Netaji Subhas Bose was probably one of the most secular persons to have been born in India. Our secular beliefs originated from our grandfather -- Netaji’s father -- Janakinath Bose. To this day our family practices secularism! And we are not radicals.
The INA, led by Netaji, consisted of officers and men from every religion and faith – Hindus, Moslems, Sikhs, Christians and even Anglo-Indians. The INA officer who designed and built the INA memorial in Singapore under Netaji’s instructions, to honour the fallen INA soldier, was an Anglo Indian – Col. Stracey. This memorial was shamefully blown up by Louis Mountbatten as soon as he entered Singapore. This was an act of cowardice because no soldier of any substance will blow up a memorial which honours fallen soldiers even if they are the enemy. But then Mountbatten was not a soldier of any substance. He was not a soldier at all – he was related to the King – that is all!! The senior most officers of the INA and reporting directly to Netaji were Gen. Shah Nawaz Khan (Moslem), Col. Prem Sehgal (Punjabi Hindu), Col. Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon (Sikh), Lt. Col. Chatterji (Hindu). The last officer who was with Netaji before he disappeared was Col. Habibur Rehman a Moslem. The officer who led the Bahadur Group into India and occupied Manipur for 4 months after hoisting the Tricolour at Moirang on April 14, 1944, was Col. Shaukat Mallik, a Moslem. All officers and men of the I.N.A. lived together, ate together, prayed together irrespective of faith, religion, creed, colour and Netaji was always with them.
The term “rag-tag” army was used by the British media to describe the INA during the course of the war. This was to create an impression amongst their reading public and their soldiers that the INA soldiers were undisciplined and could be run over easily. In fact, the INA comprised of battle-hardened soldiers of the British Indian Army who were taken POW by the Japanese in Malaya and, in fact, they instilled fear amongst the British ranks because they fought for a purpose and fought fearlessly.
In 2017 at a debate at the Imperial War Museum in London the attendees voted that the fiercest battle ever fought by the British Army was not Waterloo but the battle of Kohima. And the participants in this Battle were the Allied forces, the Japanese and the INA. The British conveniently in their records omitted mentioning the INA for obvious reasons. During the war the activities of the INA were wilfully blanked out by the Brit press in India and the people in India had absolutely no clue as to what was happening and unaware of the heroic deeds of the soldiers of the INA. The lid was blown open when the British made the mistake of putting on trial for treason 3 senior officers of the INA. The slogan of the INA was “CHALLO DILLI” and their ultimate destination was the Red Fort to raise the flag of free India. Therefore – just to taunt them the Brits decided to hold the trial at the Red Fort. Unfortunately, this boomeranged on them.
Around 1.5 million soldiers of the British Indian armed forces had been brought back to India after the war. When these soldiers found out about the trial at the Red Fort of the INA soldiers, they revolted – this was the start of the famous Naval Mutiny in Bombay. Naval ratings in uniform marched thru the streets of Bombay holding Netaji Bose’s photo above their heads. The unrest spread to the British Indian Army and then to the Royal Indian Air Force. The Brits then panicked because they realized that they had lost control over the armed forces and without an army, a colonizer cannot rule over a colony. They promptly released the three INA officers and made plans to go home. The then British Prime Minister admitted at an interview that it was not the activities of Gandhi and/or the Congress but it was Bose and the INA that made them leave India. And before they left they instructed that rogue Mountbatten to carve up India!!
Sadly, history is always written by the victor and hence we read history written by the Brits. The author of the article has followed the usual pattern and written what his British masters and his dubious sponsors have paid him to write!! And I suspect it is also the propaganda machine of an Indian political party under stress working overtime – after all elections are nearing and so – it does not suit their purpose for the people in India to be suddenly told that what they have been taught is wrong and actually it was Bose who played a major part in achieving independence for the country. And also the writer writes about Subhas Bose’s demise. It is clear that he did not die in any plane crash in the Taipei area on August 18, 1945, because the Taiwan Govt. has certified that there was no plane crash in the area on that day!!! We are still waiting for some answers to this great mystery! Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph is best a second or third rung paper in the U.K. People of substance read The Observer or The Times.
(Ardhendu Bose is the nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The views and opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Republic TV/ Republic World/ ARG Outlier Media Pvt. Ltd.)