Rashbehari Bose

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Rashbehari Bose was one of the prominent Indian leaders who fought against the British Rule.

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Role in Ghadar revolution

He played a prominent role in the Ghadar revolution, a pan Indian mutiny in the British Indian Army that was planned by Ghadar party and carried out in February 1915.

Leaving for Japan

Post the Ghadar revolution, Rash Behari Bose had to leave India to escape from the British hunt. He left for Singapore on May 22nd, 1915 and from there went to Japan in June, under the impersonation of Raja P N T Tagore, a distant relation of Rabindranath Tagore.

In Japan, he played a key role in the formation of the Indian National Army.

On arriving in Japan, he met his colleagues of the Ghadar Party, Herambalal Gupta and Bhagavan Singh and formulated the agenda against the British, in hiding.

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Indo Japan Connect

The Indo – Japan connect from a friendship angle was initiated during the 1915s, when Japan gave shelter to Rash Behari Bose, who was looking for a place to hide from the British. Despite many requests from the British to extradite him, Japan firmly stood by him.

Key thought leaders of Japan, such as Tsuyoshi Inukai, who later went on to become the Prime Minister of Japan, Mitsuru Toyama, a Pan Asian leader of Japan, became his close friends and together they established the platform of the modern day bond between India and Japan.

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A dinner party hosted in the honour of Rash Behari Bose in 1915 at Japan.

Mitsuru Toyama is at the centre of the table, Tsuyoshi Inukai to his right and Rash Behari Bose is behind Mitsuru Toyama – A file photo

Mitsuru Toyama is at the centre of the table, Tsuyoshi Inukai to his right and Rash Behari Bose is behind Mitsuru Toyama – A file photo

Becoming a Japanese citizen

When Japan, an ally of the British in the First World War, discovered their identities and wanted to extradite them, Herambalal escaped to US, while Rash Behari came out of his ‘hiding’ by marrying the daughter of a Japanese bakery owner and becoming a citizen of Japan. Through this bakery, he also introduced Indian Curry to Japan.

Nakamuraya Curry

Rash Behari was admired by most of the Japanese as also Nakamuraya Bose. The Nakamuraya Curry launched by Rash Behari in Japan, is still a favourite food, widely sold in food chain outlets of Tokyo as, “Indian Curry”.

More on Rash Behari and the Indo-Japan Connect, in our book, Indo Japan, A Connect Over Millennia.

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As a journalist

Rash Behari became a journalist and explained the Indian view to the outside world for the next 20 years. It was due his earnest efforts that a conference was held in Tokyo in 1942 to discuss political issues.

Forming of Indian Independence League

The Indian Independence League was soon formed, under the leadership of Rash Behari.  Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was made the president of this league.

Formation of INA

Many Indian prisoners captured by the Japanese army in Burma and Malaysia were persuaded to join the Indian National Army under this Independence league.

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Thus, the Indian Army took shape due to the efforts of Rashbehari Bose. It was named Azad Hind Fauj.

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Conferred prestigious title

Rashbehari passed away on 21st January, 1945. The Japanese government honoured him with the prestigious title, ‘The Second Order of Merit of the Rising Sun’, the highest recognition for a foreigner.

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It is even more heartening to note that a royal coach was sent by the Japanese Emperor Hirohito, to carry the mortal remains of this great Indian revolutionary.

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