Changing colours of Shah Nawaz Khan
The day Major-General Shah Nawaz Khan folded up his fatigue
and retired from battlefield, he ceased to be a soldier
of the Indian National Army (INA). His loyalty was gone,
his allegiance had shifted and his sympathies were lost
to the men who had "wrought and fought with him".
is the observation of Capt S S Yadav, an old
colleague of Shah Nawaz Khan and currently general secretary
of All India INA Committee.
Shah Nawaz Khan was the man whom Nehru chose from among
60,000 men of the INA, to give a name, a title, a ministerial
berth, and after 10 years, a place at the head of an
inquiry committee to probe Subhas Bose's disappearance.
The committee worked for four months, during which
it travelled under government mandate to various countries
"gathering evidence", before declaring Subhas
Bose's death on August 18, 1945, in the air-crash in
Formosa (now Taiwan).
At that time, many people, including Capt Yadav, a
former gunner officer of the INA Ancillary Unit, were
least surprised that the committee's itinerary did not
include a visit to Formosa.
Capt Yadav remembers Shah Nawaz Khan as a meritorious
soldier who surrendered to the lure of Jawaharlal Nehru's
largesse and, thereby, let down the INA and its Netaji.
Shah Nawaz was a Muslim, and it suited Nehru to foist
the former for political gains. So, when independence
came in 1947, Shah Nawaz was given a berth in the Nehru
Cabinet and all the luxuries that came with it.