The forgotten founder of free India

“Our Motherland is in search of freedom…. Give me your blood – I will give you your Independence. This is the demand of the Goddess of Independence”, proclaimed Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the Founder of Free India, celebrating the victory of Indian National Army at Rangoon in July 1944. Mahayogi Sri Aurobindo, as the architect and chief prophet of India’s revolutionary movement, wrote earlier: “Liberty is the fruit we seek from the sacrifice and the Motherland, the goddess to whom we offer it; into the seven leaping tongues of the fire of yagna we must offer all that we are and all that we have, feeding the fire even with our blood and lives and happiness of our nearest and dearest; for the Motherland is a goddess who loves not a maimed and imperfect sacrifice, and freedom was never won from the Gods by a grudging giver.” 

Mother Bharat won her freedom only after wading through the blood of great martyrs and heroes like Kuka Ramsingh, Veluthambi Dalava, Veera Pandya Kattabomman, Jhansi Rani, Vasudev Balwant Phadke, Bagha Jatin, Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh and, last but not the least, the brave heroes of the Indian National Army led by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose who offered his life at the altar of Motherland, fighting for her emancipation.  

It is a blatant lie and distortion of truth to claim that India won her independence through non-violent means. No one would ever wish to discredit the role of Mahatma Gandhi and his non-violent noncooperation movement which did create an awakening among the masses and martyrs like Tiruppur Kumaran faced the lathi charqes and police firings and fell on the ground while holding aloft the tricolour flag and shouting “Vande Mataram!” However, it was not the blood of these satyagrahis, who died like non-violent lambs, that changed the heart of the British wolf, but the fierce blow of the sharp claws of the “Springing Tiger”, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that made the wolf fall flat. The turning of the Quit India Movement of 1942 into a violent uprising in various parts of the country awakened the British marauders to the truth that the Mahatma’s pacifist movement to lead the people into a prolonged nonviolent struggle for freedom could not be taken advantage of by them to gain enough time to crush once for all the revolutionaries in the country and to keep the country under their subjugation for a longer time, at the most by giving a dominion status to the country to keep the mouth of the non-violent agitators shut. The World War that followed, though enabled the British to gain the support of Mahatma and the Congress led by him, saw the emergence of the fierce hero and scarlet pimpernel of the Indian revolution, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, challenging the might of the British Empire with the support of the Japanese and the Germans, the arch enemies of the British in the battlefront.  

Netaji was a born rebel, uncompromising patriot and undaunted hero. Even as a student in the college, he had the courage to slap in the open class his white professor who insulted his Motherland Bharat and Her children. Though he passed his ICS examination with distinction, he flung the honour upon the very face of the British government, proclaiming that he was born not to serve them but his Motherland. His undiluted idealism and fierce patriotism did create a cleavage between him and Mahatma Gandhi whose path of non-violence was considered by him and Sri Vithalbhai Patel, elder brother of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, as a most unsuitable weapon to deal with a brute and fit only to be consigned into a dustbin as a dilapidated wooden box. The revolutionary elements in the Congress weared round Netaji and in 1938 Tripura Congress, he was elected the President, much against the wish of Gandhiji. In the next year, when Subhas decided to contest again for the Presidentship in order to take advantage of the changing political scenario of the world and to press for complete Swaraj, Mahatma Gandhi wanted to put a break to his radical moves and, therefore, pitted Pattabhi Sitaramayya against Subhas as his own candidate. However, Subhas won with a thumping majority, forcing Gandhi to concede defeat proclaiming, “Pattabhi’s defeat is my defeat!”. Gandhiji could not swallow the humiliation so easily and he forced the Working Committee members not to extend their cooperation to Subhas. In desperation, Subhas resigned his Presidentship and quit the Congress. It was at this juncture that the great patriot-revolutionary and Hindu Nationalist leader, Veer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, persuaded Subhas to leave the shores of the country, go out and mobilize the valiant children of Mother India abroad, and march towards British India as the head of a patriotic Indian National Army. Subhas did exactly the same.  

On 16th January, 1941, in the night, Subhas threw dust into the vigilant eyes of the British police and got spirited away in the disguise of a Pathan to Peshawar. From there he went to Moscow, and then to Germany where he founded the Free India Army. Later, on the invitation of the great Indian revolutionary in Japan, Rash Bihari Bose, Subhas reached Tokyo by sailing in a submarine and took charge of the Indian Independence League and the Azad Hind Fauz in the east. Netaji succeeded in organizing the patriotic Indian community in the distant lands, persuading the Indian soldiers who fell as prisoners of war into the hands of the Germans and the Japanese to rally round him to fight for the emancipation of their motherland and instilling in their hearts the devotion to Motherland and spirit of self-sacrifice. The formidable Azad Hind Fauz – the Indian National Army – headed by Subhas marched towards India with the war cry, “Delhi Chalo”, the slogan, “Jai Hind” and singing the patriotic song, “Vande Mataram”. Even the women were inspired to take up arms and form the mighty Rani of Jhansi Regiment of the INA. The initial victory was glorious. The British had to retreat from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands which were declared as “Shahid and Swaraj Islands” by the patriotic Indian National Army.  

Perhaps Subhas had the premonition of the things to happen. That was why when once Japanese Prime Minister Tojo announced the name of Subhas as the future Prime Minister of Free India, Subhas vehemently protested saying that it was none of the business of Japan to decide the future head of Free India and even went to the extent of saying that there were men like Mahatma Gandhi in India who were greater than himself. What a patriotism! What a humility! What a great spirit of self-sacrifice!! Right from his youth, Subhas aspired to become a recluse like Swami Vivekananda. But, as my Master Yogi Ramsuratkumar had once pointed out, it was Swami Vivekananda who inspired Subhas to throwaway his ICS and plunge into the fight for the liberation of his Motherland. Mother Destiny knew the cherished desire of the great son of Mother India. Things took a strange turn. When the Azad Hind Fauz was advancing towards final victory, Germany and Japan suddenly started suffering reverses and Netaji had to give up his battle. While rushing back to Japan, his plane crashed on the Formosa Island.  

Though Netaji vanished from the scene all of a sudden and the Azad Hind Fauz could not achieve its goal immediately in the battle front, the blow that it gave to the British Empire was mighty enough to make the latter crumble into dust. The trial of the brave soldiers of the Indian National Army who had earlier deserted the British Indian Army and joined the Azad Hind Fauz, created a nationwide upheaval resulting in the revolt in all the three wings of the Defence Force – the Army, the Navy and the Air Force – of British India. The strike of the Air Force men in Karachi, Lahore, Delhi and Bombay in the month of January 1946 and the mutiny in the Navy in February confirmed the fear of the British that they could no longer perpetuate their empire in India with the support of the Defence Force of British India which was no more loyal to them. Moving the India Freedom Bill in the British Parliament, the then Prime Minister Earl Atlee had made the reasons for granting freedom to India very clear — one, the British armed might had already weakened in the World War and Britain could not afford to send its troops to India to maintain an empire; two, the British Indian Army was no more loyal to the Empire and anytime they might turn their guns against the masters; and three, the conflagration of revolution was catching up in India and anytime it was bound to explode reducing the British Empire into ashes.  

So, the sun had to set on the British Empire and Mother India became free. But the cunning British wanted to see that Free India would never rise as a super power. Therefore they divided the country on communal basis. As a part of their divide and rule policy, they had already succeeded in turning a considerable section of the Muslim population against the majority Hindus. Now they created traitors out of them who demanded the vivisection of the Holy Motherland. Mahayogi Sri Aurobindo voicing the pain and agony of the nation, proclaimed on August 15, 1947, in his broadcast to the Indian  

Nation: “But the old communal division into Hindus and Muslims seems not to have hardened into permanent political division of the country. It is to be hoped that this settled fact will not be accepted as settled for ever or as anything more than a temporary expedient. For if it lasts, India may be seriously weakened, even crippled: civil strife may remain always possible, possible even a new invasion and foreign conquest. India’s internal development and prosperity may be impeded, her position among the nations weakened, her destiny impaired or frustrated. This might not be, the partition must go.”  

If Netaji were in our midst at the time of Independence, he would never have allowed the partition of his Motherland. He was able to bring under his spell people belonging to all religions – Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Parsis – in the valiant struggle for freedom and turn them out into fierce patriots. But that sort of command, strength of character and conviction was wanting in the political leaders who were in the helm of affairs at the time of Independence. Even Mahatma Gandhi who had boldly declared that India could be partitioned only over his dead body had to swallow his words and live to see the traumatic occurrence. The later leaders of Free India could not contain the deterioration in the national life. Both Netaji and Vivekananda always believed that only a benevolent dictatorship of an able and efficient leader with character, integrity, selflessness and spirit of self-sacrifice who could offer himself at the altar of the Motherland could lead the country to the pinnacle of its glory. The fact that the country has in the last fifty years of freedom, has fallen to the extent of being known all over the world today as one among those with the most corrupt political leadership has proved that democracy in India has come to mean the rule of the criminals elected to power by the stupid, brainless and illiterate masses plunged in utter poverty and ignorance.  

In this Centenary Year of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and the Golden Jubilee Year of Indian Indepen dence, the greatest homage that we can pay to the Yuga Purusha, Netaji Subhas, is to rekindle the spirit of fierce patriotism and self-sacrifice in the hearts of Mother India’s children. Today, we have in our midst, umpteen number of sadhus, sants, mahatmas and religious leaders whose time and energy is wasted in worthless pursuits of building up their own sects, sampradayas and religious institutions. They must all realize that their sects, sampradayas, etc., can survive if and only if Mother Bharat survives as a nation. Alien forces are trying to use the sections of Indian population converted into their religious sects and cults as stooges to further dismember this great nation, and the corrupt politicians of the country proclaiming their “secular” credentials to woo the ‘minority’ voters in their power struggle are playing into the hands of anti-national forces. The only way to save our nation today is to reinstall in the hearts of the people of this glorious country the only deity to be worshipped by all — Mother Bharata Bhavani — and subordination of all other gods and goddesses, saints and sages of all the various religious groups to this supreme object of worship. Whether one is a Vaishnava, Shaiva, Shakta, Buddhist, Jain, Parsee, Christian or Muslim, he or she is a Hindu by virtue of his or her birth in this holy land of Hindusthan. If his or her first and foremost worshipful deity is not Bharatamata, he or she has no right even to breathe the free air of Mother India. They are free to go to their chosen land of salvation. Those sadhus, sannyasis, mahants, padris and fakirs who do not preach the religion of patriotism among the people are a curse and burden on our nation. Come let us follow the footsteps of these modern rishis like Bankim Chandra who gave us the ideal of ANANDA MATH, Netaji, Vivekananda, Rama Tirtha, Aurobindo, Nivedita, Bharatiyar and Mahatma Gandhi and elevate our country to the status of the Loka Guru! Jai Hind! Vande Mataram!  


Fifty years after the attainment of Independence and on the occasion of the Centenary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the country’s political leaders have come forward to confess openly the truth that it was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose who won the Freedom of Bharat.  

Speaking in the Netaji Centenary Celebrations at Delhi, this morning, the Vice-President of India, Sri K.R. Narayanan, declared that it was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose who brought freedom to India, and in support of his statement, he quoted the words of Earl Atlee that the immediate cause for giving freedom to India by the British was Netaji and his Indian National Army. The President of India, Sri Shankar Dayal Sharma, also referred to the statement of the Vice-President and said that it was the impact of Netaji and the INA on the Armed Forces that compelled the British to pack up and leave the country.  

Why then all these years our children were taught in the history books an untruth that India won its freedom through non-violence? Why was the story of Netaji and the history of INA completely blacked out from the educational syllabus and books on India’s struggle for freedom? It is high time that the true history of our Freedom struggle is written.  

Author: Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan  

Netaji Jayanti, January 23, 1997. 

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