In the history of India’s struggle for freedom, one man stands out in all distinctiveness and a class by himself. In physique and mental constitution, in manner and life style, in ideology and in action packed with drama and daring unmatched in contemporary annals, Subhas Chandra Bose is in his total personality a unique phenomenon of twentieth century India. The story of Subhas Chandra Bose needs to be told and understood in the context of the long march of the Indian people to independence from 1857 to 1947. His birth in 1897 marked the mid-point of that crusade. With the Renaissance behind him, he grew up in harmony with the evolution of India’s national movement, responding and reacting to it positively since his early childhood. Even as a schoolboy in a foreign missionary school, he found the milieu foreign to his nature and was thus already a rebel at heart.
In the course of his school and college career, he was in turn a pure humanitarian, a Paribrajaka and social reformer in the manner and spirit of Vivekananda, and finally a political activist. When Bose graduated in 1919 and set out for England to qualify for the Indian Civil Service, he already had a formed personality and his sense of mission was not in doubt. That overpowering sense of mission - India’s salvation from political, economic, social and spiritual slavery - rendered all other pursuits of life and career purely incidental. That mission admitted of no retreat. Therefore, when in early twenties Subhas Chandra Bose called his countrymen to his side, there was promise of nothing more than privation, sacrifice, forced marches and death.
Bose’s acceptance of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das as his political Guru was a surrender to a man who was similarly and totally dedicated to the cause of India’s deliverance. But the apprenticeship was short as the mentor passed away before his time.