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 Free India Radio, Saigon

Speaking from Rangoon yesterday Netaji SC Bose said, “Friends, I hope you remember I inaugurated the broadcasting station of the Indian National Army Headquarters on December 5, 1943. Since then, officers and men of the Indian National Army have been regularly broadcasting to their countrymen in India. You also know that both the headquarters of the Indian National Army and the Provisional Government of Free India were moved to Burma from Shonan. A section of the broadcasting station of the Indian National Army Headquarters was also moved along with them. This section which has now been established as a branch station in Burma will keep in touch with its parent station at Shonan. I consider myself fortunate in being called upon to inaugurate the new broadcasting station of the Indian National Army. The speeches of Indian officers and men from the Indian National Army broadcasting station have impressed our countrymen in India, and especially the members of the British Indian Army. The British military authorities are very much alarmed at the impression these broadcasts have made on the Indian personnel at the front. The advance of the Indian National Army to the very gates of India has increased their alarm considerably. British reaction to this is very interesting. At first, they tried to convince Indians that the Indian National Army was non-existent. When they realised that the Indians knew of its existence, and could be deceived no longer, they started saying that it was composed of Indian prisoners of war, compelled to enlist and rushed through an imperfect course of military training. They had also asserted that these Indians were still loyal to Britain and would desert the Indian National Army at the earliest opportunity. They have evidently forgotten that it is impossible to make anyone fight wholeheartedly without giving him a clear idea of what he is fighting for. When all other methods failed, the All India Radio started abusing me in a language more vulgar and coarse than even the proverbial language of Billingsgate. I am, however, confident that the respect Indian nationalists have for me will not be affected in the least by this vile campaign of abuse. It is a pity that British propagandists do not realise that this abuse is an indirect admission that what I am doing at present is for the good of India and the Indians, and a patent proof of my sincerity. Every Indian knows that I could easily have stayed on in India after my release from prison in 1940. But, some sixth sense prompted me to leave the country. During the past few years I have been devoting all my time and energies for the liberation of the Motherland. Only now I realised that Providence has been guiding my movements during these three years. If I had not left India in 1940, the Indian National Army and the Provisional Government of Free India would not have been formed, and India would not be as near freedom as she is now. During these years I have visited all East Asiatic countries. I know that Japan and all other East Asiatic countries are determined to help the Indians in their struggle against Britain and to liberate India. Only a fool will think that Japan can force the 3,000,000 Indians in East Asia to obey her. I have been to Japan many times, and have conversed with all her leaders. During these visits I have found out that Japan is very sincere in her promises, and she is genuinely anxious to help the people of Asia obtain freedom. Indians in East Asia without exception have come forward voluntarily to use this opportunity for liberating their Motherland from Anglo-American domination; they have dedicated their lives to the noble cause of Indian independence. It is certain that the Indian National Army will succeed in its mission. The British will soon be driven out of India once and for all.' "