When Netaji set up Azad Hind provisional government 74 years ago!
Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind was supported by the Axis powers of Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, the Italian Social Republic, and their allies.india Updated: Oct 21, 2017 19:12 IST
On this day 74 years ago, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose had announced the establishment of the provisional government of Azad Hind in occupied Singapore in 1943.
Known as Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind, it was supported by the Axis powers of Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, the Italian Social Republic, and their allies.
The revered freedom fighter had launched a struggle to free India from British rule under the banner of the provisional government in exile during the latter part of the Second World War.
Bose was convinced that armed struggle was the only way to achieve independence for India. He had been a leader of the radical wing of the Indian National Congress in the late 1920s and 1930s, rising to become Congress president in 1938 and 1939 but was ousted following differences with Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress leadership.
Under his provisional government, the Indians living abroad had been united. The Indian National Army drew ex- prisoners and thousands of civilian volunteers from the Indian expatriate population in Malaya (present-day Malaysia) and Burma (now Myanmar).
On October 21, 1943, in his address announcing the setting up of the provisional government, he said India’s Army of Liberation was drawn up in military formation on the battlefield of Singapore which was once the bulwark of the British Empire.
He envisioned the Army of Liberation as the future national Army of Free India and exhorted people with the war cry, “Comrades! My soldiers! Let your battle-cry be — To Delhi To Delhi”.
“How many of us will individually survive this war for freedom, I do not know. But I do know this that we shall ultimately win and our task will not end until our surviving heroes hold the victory parade on another graveyard of the British Empire - the Lal Kila or Red Fort of ancient Delhi,” he said.
“With the force of arms and at the cost of your blood you will have to win liberty,” he said.
“As soldiers, you will have to cherish and live up to the three ideals of faithfulness, duty and sacrifice. Soldiers who always remain faithful to the nation who perform their duty under all circumstances and who are always prepared to sacrifice their lives, are invincible.”
He said the mission of Independence for India was the noblest the human mind could conceive.
“I assure you that I shall be with you in darkness and sunshine, in sorrow and in joy. In suffering and in victory. For the present, I can offer you nothing except hunger, thirst, privation, forced marches and death. But if you follow me in life and in death--as I am confident you will — I shall lead you to victory and freedom,” he said in his address.
Under the provisional government, Bose was the head of the state, the prime minister and the minister for war and foreign affairs. Captain Lakshmi headed the women’s organisation while S A Ayer headed the publicity and propaganda wing.
Revolutionary leader Rash Behari Bose was designated as the supreme advisor.
The provisional government was also formed in the Japanese-occupied Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The islands were reoccupied by the British in 1945.
Bose’s death was seen as the end to the Azad Hind movement. The Second World War, also ended in 1945 with the defeat of the Axis powers.
On the 75th foundation day today, All India Youth League national president Sanjay Bhattacharya, in a statement, said, “We remember the countless martyrs who laid down their lives in the cause for India’s battle for freedom in East Asia. We salute all the participants.”
First Published: Oct 21, 2017 19:11 IST