Why No Celebration of Azad Hind Govt. this Year? Why Netaji Taken Lightly?: GD Bakshi
21 October 2018. PM Modi fulfilled Netaji Bose’s dream of hoisting the Tricolor in Red Fort. PM Modi hoisted the tricolor in Red Fort on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Azad Hind (INA) Govt. INA Veteran Shri Lalti Ram, Netaji’s grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose, other dignitaries and hundreds of Netaji fans were present to witness and to be part of the celebration. Presence of INA veteran Shri Lalti Ram was symbolic of the presence of Netaji Bose and the 60,000 plus INA soldiers, out of which 26,000 attained martyrdom in action against British.
For 21 October 2019, there is no news of a celebration of the 76th anniversary of the Azad Hind Govt. Why? Why can’t the government continue celebrating every anniversary of the Azad Hind Govt, in memory of the great soul who facilitated India’s freedom? In 1940, at the age of 43, Netaji Bose escaped from India. He sought help from Indians settled and working overseas to drive the British out of India. Such was Netaji Bose’s determination, dedication, and commitment to free Mother India from the hands of the British Raj that he managed to gain support of a huge army of over 60,000 soldiers (that also included Indian prisoners of war from World war II) in a foreign land! He underwent big hardships to create his army. Many Indians donated for the cause. Netaji Bose established the Provisional Government of Free India, i.e. Azad Hind Govt. in Singapore on 21 October 1943. Its army was the Azad Hind Fauj. He allied with the Axis powers and his cause was also funded by Imperial Japan monetarily, militarily and politically. It was recognized by 11 countries including Russia.
At a rally of Indians in Burma in 1944, Netaji Bose said, “….Today I demand of you one thing, above all. I demand of you blood. It is blood alone that can avenge the blood that the enemy has split. It is blood alone that can pay the price of freedom. Give me blood and I promise you freedom.”
It mattered not which countries supported for Netaji’s cause. What mattered was Netaji’s aura in foreign lands, his persona, his determination, his spirit that led foreign nations lend their support for the freedom of India. ‘Chalo Dilli’ was the slogan that resounded amongst the INA soldiers when they marched towards the Northeast and defeated the British forces.
With Japan’s support, the Provisional Government of Free India had nominal authority of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands including parts of Manipur and Nagaland. And Azad Hind declared war against the Anglo-American allied forces on the Indo-Burma Front. They charged against the British forces in the Imphal-Kohima-Assam sector. After defeating the British defences in Kohima, they advanced further towards Moirang. From here they had to retreat owing to compromised supply lines and withdrawal of Japanese forces.
In this regard, on the govt’s indifference of not celebrating the 76th anniversary of the Azad Hind Govt., Maj Gen GD Bakshi said, “21 Oct approaches. This is the anniversary of the declaration of independence by Netaji who established the Govt of Azad Hind in exile in Singapore on this day in 1943. Last year the PM himself had come to Red fort to Unfurl the tri- colour along with an INA veteran. Sadly this year I am told the Govt will do NOTHING. This is indeed sad that we treat Netaji so lightly. The Americans celebrate their independence day NOT on the day the British left but on the Day their declaration of independence was signed.”
Maj Gen GD Bakshi continues further, “Was last year’s celebration of Netaji’s establishment of Azad Hind Govt just for the elections in Bengal?Sad to see him so callously forgotten in just one year.”
“We demand that Netaji’s statue be installed on RAJPATH UNDER THE EMPTY KING GEORGE V CANOPY. This is most UNFAIR to Forget the man who actually got us our freedom and give credit to cowards who claimed they were beaten by lathis. Out of 60,000 INA soldiers 26,000 laid down their lives. Don’t they deserve so much more recognition than these ahinsa wala PRETENDERS? Was last year’s function only for the elections in Bengal? I am sure the govt will make amends even at this belated juncture.”
There have been celebrations earlier too in Red Fort organised in 1968 by the Govt on 25th Anniversary of the provisional govt of the Azad Hind Fauz. To quote Shubham Sharma (great grandson of Maj KP Sharma, who led a mass revolt against British in Jabalpur following INA trials in Red Fort; Subham’s forefathers were in Azad Hind Fauz. His Tatuji was Col Dhillon who was tried in Red Fort, famous as INA Trials): “At that time Gen Zaman Kiani had also come from Pakistan. It was attended by Col Dhillon Sahab, Col Prem Sehgal and several INA members. In 1997, Salimgarh baracks where Col Dhillon Sahab himself was imprisoned, Rashtriya Sangrahlay for INA, was inaugurated on the 50th Anniversary of India’s Independence and the museum was inaugurated by Col Dhillon Sahab, President Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma and a many dignitaries like Pranab Mukherjee, Madhav Rao Scindhia to grace the occasion.”
“The same museum has been shifted to new place in the Red Fort. Such celebrations have been already there in the past but not every year which we thought would continue. However, only new thing that the Govt did, was to bring INA veterans at Rajpath which was valuable. The Present govt should give Padma Bhushan to Capt Ram Singh Thakuri of INA who composed Kadam Kadam Badhaaye Jaa.” Shubham Sharma expressed dissatisfaction on the government for not inviting family members of INA heroes tried in Red Fort during INA Museum inauguration in Red Fort. He said, “During INA Museum inaugural on 23 Jan 2019, all X Y Z people were invited except those of Red Fort Trial heroes.”
Following is a rare photograph of Indian Army escorting chair of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in Red Fort. This chair was brought from Azad Hind Bank, Rangoon by Amiyanath Bose father of Chandra Kumar Bose.
This is what Netaji Bose’s bodyguard Shri Jagram had to say about the ‘Chalo Dilli’ march from Singapore to Red Fort in an interview with myindiamyglory.com team. Shri Jagram had two shorts during his INA service. He was wearing an old short that had 17 repair stitches when Netaji asked him if he had any other short to wear. Shri Jagram replied that the other one was new and that he would wear it in Red Fort after the ‘Chalo Dilli’ ends. Here is a short clip of the video (full video link: https://youtu.be/UIC9jyacWSM):
Listen to what Netaji Bose's bodyguard Shri Jagram say about the 'Chalo Dilli' march from Singapore to Red Fort. Shri Jagram had two shorts during his INA service. He was wearing an old short that had 17 repair stitches when Netaji asked him if he had any other short to wear. Shri Jagram replied that the other one was new and that he would wear it in Red Fort after the 'Chalo Dilli' ends. Here is the full video: https://youtu.be/UIC9jyacWSM of the interview that we took on behalf of myindiamyglory.comNetaji Bose established the Provisional Government of Free India (Azad Hind Govt) in Singapore on 21 October 1943. It was recognized by 11 countries. ‘Chalo Dilli’ was the 'INA nara', the slogan that resounded amongst the INA soldiers. And this was the slogan when they marched towards the Northeast and defeated the British forces. Tomorrow is the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Azad Hind govt. Maj Gen Gagandeep Bakshi supported by various organizations and Netaji fans are organizing a Chalo Dilli rally in New Delhi at India Gate. PM Modi will hoist the tricolor at Red Fort. There will be an assembly at Vijay Chowk at 9.35 am. This will be followed by honoring of INA veterans. The INA veterans will be brought with due honor on Polaris all Terrain Vehicles from Vijaypath to lawn of India Gate. The lead vehicle will have the Photo of Netaji. The INA veterans will follow one in each ATV. This cavalcade will be led by a thundering contingent of 30 Indian Motorcycles which are Bigger than Harley Davidsons.Please come and be a part of the Chalo Dilli Rally tomorrow. Meet the INA veterans and listen to Maj Gen GD Bakshi, Subramanium Swamy, Rajiv Malhotra, and other dignitaries speak at the ground behind Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
Slået op af Manoshi Sinha i Lørdag den 20. oktober 2018
It was at the Red Fort that the INA trials were held. The British chose Red Fort as the venue for the trials because they came to know about Netaji’s ‘Chalo Dilli’ war campaign and his plans of hoisting the tricolor at Red Fort. Hence, to insult Netaji and the INA, the British found no place suitable for the trials other than Red Fort.
In between November 1945 and May 1946, the British held 10 court-martial trials of soldiers of the INA at Red Fort. Hence, it is also known as the Red Fort trials. A number of officers of the Azad Hind Fauz were considered guilty. Most of the soldiers who were tried were British prisoners of War who joined Netaji’s INA.
The joint court-martial of Colonel Prem Sahgal, Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon, and Major General Shah Nawaz Khan, who were officers in the British Indian Army and taken as prisoners of war, and who joined the INA, drew sympathy from Indian soldiers posted in the British Army. The British charged them for ‘waging war against the King-Emperor’. There was huge outcry and unrest amid the Indian troops. The outrage led the British reduce the charges against the guilty. But the INA trials ultimately led the British leave India.
Here is a Zee News report on the Azad Hind Govt.:
Commemorating the 75th anniversary of Azad Hind government, PM Modi had said, “Netaji had promised an India where everyone has equal rights and equal opportunities. He had promised a prosperous nation which was proud of its traditions, development in all areas. He had promised to uproot ‘divide and rule’. Even after so many years those dreams remain unfulfilled.” At the same time, he criticised the Congress and alleged that the contribution of leaders like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose have been “obliterated” in mainstream Indian discourse to “magnify the presence of one family”.
Here is a rare photograph of Capt Ram Singh Thakuri of Azad Hind Fauz playing kadam kadam badhaaye jaa tune of INA at Diwan e Aam in Red Fort on the occasion of the Azad Hind Govt anniversary celebrations. He composed this tune and INA anthem.
To quote India Today – Modi said: “It has been our misfortune that even after independence, those who laid the foundation of India and our system, looked at India from an English spectacle. Our heritage, culture, education system, our curriculum have all suffered from this.
PM Modi shared a video and tweeted on the occasion, “Members of the Azad Hind Fauj fought valiantly for India’s freedom. We will always be grateful to them for their courage. Today, I had the honour of meeting Lalti Ram Ji, an INA veteran. It was wonderful spending time with him.”
Members of the Azad Hind Fauj fought valiantly for India’s freedom.
We will always be grateful to them for their courage.
Today, I had the honour of meeting Lalti Ram Ji, an INA veteran. It was wonderful spending time with him. pic.twitter.com/5vjuFTf3BV
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 21, 2018
The 75th anniversary celebrations of the Azad Hind Govt. took place at three locations: 1)Red Fort, 2)Rally on Rajpath from Vijay Chowk to Vigyan Bhawan Grounds near India Gate and 3) Function and Celebrations at Vigyan Bhawan grounds near India Gate. The event was organized and spearheaded by Major Gen GD Bakshi with support of Veterans India, Warrappa Foundation and other associations including Netaji fans. The event kick-started days ahead in several cities and the final ‘Chalo Dilli’ march for Netaji took place on 21 Oct 2018 in New Delhi.
Statue of Netaji and INA veterans were brought on Polaris all Terrain Vehicles through Raj Path to Vigyan Bhawan grounds near India Gate. The cavalcade was escorted by a thundering contingent of 30 Indian Motorcycles which were Bigger than Harley Davidsons. The lead vehicle had the statue of Netaji . The INA veterans followed one in each ATV. Hundreds of Netaji fans turned up to cheer the INA veterans at India Gate. Here is a live video near Vigyan Bhawan grounds:
Honoring Netaji Bose and INA veterans…the rally with slogans of Netaji and Bharat Mata Ki Jai filling the air. Statue of Netaji and INA veterans brought on Polaris vehicles escorted by motorbikers through Raj Path to Vigyan Bhawan grounds near India Gate.
Slået op af Manoshi Sinha i Lørdag den 20. oktober 2018
Netaji fans from across the country were part of the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Azad Hind govt. Among the visitors were a team from Nagaland, especially from Ruzazho Village. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had appointed Shri Poswuyi Swuro DB as the 1st Administrator of the Azad Hind Govt. at Ruzazho village in Nagaland in 1944. Bose stayed at Ruzazho village for 9 days during this period. Netaji Bose also appointed 10 Gaon Burhas (Village Chiefs) during the same time. Poswuyi Swuro is 98 years old at present. One of the toughest Battles during Second World War was fought in the year 1944 between the two colonial empires Viz. British and Japan at Kohima in the heart of Naga soil also known as, “The Battle of Kohima”. Shri Vekho Swuro, son of Poswuyi Swuro, was also present in the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Azad Hind Govt.
Three INA veterans graced the occasion – Sri Lalti Ram, Shri Bhagmal, and Shri Hira Singh, all nearing 100 years of age.
What not did Netaji face to organize a huge army – 60,000, comprising of both men and women? He embarked on death defying journeys across the treacherous mountains of Afghanistan, threatening waves of Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and tortuous jungles of Burma. He was pursued by assassins! And he managed to survive all odds and establish the Azad Hind Fauz. Indian expatriates in South Asia including local civilians, barristers, traders, plantation workers, shop keepers with many having military experience joined Netaji. All driven by a single motto – free India from the clutches of the British!
The son of an INA veteran says, “My father joined Netaji Bose’s INA from Singapore. He donated a huge amount for forming of INA. Due to this, after freedom, our family was under severe poverty, and my father could not send me to school. I was brought up illiterate. I have seen some of my father’s friends who were INA soldiers. They all perished in poverty and their families have vanished.”
These are only few examples of the brave sons and daughters of Bharat Mata who sacrificed everything and joined Netaji Bose’s INA. Unfortunately, neither Netaji Bose nor the 60,000 INA soldiers were recognized for their valor and sacrifice by the then Nehru government after independence.
Clement Richard Attlee was the British Prime Minister from 1945 and 1951. It was he who signed off on the decision to grant Independence to India. And hence, India gained freedom on 15th August 1947. Clement Attlee visited India (Kolkata) in 1956. He stayed at the residence (Governor’s palace) of the then Governor of West Bengal and Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court – Justice PB Chakraborthy. Maj Gen GD Bakshi gives a detailed account of the conversation between Attlee and Chakraborthy in his book BOSE: AN INDIAN SAMURAI (A Military Assessment of Netaji and the INA). Atlee had told Chakraborthy that the British left India primarily because of Netaji’s INA and the mutinies it triggered.
Justice PB Chakraborthy wrote a letter to the publisher of RC Majumdar’s book, A History of Bengal. In this letter, the Chief Justice wrote, “When I was acting Governor, Lord Attlee, who had given us independence by withdrawing British rule from India, spent two days in the Governor’s palace at Calcutta during his tour of India. At that time I had a prolonged discussion with him regarding the real factors that had led the British to quit India. My direct question to Attlee was that since Gandhi’s Quit India movement had tapered off quite some time ago and in 1947 no such new compelling situation had arisen that would necessitate a hasty British departure, why did they had to leave?
In his reply Attlee cited several reasons, the principal among them being the erosion of loyalty to the British crown among the Indian army and Navy personnel as a result of the military activities of Netaji. Toward the end of our discussion I asked Attlee what was the extent of Gandhi’s influence upon the British decision to quit India. Hearing this question, Attlee’s lips became twisted in a sarcastic smile as he slowly chewed out the word, m-i-n-i-m-a-l!”
Despite many evidences about Netaji Bose’s role and the sacrifice of Azad Hind Fauz soldiers for the freedom of India, why is the government not interested to continue with the anniversary celebrations of the Azad Hind govt. To quote Maj Gen GD Bakshi again, “This is indeed sad that we treat Netaji so lightly.”
Featured image courtesy: Shubham Sharma.