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 Bangkok Radio

On July 27, the fiery President of the Indian Independence League, Mr SC Bose, delivered a stirring address at a welcome mass meeting of the Indian residents in Bangkok. After thanking Thailand for the warm sympathy extended to the struggle for India's freedom, Mr Bose declared that he was convinced that the great leaders of the Axis Powers were all with the Indians. President Bose reviewed India's struggle for emancipation in the past, when the Indians had to fight without arms, and when they were groping about in the dark. But today, Mr Bose declared, the masses in India, whether rich or poor, literate or illiterate, were animated by a burning desire for freedom. He declared, “Today all preparations for the final struggle have been made. The situation in India does not allow the Indians to organise an array. The only thing to do so is to organise it from outside. In order to achieve this, it is the duty of all Indians in East Asia to go forward and to organise such an army.” With profound gratitude, Mr Bose reported that this work was progressing satisfactorily and the Indian National Army which had been brought into existence was working at a high level of efficiency: “The recent presence of Prime Minister Tojo in the midst of the Indian National Army has been a source of profound encouragement to us. What is more, the symbolic help he has given has strengthened our determination to achieve success.”

Mr Bose further stated that he was convinced that the Indians would be able to organise a force so powerful as to overthrow Britain's power in India. To do that, the Indians must bring about a total mobilisation of their manpower and resources in East Asia. Therefore, all able-bodied men, regardless of their age, must come forth and fight. Not only men but also women must join the struggle. The old and physically disabled should give all. The time for small contributions is over. He declared that time to fight for a free India has arrived and it is, therefore, necessary to commandeer our entire resources. Mr Bose assured that Indians in India, despite their obvious handicaps, would participate in the last phase of the struggle, and were anxiously awaiting for the Indian National Army to appear on India's frontier. When this Army appeared on the frontier, then real revolution for the overthrow of the British rule in India, once and for all, will have begun. All soldiers who took part in the parade in Shonan in honour of the Japanese Premier know, Mr. Bose added, that it was just the beginning of their task, and it would only be completed when a similar parade was held before the Red Fort in Delhi. Mr Bose concluded his address as follows: “We feel proud to be living in an epoch which will become a historic one. We are grateful to Providence that an opportunity has been given to us to save our country, and to fight for freedom. We shall freely give our blood for India's freedom, and to preserve that freedom, for all time.”