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>>

Address to the Soldiers of INA

In January 1945, the second campaign of the Indian National Army began, and at the Mingaladan Camp in Rangoon, Netaji addressed the Second Infantry Regiment infusing the spirit of enthusiasm and sacrifice amongst them.

He spoke:

Last year the INA faced the enemy on the battle-field for the first time. The deeds of the INA were glorious: they were beyond any expectations and won the praise of both friend and foe. We dealt the enemy a crushing defeat wherever we fought him. Without being defeated we had, as a tactical move, to bring back our forces from the Imphal front due to bad weather and other handicaps.

Now we have tried to overcome these difficulties. But everyone should remember that our army is a revolutionary army. We are not so well-equipped in manpower as our enemies are. Our enemies have decided that they will fight their first battle for the defence of India in Assam and they have made this area India's Stalingrad.

This year will be the decisive year of the war. The fate of India's freedom will be decided near the hills of Imphal and on the plains of Chittagong. Last year some of our men joined the enemy. I do not want even a single man to go over to the enemy this time when we go to the front. Therefore, if anyone thinks that he is incapable of going to the front due to weakness or cowardice or for any other reason he should report to his regimental commander and arrangements will be made to keep him at the base.

I do not wish to paint a very rosy picture to you. You will have to face hunger, thirst and other hardships and even death when you go to the front. Because the enemy has made the utmost preparations, we too shall have to mobilise all our resources.

In addition to the present slogan of the INA, namely, 'Chalo Delhi,' another slogan will be added from today, and that will be :‘Khoon, Khoon, Khoon!’, Blood, Blood, Blood! This means that we shall shed our blood for the freedom of 40 crores of people of India. Similarly, we shall shed the blood of the enemy for the same cause. The slogan for Indian civilians who are in the south will be: 'Karo sab nichhawar, ban sab faqir' (sacrifice everything and become paupers)."

Netaji ended his speech with the slogan: " Inquilab, Zindabad,” "Chalo Delhi," and "Blood, Blood and More Blood," which were repeated very loudly by 2,300 men of the Regiment as well as by the civilians present there.