Portrait of Subhas Chandra Bose, c 1940s.
Subhas Chandra Bose, c 1940s.
Subhas Chandra Bose (1897 –1945)
Chandra Bose was one of India’s most prominent
nationalist leaders who advocated armed struggle as the only way
to free India. Born in Bengal, Bose was educated at the universities
of Calcutta and Cambridge. He gave up a civil service career in
the early 1920s to join the nationalist movement. A popular leader
who was imprisoned several times by the British, Bose became President
of the INC in 1938. However, political differences with Gandhi led
him to resign the following year.
Escape to Germany
The Syonan Sinbun,
26 January 1943
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In 1940, Bose was imprisoned by the British for his
anti-colonial activities. While in prison, Bose went on a hunger
strike. The British put him under house arrest. He subsequently
escaped to Germany through Afghanistan by pretending to be a deaf-mute
Pathan. Bose reached Berlin on 2 April 1941, where he began advocating
India’s Independence through radio broadcasts.
Arrival in Tokyo
By early 1943, Bose had turned his attention to Southeast
Asia. With its large overseas Indian population, Bose recognised
that the region was fertile ground for establishing an anti-colonial
force to fight the British. In January 1943, the Japanese invited
Bose to lead the Indian nationalist movement in East Asia. He accepted
and left Germany on 8 February. After a three-month journey by submarine,
and a short stop in Singapore, he reached Tokyo on 11 May 1943.
In Tokyo, he made a number of radio broadcasts to the Indian communities
and exhorted them to join in the fight for India’s Independence.