Rash Behari Bose

Rash Behari Bose

Infobox revolution biography
name=Rash Behari Bose
lived=May 25, 1886–January 21 1945
placeofbirth=Subaldaha village, Burdwan Dist., West Bengal, India
placeofdeath= Tokyo, Japan

caption=File photo of Rash Behari Bose
movement=Indian Independence movement, Ghadar Conspiracy, Indian National Army
organizations=Jugantar, Indian Independence League, Indian National Army

Rashbehari Bose ( _bn. রাসবিহারী বসু "Rashbihari Boshu") (May 25, 1886–January 21 1945 was a revolutionary leader against the British Raj in India and was one of the key organisers of the Ghadar conspiracy and later, the Indian National Army.

Early life

Bose was born in the Subaldaha village of Burdwan, in the province of Bengal. He had his education in Chandannagar, where his father, Vinodebehari Bose, was stationed.

Revolutionary activities

Though interested in revolutionary activities early in his life, he left Bengal to shun the Alipore bomb case (1908). At Dehradun he worked as a head clerk at the Forest Research Institute. There, through Amarendra Chatterjee of the Jugantar led by Jatin Mukherjee, he secretly got involved with the revolutionaries of Bengal and, thanks to Jatindra Nath Banerjee alias Niralamba Swami - the earliest political disciple of Sri Aurobindo - he came across eminent revolutionary members of the Arya Samaj in the United Provinces(currently U.P.) and the Punjab. [ "Two Great Indian Revolutionaries: Rash Behari Bose and Jyotindra Nath Mukherjee" by Uma Mukherjee, 1966, p101] Following the attempt to assassinate Lord Hardinge, Rash Behari was forced to go into hiding. He was hunted by the colonial police due to his active participation in the failed bomb throwing attempt directed at the Governor General and Viceroy Lord Charles Hardinge in Delhi (the bomb was actually thrown by Basanta Kumar Biswas, a disciple of Amarendra Chatterjee). He returned to Dehra Dun by the night train and joined the office the next day as though nothing had happened. Further, he organised a meeting of loyal citizens of Dehradun to condemn the dastardly attack on the Viceroy. Who on earth could imagine that he was the same person who had masterminded and executed the most outstanding revolutionary action. Lord Hardinge in his "My Indian Years" has described the whole incident in an interesting way. During the flood relief work in Bengal, in 1913, he came in contact with Jatin Mukherjee in whom he "discovered a real leader of men," who "added a new impulse" to Rash Behari's failing zeal. ["op. cit.", p119] Thus,during WW I he became extensively involved as one of the leading figures of the Ghadar Conspiracy that attempted to trigger a mutiny in Inda in February 1915. Trusted and tried Ghadrites were sent to several cantonments to infiltrate into the army. The idea of the Jugantar leaders was that with the war raging in Europe most of the soldiers had gone out of India and the rest could be easily won over. The revolution failed and most of the revolutionaries were arrested. But Rash Behari managed to escape British intelligence and reached Japan in 1915.

Indian National Army

Bose along with A M Nair was instrumental in persuading the Japanese authorities to stand by the Indian nationalists and ultimately to support actively the Indian freedom struggle abroad. Bose convened a conference in Tokyo on March 28-30, 1942, which decided to establish the "Indian Independence League". At the conference he moved a motion to raise an army for Indian liberation. He convened the second conference of the League at Bangkok on June 22, 1942. It was at this conference that a resolution was adopted to invite Subhas Chandra Bose to join the League and take its command as its president.

The Indian prisoners of war captured by the Japanese in the Malaya and Burma fronts were encouraged to join the Indian Independence League and become the soldiers of the Indian National Army (INA), the military wing of Bose's Indian National League. But his rise to actual power and glory was unfortunately terminated by an action of the Japanese military command, which expelled him and his general Mohan Singh from the INA leadership. But though he fell from grace, his organisational structure remained, and it was on the organisational spadework of Rashbehari Bose that Subhash Chandra Bose later built the Indian National Army (also called 'Azad Hind Fauj'). Before his death, the Japanese Government honoured him with the 'Second Order of the Merit of the Rising Sun'.

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