Subhas was born at Cuttack in Orissa, in an upper middle class family. His father was a leader who rose to be the Government leader and public prosecutor of Cuttack. Subhas was one of a large family of brothers.
He had a distinguished educational career and always topped the list. He went to England and there he competed for the Indian Civil Service, standing first. But the glamour of Indian Civil Service did not hold his heart. He was burning with a patriotic zeal to serve Mother India. He resigned the I.C.S. within a year and became a soldier in the struggle for India’s freedom.
He was a born leader of men. He was a revolutionary of the type of Mazzini and Garibaldi. He possessed all the sterling qualities of head and heart. He combined with the patriot’s enthusiasm and inspiration, the adventurer’s love of daring and decision.
He was a man of daring schemes and unflinching determination. His self-discipline and spiritual inspiration were remarkable. Destiny had cut him out for great things. He never hankered after fame, ease, comfort, money and family. He cheerfully renounced all as if to fulfill a mission for which he was born and destined.
In the beginning, he was an ardent follower of Gandhi. With the speed of lightning, he rose from one distinction to another. In 1938, he became the President of the Indian National Congress for the second time. As the President of the India National Congress, he had some sharp differences with Gandhi. The rift between the two widened.
He resigned from the Congress and founded the Forward Bloc. He never slackened his duty towards India. The World War II had, about this time reached a critical stage. The Allies were having a difficult time. This foremost adventurer and revolutionary ran away from his home in Kolkata eluding the police.
He travelled to Afghanistan, in the guise of a Pathan. He managed to reach Germany and then Japan. He organized in Malaya his 60,000 strong I.N.A. to fight India’s war of independence from outside India. He said to his soldiers, ‘Give me blood and I will give you freedom.’
His stirring call to his soldiers was ‘Delhi chalo’. The exploits of the I.N.A. were on the lips of every Indian. It was India’s first national army to plant the tricolour flag of India on the liberated soil of Manipur and Kohima. With the fall of Japan, he was reported dead on August 19, 1945.
To sum up, Subhas was a born leader of men. He was cast by nature in the mould of greatness. He fought the forces of evil with the straightforwardness and boldness of a missionary. His gifts were God- given. He was cut out by nature as the pre-appointed agent for great things. Few men can equal him in the absolute purity of character, consistency of principle and grim determination to see things through. He refused to be cowed down by any person.
He clung to the last, little caring for the consequences, to what he considered to be right, morally and ethically. “I stand for truth; I fight for truth and I shall die for truth,” said Subhas in one of his memorable speeches in Singapore. He did not fear even death. “I am immortal till my work is done”, he used to say. May the soul of the mighty architect of India’s liberation lead us and show us light in the country’s moments of frustration, disappointment and dejection.