A hero like no other: Bose

Amal Chatterjee
12 min readNov 8, 2018


Source : Google photo of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

Synopsis : A great man was born in India who came from a well to do family that sent him to England for higher studies. But he saw the British as oppressors in his homeland and vowed to dedicate his life to make India free from the British rule. He suffered jail terms, hunger and privations and was hunted like animals by the British when he escaped from his house arrest one day but they never caught him. He sought help from Hitler and the Japanese and formed the Indian National Army in Singapore that marched through Burma to reach India where he gave the British battle and planted the Indian flag for the first time on Indian soil. Then he mysteriously disappeared. This is the story of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.


A documentary on the life of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose (Source : U tube video)

When it comes to India and its freedom struggle that led to its independence from Great Britain in 1947, only one name comes forward that is still uttered with great reverence , absolute respect and almost Godlike devotion by hundreds of millions of people in the sub continent . He is none other than Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

I have written about the great heroes of India in my previous blogs ( Read My heroes: Netaji Bose )where I included Netaji Bose but I felt that mentioning him only in a short blog did not do justice to his story so today I bring you his story in greater detail and four videos that I post here starting with the first one called Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and two other videos called

The forgotten army Part 1 to 3


Forgotten army Part 4 to 6


He was simply known as Netaji Bose meaning leader Bose who single handedly organized the Indian National Army ( INA ) in Singapore and vowed in front of his 50000 strong army that he will fight to the last drop of his blood to make India free from British rule and shameful subjugation of a once proud nation that gave birth to Buddha ,Krishna and Ram. His battle cry was Lets go to Delhi , Give me your blood, I will give you freedom.

Never in the history of freedom struggle in India had a leader like Bose appeared to challenge the British rule through armed struggle although the history recalls that the freedom struggle started long ago in 1857 when the Queen of Jhansi took on the challenge and gave her life. That revolution that the British disdainfully called the Sepoy mutiny and crushed ruthlessly was a wake up call for them because they had never imagined that such a revolution could take place simultaneously all over India.

They suffered serious losses at first in Lucknow, Meerut , Delhi among others where thousands of British were killed but they were able to rally the loyal troops later and defeated the revolutionary army led by the Queen of Jhansi and others.

Thus India slumbered under the heavy yoke of British occupation posing no serious threat to the British until the early 1900s when once again many Indians took up arms to fight the British but they were also crushed and hanged.

Then came a new kind of leader who was charismatic, great orator, of majestic great personality , educated in England and a great military strategist called Bose. India had never seen someone like him before and neither had the British but they were about to learn some hard lessons that would ultimately force them out of India in 1947.

The fall of Singapore in the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army during the second world war was described by Winston Churchill as the single most devastating defeat of the British army in their long history of Colonial period from which they would never recover to save their empire.

They were taking significant losses in England from Hitler and now in Singapore their defeat by the Japanese seemed cataclysmic because the Japanese army captured over 90000 prisoners that included Indian, British, Australians and New Zealand soldiers in a very short period of time. The Indian soldiers were separated from the rest and were given the choice of joining the newly formed Indian National Army (INA) that was formed to fight the British in India. They just needed a leader like Bose so his arrival from Germany where he failed to get support from Hitler was the impetus the INA needed to start their military campaign .

Bose had the fearless samurai spirit that galvanized the INA troops as a single lethal fighting machine that would be victorious in many battles and also lose some of them but they were able to conquer Imphal and Kohima and planted the Indian national flag for the first time in India. The history tells us that these victories were short lived as their supply of food and ammunitions dwindled in the jungles of Burma and they were forced to retreat after losing some 25000 men and women.

Bose was the first leader to form the Rani Laksmi Bai Brigade of young women and trained them to fight shoulder to shoulder with men. The two videos posted above tell you their stories about the forgotten army called the INA so I do not need to repeat here their stories.

But the demise of the INA and the dissolution of the army had serious repercussions for the now ex soldiers of the INA who could not see a clear future for them because India was still under the British occupation but unknown to them, a wild fire of patriotism had been lit that spread like crazy in India. It energized the Indian soldiers serving under the British that caught the British by total surprise . The widespread British Navy uprising that followed the demise of the INA was the last nail in the coffin of the British empire that now shook in its boots . They had underestimated Bose and his victories in Imphal and Kohima that had caused the chain reaction in India now.

Here is the last video with link to show that Netaji Bose and his INA armed struggle and victories in Andaman, Nicobar, Kohima and Imphal decided the fate of British in India that forced them out. It was definitely not Gandhi and his non violent movement that brought freedom to India.

Video link : Netaji gave independence to India (https://youtu.be/luVkby03xH4)

The independence of India had nothing to do with Gandhi and his non violence movement to rid India of the British but the Congress party in power since Independence in 1947 made the propaganda that told the whole world the lies and marginalized the great freedom fighter Bose after forcing his resignation as the Congress party chief and then telling all Indians and the world how great Gandhi was.

They paid Richard Attenborough a great deal of money to make the purely propaganda film calling Gandhi where not a single mention was made of Bose and his efforts to free India which made the Indians angry so the movie was premiered in Manila where the Filipinos did not know anything about Bose and his freedom struggles. Gandhi still remains a popular topic in churches there where the padres repeat the same lies they were fed by the Indian Congress party. If only they knew who and what Gandhi was, they would change their mind.

This narrative continues even today but the Indians have never forgotten their greatest hero and national leader Bose who had stood up to British and had openly challenged their authority in India through armed struggle.

British Prime Minister Attlee had admitted during his visit to Lucknow and Kolkata after Indian independence that the victories of INA in the north east and the subsequent navy revolt in Mumbai and elsewhere in India made them decide to leave India. They had totally underestimated Bose and his influence in the British army and navy where most soldiers were Indians. They could no longer depend on them to protect their colony that was the crown jewel of their empire.The soldiers of INA were the former members of the British army who had thousands of sympathizers in India who were willing to defect to INA at the opportune time.

Note : The capture of some INA soldiers and their subsequent public trial at the Red Fort, Delhi so incensed the patriotic Indians that it spread to the British Navy officers all over India who revolted .

The Word War II had weakened England to the extent that she needed serious help from the Americans after the war to rebuild their country so they were not at all prepared to face such great challenge from Bose now so they cut their losses and left India.

The Congress party did not stop at marginalizing Bose even after independence and spread more lies about him. They said that Bose had died in the plane crash near Taipei but this is now proved to be false. The recently declassified documents running some 80000 pages suggest that the Indian government knew that Bose had not died in the plane crash but did nothing to contact Russia that said that they had dossier on Bose that could shed more light on his activities there after the war.

Nehru was mortally afraid of Bose and ordered surveillance on Bose relatives in Kolkata for decades after independence to know the whereabouts of Bose so they intercepted their letters and followed them around. Nehru did not believe that Bose had died in Taipei but did not ask the Soviets to provide the dossier on him so Bose remained unknown and forgotten. This was deliberate.

Then one day an unknown sadhu appeared in a small town of Uttar Pradesh called Faizabad who some people say had a striking resemblance to Bose but with thick white beard and long white hair. Read about this unknown saint in my blog called My heroes- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose .

The nameless saint ( L ) and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose ( R ) Source -Google photo

The nameless saint did not receive visitors except a very few and would speak to them from behind a curtain so no one really saw him except his doctor and nurse or the cook. But few people who had a chance to see him and talk to him came away convinced that he was Netaji Bose himself and no other.

He talked to them in detail about his dealings with Hitler, the Japanese officials, his stay in the Soviet Russia that had given him asylum, his talks with Ho Chi Minh whom he had advised to make heroin and other drugs freely available in South Vietnam to weaken the Americans. I have seen myself how addicted US soldiers became to drugs when one night I walked up to a soldier who was guarding an important American outpost and found him totally conked out on drugs. He did not have the energy to pull the trigger of his M16 gun. Some say that more than 30 % of the US soldiers were on drugs. ( Read my biography-Chapter three -Vietnam )

Read this excerpt from wikipedia here …

“Now that India was free, Netaji Bose turned his attention to make the enemy intelligence weaker, which will protect India indirectly. America could not win any war in South East Asia, thanks to Russian intelligence and Bose’s expertise. He was a master of disguise and using unusual battle tactics to fool the enemy. The Chinese — Ho Chi Minh’s pride of 9 generals and a shadow behind them had the “Shadow” of Bose which helped them curb American and British intelligence in middle east and crush American in Vietnam war through Guerrilla fights, information warfare and other cunning methods (more than 30% of American army was on Drugs for example because Bose suggested Chinese to dump Heroine and Cocaine in Vietnam).”

I have written about the drug mule called the Orient express in chapter three of my biography so it may be worth reading about my stay in Vietnam during the war. He said that he was present in Paris when the US- Vietnam peace treaty was signed on Jan. 27 in 1973 because Ho Chi Minh wanted him to. He talked about many things that only he was privy to about the INA and its officers. It is said that he was instrumental in arranging the escape of Dalai Lama to India from Tibet.

The saint without name also talked about why he wanted to remain obscure even if he gave ample hint that he was Bose. He said that it was not in the national interest for him to come out because it may cause a social upheaval that the country does not need.

It is known that prominent Indian and other people went to see him including Indira Gandhi but no one knows what transpired. Then one day the unknown saint died and his ashes were buried in front of Ram Bhavan in Faizabad where a memorial has been built but without a name as per his last wishes. His devotees put flowers on his samadhi everyday .

After his death a total of 26 trunks were found in his room that were taken away by the government and kept under lock and key at the treasury building until a judge in Allahabad high court ordered the trunks to be opened to find what it contained.

The contents of the trunks surprised everyone. They found numerous family photo graphs of Bose and his family in Kolkata , hand written letters and documents from them to him, his Rolex watch, his reading glasses, his pen, his binoculars from Germany, his pipe that he used to smoke , numerous books, magazines and clippings from numerous news papers where his news and photos had appeared in India and abroad . There are so many personal items that no one other than Bose would keep like this after so many years confirming that he was indeed the man himself.

The two photos posted side by side show a clear resemblance but the mystery still remains . The items found in 26 trunks will now be placed in a museum somewhere but Bose has made his place in the Indian heart permanent and his statues adorn almost every town square in the country. The Kolkata International airport that was previously called Dum Dum airport is now named after him and his grand statue stands in front of the Red Fort in Delhi where he had dreamed of arriving one day with his victorious INA army.

Source : The statue of Netaji Bose in front of the Red Fort in Delhi

The Gumnam baba or the saint without name has now become ash but his dream of independent India came true when he was still alive and went to his eternal sleep knowing that he had done his duty to free his motherland. A grateful nation agrees.

The samadhi of Gumnam baba ( unknown saint) in Faizabad , India

Source : Google photo of what is believed to be Netaji’s last resting place.

Note : The Prime Minister of India Mr. Modi will raise the INA flag on the Red Fort in Delhi for the first time on October 21, 2018 that was the dream of Netaji Bose. Old and feeble INA soldiers in their 80s and 90s some in wheel chairs and others in crutches will attend the ceremony that honors their hero and their sacrifice for the liberation of India.The INA has now been recognized as the legitimate army for the national independence meaning that the surviving members of the INA and their widows will receive pensions and other benefits due to them retroactively. They also receive free medical care and assistance in housing and education for their children.

A national museum displaying the memorabilia of Netaji Bose and that of INA and depicting the history of struggle of INA will soon open in Delhi.

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