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>>

We Shall Fulfil Our Promise, Broadcast from Singapore

This New Year Message was translated into Hindustani and broadcast to India by the "Provisional Government of Azad Hind" Radio.

Ladies and gentlemen! In October last I left Burma for a tour of East Asia. That is why I could not address you over the air. Last November, while broadcasting from Tokyo, I promised you a speech on the world situation. Before I start I wish to offer you New Year greetings. The new year finds the war in its final and decisive stage. The people of India, particularly the Indians of East Asia, should be prepared to make the greatest sacrifices. I set out on a tour of East Asia in order to prepare the Indians there for this final battle There is no place in East Asia where Indians are not to be found, and every Indian is enthusiastic about the battle for India's liberation. Men are joining the Indian National Army from all parts of East Asia and money is also pouring in large amounts. This will continue until the battle for freedom is won. The Indian National Army will continue to receive monetary help. I have visited Malaya, Japan, French Indo-China and the East Indies where I inspected the war effort of the Indian National Army. In Malaya alone I received 7,000,000 dollars for the Indian National Army.

At this time I am reminded of my friends who are rotting in dark British dungeons in India. I am not going to relate here the brave deeds done by these patriots, whose only fault is that they worked for the freedom of their country. Justice must triumph in the end, and we shall not rest till we have won the battle of independence.

The war has entered its final stage. In October and November last there were signs of it, but now it is crystal clear. Those who were saying only a few days ago that the European war would end in 1944 are now saying that it will not end in 1945 or even in 1946. The German counter-attack in the West and the V-1 and V-2 attacks have upset the Allied timetable. Allied propaganda has been exposed. Dismay prevails in England. The Germans have surpassed their enemies in the production of war material. The enemy has admitted that the German defences were strong.

On the other hand, there are deep-rooted differences between Russia, America and Britain. The bitter criticism of the British policy in Greece, Belgium and Italy by the American Press proves the existence of differences between America and British over Allied policy in Europe. British troops, on the plea of liberating the people of Greece, are machine-gunning them. Recently, Mr Churchill and Mr Eden spoke on Greek affairs. Mr Roosevelt let the cat out of the bag by saying that there was no such thing as the Atlantic Charter.

Whereas there is a sharp decline in manpower in America and Britain, Japanese and German war production is mounting hourly. Even if Germany is defeated, the Anglo-American armies will have to be kept in Europe in order to stem the tide of Bolshevism, and this augurs well for Japan. This policy of the Anglo-Americans will result in the ultimate destruction of their imperialism. We who are fighting for India's liberation should pay heed to the situation in Europe.

The Anglo-American position in the Pacific is even worse The capture of a few islands in the Pacific by America provided the Allied propagandists with some material. But now they have realised that island-hopping won't do. This has even been admitted by General Wedemeyer. The Americans said that the Japanese Navy suffered a crushing defeat in October last in the waters off Formosa and the Philippines, but the doubts expressed by American crews and British correspondents in India concerning this announcement have exposed the falsity of the whole thing. Now they realise that the American Navy suffered the same fate as Napoleon suffered while advancing towards Moscow. Coming events will bear me out. In the Philippines, the Japanese are dealing the Americans deadly blows. While the Anglo-Americans talk of linking Chungking and India by a land route, the Japanese road linking Japan with Singapore is completed. The whole Japanese nation is engaged on increasing Japan's war production. The enemy desires the end of the war, but it is improbable. Japanese and German interests lie in prolonging the war. The Japanese Kamikaze Corps are wreaking havoc on the Americans. I went to Japan several times and saw Japanese military strength. In this connection you should read the statement of Renter's military commentator in London, made on December 3 last, and the statement of the US Under-Secretary for War made on December 21 last. These statements will serve to show how much America and Britain are worried over Japanese military strength. The Indian National Army will shortly launch its attack and the British forces will be compelled to retreat until they are defeated.

We have gained much experience in the fighting on the Indo-Burma front, and we must make full use of it. We are certain of our victory. We know the weaknesses of our enemy, and our faith in victory has been redoubled. We know that we shall have to fight hard and bitter battles on the Indo-Burma front. The battles of Chittagong and Imphal will decide the battle of India's liberation. We shall fight the enemy with patience and steadfastness.

Brothers and sisters! We assure you that we shall fulfil our promise. The Indian National Army will soon find itself in the plains of Bengal and Assam. When we arrive there it will be your duty to help us. Meanwhile you should continue to make your preparations. But, do not repeat 1942 before the time is ripe for it. Convey our New Year message to those rotting in British jails, and tell them that their sacrifices will not go in vain. India will be free. Jai Hind!