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You are here: Home > Netaji Home > Indian National Army
Birth Of Indian National Army  
Bose moves away from Germany
Japan's imperialistic intentions
Prov Azad Hind Govt formed
Japan begins Enlisting Indians
The leadership issue
The summer of 1942
Bose takes over as INA chief
Chinks in relations with Japan
INA's victory & defeat
It was at the formal surrender of Indian troops in Singapore in February 1942 that the first formal step towards Indian National Army was taken. The victorious Japanese military command had separated the Indians from the white troops and officers.

At Singapore's Farrer Park, nearly 50,000 defeated and demoralised Indian troops, NCOs and officers had gathered for the formal surrender. Lt. Col. Hunt, on behalf of Lt. Gen. A E Percival, the General Official-in-Command of the British forces, formally handed over the Indians to the Japanese command.

Major Fujiwara, Giani Pritam Singh, Capt. Mohan Singh, Capt. Mohammad Akram of 1st Battalion, 14th Punjab, appeared together at Farrer Park. After Col. Hunt's formal capitulation, Fujiwara spoke of Indians as brothers, fellow-Asians, who had long suffered the white man's spoliation and racial indignities.

Thereafter, Capt. Mohan Singh electrified the defeated mob with a speech urging them to join a force for the liberation of their motherland.

Instead of fighting as Britain's mercenaries to keep other Asians in bondage they should enlist in a nationalist army which would cooperate with Japan to end British rule over their own motherland, India. This began the formal effort to organise the Indian National Army.

Giani Pritam Singh too spoke on the wider picture - of the freedom struggle Indians in East Asia had been waging to support the independence movement in India.

Although the speeches of Fujiwara, Mohan Singh and Pritam Singh, lifting the gloom of the defeat and surrender, introduced a new direction for the bulk of the Indian POWs, the officers carefully weighed the pros and cons of the situation.

All in all, not forgetting several phases of the raising of the INA, it can be said that the Indian National Army took birth in the minds of the Indian soldiers on the night of February 17-18, 1942 at Farrer Park in Singapore.

From a concept debated between a group of Indian freedom fighters and even a smaller band of Japanese officers sent by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, it had become an option many Indian soldiers in Malaya-Singapore could accept with a clear conscience.

Among the first group of Indian officers who accepted the INA concept were Capt. Mohan Singh, Capt. Habibur Rahman Khan, Capt. Ehsan Qadir, Capt. Talib Din, Capt. Mahboob Ahmed, Capt. Ram Sarup and Capt. Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon.

The INA symbolically broke with the past by setting up its temporary headquarters in a residential district which had till then been an exclusively "whites only" area in Singapore. "The INA spirit" had to be symbolically demonstrated before the Indians would understand the nature of the change.

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