The Azad Hind Fauj was initiated during World War II to secure complete Indian independence from British rule. Every year on 21 October, the anniversary of the formation of the Azad Hind Government is celebrated across the country. On this day, India’s first independent provisional government named Azad Hind Government was announced.
Azad Hind Government’s anniversary, here are a few exciting facts about Netaji and his Azad Hind Fauj:
An Indian national army (INA) was the term used by the British colonial authorities to refer to units formed by Indian nationalists within the British Indian Army.
The Indian National Army (INA) or Indian Freedom Army was a unit of irregular troops led by Subhas Bose, that was formed in 1942.
The term “Indian national army” is also often used in reference to those units from within the Indian Army that did not receive British officers. In that context, “Indian national army” was a term used by the British to imply that the Army had been taken over by the natives; it is used extensively by writers who attempt to portray Bose as the leader of a native army. The units in question included the Free India Rangers (a group of soldiers from the Frontier Corps and who were trained in guerrilla warfare) and many members of the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian Independence Army), who were mostly volunteers. They are collectively known as the Indian National Army.
The Indian National Congress, established in 1885, had demanded a “Khilafat” (the Caliphate, an Islamic term for government) until independence, with the support of the Muslim League. This was rejected by the British Government, which considered that, in the event of such an establishment, “the Turks were not to be trusted as a safeguard” and the “Caliphate movement was a mere blind”. The Khilafat movement collapsed in 1924.
In the 1930s, a second Indian National Congress and a National Government came into existence, headed by Gandhi, whose vision for a nation of Hindus and Muslims living together with liberty and dignity was one that appealed to nationalists.
The 1935 Government of India Act incorporated the provinces of British India into the dominion of India, making India a separate legal entity. Subhas Bose’s National Congress party advocated an “independent India”, in which Hindus and Muslims could live together. It sought to remove British influence from Indian affairs, with the support of the Muslim League, and thus sought to unite India through a campaign of nonviolent resistance.
In 1942, during World War II, Bose and the Indian National Army (INA) tried to invade India from Burma by way of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands but were repulsed by the Royal Air Force (RAF). Bose was imprisoned in India.
The government of India considered it wise to set up an intelligence service, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in the form of a separate agency in 1947. At the same time, in April 1947, an internal security force, the State Security Agency, was also created to prevent the spread of communal violence by the police, the army, and the police.
The INA’s objective was a “Free India”, which, while not seeking a separate Muslim state, sought a new India where Muslims and Hindus could live together. The goal was to overthrow the Government of India and set up a government with Bose as its head.
Bose was put on trial in July 1945 and was found guilty of waging war against the king and the Empire, conspiracy to wage war against the king and the Empire, sedition, and treason. Bose was hanged by a British firing squad on 23 March 1945. He was cremated at the Agrasen ki Baoli, in New Delhi.
Subhas Chandra Bose is considered a national hero of India. Posthumously, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, one of the highest civilian honors. His ashes are kept in a mausoleum at Agrasen ki Baoli, New Delhi.
In India, his birthday, on 17 January, is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti.
In the late 1950s, when Nehru wanted a hero to give a speech at the first Asian Scientific Conference, Gandhi and Bose were the first two to be suggested by Nehru. Bose’s speech was read out on All India Radio, on the first day of the conference.
The city of Bose in the United States was named after Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose is also considered a founding father of Bengali nationalism and the modernization of India.
In 2005, the government of India released a postage stamp in Bose’s honor. The stamps were first issued by the Indian Postal Service on 26 January 2005, at the Agrasen ki Baoli in New Delhi.
Who is Subhash Chandra Bose?
Subhas Chandra Bose (1883-1945) was a pioneer of modern India. He rose from the streets of Calcutta to the Indian political limelight. He made the Indian nation proud. He fought valiantly in the freedom struggle for Indian independence. He left his people with a legacy of national pride and patriotism. In this feature, we look at the life of Subhas Chandra Bose.
Subhas Chandra Bose was born on the 23rd of September 1883 at Sarangarh in the district of Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. He was the youngest of three children and belonged to the Bose family of Orissa. His father was Suryakanta Bose and his mother was Chandranandini Devi. His siblings included Shailaja Devi, Sisir Bose, Ramjan Bose, and Krishna Bose.
There is hardly any doubt that Subhas Chandra Bose was a product of his environment. His father was a landlord of modest income and the family had lived in the same ancestral property in Sarangarh for centuries. But his grandfather, Jagadish Chandra Bose was a reformist. He was a member of the Brahmo Samaj, the first organization to promote communal harmony. The family of Bose hailed from Odisha, which was ruled by a King called Jagadish Chandra Bose. Jagadish Chandra Bose was of the opinion that Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam all were equally good, which was a very alien thought in those times.
Bose, a follower of Jagadish Chandra Bose, studied at the Presidency College, Kolkata, and joined Calcutta University as a student of philosophy in 1907. He got his Ph.D. from the University of Calcutta and then he worked as a teacher at the Anglo Bengali School in Ballygunge, Calcutta. At this time he came across the teachings of George Santayana and G.K. Chesterton. Santayana was a philosopher, who had been an eminent scholar, but he had been a teacher and not a full-time philosopher. Bose met G.K. Chesterton through the English writer H.G. Wells and became a disciple of his. Both these men had been greatly influenced by the doctrines of Mahatma Gandhi. Bose saw in G.K. Chesterton’s views a practical guide to life and Gandhi’s own views of truth, peace, and non-violence. All this had a big impact on Subhas Bose, who adopted their views. Bose, also became a close friend of J.C. Bose, who was a noted author and had been a pioneer in the field of psychology.