Bose : Not the Forgotten Hero

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose – the name shines brighter than most others, in the history of India’s freedom struggle. The nation today, 23 January, is celebrating the 123rd birth anniversary of the legendary freedom fighter.  Born in Cuttack, Odisha in 1897, Bose was the Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism made him a hero in India. His ‘never say die’ spirit and call for freedom – “Give me blood, I’ll give you Freedom” and “ Dilli Chalo”, boosted the youth to plunge into the liberation struggle.  Bose had been a leader of the younger wing of the Indian National Congress in the late 1920s and 1930s, rising to become Congress President in 1938 and 1939. He was the key person to form the Indian National Army (INA), with the help of Japanese support, consisting of the then composed of Indian soldiers of the British Indian army who had been captured in the Battle of Singapore. On his birth anniversary today, the nation celebrates his courage, valour, contribution and sacrifice for India’s independence. Comic artists and illustrators too are no exception. Here are a few of them :

Comics by Satra – Satrajit Choudhury

Channeling his emotions, Choudhury told Animation Xpress, “In the current age, we tend to worship heroes but forget their ideals. I wanted to pay respect to the idea of freedom which Netaji believed in, stood for and lived his entire life for. This is why I chose to depict the flag of Azand Hind Fauj, and not the man himself, in my cartoon. To respect the ideals, more than the idol.”

MAli’s – Mahfuj Ali

Said Ali to Animation Xpress, “We have seen politicians who won election and from the next day they are busy campaigning for the next election and growing in power, money and corruption. But as we have read Netaji and his wisdom. It truly felt honest, i think that is the only thing we seek from our politician. honesty and working for what they are supposed to do. That is why we still need him. For Freedom from corruption, for freedom against all the irregularities.”

BOB_ALMOST and ALMOST_BOBBY – Saswata Mukherjee and Susruta Mukherjee

“The policies of the current government is against the ideals freedom fighters like Subhas Chandra Bose and Shah Nawaz Khan fought for. So we imagined him and his commander Shah Nawaz Khan raising their voices against the divisive forces of the government,” added Saswata. The text in the artwork has been taken from Varun Grover’s poem Kaagaz Nahi Dikhayenge.

Arko Chakraborty 

Apart from the comic artists and illustrators, India’s one of the most loved animated characters, Chhota Bheem too took to Twitter to pay a tribute to this National Hero. Bose and the circumstances surrounding him, still remains a matter of mystery and piques curiosity and debates. So much so that, global streaming platform Amazon Prime Video is coming up with a new original series, The Forgotten Army, based on true events and journey of many young men and women, who fought for the country’s independence as part of the INA, led by Netaji himself. The series is directed by Bajrangi Bhaijaan fame Kabir Khan. This comes after acclaimed Bengali filmmaker Srijit Mukherji made a film titled Gumnaami in 2019 based on the Mukherjee Commission Hearings that traces the mysterious death or disappearance of Bose and his identity as the suspected Gumnaami baba. Noted actor Prosenjit Chatterjee played the role of Netaji and the alleged Gumnaami baba. Rajkumar Rao too played Bose in the recent times in Bose: Dead or Alive, an Indian historical period drama web television miniseries based on the book India’s Biggest Cover-up by activist Anuj Dhar that was released on JioCinema at ALTBalaji on 20 November, 2017.  Well, Bose still runs in our blood and acquires an irreplaceable position in our hearts.