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 by Rangoon Radio

In the course of a speech Netaji said that the forces of freedom have victoriously crossed the Indian frontier in order to put an end to British rule in India. Commenting upon this success of the Indian National and Japanese Armies, Mr Bose appealed strongly to the people of East Asia and India to cooperate with these forces in their crusade against the British. He said that the battle for Indian independence was now being fought on the very soil of India. Comparing the present struggle for freedom with the Mutiny of 1857, Netaji Bose said that although the struggle was well-organised, the people were not so fully prepared as they are now. At that time there was no ally nor was there time to train the mutineers. But, even then the mutiny had achieved one end; it had given a new impetus to the Indian movement for independence, and during the last 30 years this movement has taken a revolutionary turn. Netaji went on to say that the last two years have seen this movement enter upon a new phase, and it had been felt that in this struggle the use of armed force was necessary. The spectacular Japanese victories in East Asia had encouraged the Indian patriots, and as a result the Indian National Army was born. Mr Bose went on to say that today, the Indian National Army with the help of Japan had inflicted heavy defeats on the British. Netaji continued, the freedom of India will demand many sacrifices. To win freedom one should first make oneself worthy of it. So long as we do not cultivate the spirit of sacrifice for the sake of our country, we cannot enjoy independence in the real sense. Is it not a fact that Indian wealth is being exploited by the English and that thousands of Indian youths are dying of hunger? But this is nothing compared to the losses which will have to be endured in the battle for freedom. No Indian should give any assistance to the British war effort. Britain is spreading the rumour that Japan cares nothing for Indian independence and is only helping the Indian National Army so that she herself may conquer India. This is typical example of British propaganda; and I don't think anyone will believe it. If the English can call Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal and Maulana Azad the enemies of India, is it very surprising that Japan is placed in the same category? “I know what Japan's policy is towards India, and I can assure my countrymen that she is most anxious to see India free. Today, India's war of independence is the war of all Asia.”