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 Singapore Radio

Speaking at a Military Review held in front of Singapore's Town Hall today, Netaji Bose addressed the members of the Indian National Army and said:

“Soldiers of India's Army of Liberation! Today is the proudest day of my life. Today it has pleased Providence to give me the unique honour of announcing to the whole world that India's Army of Liberation has come into being. This army has now been drawn up in military formation on the battlefield of Singapore, which was once the bulwark of the British Empire. This is the Army that will emancipate India from British yoke. Every Indian must feel proud that this Indian Army has been organised entirely under Indian leadership, and that when the historic moment arrives, under Indian leadership it will go into battle. Standing today on the graveyard of the British Empire, even a child is convinced that the almighty British Empire is already a thing of the past.

Comrades! My soldiers! Let your battle cry be 'To Delhi, to Delhi.' How many of us will individually survive this war of freedom, I do not know. But I do know this that we shall ultimately win and our task will not end until our surviving heroes hold the Victory parade on another graveyard of the British Empire — the Lai Qilla of ancient Delhi.

Throughout my public career, I have always felt that though India is otherwise ripe for independence in every way, she lacks one thing; an army of liberation. George Washington of America could fight and win freedom, because he had his army. Garibaldi could liberate Italy because he had his armed volunteers behind him. It is your privilege and honour to be the first to come forward and organise Indian National Army. Soldiers who always remain faithful to their nation, who perform their duty under all circumstances and who are always prepared to sacrifice their lives, are invincible. Engrave these three ideals in the inmost core of your hearts.

Comrades! You are today the custodians of India's national honour and the embodiment of India's hopes and aspirations. So conduct yourselves that your countrymen may bless you and posterity may be proud of you. I assure you that I shall be with you in darkness and in sunshine, in sorrow and in joy, in suffering and in victory. For the present I can offer you nothing except hunger, thirst, suffering, forced marches and death. It does not matter who among us will live to see India free. It is enough that India shall be free and that we shall give our all to make her free. May God now bless our Army and grant us victory in the coming fight! "