The rise of Subhas Chandra Bose in the political scenario of India and his contributions to the freedom struggle of the country forms a sensational story. Though he was elected twice as the President of Indian National Congress, his difference with Gandhi prompted him to quit the Congress Party in 1939 and form the Forward Bloc.
His radical outlook and activities alarmed the British Government and Bose was imprisoned in 1940 A.D. His fragile health led the Government to release him from the jail and Bose remained under house arrest. Bose left home in 1941 and went outside India in disguise. Travelling through Afghanistan and reaching Germany, Bose started anti-British propaganda abroad. In Berlin, he organized Indian National Army with the help of Indian prisoners in Germany. Later on, he shifted his venue to Singapore.
His arrival at Singapore galvanized the process of Indian National Army (I.N.A. or Azad Hind Faun) formed by Raps Bihar Bose under the command of Mohan Singh. However, the high-handedness of Mohan Singh made him a prisoner at the hands of Raps Bihar Bose. With his arrival, he was given the charge of the organisation of the I.N.A.
From Tokyo in 1943 Subhas Chandra delivered his first speech for Indians who were fighting against the British. He was also welcomed by the members of the Indian Independence League; Now Raps Bihar offered the leadership of the Indian Independence League in East Asia to Subhas. By his commanding leadership, he became popular as Netaji.
Netaji Subhas set up a provisional Government of India at Singapore. This Government was recognized by the countries like Japan, China, Malaya, Thailand, Indo-China, Java, Sumatra etc. Japan also offered the island of Andaman and Nicobar for strengthening the provisional Government for India. A leader out and out Subhas Chandra Bose commanded the I.N.A. and at Singapore declared war against Great Britain and her allies. He gave a clarion call to the soldiers: ‘Give me blood and I would give you freedom’. His-slogans ‘Delhi Chalk’ (March to Delhi) and ‘Jai Hind’ and speech instilled a new vigor and vitality in the minds of the I.N.A. who prepared themselves to have a showdown with the British Government and to oust them from India.
In organizing the I.N.A. Subhas devoted his heart and soul. He raised the strength of the Gandhi, Nehru and Azad brigades. After some time, a new brigade named Subhas Brigade was added to it. A brigade of women soldiers was also rose which was named after Lama Bay.
The rigorous military training imparted to these brigades by the Japanese soldiers under the able supervision of Subhas Bose gave new strength to the I.N.A. Before his advancement towards India he sought the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi: “India’s last war or independence has begun….Father of our Nation, in this holy war of India’s liberation, We ask for your blessings and good wishes”.
With increasing enthusiasm instilled into their nerves through the slogan, ‘Delhi Chalk’, the I.N.A. soldiers marched ahead and captured Modoc where they hoisted the tricolor on Indian soil. In the meanwhile, the Subhas Brigade of I.N.A. proceeded to Konia in Nagaland. Now Japan could not send the required air-crafts to the soldiers of I.N.A and without it, the soldiers of I.N.A. found it difficult to capture Konia.
Of course, Shah Nawaz Khan had joined the Japanese army in their operation in Konia. The I.N.A. next aimed to proceed to Impala and then across the Brahmaputra river to Bengal. At this juncture, Japan faced adverse situation and was defeated at the hands of the allied powers. This led the I.N.A. to surrender to the British Army at Rangoon. Meanwhile, Netaji escaped to Singapore and then to Bangkok. When Subhas left Tempeh on 18, August 1945, his plane crashed and he met his end. However, his death remains mysterious even today.
Then began the trial of the soldiers of I.N.A. in the historic Red Fort at Delhi. The Indian National Congress set up a Defence Committee to save the I.N.A. officers and soldiers. The committee consisted of eminent lawyers like Ten Bahadur Sapura, Bhulabhai Desai, Assar Ali, Kailashanath Katha and Jawaharlal Nehru. They pleaded with great national spirit to defend the I.N.A. officer and soldiers. Though some of them were court-martialed, till no action could be taken against them by the British authority and demonstration was showed against the highhandedness of the British Government and in favour of the I.N.A. soldiers in Calcutta and other places. This led the British Government to release the I.N.A. officers who had faced the trial and found guilty. This definitely shows the love and adoration of Indian mass towards Subhas Chandra Bose and his I.N.A.