In the year of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the nation pays tribute to Subhas Bose on September 8 as his statue rises tall next to India Gate.

The essence

The transfer of power to India took place on August 15, 1947. If Bose and his Indian National Army (INA) had succeeded, India would have attained freedom, not inherited it through a transfer of power.

Archival Narratives

  • Subhash Chandra Bose was one of the prominent leaders of India, being a freedom fighter, he always resisted for the freedom of the nation.
  • His father Janaki Bose was a well-known lawyer.
  • He had 14 siblings, he was the 9th child of his parents.
  • Subhash Chandra Bose passed the ICS examination but Britishers did not authorise him to work.
  • The Azad Hind Fauj was created by Neta Ji Subhash Chandra Bose in 1942.
  • Subhash Chandra Bose was highly impacted by the schoolings of Swami Vivekanand and Ramkrishna Paramhansa.
  • He was imprisoned for the Civil Disobedient movement and later he became mayor of Calcutta in 1930.
  • Subhash Chandra Bose has given the famous slogan, “Tum Mujhe Khoon Do, Main Tumhe Azadi Dunga” which means Give me blood I will give you freedom.
  • Subhash Chandra Bose went to Japan in 1943 where he began the formation of the Indian National Army.

Netaji as a Charismatic Leader

  • A charming leader, the defiant patriot Subhas Chandra Bose, shortly after accepted the presidency of the Indian Independence League (IIL), the civil administrative wing of the Indian National Army (INA), on July 4, 1943, on arrival in Singapore, determined that foster nationalism among the Indians in southeast Asia
  • The very next day, on July 5, he declared to the world the reality of the INA and its aim: to march to Delhi (Delhi Chalo).
  • His next action was the building of a women’s unit. 
    • The Rani of Jhansi Regiment was announced on July 12. 
    • This force of several hundred was led by Captain Lakshmi Swaminathan, a doctor living in Malaya since 1940.
  • On July 13, he reorganised and extended the IIL from five departments to 12, by initiating the Department of Recruitment, Department of Training, Department of Supplies, Overseas Department, and others.
  • Precisely a month after he declared the existence of the INA and its task, he took over as the supreme leader, on August 5.

Proclamation of the Provisional Government of Free India

  • The grandest day was October 21, 1943. 
  • On this day Bose proclaimed the formation of the Provisional Government of Free India (PGFI), Arzi Hakumat-e-Azad Hind, or, in short, Azad Hind Government, an Indian government-in-exile. 
  • It commenced functioning in Singapore with 11 ministers and eight envoys from the INA. 
  • The PGFI was a realisation of the political movement devised in the early 1940s outside India with the ambition to free her from British rule. 
  • The government of Azad Hind shortly had its own currency, court, civil code and national anthem ‘Subh Sukh Chain’. 
  • The INA had its slogan, ‘Ittehad, Itmad aur Qurbani’ (unity, faith and sacrifice) and its nationwide salutation, ‘Jai Hind’. 
  • Its presence gave more significant rightfulness to the independence struggle. 
  • The PGFI was acknowledged by nine Axis-aligned countries: Japan, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Burma, Thailand, Philippines, Manchukuo (Manchuria), and the Republic of China (Wang Jingwei regime). 
  • It received a letter of congratulations from the Prime Minister of Ireland, Eamon de Valera.

Bose and India’s tryst with radio

  • Radio’s existence in India dates back to the colonial period, notably the installation of All India Radio under the custody of BBC’s Lionel Fielden. 
  • Broadcasting became a mechanism for international propaganda during the time of World War II. 
  • According to a listener research survey conducted by AIR across five cities in India in 1940, many Indians were tuning in to attend to news that was antagonistic to Britain. 
  • If radio had become a device in the domestic war being battled with the Indian national movement, hearing on the radio had become an act of gathering and Subhas Chandra Bose was at the epicentre of it all. 
  • Broadcasting from Berlin, Bose honoured the wave of Japanese triumphs over British settlements and passionately articulated India’s Quit India movement. 
  • This elucidates why in 1940, Indian holders of radio licences were banned from publicly communicating Axis broadcasts. 
  • Bose continued his broadcast and overseas transmission to India from Germany, and finally Southeast Asia, right up until June 1945, even after his Indian National Army was beaten by the British in 1944.

Pride of place in museums

  • As inquisitiveness in Bose’s life and legacy has never subsided, various museums have been committed to his intricate life, with a spot for his Azad Hind Radio. 
  • Various endeavours have been made to archive the transcripts of his radio addresses and his ancestral house in Cuttack was shifted into the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Birthplace Museum, with rooms devoted to Azad Hind Radio and the National Bank of Azad Hind. 
  • As part of the museum, Bose’s radio station was recreated and its agendas, along with the firebrand leader’s preeminent speeches, are recreated via the gallery devoted to the account of how the radio benefit began in 1942, and how its headquarters were redirected to Singapore and later Rangoon, following the war in Southeast Asia. 


“While conspiracy theories and mystery shroud Bose’s last days, what cannot be denied is that whether on the field or on air, he had only one dream for India: Azaadi.”