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Calcutta Congress 1928 - Military preparations of Subhas

The Calcutta Congress in December 1928, according to Nanda Mukherjee, biographer, was a landmark in Subhas's life. He was elected to be the president of the All India Youth Congress in Calcutta. He was the General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the Congress Volunteers. The session was presided over by Motilal Nehru. The attendance in the Calcutta session was the largest and all arrangements were made at a big scale. Subhas was in the lead and he was assisted by several important revolutionary groups, including the Mukti Sangha or the Bengal Volunteers of Hemchandra Ghosh, Sri Sangha of Anil Baran Roy and Leela Nag, Masterda Surjo Sen and his team, Anushilon Samity, Jugantar and other revolutionary groups from across Bengal. They had joined hands to use Congress as a platform to further the revolutionary activities and they had explicit trust in Subhas Chandra Bose. Major Satya Gupta helped in bringing the needed military discipline and even women were participants as volunteers under Latika Bose. This event was a taste of things to come in the form of I.N.A.  A mounted battalion was prepared to escort the President. The conference was held in Park Circus Maidan, which was renamed as Deshbandhu Nagar. The volunteers were trained in battle like discipline and rules and regulations like checking the identify of every participant without distinction. It seemed to everybody that a huge army was marching past across Calcutta, an army entirely of Indians, under the leadership of an Indian. Everybody was amazed by the efficiency and dedication with which this event was organized. Gandhiji had initially refused to come to Calcutta Congress but Motilal Nehru had persuaded him to join to support his report. Gandhiji had called the volunteer parade in military style a circus and strongly disapproved of it.

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