Tribute to Netaji

Satish Singh Manhas
Dili (Delhi) chalo, Jai Hind, Tum mujhe khoon do mein tumhe azadi dunga, Indian National Army were the slogans which terrorized the Britishers internally and they made up their mind to leave India before they were defeated by Indian National Army. Who gave this call? Who formed the Indian National Army? Who coined Jai Hind? Only one answer. Subash Chander Bose. Jai Hind is still prevalent in our army as a mandatory tradition to wish, salute or respect between a senior and a junior or even in other security forces. Coined some more than 90 years ago, Jai Hind is still sung in our army as a nationalist, unifying slogan and a sign of patriotic zeal. This is how Subash Chander Bose instilled a nationalist force in every Indian that automatically became a convincing power to drive the British out.
On 21st October 1943 Indian National Army of more than 60000 soldiers was raised/formed by Neta Ji Subash Chander Bose. He instilled self confidence among Indians in such a fashion that one call was sufficient to raise a violent revolution against the Britishers. Idea of begging for freedom was left behind and Indians started to think to kick out the Britishers/English. He was the one who sought help from anybody who could get India independence. Subash Chander Bose never supported Hitler and Mussolini but said if they can get India Independence, it is a welcome step. So clear was his thinking about attainment of independence at any cost? He once said, “dushman ka dushman dost hai”. So were his extremes to get India independent.
But sorry state of affairs is that he is not referred anywhere as an ICON, he remained missing from all policy frameworks of the parties and even governments. He was the first Indian to qualify ICS then and IAS now at the age of 24 years and half but he did not join, for only reason was Indian independence. In 1939 at the age of 41years he was elected as president of Indian National Congress supported by Gandhi himself. Subash Chander Bose created a violent nationalist force against the Britishers in the same manner as was the violent revolt created by Maratha and Sikhs which destroyed the Mughal Empire. Foreigners like John Risley who dubbed Indians as “Indians do not have the capacity to develop the capacity of nationalism” were proved wrong by the slogans like Jai Hind, Dilli chalo etc who evoked such a fierce reaction that the Britishers were only confused about the deadline to leave India. Only one question became their discussion: how can we leave gracefully. This was the impact from the action of Subash Chander Bose.
But conspiracy to finish him politically and otherwise started in 1941 from within when against the wishes of Gandhi Ji, he won a second time. He was marginalized to such an extent that he could not even form a CWC. Netaji was a realist and an idealist whereas Nehru and Gandhi had a narrative of soft state. A State system based on soft power. Netaji wanted the 2.5 million strong army during WW 2 to be retained and even increased to 4 million whereas J L Nehru was for doing everything with police. This is one reason that the Britishers disbanded the 2.5 million army to a mere 350,000 and that too to be divided between the two dominions.
Such was the hatred towards Netaji that he was declared as a bhagoora/absconder by the party of which he had remained a president in the very previous term. “Aazadi bina kharag bina dhal” is a conspiracy to insult the martyrdom of 24000 INA officers and jawans, 22 lakh civilians and many the likes of sardar Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Chandershekhar Azad who all sacrificed their lives in one way or the other. More than 43% of the INA lost its soldiers for India’s Independence and still we talk about “aazadi bina kharag bina dhal” this is a big lie, a total myth. This is nothing more than to demean the sacrifice of freedom fighters, INA etc etc.
Britishers themselves openly admitted to the fact when, In 1946 Clement Atlee who signed the document of transfer of power has said that INA, Mr Bose were the only reason for Britishers to quit India. Another reason was the mutiny by 200000 navy personnel, 72 ships, Army mutiny etc for Britishers to quit. Although Gandhi and Mr Bose were both for freedom but approach was different. Muscle power and use of full force was the motto of S C Bose. That is why he is still regarded as Netaji and his imprints are indelible. Gandhi Ji had also approved of INA action and at one point of time told Mr Bose that if we can achieve freedom by force I will be the first to greet you and INA. INA action can be gauged from the fact that 24000 soldiers out of 60000 attained martyrdom to attain freedom. Such was the fierce desire INA had for freedom. But more, astonishing fact was that India, a 34 crore population country in 1947 was a slave of only 93000 Britishers. How come? It was like “Indians captured India and handed it down to Britishers”. Caste, colour, race, religion etc were the contributing factors then and are still prevalent to divide our society. India should have been liberated as a “nationalist state” which was the approach of Subash Chander Bose rather than a nation state copied from Indian Independence Act of 1935.
Last but not the least, Indian Independence or transfer of power was the biggest and bloodiest blood bath history had ever witnessed where 43% of an army (INA) attained martyrdom, around 2 million civilians lost their precious lives, one nation divided into two antagonist nations on communal lines which later fought around 4 major wars in less than 70 years of their independence, never see eyeball to eyeball still we call that independence as bina kharag bina dhal. This narrative “azadi bina kharag bina dhaal” is built on a deliberate historical fault line. This is a conspiracy to humiliate the sacrifices of those who got martyred or killed in consequence.
Of late some sort of respect has come to fore from the government side when the PM Narendra Modi named the train from Kolkata to Kalka as Netaji Express and the declaration of 23rd January as “Parakram Diwas” every year in addition to celebration of Republic day starting from January 23rd every year. This is a welcome step by the government of India to officially recognise the sacrifice of Netaji, Subash Chander Bose, INA and all associated freedom fighters. But much more is still needed and de-classification of files pertaining to his mysterious disappearance, the nation has been waiting since 1945.