Recollections and reflections

Reminiscences, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai

I first came in contact with Subhas Bose in 1923 at Delhi when the Congress was divided into two groups over the question of what was known as 'Council Entry.'...Subhas Babu, as the favourite lieutenant of Deshabandhu, was playing a prominent part in the controversy. more>>

Broadcast From SINGAPORE

Officers and men of the British Indian Army in India, Jai Hind! This is the Indian National Army (Shonan) Broadcasting Station. You will now hear the statement of Netaji SC Bose on the treatment of members of the AzadHind Fauj captured by the Anglo-Americans in Burma:

“Information has reached us from a reliable source in Burma which shows that vindictive and brutal treatment is being meted out to officers and men of the AzadHind Fauj (the Indian National Army) who have been captured by the Anglo-Americans in Burma, and in particular the British. These people have always been in the habit of condemning Germany and Japan for their supposed ill-treatment of the Anglo-American prisoners-of-war. I would now like to ask what the Anglo-Americans themselves are doing to the members of the Azad Hind Fauj who happen to fall into their hands in Burma. Though the Allied Forces in Burma belong to several nationalities, it is upon the British alone that the sole responsibility as regards the ill-treatment of officers and men of the Azad Hind Fauj devolves. The British authorities cannot even invent the excuse that the men of the Azad Hind Fauj had been forced into service, and that a few were volunteers; and that good treatment would be meted out to only those who had been forced to join. It cannot also be said that this is a reprisal against the bad treatment meted out by us to Allied prisoners of war, because the only allied troops who fell into our hands were those who voluntarily came and joined the Azad Hind Fauj. Even the New Delhi Radio admitted some days ago that all those who joined the Azad Hind Fauj receive good treatment. It may be that the British authorities think that we are not in a position to retaliate, and that they can, therefore, do with our officers and men what they like. But this is not so. If we are forced to do so we shall find ways and means for taking retaliatory measures in case they continue to ill-treat and persecute the officers and men of the Azad Hind Fauj. But, before we are forced to take retaliatory measures, there is one way open to us, and that is not only efficacious but easy. If our countrymen at home take up this matter and carry on a raging campaign for India, I am absolutely sure that the British authorities will be brought to their senses and will see the error of their ways. Public opinion in India may not be strong enough to force the British to concede independence to India, but it is certainly strong enough to stop the ill-treatment and persecution of members of the AzadHind Fauj, who have become prisoners-of-war in the hands of the British. Members of the Azad Hind Fauj are honest patriots and revolutionaries, fighting for the freedom of their Motherland. They no doubt fought bravely and stubbornly against the British, but they fought with clean hands and with a clear conscience. They are, therefore, entitled to humane treatment in captivity, in accordance with international convention. Consequently, I appeal to my countrymen to take up the cause of their own prisoners-of-war who fought for India's liberation and who are now receiving brutal and vindictive treatment at the hands of the British. I appeal to them all to compel the British authorities to divulge correct information about the fate of these prisoners-of-war, so that the world may judge how far the British themselves observe the rules of warfare to which they pay so much lip-service!”