National Security Advisor Ajit Doval emphasized the importance of developing a skilled workforce and embracing technological innovation for global competitiveness at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Memorial Lecture 2023 in New Delhi. He acknowledged that highly motivated and committed human resources are crucial to India’s success.
Doval paid tribute to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, whose unparalleled legacy in the freedom struggle was marked by audacity and tenacity. To honor his contributions, the government has installed a statue of Bose at India Gate and renamed Ross Island in Andaman and Nicobar Islands as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island.
Bose’s Presence: Preventing India’s Partition
National Security Advisor Ajit Toval stated that India would not have been partitioned if Subhash Chandra Bose had been alive at the time. Speaking at the first Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Memorial Lecture, Toval praised Bose’s genius and audacity in challenging the British Empire.
Toval highlighted that Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah expressed his willingness to accept only one leader, Subhash Chandra Bose. According to Toval, Bose believed in fighting for freedom rather than begging for it as a conditional right.
Bose emphasized India as a reality and sought full independence without compromise. He aimed to free the country from political subjugation while also changing its political, social, and cultural mindset.
The National Security Advisor mentioned that history has been unkind to Bose but is pleased with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to resurrect his legacy. Toval concluded by praising Subhash Chandra Bose’s unparalleled leadership style marked by audacity and tenacity.
A brief about Subhash Chandra Bose
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, an Indian nationalist, and influential freedom fighter, is celebrated for his patriotism and lasting impact on India. Born on January 23, 1897, in Cuttack, Odisha, he later founded the Azad Hind Fauj to further India’s fight for independence.
Tragically, Bose died in a Taiwan hospital on August 18, 1947, due to burn injuries from a plane crash. His leadership skills and charismatic speeches are still remembered today through slogans such as “Tum Mujhe Koon Do, Main Tumhe Azadi Dhunga,” “Jai Hind,” and “Delhi Chalo.”
Bose’s militant approach toward gaining independence and his socialistic policies significantly contributed to India’s freedom struggle. He is the epitome of the enduring legacy that continues inspiring generations of Indians.
He was an Indian nationalist who defied British authority in India and became a hero to many. However, his alliances with Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan during wartime resulted in a controversial legacy marked by authoritarianism, anti-Semitism, and military failure.
The honorific “Netaji” was first given to Bose by Indian soldiers of the Nidische Legion in early 1942 while he was in Germany. Today it is widely used across India. Born into wealth and privilege during the British Raj era, Bose initially pursued an Anglo-centric education before deciding that nationalism was a higher calling than the Indian Civil Service examination.
Upon returning to India in 1921, Bose joined Mahatma Gandhi’s nationalist movement within the Indian National Congress (INC). He eventually rose to leadership alongside Jawaharlal Nehru as part of a faction more open to socialism. In 1938, he became INC President but resigned after disputes with other leaders over matters such as non-violence and greater powers for himself.
In April 1941, Bose arrived in Nazi Germany where he received limited support for India’s independence cause. German funds helped establish a Free Indian Centre in Berlin and recruit approximately 3,000 POWs from Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps into the Free Indian Legion under his command. Although not central to their primary goals at that time; Germans considered invading India throughout 1941 without any conclusive actions taken.
On October 21, 1943, Subhash Chandra Bose, also known as Netaji, announced the formation of the provisional government of independent India called Azad Hind in Singapore. He later traveled to the Japanese-occupied Andaman Islands and hoisted India’s flag.
In early 1944, three units from Azad Hind participated in an attack on northeastern parts of India with the aim of expelling British forces. Shah Nawaz Khan, a prominent officer within the Azad Hind force described how soldiers entering their homeland passionately kissed its sacred soil. Despite these efforts, they failed to liberate India.
Although Indian nationalists viewed Japan as an aggressor rather than a friend, Netaji believed that combining Japanese support for Azad Hind with internal revolts could end British rule in India. The slogan “Delhi Chalo” (“March to Delhi”) and salutation “Jai Hind” (“Victory to India”) inspired Indians both at home and abroad.
Netaji united Indians from different regions and religions living in Southeast Asia for their shared goal: freedom for their motherland. Women played a crucial role during this time; Capital Lakshmi Swaminathan led a women’s regiment called Rani Jhansi Regiment within the Azad Hind force. Ultimately symbolizing unity and heroism among Indians striving for independence, Netaji was reportedly killed in an air crash shortly after Japan surrendered.
Netaji’s Legacy: Parakram Diwas and Unsolved Mystery
Netaji played a significant role in India’s fight for independence by forming the Azad Hind Fauj and using military strategies. Unfortunately, he was believed to have been killed in a plane crash in Japan, but controversies persist regarding his actual fate. Some speculate that he may have survived the crash and lived elsewhere for some time.
To this day, the truth remains unknown. However, every year on January 23rd, Netaji’s birth anniversary is celebrated as Parakram Diwas to honor his contributions to India’s independence. This Indian national holiday serves as an annual tribute to Netaji Subhash Chandra Diwas and his enduring legacy.