The Man Who Got India Freedom Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, 1857 Mutiny and India’s Freedom

India got freedom on 15th August 1947 and that’s why we celebrate Independence Day on this day every year. Many freedom fighters fought to get India free from British colonial rule and they even sacrificed themselves.

Each freedom fighter has played a very important role in getting India freedom. But, who was the key leader who got India freedom? In this article, we will discuss who got India Freedom: Subhash Chandra Bose or MK Gandhi.

The East India Company-British In India

On 24th August 1608, Britishers came to India as an East India Company to do Business/Trading. They landed in India at the port of Surat on 24th August 1608. Can you believe a company that came to India to do business ruled us for 200 Years?

Our ancestors back then were least bothered about united India and were divided among castes, touchable and non-touchable, etc. These customs and practices helped the East India Company to rule over India for 2 centuries.

How did Britain rule India?

British came to India in the 16th century as traders to sell silver and buy back Indian spices and hand-woven cloth. Under the Mughal rule and Mughal Empire, India was in its greatest success under Jehangir and Shah Jahan’s rule.

The Mughal Empire was then generating 40% of the world’s GDP. Later, Aurangzeb came to power and he reintroduced the most hated Jaziya tax and started wars to conquest South India.

The Mughal Empire suffered an economic collapse because of Aurangzeb’s mindless wars. Hindus revolted against the repression of Aurangzeb.

These revolts were led by Shivaji Maharaj in the South, Sikhs of Guru Gobind Singh in the North, and in the East, it was an Assamese General Lachit Burpukhan who saved Assam and North-East from Mughals. These Hindu revolts tore apart the mighty Mughal Empire within one century.

British exploited the chaos caused by the destruction of well established Mughal Empire. Britisher’s used the divide and rule technique and they played one power off against the other-the Marathas against the Nizam and the Sikhs against the Purbayias of modern-day UP, Bihar, Bengal, and so on.

British recruited the locals and trained them to form infantry units. Gradually, the Britishers succeeded in nativization and captured large territory in India.

British Rule In India Subcontinent

East Indian company ruled in India from 1757-1858 and after that British Raj from 1858-1947 because of British consolidation which took place in 1857. British raj refers to the phase of rule in which the Crown of England took direct charge.

Finally, In 1757 The company established the British East India Company rule in India. After all East India Company was a commercial enterprise and as we all know a company keeps its eyes on profits no matter what it takes to make it happen.

Their intent was clear to loot the colonized land and its people. Key characteristics of the British were racial arrogance and white supremacy attitude. They destroyed local crafts and industries to sell their mass-manufactured products. They cut off the hand of the weavers who used to weave the very fine Muslin cloth.

They even forced the local farmers to grow Opium for sale to China and slowly they established a monopoly in Opium production. Back, the Opium trade was a very lucrative business this may be the reason why the company forced the Indian farmers to produce Opium.

These actions of the East India Company gradually lead to great resentment and outrage among Indians and finally, the Indian rebellion in 1857 took place. ‘Final nails in the coffin’ were proselytization efforts and the introduction of greased cartridges said to be dipped in the fat of cows and pigs. Over the period of time around 80,000 Indian soldiers rebelled.

The British however, quelled this rebellion movement with brutal force and made this Indian rebellion unsuccessful. It was just a beginning and that is why the Indian rebellion of 1857 is also known as the first war of independence which started from Meerut and spread to other parts of India like Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, and so on.

Indian Freedom Movement

The first war of Independence or Indian rebellion in 1857 was the beginning of the Indian freedom movement. Two ways of India’s freedom struggle after the first war of Independence were Gandhian Non-Violence and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Violence and his Indian National Army (INA).

Gandhiji played a very important role in uniting the common Indians and giving the right path to the sense of outrage that the people of India had after the massacre of Jallianwala Bagh.

Gandhiji launched the Non-cooperation movement in 1920 which is also known as the Civil-Disobedience movement, The main aim of this movement was to attain Poorna Swarajya and at the same time, he kept the movement strictly non-violent.

This form of movement didn’t pose to be a decisive threat to the British administration in India. That’s why the Britisher’s allowed this movement to gain media coverage among the print and radio mediums of that time.

The only thing that the British didn’t want was that this freedom movement should not turn violent like the 1857 Indian rebellion which was a nightmare for the British. Gandhiji’s freedom movement based on peaceful demonstration, fasts, and dharnas were not a threat to British rule in India that’s why this movement was tolerated by the British.

Subhash and Indian National Army (INA)

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose identified that the Gandhian non-violence way of the Indian freedom movement is completely under the tolerance thresholds of the British Empire.

World War 2 began in 1939 and this war presented a golden opportunity to reach out to the enemies of Britain, Germany, and Japan and seek their help to free India. Gandhiji opposed this idea and Subhash Chandra Bose was completely marginalized in the Congress.

However, Subhash Chandra Bose escaped to Germany and there he raised the Indian Legion-a brigade-size force formed from the Indian prisoner of war.

Japan helped Subhash Chandra Bose in raising the Indian National Army from the Indian prisoner of war they held. Later, Bose established the provisional government of Azad hind, which was recognized by the 11 countries.

He also established the Azad Hind Government Bank, which started printing the currency of the Azad Hind Government. Subhash Chandra Bose expanded the Indian National Army to a size of 1,500 officers and 60,000 soldiers and organized them into three divisions.

Around, 26,000 soldiers of the Indian National Army (INA) attained VEERGATI (Martyrdom) in the battles of Imphal and Kohima. The INA lost the battles but won the war of Independence.

After the war British put on trial 9 INA officers at Red Fort of Delhi which triggered the mutiny in the Royal Indian Navy, Royal Indian Air Force, Jabalpur Army in February 1946, British Indian Police in April 1946, Postal Services Department in July and Railways gave Strike notice to the British Government in August 1946.

All these efforts of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army and those 26,000 Brave soldiers of INA who laid down their life for the Motherland played a very important role in getting India freedom.

Read About: Indian National Army: The Forgotten Army of India

Subhash Chandra Bose and his INA managed to shake the loyalty of Indian soldiers towards the British Raj which lead to the revolts in almost every department as mentioned above.

British decided to quit and left within two years after the end of World War 2. The sun had finally set on the British Empire in India and India got Independence on 15th August 1947.

Attlee-Chakrabarty Dialogue

In 1964, Clement Attlee British Prime Minister came to India and spent two days in the Governor’s palace at Calcutta with acting Governor P.B Chakrabarty.

Chakrabarty had a long conversation with Attlee and asked, why did they have to leave? “In his reply, Attlee cited several reasons, the principal among them being the erosion of loyalty to the British crown among the Indian Army and Navy personnel as a result of military activities of Subhash Chandra Bose”.

At the end of the discussion, Chakrabarty also asked, “What was the extent of Gandhi’s influence upon the British decision to quit India? Hearing this question, Attlee’s lip became twisted in a sarcastic smile as he slowly chewed out the word, ‘m-i-n-i-m-a-l!”.

These incidents were disclosed by P.B Chakrabarty in a letter written to the publisher of Dr. R.C Majumdar’s book, A History of Bengal.

There are many other proofs that Subhash Chandra Bose and his INA got India freedom that can be seen in the reports of Claude Auchinleck (The Commander-in-chief General and later Field Marshal) to the Viceroy.

The Viceroy Field Marshal Viscount Wavell’s correspondence reports, Provincial Governor’s Reports, and Intelligence Bureau’s reports on INA trials.

Note: If you want to read the reports of Claude Auchinleck then you can read the book called Bose or Gandhi: Who Got India Her Freedom?


Subhash Chandra Bose: The man who got India Freedom, what do we know about him and how much. We know very little about him otherwise, people wouldn’t say, “ De di hame Azadi Bina kharag Bina dhaal; Sabarmati Ke Sant tune Kar dia Kamaal”.

This statement in itself is an insult to various freedom fighters like Subhash Chandra Bose and the 26,000 soldiers of the Indian National Army (INA) who laid down their life for the freedom of India.

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