For the independence of India many persons sacrificed their lives and many suffered physically or humiliated by the British who came thousands kilometres away to exploit our human, agricultural, natural and mineral resources. Even many British insulted Indians in many ways by using filthy language. One example may be cited here, Prof E F Otten made a racist remark against the Indian students in Presidency College of Calcutta for which Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and other students vehemently objected. .
In this article, I am presenting a case of a great patriot, a great human being but presently forgotten by many in India, is Rash Behari Bose. He was born in present state of West Bengal to Binod Behari Bose and Bhubaneshwari Devi on 25 May 1886. Since childhood, he had interest in sports. Bose became famous after the Delhi-Lahore conspiracy case, which was a series of assassination attempts on Lord Hardinge and Commissioner Lawrence Gordon (www.sirfnews.com/rash-behari-bose-the-forgotten-hero).
During World War I, Bose was involved with the Gadar (Ghadar) Revolution that attempted a revolt against the British in India in February 1915. He was that time one of the leading figures in the Party. The philosophy of the Gadar/Ghadar leaders was to get rid of the slavery caused by the British. But it was not successful and many Gadar (Ghadar) functionaries were arrested and punished. Anyway, Rash Behari managed to escape and reached Japan in 1915. The British wanted to extradite him from Japan, but subsequent hostilities between the two countries helped him to stay in Japan. It is pertinent to mention that the wealthy Soma family of Japan managed to save him by hiding him in the basement of their Nakamuraya bakery, where he worked with the chefs to make Indian curry and later on he married Soma’s daughter Ms. Toshiko Soma, happy married life and they had two children also. Bose also taught his wife Toshiko how to wear Indian sari. Bose got Japanese citizenship in 1923 but unfortunately because of bad health his wife passed away in 1924. After her death, he never remarried (theprint.in/theprint-essential/rash-behari-bose-the-indian-freedom-fighter-japan-remembers-as-its-beloved-chef/62722).
Rash Behari Bose’s enormous contribution as great patriot may be seen from the following few lines, “With the bombing of Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Japan was officially at war with the allied forces. Rash Behari Bose seized this opportunity to convince Prime Minister Tojo of Japan to support Indian cause. Japanese spared Indians in the British and American territories they conquered. This proved vital as Indian PoWs were treated respectfully and later on handed over to Rash Behari Bose who organised them as the Indian National Army in the year 1942. The Japanese set up a War Council with Rash Behari Bose’s IIL (Indian Independence League) and the INA (Indian National Army) to launch a campaign in India” (www.sirfnews.com/rash-behari-bose-the-forgotten-hero).
On 4 July 1943, Rash Behari Bose handed over all operations to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, another great patriot of India. It is noteworthy to mention that Aiyappan-Pillai Madhavan Nair (1905–1990), A.M. Nair was closely involved in Indian independence movement. Nair helped in establishing the Indian Independence League (IIL) in Japan which was set up under Rash Behari Bose and later he (Nair) and Rash Behari Bose advised Japan Government to bring Subhas Chandra Bose to Japan. Finally when Subhas Chandra came Nair greatly helped him in various ways.
Rash Behari Bose although passed away on 21 January 1945 and many Indians might have forgotten in India but in Japan, he was given the highest honour: the Second Order of the Rising Sun.
Pronam to such a great soul of the country.
. Dr. Shankar Chatterjee
Former Professor& Head (CPME)
NIRD &PR (Govt. of India),