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Subhash Chandra Bose & Indian National Army

Subhash Chandra Bose

The arbitrary entry of India into the war was strongly opposed by Subhash Chandra Bose, who had been elected President of the Congress twice, in 1937 and 1939. After lobbying against participation in the war, he resigned from Congress in 1939 and started a new party, the All India Forward Bloc. He was placed under house arrest, but escaped in 1941. He surfaced in Germany, and enlisted German and Japanese help to fight the British in India.

In 1943, he travelled to Japan from Germany on board German and Japanese submarines. In Japan, he helped organize the Indian National Army (INA) and set up a government-in-exile. During the war, the Andaman and Nicobar islands came under INA control, and Bose renamed them Shahid (Martyr) and Swaraj (Independence). The INA engaged British troops in northeastern India, hoping to liberate Indian territories under colonial rule. But the poorly equipped soldiers fighting in dense jungle and with little real support from the Japanese died by the thousands. Their die-hard courage, patriotism and spirit could not overcome the disastrous odds, and the INA's efforts ended with the surrender of Japan in 1945. It is agreed by many that Subhash Chandra Bose was killed in an air crash in August 1945. But his death is still controversial.

The Congress Party, which had not supported Bose's use of violence, embraced the INA martyrs and surviving soldiers as heroes. The Congress set up a special fund to take care of the survivors and the families of the soldiers who lost their lives or were seriously wounded.

To this day, Subhas Bose's daring and courage are an awe-inspiring example for newer generations of Indians, and the INA soldiers are treated in equal regard and honor to the men who fought with Mahatma Gandhi, albeit the use of violence.

Subhash Chandra Bose

 

 

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