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>>

Message to Indian Children in East Asia

The following is a message despatched by Subhas Chandra Bose to the children in East Asia who had gathered to celebrate his birthday on 23 January 1945.

My young friends:

It gives me great pleasure to send you today my warm greetings. I assure you that your welfare has always been nearest to my heart, and if I have not been able to meet you and personally speak to you it is only because of my other preoccupations in the cause of our country's freedom.

You know that about two centuries ago the British came to India. They came as traders. We Indians who were a traditionally hospitable people extended to them every assistance in their trade. The foreigners abused that kindness and hospitality and we lost our Freedom.

Our forefathers did not yield up their country without a fight. They fought inch by inch and it took the British a hundred years of questionable methods—methods which I need not go into at present—to bring India under their sway. Though India came at last under the British rule, the Indian spirit never came under British subjection. We carried on our tight for freedom.

Man is meant to be free and it is the duty of every man to make his country free. Without freedom no people can become great. In this struggle for freedom in which our countrymen at home, in Burma and all over East Asia are at present engaged, you, the youth of India have a definite place.

Youth and enthusiasm are almost synonymous, and just as such as you receive knowledge from your elders you can transmit your enthusiasm to them. You must feel, think and act as proud sons and daughters of a great country. Our country was one of the greatest on earth before it came under foreign domination. It is your duty to train yourself for the future, and if your country needs you now in spite of your age, it is your duty to go forward. Many amongst you, I know, are already keen to do so. It is, however, my sincere conviction that much before you reach manhood our motherland will be free; but in the wake of freedom will come various duties and responsibilities which only youthful patriots will be qualified to perform.

You are, therefore, the hope of the future and when the time comes, I feel certain you will not be found wanting. Every one of you is a potential soldier in India's Cause. It is on you, the Youth of India, that the greatness of Azad Hind will be built. Be ready; and may Providence guide your steps.   

Jai Hind.
(Sd). Subhas Chandra Bose.