On Parakram Diwas, a look at Bose’s Indian National Army
The Indian National Army (INA), also known as the Azad Hind Fauj, was an armed force formed by Indian nationalists, through the patronage of the Imperial Japanese Army, to secure India's independence. First formed in 1942 by Mohan Singh with Indian prisoners of war of the British Indian army captured by Japan in the Malayan campaign and in Singapore, INA was revived by Subhas Chandra Bose in 1943.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Indian National Army:
1. After the outbreak of World War II, Japan invaded Southeast Asia and conducted a lightning campaign which culminated in the fall of the Malayan peninsula and Singapore in 1942. From the prisoners of war who were captured, the Japanese created an auxiliary army to fight against the British which led to the formation of the first INA under Mohan Singh. Singh was a former officer of the British Indian army. But disagreements between Mohan Singh and Japanese army command regarding the autonomy of the Indian National Army led to the disbandment of the first INA in December 1942.
2. After this Mohan Singh recommended Subhas Chandra Bose as the leader of the second INA. The Japanese were ready to support him and invited him to Singapore in July 1943 to take command of the second Indian National Army.
3. Under Bose's leadership, there was a swell of volunteers in the INA. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose named the brigades/regiments of INA after Gandhi, Nehru, Maulana Azad, and himself. There was also an all-women regiment named after Rani of Jhansi, Lakshmibai.
4. The INA participated in operation U-Go, the 1944 Japanese campaign towards British India. Following Japan’s defeat in World War 2, most of the members of the INA were captured by the British. Subash Chandra Bose himself eluded capture and was reported to have died in a plane crash near Taiwan in September 1945.
5. The surviving members of the INA were to be tried by the British colonial government for treason. As the trials were to take place at the Red Fort, they led to a new wave of nationalism in the country as the Indian population saw the members as patriots fighting for independence.
6. The trial also led to a mutiny within the British Indian army, with most notable being that of the Royal Indian Navy. This made the British realise that they were effectively losing the support of the army and their exit from India therefore became inevitable.