“Tell me, who is responsible for India being chained under British rule?” Asked the head Master who was visiting class of young students.
A short and lean boy, from the first bench, answered immediately,
The other children to make noise as a response to his answer. Confused kid looked upon the headmaster and asked,
“did I say anything wrong, we could have timely stopped the British”.
Now the rest of the class started to laugh. Headmaster silenced them up and said it is very true that if we Bengalis had shown a little bit more of a resistance, we could have definitely changed the course of this fate.
Headmaster Veni Madhavji walked upto the boy and asked his name,
The bright boy replied, – ‘Subhash’
‘advocate Janakinath’s son?’
The boy nodded and went with other children to board a carriage to go home.
That night, Subhash heard his father Sri.Janakinath Bose and mother Prabhavathi’s conversion. His father had returned from the court and it was his practice to visit the European Club daily. But today he had canceled the visit. Curious Subhash heard his father speak.
Janakinath Bose had decided to resign from his post in protest to the discrimination he is facing at the work place. And his mother was opposing the idea.
Subhash was 9th in the family of 14 siblings. They were a financial sound family because of efforts of Janakinath bose who had raised to the rank of advocate by his own virtue.
Subhash ran to his headmaster for finding answers to his questions, the next day.
Sir, who is a Gulam(slave)? He asked.
Veni Madhavji replied patiently- the one who forgets to listening to his heart and mind, and works as per others order is a gulam.
Veni Madhavji continued, “Parampoojya swamiji was right, India should get complete swarajya, unless we attain political freedom we will never progress”
Subhash wanted to know who this swamiji was, who was quoted by his heater very often.
Now this young boy ran to his father in search of answers,
“Father, who is this Swamiji, who has influenced the likes of Veni Madhavji?” He asked.
His father narrated him the story of a young sanyasi who had brought glory to India by his representation and address at parliment of World’s religion, held at Chicago, just a few years back.
Subhash was deeply impressed by this sanyasi- Swami Vivekananda.
The magnetic charisma of Swami vivekananda had a very big impact on young Subhash. He started to read the works of Swamiji and the need to get out of shackles of imperial rule started to trouble him.
He began to care for the poor. He stopped taking carriages to the school and began to walk. Now subhash used to spend more time reading books and mother Prabhavathi had noticed this change in him.
Subhash was trying to find answers to the lost legacy of India, he was worried about his countrymen. How can a country which was a knowledge hub of the world, ruled by valiant rulers fell into clutches of British? These thought kept him awake at night. Seeing his condition, his parents decided to send him to live with his brother Sharad chandra bose for few days.
The journey from Cuttack to Kolkatha had created a deep anger towards the British rule. People were living a third grade life. They were just skeletons, even on saluting these officers, their queen and king, they are not doing any good the people. Then should we salute them.
Subhash had decided on one thing.
During the school assembly in Ravenshaw collegiate school it was a routine to say Queen’s prayer. That day it was Subhash’s turn. He did nit start the prayer, when asked he refused to sing praise to the queen of England. He took beating from the cane but that did not bend his decision. He kept on saying, who is queen of England to us? Is she our guru? is she our leader? Is she fighting to provide good living for our people? No, then why should I sing her praise.
His words invited few more beating. Upon enquiring about his recent activities and what caused him to rebel against school prayer, Jankinath found out that Subhash has been closely following the revolutionaries of ‘Anusheelana Samiti’. He had a paper cutting of execution of Khudiram Bose.
Being a Rai Bahadur, Jankinath bose had received invitation to Delhi for celebration of visit of King George V to India. To distract Subhash from recent events, his father took him to Delhi.
First week of December 1911, Subhash witnessed grandeur of British Raj in Delhi. He despised it. When all the great warriors, saints and scholars from different parts of India bowed down to King George, Subhash’s blood boiled. Jankinath was being introduced to the king, when someone asked Subhash to bow down to the King. Subhash stood their as if he heard no one talking. King George took a good look onto this boys face and moved ahead.
To his friends at kolkatha Subhash has described the procession of King George as a ‘Shava yatra’.
After a few days a news broke out that a revolutionary hurled bomb at the Viceroy in Chandani Chowk, Delhi. Viceroy had a narrow escape. Jankinath bose heard Subhash saying this should have happened during King George’s visit. When our people are dying due to famine, cholera took 30000 lives, where king and his officers. He should have been attacked.
The young revolutionary who hurled bomb was recognized as Ras Bihari Bose. Subhash was very happy that he was a Bengali. Subhash’s activity caused suspicion in his father’s mind. He searched Subhash’s room only to find posters calling for revolutionaries to join freedom movement and make ultimate sacrifice. The posters were from ‘Lala hardayal’ group based in America. Jankinath bose was now seriously worried about subhash’s future.
Meanwhile, police had started a crackdown on houses at Cuttack. News was Ras Bihari Bose had come to Cuttack and people had helped with money generously to fight his future wars. Subhash’s friends from Anusheelana samiti had gone into hiding. It was found that subhash had contributed 200 rupees. As he was a minor and son of Jankinath bose he was left out with a strong warning. But Subhash had taken it as a humiliation and had decided to put an end to the British rule. His parents were worried he would not even pass metric exams.
But Subhash had secured second rank in the metric exams that year. This boy had learnt a lesson to have a vast planning before jumping into any action. He did his BA, went to England. Returned to India to serve mother India. He became ‘Nethaji Subhash Chandra Bose’. He became the most popular leader among Indians and most feared leaders among British.
Dr Sindhu Prashanth