Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is pretty much an emotion linked with the state of West Bengal where till date the former national leader enjoys greater popularity than several other prominent national figures. It is difficult, to sum up the value Bose, lovingly called Netaji means to the country of India. Yet the figure of Bose remains an enigma 73 years after independence. Be it the national icon’s feisty temperament or heroic impulses, Netaji’s contribution to the freedom movement remains invaluable.
Bose was a staunch military man, passionate and zealous about the struggle for freedom, demanding unabashedly that complete independence be given and often in clash with the Indian National Congress due to his different social, political and economic ideology. His zeal for freedom took him to collaborating with Fascist and dangerous powers he believed would help attain India her relief from the shackles of 200 years of colonial rule. Bose believed the coloniser deserved no sympathy, no pacifying and no negotiation. Bose believed that freedom had to be a complete whole involving all. His idea of a socialist state economy till date is championed by several economic theorists.
Bose was the first male leader to militarize the role of women in the struggle for freedom. To open up an all women’s wing of the INA, the Rani Jhansi Regiment, involving the sex that had been considered inferior to men in mere activities of the outer world, to fight on the same par with men, required courage and conviction. Bose’s ideologies were indeed radical and too far ahead of his times. A fierce orator, one whose charisma intimidated fine and chiseled leaders, Bose, the man remains the fireball of passion for freedom, whole and pure.
Bose was an indomitable spirit, a hero lesser sung in the ballads of the nation’s history of the struggle for independence. On the 125th birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose, the day christened as Parikram Diwas by the central government to celebrate the unforgettable man is a true salute to this enigma that has been long due, an acknowledgement thas has finally been credited.