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>>

Domei News Agency

The Foreign Minister and concurrently Minister for Greater East Asiatic Affairs, Mamura Shigemitsu, at a welcome banquet tonight in honour of Mr Subhas Chandra Bose, Head of the Provisional Government of Free India and his suite held at the Foreign Minister's Official residence, expressed his firm conviction that the Indian National Army under the leadership of Mr Bose would achieve ultimate victory. Mr Shigemitsu gave the assurance that Japan, as she had often announced in the past, would render every possible assistance for the attainment of Indian independence. Attending the banquet besides Mr Bose and his suite, which included Colonel AC Chatteijee (StateMinister,) Colonel MZ Kiani (Commander of the 1st Division of the Indian National Army), Lt.-Colonel Habibur Rahman (Vice-Chief of Staff), were officials of the Foreign and Greater East Asiatic Ministers as well as Koki Hirota (former Premier), Viscount Keizo Shibuzawa (Governor of the Bank of Japan), Nobutsune Okuma (President of the Japan-India Society) and others.

Warmly welcoming Mr Bose at the outset of his speech, Mr Shigemitsu recalled that it was just over one year ago that the Netaji attended the historic Assembly of Greater East Asiatic Nations as an observer and made a moving speech setting forth his fervent desire to attain Indian independence and his unflinching determination to crush the inordinate ambition of the Anglo-Americans. Praising Mr Bose's determined efforts for the attainment of Indian independence, Mr Shigemitsu pointed out that Mr Bose, disliking the idea of serving as a watch-dog of British Imperialism, discarded an enviable post in the Indian Civil Service, which promised luxury and affluence and joined the hazardous independence movement.

Continuing, he said, “Mr Bose, knowing that the good old British policy of ‘divide and rule' is backed up by armed oppression, has long been determined to use violence against violence. This is why he escaped from India and hoisted the flag of justice taking advantage of the present World War. The recent appearance of the Indian National Army on the Indo-Burmese frontier is an event of world-wide significance and had struck terror into the hearts of the British people. I am convinced that the inspired Indian National Army will, with divine help and under the vigorous leadership of Mr Bose, achieve ultimate victory. I assure Your Excellency that Japan, as has often been announced, will tender every possible assistance for the attainment of Indian independence.”