The Daring Escape: Subhas Bose’s Journey from Calcutta to Berlin via Kabul

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January 24, 2024

The Daring Escape: Subhas Bose’s Journey from Calcutta to Berlin via Kabul

• Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a pivotal figure in India’s struggle for independence, demonstrated remarkable courage and resourcefulness during his escape from house arrest in Calcutta in 1941. This article delves into the fascinating narrative of Bose’s journey, highlighting his strategic moves and identity changes, ultimately leading him to Berlin.
Bose’s Arrest and Fast Unto Death:
• In July 1940, Bose, having resigned from the Congress, faced arrest due to his involvement in a movement against the Holwell Monument in Calcutta. Despite his commitment to India’s freedom, Bose was detained by the British under the Defence of India Rules. Launching a fast unto death, he compelled his release, showcasing his determination to leverage global developments for India’s advantage.
Plans for Escape:
• Upon his release on deteriorating health conditions, Bose, with meticulous planning, initiated his escape. Collaborating with individuals like Mian Akbar Shah, plans were set in motion for his journey to Peshawar and then to Kabul. To divert suspicion, Bose communicated his potential return to jail in his letters, buying time to execute his escape plan.
The Night of Escape:
• On January 17, 1941, Bose, disguised as “Muhammad Ziauddin,” left his heavily guarded house in Calcutta with his nephew Sisir. The journey involved a series of disguises, with Bose adopting the appearance of a North Indian Muslim gentleman. The escape route included a drive to Gomoh station and a train journey to Peshawar.
Crossing Borders and Changing Identities:
• In Peshawar, Bose, now in the guise of a deaf-and-mute Pathan, was assisted by Mian Akbar Khan in crossing the border into Afghanistan. The careful orchestration of a fictional pilgrimage to Adda Sharif allowed Bose to blend seamlessly with the locals. Changing identities once again, this time as Orlando Mazzotta, an Italian diplomatic courier, became crucial for the subsequent journey.
Seeking Refuge and Assistance:
• Arriving in Kabul, Bose faced uncertainty and constant pursuit by the British. Undeterred, he approached the German embassy, seeking assistance. The collaborative efforts of the Italians, Russians, and Germans facilitated Bose’s journey to Berlin via Russia, marking the culmination of a daring escape.
• Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s escape from Calcutta to Berlin via Kabul stands as a testament to his daring spirit, resourcefulness, and unwavering commitment to India’s independence. Crossing borders, changing identities, and outwitting the British Empire, Bose’s journey remains an inspiring chapter in the annals of India’s struggle for freedom.

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The Daring Escape: Subhas Bose’s Journey from Calcutta to Berlin via Kabul | Vaid ICS Institute