The other Bose - Remembering Rashbehari Bose
Rashbehari Bose's birthday went on 25th May. There was hardly any tribute paid to this great soul by the Indians. Possibly he is forgotten in Japan as well. That is because Japan has sadly become a vassal state of USA, forgetting her own culture and legacy. Rashbehari's contribution to the freedom movement of India can never be forgotten. For about 10 years since the bomb attack on Lord Hardinge, Rashbehari was the enemy number 1 of the British Empire. The British Lion had to accept defeat in front of this great soul. despite their best attempts and great international network, they could not touch Rashbehari. Yet, Rashbehari had to pay a great price. The British intelligence in Japan wanted to eliminate him at any cost. Toyoma San's Black Dragon Society rendered him every form of protection. Yet, Rashbehari and his young wife had to move constantly from one unhealthy place to another, which took a toll on the poor lady's health. She died only eight years after her marriage, loving a foreigner and his Nation, a Nation which she would never see herself, but still, she adopted some of the culture. In India, Rashbehari was formidable. He was the brain behind the planned but failed revolution of 1914. Like all revolutions, it failed owing to treachery and betrayal by a section of the Indians. Yet Rashbehari had brilliant associates - Bagha Jatin, another mastermind, Vishnu Ganesh Pingle, Sachindranath Sanyal, and the entire network of revolutionaries in UP, Delhi, and Punjab, was under Rashbehari's control. He coordinated with the Ghadar party and Berlin committee to launch an international revolt against the Empire. His mastery over deceptive appearances became a legend. How many times he escaped the noose of the British, cannot be counted - once as an Oriya servant, once as a scavenger, as an Anglo Indian musician, as a Brahmin astrologer, and finally, as P.N Tagore - Rabindranath Tagore's secretary, when he sailed to Japan. He did not sit idle in Japan. After recovering from the turbulent initial period when both the British and the Japanese Government were after him to get him deported, he worked actively to smuggle an arms consignment to India. Rabindranath admired him. The poet met Rashbehari and his family in Japan. Rashbehari had become such a legend in North India that when he was being hunted in Lahore, a married woman volunteered to act as his wife and they maintained a purest and most pious relationship, unthinkable today. Rashbehari worked tirelessly for building support for India from within Japan. He was the prime reason why the Japanese finally acceded to support Indian independence endeavours before and during World War 2. He worked actively to form the Indian Independence leagues. He kept a good relationship with Savarkar and Subhas Chandra Bose. Rashbehari Bose jumped at the opportunity of waging one last fight, his best when the Japanese captured Singapore and Malaya. He formed the Indian National army with the PoW. Mainly because of him Japanese army never mistreated any captured British Indian soldier. The Tokyo conference was marred by the plane crash which took the lives of several great revolutionaries. Unfortunately although the army took shape, Mohan Singh's ego played spoilsport. Now we know that British agents were everywhere, they had infiltrated IIL and possibly masterminded the plane crash. Then Rashbehari Bose played his last card. He invited Subhas Chandra Bose from Germany to take over. The great sannyasi relinquished his throne. One great revolutionary handed over the baton to another, younger one, on the 4th of July in Singapore. Rashbehari did not live to see his country's independence. He lost his son, a kamikaze fighter, in WW2. Yet, he died peacefully, knowing that his attempts were not futile. His nation would become free soon. He received the highest state honour in Japan. In India, he was forgotten, more so in Bengal. We can only say, in the language of the great writer Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay - "He Mukti Pather Agradoot, Paradhin Desher He Rajbidrohi, Tomake Pranaam."