germany was established by Netaji. Phrases such as ‘Jai Hind’, ‘Dilli chalo’, ‘Give me blood and I shall give you freedom’ were coined by Netaji.
6. It is said that while Netaji spent his time in Germany gathering support for India’s freedom, he had married Emilie Schenki who was an Austrian woman. And Anita Bose, the well-known German economist was their daughter.
7. He had planned his disguised escape in 1941 when he was under house arrest; with Sisir Bose as his companion. While being monitored by police day and night, it was Netaji’s brainchild to let the escape be in the guise of something that does not look unusual; something that happens every day. Thus, by citing the reason of tuning a transistor for uncle Subhas, Sisir used to daily come to meet Netaji and finally materialized their grand escape plan with Netaji’s foresightedness.
8. Netaji had met the then Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano in 1941 who had discussed the draft declaration of independence with him. Bose had stayed in Rome for around 6 weeks with his wife during that time.
9. Netaji’s death remains shrouded in mystery, and that we all are aware of. Following the much talked about news of the plane crash in Taiwan on 18th August, 1945; it was believed that Subhas Chandra Bose had taken the guise of a ‘sadhu’ and lived in UP. People knew him as Gumnami Baba.
10. Netaji was a brilliant student. Despite cracking Indian civil services examination, he resigned from the government post to fight for India’s freedom. He was known to be the editor of ‘Forward’ newspaper, introduced by his mentor Chittaranjan Das. ‘Swaraj’, yet another newspaper was also started by him. In 1935, Netaji’s book named ‘The Indian Struggle’ was published.