January 23: Today is Netaji Suhash Chandra Bose’s 119th Borth Anniversary and the nation pays homage to this great leader of India, with various functions across the country. Subhash Chandra Bose was born in Cuttack, Orissa on January 23, 1897 into an affluent Bengali family. His father, Janakinath Bose, was a public prosecutor and he ensured that his son got the best education that there was. He was admitted to the Protestant European School, like his brothers and sisters, in January 1902.

He continued his education there until 1909, when he was shifted to the Ravenshaw Collegiate School. The principal of the school soon realised how brilliant a student Bose was and after he secured the second position in matriculation examination in 1913, he was admitted to the Presidency College, where he studied briefly. Bose acquired a reputation as a rebel and his nationalistic temperament came to surface when he was expelled from his college for assaulting Professor Oaten for his anti-national comments. Also Read: Subhash Chandra Bose: Patron of nationalism or admirer of fascism?

He then joined the Scottish Church College at the University of Calcutta, from where he completed his BA in philosophy in 1918. He left for England next year in 1919 and later that year in November 1919, passed his matriculation from the Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge. Since he had promised his father that he would appear for Indian Civil Service examination, he did do that and quite expectedly was selected, as he stood fourth amongst the six entrants. But he refused to join and work for an alien government ruling his own country.

“Only on the soil of sacrifice and suffering can we raise our national edifice”, Bose wrote to his elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose, while on the verge of quitting the Civil Services. He eventually did quit on April 23, 1921 and returned to India to push for nationalistic movement in India, the proponents of which were growing by the day. Bose went on to found Swaraj, and also edited the newspaper Forward, which was founded by his mentor Chittranjan Das, who was also the mayor of Calcutta.

As a tribute to the hero of pre Independence India and one of the greatest leaders of the Indian freedom struggle, prime minister Narendra Modi will release digital copies of 100 files related to Netaji today. The files will be placed in the public domain after The National Archives of India’s preliminary conservation treatment and digitization. An official release on the files said that the initiative will meet the “long-standing public demand” to access these files as well as facilitate scholars to carry out further research on Bose.