Historical significance of this day
- In the saga of India’s freedom struggle, 30 December 1943 holds a special place etched in time.
- It was on this day that a national flag was hoisted for the first time on Indian soil, at Port Blair.
- It is also significant that Netaji escaped British surveillance from Kolkata on 16 Jan 1941 and stepped back on Indian soil after nearly three years, at Port Blair Aerodrome on 29 Dec 1943 at 11:30 am and unfurled a National flag the next day.
- Netaji’s visit to the islands as the Head of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind and Supreme Commander of Indian National Army marked a symbolic fulfilment of his promise that the Indian National Army would stand on Indian soil by the end of 1943.
- This historic visit also marked a declaration of Andaman and Nicobar Islands as the “first liberated territory of India”.
- The location of Netaji’s historic arrival on 29 Dec 1943 accompanied by Sarvashri Anand Mohan Sahay (Secretary with Ministerial Rank), Captain Rawat – ADC and Col DS Raju (personal physician of Netaji), lies within the premises of what is now Andaman and Nicobar Command’s Air Station INS Utkrosh.
- Smarak which was unveiled recently is a tribute not only to the resolve of the soldiers of the Indian National Army and their innumerable sacrifices.
- It also reminds us of the values enshrined by Netaji himself, “Nishtha, Kartavya aur Balidan” or “Commitment, Duty and Sacrifice” that continue to underscore the ethos of the Indian Armed Forces and the resolve of the Indian Soldier.
Note: The Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island would now be known as Shaheed Dweep and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep.
About Subhash Chandra Bose-
- Subhas Chandra Bose, affectionately called as Netaji, was born on January 23, 1897 in Cuttack, Orissa.
- His father Janaki Nath Bose was a famous lawyer and his mother Prabhavati Devi was a pious and religious lady.
- He topped the matriculation examination of Calcutta province and graduated with a First Class in Philosophy from the Scottish Churches College in Calcutta.
- He was strongly influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s teachings and was known for his patriotic zeal as a student.
- To fulfill his parents wishes he went to England in 1919 to compete for Indian Civil Services. In England he appeared for the Indian Civil Service competitive examination in 1920, and came out fourth in order of merit.
- However, Subhas Chandra Bose was deeply disturbed by the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre, and left his Civil Services apprenticeship midway to return to India in 1921.
- After returning to India Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose came under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi and joined the Indian National Congress.
- On Gandhiji’s instructions, he started working under Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, whom he later acknowledged as his political guru.
- On May 20, 1923 he was elected leader of the All India Youth Council and secretary of the Bengal State Congress.
- He became mayor of Calcutta in 1930.
- In 1938 he accepted nomination as the INC presidential candidate.
- He organised the All India Forward Bloc on Oct 8, 1939.
- Bose escaped from India after it became hostile towards him in 1941.
- He was the first man to call Mahatma Gandhi the father of the nation.
- He earned the title ‘Netaji’, in Germany in 1942 by the Indian soldiers of the Azad Hind Fauj.
- In 1943, he came to Singapore to lead the Indian Independence league and rebuild the INA to make it an effective instrument for the freedom of India.
- On 21 October 1943, he proclaimed the formation of the provisional government of independent India (Azad Hind) in Singapore.
- On Aug 18, 1945 Subhas Chandra Bose disappeared and later he was announced to have died in a plane crash on the way to Taiwan, but this has been hotly disputed and never confirmed
Further reading: https://journalsofindia.com/legacy-of-subhash-chandra-bose/