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>>

The Situation in Burma

Statement on the Burma situation broadcast by the INA-Army Headquarters Radio,Singapore

I cannot at this stage issue a final or comprehensive statement on the situation in Burma, for the simple reason that fighting is still going on in several parts of Burma, in which troops of the Azad Hind Fauj are engaged. But, there is one remark that I can make without any hesitation. Whatever victories have been achieved by the Allied forces in Burma have been due more to the British Indian Army than to any other section of the Allied forces.

In the spring of last year when we were fighting on Indian soil, it was the British Indian Army more than anybody else which barred the way to Imphal, to Calcutta, and to Delhi. Likewise, this year also it is the British Indian Army more than anybody else that has been responsible for the victories hitherto achieved by the Allied forces in Burma. While we have been fighting for the liberation of our Motherland, and incidentally for the defence of Independent Burma, it has been the most tragic experience to find ourselves thwarted by our own countrymen in the British-Indian Army, who are themselves slaves in their own country

In the midst of this tragic experience there is, however, one small consolation. Uptil now the British Indian Army has been told day after day by our British oppressors that the Provisional Government of Azad Hind and the Azad Hind Fauj have been working and fighting not as patriots and revolutionaries, but as puppets of a foreign power. In fact the Azad Hind Fauj has been nick-named by our enemies as the Japanese Indian Fauj or JIF. Now members of the British Indian Army and other Indians who have come into Burma alongside the British will see with their own eyes the magnificent and unselfish work of the Provisional Government of Free India and of the heroic fight put up by India's army of liberation against tremendous odds.

The effect of these experiences of the British Indian Army and on the people inside India will become more and more apparent as the days roll by. Already a change is noticeable in the utterances of enemy propagandists. In recent days the enemy radio has been referring to the Azad Hind Fauj not as a puppet army as before, but as a Japanese inspired Indian National Army. Though we have suffered heavy losses in men and material during the campaign of the last 15 months, our confidence in our ultimate victory remains unimpaired. Marshal Foch, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in the last European War, once made a historic remark that that army only is beaten which considers itself beaten. I am happy and proud to be able to say that no member of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind and no member of the Azad Hind Fauj today feels that he has been beaten.

Believing in the justice of our cause and being fully prepared to pay the price of liberty, we feel that we are invincible. One of the fathers of the science of modern warfare, the German General Clausewitz once said, 'war has many surprises.' The first surprise in this war has been the defeat of Germany. But there are many more in store for the world, and some of them will not be welcome to our enemies.

Under the leadership of its own Government, the Azad Hind Fauj will carry on the fight against the Anglo-Americans, wherever and whenever they are met. ‘Chalo Delhi’ will continue to be the war cry of this army, for the roads to Delhi are many, like the roads to Rome. Meanwhile, we shall continue to follow with the closest interest the ever-changing world situation, and we shall take the fullest advantage of it.

I earnestly appeal to my countrymen inside India and outside to cherish the same optimism about our final victory as we do here. If our enemies could carry on the struggle in spite of the terrible reverses they suffered in Europe and in Asia between 1939 and 1942, there is no reason why we should not have at least the confidence of courage and a faith in final victory as our enemies, particularly when we are fighting for a cause that is just and patriotic.