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  • Q. Discuss the role played by Subhash Chandra Bose in India’s freedom struggle. (150 words)

    05 Dec, 2022 GS Paper 1 History


    • Start your answer by briefly describing about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
    • Discuss his significant role in India’s freedom struggle.
    • Conclude accordingly.


    • Subhas Chandra Bose, better known as Netaji, was largely recognised as the most significant freedom fighter. He was also a brilliant speaker with outstanding leadership abilities. He is noted for his vigorous and active involvement in the Indian independence movement. His leadership approach inspired a lot of people to participate in the Indian freedom struggle.


    • Role played by Subhash Chandra Bose in India’s freedom struggle:
      • Association with C.R Das: He was associated with C.R. Das' political endeavour, and was also jailed along with him. When C.R. Das was elected Mayor of Calcutta Cooperation, he nominated Bose as the chief executive. He was arrested for his political activities in 1924.
      • Trade union movements: He organised youth and promoted trade union movements. In 1930, he was elected Mayor of Calcutta, the same year he was elected the President of The All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).
      • Association with Congress: He stood for unqualified swaraj (independence), and opposed Motilal Nehru Report (1928) which spoke for dominion status for India.
        • He actively participated in the Salt Satyagraha of 1930 and vehemently opposed the suspension of Civil Disobedience Movement and signing of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact in 1931.
        • In the 1930s, he was closely associated with left politics in Congress along with Jawaharlal Nehru and M.N. Roy.
        • Because of the endeavour of the left group, the congress passed very far-reaching radical resolutions in Karachi in 1931 which declared the main Congress aim as socialization of means of production besides guaranteeing fundamental rights.
      • Congress presidentship: Bose won the congress presidential elections at Haripura in 1938.
        • Next year at Tripuri, he again won the presidential elections against Gandhi's candidate Pattabhi Sitarammayya.
        • Due to ideological differences with Gandhi, Bose left congress and found a new party, 'the Forward Bloc'.
        • The purpose was to consolidate the political left and major support base in his home state Bengal.
      • Civil disobedience movement: When World War II began, he was again imprisoned for participation in civil disobedience and was put under house arrest.
      • Indian Legion: Bose founded the free India centre in Berlin and created the Indian Legion out of the Indian prisoners of war who had previously fought for the British in North Africa prior to their capture by Axis forces.
        • In Europe, Bose sought help from Hitler and Mussolini for the liberation of India.
      • In Germany, he was attached to the special bureau for India which was responsible for the broadcasting on the German sponsored Azad Hind Radio.
        • On this radio, Bose on 6th July 1944, addressed Mahatma Gandhi as the 'Father of the Nation'.
      • Indian National Army: He reached Japanese-controlled Singapore from Germany in July 1943, issued from there his famous call, ‘Delhi Chalo’, and announced the formation of the Azad Hind Government and the Indian National Army on 21st October 1943.
        • The INA was first formed under Mohan Singh and Japanese Major Iwaichi Fujiwara and comprised Indian prisoners of war of the British-Indian Army captured by Japan in the Malayan (present-day Malaysia) campaign and at Singapore.


    Bose’s struggle for freedom proved to be an inspiration not just for India, but also for all Third World countries. The Indian freedom struggle and the war of independence led by Bose had a profound impact on those countries. Netaji’s status establishes him as the “hero of freedom” globally.

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