17:13 GMT26 February 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India gained freedom from British colonial rule in 1947 after almost two centuries of peaceful and in some cases violent struggle. Subhas Chandra Bose, a political activist who believed that freedom could not be achieved through peaceful means, has been fondly remembered as a “Netaji” (leader).

    On Thursday, just three days ahead of India’s 71st Republic Day celebrations, the country's national leaders and netizens flooded Twitter with tributes to Subhas Chandra Bose on his 123rd birthday.  

    President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the wish-wagon on his birthday on Twitter, with the latter also sharing a picture of a hand-written note that Bose’s father wrote in 1897 on the day his son was born.

    ​Survived by historic stories and well-known slogans like “Tum mujhe khoon do, mei tumhe aazaadi dunga” (You give me blood, I’ll give you freedom), Bose formed an army called the Indian National Army to fight the Brits and even received aide from Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan during World War II to contribute to freeing India from British rule.

    Netizens have shared facts and vintage pictures of Bose on social media. With over 50,000 mentions already, #NetajiSubhasChandraBose is trending on Twitter in India followed by other hashtags including #NetajiBirthday and #subhashchandrabose among others.

    The death of Subhas Chandra Bose is still shrouded in mystery and its details have remained unclear and classified.

    According to records, Bose died in a plane crash in the area of Taipei, Taiwan in August 1945. Japanese news agency Domai had confirmed the news back then along with the details of Bose’s cremation in the Taihoku crematory on 18 August 1945.

    One of the most famous theories surrounding the possibility that Bose actually survived the crash or was not involved in one at all believes that the freedom fighter came back to India in 1955 and stayed in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh as a strange godman named “Gumnami Baba” (unnamed saint).

    For years, several people asserted that Gumnami Baba was actually Bose living in disguise or conscious oblivion. The unnamed saint died on 16 September 1985. But a judicial probe into his death concluded that the story of Gumnami Baba was not true.


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