His religious tendency and service to the poor and down-trodden were apparent, when he was about twelve years of age. They had a small Ashram for this purpose and held schools for "harijan" boys. They helped the poor and needy and nursed and gave medical aid to the sick and diseased. He had the opportunity of living in the same house at Puri, Orissa, with Swami Brahmananda, President, Ramkrishna Mission and his brother Swamijis on a few occasions and in some respects Swami Vivekananda was his ideal. He started Durgah Pujah in a mess, in which some of his schoolmates lived at Cuttack, Orissa, and he was instrumental in introducing the same in almost all the jails in India and Burma, where he was incarcerated, at times against the vehement opposition of the British administrators.
When cholera was raging fiercely in a remote part of the district of Cuttack, he took training in its treatment under Dr. Debendra Nath Mukherji, who was similarly inclined. As his parents were away from Cuttack and as his guardian did not permit him to go to the cholera-affected area, he was not found in the house the next morning. As both he and his ashramites were of a secretive nature, two strong young men were despatched to bring him back forcibly and who, after wandering about a lot, managed to trace him in an out-of-the-place cholera-infected village, but they were unable to bring him back. He returned later on of his own accord, after he had finished his work there.
During the latter part of 1922, he went to the flood-stricken areas of North Bengal and did relief work there under the guidance of the renowned Professor and Philanthropist, Dr. P. C. Ray. When he was a student of the Presidency College, Calcutta, he left his Calcutta residence, without informing anybody, not even his mother and there was no news from him for about a month. He returned home suddenly in a bad state of health and it transpired that he was in search of a Guru, (religious preceptor) and had trekked widely and in some portions of the Himalayan regions. Whatever he did was without any fuss or publicity and some of his activities were of a secretive nature.
As he grew up, politics, mainly, liberation of India from British yoke, was added to his existing mental outlook and this was practically the only goal of his life thereafter. To this end, he resigned from the Indian Civil Service and on his return to India, his first duty was to meet Shri M. K. Gandhi and to place himself under his command. On reaching Calcutta, he became the right-hand man of Shri C. R. Das, who had sacrificed his extensive lucrative practice as a Barrister-at-Law in the High Court and had started working for the independence of India. During the course of such activities, Netaji suffered humiliation at the hands of the British rulers and their stooges and was imprisoned several times for prolonged periods, generally under Regulation III of 1818. Though it was said, that he had connection with revolutionary activities, he was not hauled up under any such specific charge, probably due to his intense secretive nature of work. For gaining experience in this line, he underwent military training in the Calcutta University Corps and carrying this into practice, he gave similar training to the Indian National Congress volunteers. It was unique in the annals of the Congress, when in 1928, he arranged a mile long procession for the President, Pandit Motilal Nehru, on his arrival in Calcutta and led his volunteers on horseback, as General Officer Commanding, in military formation through the streets of Calcutta.
He was intensely patriotic and could never brook any dishonour to his country or to his countrymen. In this connection, he was said to have been implicated in an affair against a British Professor, for which he was rusticated by the University. Two other outstanding achievements of his, among others, were the complete boycott of the Prince of Wales\\' visit to Calcutta and in getting rid of the Britishers from the administration and from the contracts in the Calcutta Municipal Corporation and in running the same on purely nationalistic lines.
It is also well known how in January, 1941, he gave the slip to the British rulers, whose about 250 Police staff kept a day and night watch over him, and, after travelling through the whole of northern India, entered Afghanistan, with Germany as his destination. This was planned and executed in an exceedingly secret manner and his only confidants were, probably, only one of his brothers, three nephews and a niece, who were under strict oaths of secrecy to him. His aged mother, who was occupying an adjoining room, and all others, including members of his family and his political associates, had no knowledge of this. As pre-arranged, the public as well as the other members of his family, came to know that he had left home, only when his confidants broke the news aftei about ten days of his actual departure and after he was reported to have crossed the Indian frontier and had entered Afghanistan safely.
His secret and hazardous mission and dare-devil enterprise in coming al the way to the Far East from Germany in 1943 to hasten his work for the Independence of India, first in a German and subsequently in a Japanese submarine, risking the Allied naval blockade and mines, is too well known, as also the fact that during his military operations against them in Burma, he was quite oblivious to aerial bombing by them and took shelter on rare occasion; and only, when compelled to do so by his followers and that, after he had seer that all others had been safely lodged.
He was an arch secret service man, with a dogged determination in carrying out his plans, always unmindful of the difficulties and consequences that the] would entail. In such matters, he confided in the minimum few, devised his plans and movements secretly and in the furtherance of or in the execution of the same, there was nothing in the world, including his own self, that he could not risk or sacrifice.
All these characteristics of his were revealed to the world in greater prominence in his activities in the Far East during the years 1943 to 1945 and for which, the people there of all nationalities had the highest admiration and regard for him. For this, credit is due to his countrymen there for their intense and all-out sacrifice, to the Japanese Government and that great nation for their unstinted help to and co-operation with him in his struggle for the liberation of India from foreign yoke and to the Heads of all the States there and their citizens for the facilities and help rendered by them. It is my humble opinion, that it is mainly due to them that his achievement there could be so brilliant.
This is the person, who inspired his countrymen, living in foreign lands in East Asia, into volunteering their lives for fighting with arms against the British rulers for the independence of their country, who, with such support and sacrifice, inaugurated the Provisional Government of Azad Hind with all the usual requisites and paraphernalia of a Government, that was recognised by no less than nine free nations of the world, who organised the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army), manned, trained and officered by his countrymen and who led that army as a separate entity against the British rulers with the great and mighty Japanese Army by his side. Though physically unsuccessful in the end against them, final victory was his, as his demand for the independence of India by force against force, permeated the ranks of the British Indian Army, Navy and Air Force Services and which expedited the departure of the British rulers from India.