Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: A Born Patriot and Selfless Leader

Dr. Shankar Chatterjee

Former Professor& Head (CPME)

NIRD &PR (Govt. of India),

Hyderabad-500 030

Telangana, India

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On 23 January 1897, a legendary figure, a great patriot and a selfless leader of undivided India was born in Cuttack of present Odisha who is popularly known as Netaji with full name Subhas Chandra Bose.  Netaji   Subhas Chandra Bose is still respected not only in India but also in Bangladesh and Pakistan for his immense contribution in freedom movement. While I was in abroad as faculty many Pakistani and Bangladeshi academicians told me in this regard.   


     Netaji’s patriotic feelings can be understood by this quotation, ‘You give me your blood and I will give you Independence!’ He stated if ‘you are willing to die for a cause without regard to your own wants or desires that is as close as you can get to invincibility. Even if your physical body is killed, your efforts and ideas will live on’. He had the opinion that ‘Independence is rarely obtained through peaceful means. Conflict is often the only way to gain freedom or revolution’.

Netaji Subhas with heart and soul was Indian and never tolerated any foreigner talking against Indians. In this context, an incident may be cited. He thrashed a British Professor E.F. Otten in the Presidency College of Calcutta in 1916 for Prof Otten’s racist remark against Indians and for this Subhas Chandra had to suffer also, however with the intervention of Indian scholars and other stalwarts the matter was resolved.

   During freedom struggle many persons participated –some were in the forefronts and some were in behind, many lost their lives and many were crippled, many were mentally disturbed and finally we became independent nation so we are grateful to all of them. Also Indian National Army/Azad Hind Fouz’s contribution under the leadership of Netaji Subhas was massive.  The Congress Government after independence always highlighted few leaders’ contribution towards freedom movement but not much about Netaji’s contribution. On the other hand, the British acknowledged Subhas Bose’s contribution.  Clement Richard Attlee, who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951 and the Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955 agreed Netaji was the toughest challenge to the British Empire faced.  In 1956, Clement Attlee came to India and stayed in Calcutta (now Kolkata) as a guest of then Governor, P.B. Chakraborty who was at that time Chief Justice of Calcutta High court and acting Governor of West Bengal. He asked Sir Attlee “… since Gandhi’s Quit India movement had tapered off quite some time ago and in 1947 no such new compelling situation had arisen that would necessitate a hasty British departure, why did they had to leave?” As stated by Chakraborty “In his reply Attlee cited several reasons, the main among them being the erosion of loyalty to the British crown among the Indian Army and Navy personnel as a result of the military activities of Subhas Chandra Bose”.

Lt General S.K. Sinha, former Governor of Assam and J & K, one of the only three Indian officers posted in the Directorate of Military Operations in New Delhi in 1946, made his observation in 1976. “There was considerable sympathy for the INA within the Army… It is true that fears of another 1857 had begun to haunt the British in 1946.” In this regard Dr. Ambedkar-saheb may also be referred “two things led the Labour party to take this decision” (to free India). According to Dr Ambedkar saheb, “The national army that was raised by Subhas Chandra Bose. The British had been ruling the country in the firm belief that whatever may happen in the country or whatever the politicians do, they will never be able to change the loyalty of soldiers. That was one prop on which they were carrying on the administration. And that was completely dashed to pieces. They found that soldiers could be seduced to form a party- a battalion to blow off the British.”

Subhas Chandra Bose was a great human being also and had never had ill feelings towards any leader of then Congress party. In this context, Ashis Ray’s article published on 12 November 2019 may be quoted. “Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose, charismatic stalwarts of the Congress and the Indian struggle for Independence, were comrades, not adversaries. In June 1935, when the former (Nehru) was imprisoned in India, his wife Kamala needed to go to Europe for treatment of tuberculosis. Bose, who had been exiled to Europe by the British, unsurprisingly took charge by accompanying her from Vienna to Prague where she was to receive initial medical care. With Kamala’s condition deteriorating, the British permitted Nehru to join her. She was moved to Badenweiler, a Black Forest resort in Germany. Bose messaged Nehru: “If I can be of any service in your present trouble, I hope you will not hesitate to send for me.” Eventually Kamala was shifted to Lausanne in Switzerland, where she prematurely passed away in 1936 in the presence of her husband, daughter Indira and Bose” (

On the auspicious occasion of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birthday, Pronam to this great soul.