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)

In a press interview given somewhere in Burma, Netaji SC Bose, Head of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind, declared that as a result of his recent talks with Japanese military experts, the Indian National Army would very shortly launch its offensive. He revealed that both Japan and Germany had launched an all-out offensive against their enemies and expressed the hope that Japan and Germany would very shortly establish their superiority in these final battles.

Netaji expressed the hope that India would also play an important part in this new phase of the war and said that he felt confident that the Indian National Army would succeed in liberating India from the clutches of the British pirates. Praising the Japanese 'Special Air Attack Corps', Netaji stated that he was very much impressed by the brilliant performances and heroic exploits of its members, and added that troops of the Indian National Army would follow the noble example of the gallant Japanese troops and fight with firm determination and valour and deliver their Motherland from bondage.

Referring to the British counter-attack in Burma Netaji declared: “This is not the first British attempt to recapture Burma. The present Viceroy had made the first attempt to overrun Burma which had failed miserably in the Arakan. Later, Mountbatten made another attempt which brought insignificant success at heavy cost. The second Arakan campaign saw the entry of the Indian National Army into India up to Imphal and Kohima. Now Mountbatten has made another attempt which has, however, proved successful. But, we are certain that this insignificant success will not affect the powers and the indomitable spirit of the Indian National Army and the Japanese forces, because they know that the British will ultimately be forced to retreat when the combined Indo-Japanese forces launch their counter-offensive. The situation in Burma is not favourable for the British because a great majority of the Indian troops in the British Army are unwilling to fight for them. Indian troops of the British Army will not fight against the Indian National Army because they know that it is fighting to liberate their Motherland. They will, I strongly feel, join the Indian National Army when they come in contact with it. The Indian National Army possesses high morale and unique spiritual power. Men and officers of the Indian National Army are pledged to liberate their country. Freedom or death is their only goal. The war cry of our Army is 'Blood, Blood and Blood'. Men and officers of this Indian National Militia know that they are fighting for the sacred cause of delivering 380 millions of countrymen from British bondage. Those who believe that the British will win this war are making a great mistake. If they had only been aware of the invincible strength of the Indian National Army and its Japanese ally, they would not be dwelling in such a fool's paradise.'

Mr Bose said that the Indian National Army had gained considerable practical experience from its previous offensive, and last year's events had proved that the Indian National Army and the Japanese forces in Burma are far superior to the Anglo-Americans. He went on to say that the enemy was either thrown back or withdrew when the Indian National Army went on the offensive. The Anglo-Americans were put to a headlong flight and their advance was completely stemmed in all the sectors of the front. Mr Bose said that British troops pushed forward only when the Indian National Army withdrew for strategic reasons after the outbreak of the monsoon. Mr Bose concluded the interview with the declaration, “India's salvation is now only a question of time. The well-equipped, disciplined and strong Indian National Army will destroy British power in India and smash the shackles of India's slavery. There is no power in the world which can prevent the Indian National Army from marching forward triumphantly to complete victory.”