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Bose,Rashbehari (1880/6-1945)
By one version Rashbehari Bose was born in 1880 in Subaldaha (Burdwan), by another in 1886 in Parla-Bighati (Hooghly). His mother died soon after his birth. His father Binodebehari married again. His stepmother gradually became like his own mother. He had early education at Subaldaha under his grandfather Kalicharan; then in the Duplex college at Chandernagore. Rashbehari, not a very attentive student, was noted for way word behaviour. From the second class, he stopped going to school.

Soon after he went to his father at Calcutta. He was more anxious for physical prowess than study. He felt insulted that Bengalees Were Debarred from the army. He tried to enter the army under a false name. Being detected, beaten and confined for some time, he returned to his house the next day in the afternoon. His father again sent him to Chandernagore. Finding him unmindful in studies, Kalicharan confined him in a room, but he was released at the intervention of his stepmother. Rashbehari stopped going to school.

Binode was employed in the Government Press, Simla. Rashbehari went there and was appointed a copyholder. There he mastered English and typewriting. Soon he returned to Chandernagore and came in contact with Srish Ghose of the Gondalpara group of the Jugantar party. In May 1908, a letter of Rashbehari was alleged to have been found at the Maniktala garden when Aurobindo, Barin and others were arrested for the Alipore Conspiracy Case.

On his colleagues’ advice, he went to Dehra Dun as a guardian tutor in the house of Pramatha Nath Tagore. After serving some time in the Kausali Pasteur Institute, he joined the Dehra Dun Forest Research Institute. He picked up the revolutionary links formed by Jatin Banerjee (Niralamba Swami) in Punjab and Delhi.

He kept contact with Srish Ghose and Amarendra Nath Chatterjee. Rashbehari planned something sensational during the Viceroy’s state entry into Delhi. On his request, Amarendranath sent Basanta Biswas with some bombs Rashbehari. On December 23,1912, Basanta threw a bomb on the Vicergal procession. Rashbehari was an absconding accused; Amir Chand, Avad Behari, Bal Mukand and Basanta Biswas got capital sentence.

Thenceforth Rashbehari started travelling incognito in Punjab, U.P. and Bengal. World War I had then started and Indian revolutionaries arranged German help to organise a rising in India. A Marathi youngman named Pingley reached Calcutta with Satyem Sen of the Jugantar Party carrying news of German aid. Pingley was deputed to assist Rashbehari at Benares. Rashbehari, Pingley and the Ghadar party were Working together for an armed rising. Sachin Sanyal joined them.

Jatin Mukherjee, leader of the Jugantar Party, met Rashbehari at Benares and asked him to take charge of U.P. and Punjab. During this period Rashbehari had many miraculous escapes in Lahore, Amritsar and Benares. In March 1915, Pingley was arrested in Meerut cantonment with some bombs and was executed. Deciding to leave India for Japan, Rashberi went to Benares and stayed with swami Vidyanand of Sandhya in Gudhaur Math. His Jugantar friends sent him money through Amar Bose, son of Atin Bose. Rashbehari left for Japan in June1915 with P. N. Tagore passport.

In Japan, he met Herambalal Gupta and Bhagwan Singh. Japan was a British ally in the war. Britian tried for extradition of Heramba and Rashbehari. When they were ordered to quit Japan, the Black Dragon party gave then protection. They remained confined in a house. Heramba at a great risk escaped on a Mexican ship to America. Radhbehari became a Japanese citizen but marrying Shoma, daughter of Toyana. After the war, he took part in cultural affairs, wrote books in Japanese and explained Indian viewpoints. In 1924, He founded the Indian Independence League.

Rashbehari gained political prominence again during the Second World War. When Japan declared war, he formed the Indian National Army, travelling extensively in the Far East, then conquered by Japan. Capt. Mohan Singh and Sardar Pritam Singh helped Rashbehari in this. As Japanese conquests extended up to Burma, the Indian National Army grew in importance, getting recruits from the war prisoners.

He handed over the organisation to Subhas Bose on his arrival in June 1943. His son Mahaside died fighting the British army. Rashbehari expired before the end of the War on 21 January 1945 when Japan was collapsing. He left behind his wife Shoma and daughter Tetuke. They are Japanese citizens.

Rashbehari had a dominating personality. He was a nationalist but believed in international co-operation, as was apparent during the two World Wars. In social matters he was liberal, with no caste or creed distinction. In India he led an austere but unconventional life, yet was calm in temperament. After marriage he led a happy family life.

His position in the Indian revolutionary movement was almost unique. He started his political career from Chandernagore and Calcutta, having links with the Manicktala garden group though Srish Ghose. While in Dehra Dun and Punjab, he worked with the local people, enjoying their full confidence. He was above regionalism. His remarkable organising talent was evident during the Second World War when he formed in INA.

Author : Arun Chandra Guha