Netaji Jayanti, also known as Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti, is an annual celebration in India to commemorate the birth anniversary of one of the most charismatic and influential leaders in the country's history – Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Born on January 23, 1897, in Cuttack, Odisha, Netaji had played a pivotal role in India's struggle for independence and left an indelible mark on the nation's history.
Early life and education:
Subhas was born into a prominent Bengali family with a rich legacy of public service. His father, Janakinath Bose, was a successful lawyer, and his mother, Prabhavati Devi, was a devout and influential figure. Bose showed early signs of leadership and determination, pursuing his education at Cambridge University in England.
The call for Independence:
Netaji, as he came to be known, was deeply influenced by the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi. Despite being a part of the Indian Civil Service, he resigned in 1921 to join the Non-Cooperation Movement led by Gandhi. However, his radical approach and differences with Gandhi led him to part ways and adopt more militant methods to achieve independence.
Formation of the Forward Bloc:
In 1939, Netaji established the Forward Bloc, advocating complete independence for India. He believed in the use of force against the British and sought support from various nations, including Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, during World War II.
The great escape:
One of the most daring chapters in Netaji's life was his escape from house arrest in Calcutta in 1941. Disguised as a Pathan, he reached Germany via Afghanistan and eventually travelled to Japan. In Tokyo, he formed the Indian National Army (INA), comprising Indian prisoners of war, with the aim of liberating India from British rule.
Legacy and contributions:
Netaji's contributions to India's struggle for independence and his visionary leadership continue to inspire generations. The INA's slogan "Jai Hind" and the stirring words of Netaji – "Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom" – remain etched in the collective memory of the nation.
Celebrating Netaji Jayanti:
Netaji Jayanti is observed across India with various events and activities. Schools, colleges, and government institutions organize programs to educate the younger generation about the life and legacy of this extraordinary leader. Cultural events, seminars, and exhibitions are also held to pay homage to Netaji's indomitable spirit and sacrifice.
Netaji's life is a saga of courage, sacrifice, and unwavering commitment to the idea of a free and independent India. Netaji Jayanti serves as a reminder to honor his legacy, to learn from his principles, and to strive for a society built on justice, equality, and freedom. On this day, let us celebrate the visionary leader whose contributions played a crucial role in shaping the destiny of a nation.