Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Freedom Fighter Rash Behari Bose's birthday as an ideal ' Pravasi Bharatiya Divas ' ??

   2015 has dawned in ! And India is now looking forward to celebrate ' Pravasi Bharatiya Divas ' , like it does every January !! The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas falls on January 9 , celebrating Gandhiji's return to India with arrival in Mumbai !! It is observed to acknowledge the role of Non Residential Indians in the development of India !! Also , Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award are handed out on this day by the President , to NRIs who have contributed exceptionally to their fields !! With this day , we have atleast 3 days associated with Gandhiji which are observed in India !! We have his birthday 2nd october observed across India as Gandhi Jayanti n International Non-Violence Day , his death anniversary 30th January is observed as Martyr's day , and his return to India as Pravasi Bharatiya Divas !!

   While , 1 does not Deny Gandhiji's role in freedom struggle !! It was he who United the Country and made freedom struggle a National Movement !! One may not agree with many of his decision which proved bad for India , but no one can deny this fact !! But , isnt celebrating so many days in his memory , when there were several other freedom fighters who played very important roles in the freedom struggle ??? When we already have a National Holiday on his birthday n already celebrate Gandhi Jayanti , the ideal martyr's day would perhaps , be , 23rd March [ Bhagat Singh , Rajguru and Sukhdev hanged ] !!

  I wud like to share here , another idea which has struck my mind ! Why not celebrate the birthday of an NRI freedom fighter who played one of the most crucial , and yet highly undermined and unsung role in the freedom stuggle of India !! His name is usually either missing from Nehruvian history textbooks , or barely appears once to be noticed !! His name , as u may have already read in d title to this post , is Rash Behari Bose !! His birthdate is 25th May , 1886 !! I wud like to explain why his role is 1 of d most crucial in d freedom struggle of India , n thus ,why 25th May wud be an ideal Pravasi Bharatiya Divas !!

  Rash Behari Bose was born in a village in Burdwan district ,present day West Bengal , went to school in Chandannagar and earned degrees in medical sciences as well as engineering from France and Germany !!
He was always interested in revolutionary activities , and took active participation in revolutionary activities following partition of Bengal ! He took part in the Alipore Bomb case , in protest against Partition of Bengal !! He attempted to assassinate the then viceroy of India , Lord Hardinge ,
which failed ! he then successfully evaded arrests n took further part in the Ghadar conspiracy , or Ghadar mutiny , which involved a pan-Indian mutiny in the British Indian army !! But this again failed due to British intelligence !! He then had to escape to Japan to evade arrest !! And here his where his crucial role as an NRI freedom fighter starts !!

  He stayed with various pan-Asian groups in Japan , n became a citizen in 1923 ! He also married a local ! He started living there as a journalist and writer , during which he kept on developing important contacts ! Thus , when Second World War struck , he , along with A M Nair was instrumental in persuading the Japanese authorities to stand by Indian Nationalists and ultimately to officially support Indian Independence struggle abroad ! He established the ' Indian Independence League ' !! He moved a motion in d league to raise an army for Indian Independence !! During d league's second conference in Bangkok , he invited Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to join d league and take command as its president !!

   The Indian Prisoners of War captured by Japanese were then encouraged to join the Indian Independence League and become the soldiers of the ' Azad Hind Fauj ' !! He selected the flag and handed it over to Netaji !

   Thus , it was due to his 30 years of efforts as an Indian freedom fighter in Japan , that the INA could be built and Netaji could lead it !! And It was INA under the Netaji that dealt the most crushing blow to the British Empire and shook its pillars [ Army , Navy and Airforce ] , and motivated the Indians in them to protest against British rule !! I would put another blog soon on the role of INA and Netaji and how the British decision to quit India was influenced by them and not by Gandhiji's Quit India !!

   Thus , it would be ideal to celebrate May 25 as Pravasi Bharatiya Divas , celebrating the role of this unsung hero Rash Behari Bose , without whose role , perhaps freedom would have never come !!


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