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 Post subject: INA History Thread
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 01:47 
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I am researching the INA created by Netaji. I would like to know more than the trials. In particular I want to know its strength, its war aims and plans, and its class composition. Is there a definitve book on this?

I read that it was about 40,000 in strength and had Indian soldiers from many regiments.

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subhash_Chandra_Bose

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_National_Army

Col GS Dhillon
Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurbaksh_Singh_Dhillon


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 04:27 
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This is probably not gonna help much, but when i was a kid, I had a book on the Indian National Army. Beyond that I don't know much. No author (I think a retd. Indian Army general), no title....


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 04:50 
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I am not much of an expert either - but there seems to be some excellent resources available for anyone willing to do research about the INA.

Let me post a few resources from Prof Ed Haynes South Asian Gongs forum



A book that recently came out.

Quote:
Forgotten Warriors, ed. S. S. Yadav (published by Hope India [???], 3 vols.; Rs. 4500 for the set

A listing, by province, of soldiers who joined the INA. In some, but hardly all, cases he gives the regimental numbers in addition to usual name, rank, regiment, home village information, PLUS the person's INA rank.




Image


Quote:
T. R. Sareen, ed., Indian National Army: A Documentary Study, 5 vols. (New Delhi: Gyan Publishing House, [2004]; ISBN 81-212-0833-5 for the set), Rs. 4500

A set of poorly edited (typos ABOUND and sometimes do serious violence to the etxt) primary source volumes on the INA in Asia (Europe is totally ignored). While there are many items of interest to us, I have so far found nothing in any of direct relevance to awards, but many of these documents are interesting reading for the specialist, and maybe only for the specialist. If you translate Rs. 4500 into the basic currency unit, the BWM (British War Medal), you are left wondering if this is worth BWM 6?

Cover added.


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Image


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 04:51 
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From The Times (London), 30 March 1948.

an article of interest


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 05:32 
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http://www.vho.org/GB/Journals/JHR/3/4/ ... 7-439.html

Quote:
Subhas Chandra Bose, The Indian National Army, and The War of India's Liberation

RANJAN BORRA

India's Army of Liberation in the West

The arrival of Subhas Chandra Bose in Germany in 1941 (during the turbulent period of World War II) and his anti-British activities in that country in co-operation with the German government, culminated in the formation of an Indian legion. This marks perhaps the most significant event in the annals of India's fight for independence. This event not only can be regarded as a historical link-up with what Bose himself chose to describe as "The Great Revolution of 1857," and which (in his words) "has been incorrectly called by English historians 'the Sepoy Mutiny,' but which is regarded by the Indian people as the First War of Independence."[1] It also represents the historical fact that, by that time persuasive methods conducted through a non-violent struggle under the leadership of Gandhi, had failed. An armed assault on the citadel of the British Empire in India was the only alternative left to deliver the country from bondage. While other leaders of the Indian National Congress fell short of realizing this fact and thus betrayed a lack of pragmatic approach to the turn of world events that provided India with a golden opportunity to strike at the British by a force of arms, Bose rose to the needs of the hour and was quick to seize that opportunity.

While Bose's compatriots in India remained totally wedded to an ideological creed (non-violence), which at that time could only serve the British and postpone the advent of independence, and while their ideological interpretations of the new revolutionary regimes in Europe-again largely influenced by British propaganda-prevented them from even harboring any thought of seeking their alliance and co-operation in the struggle against a common enemy, Sublias Chandra Bose alone had the courage to take the great plunge, thus risking his own life and reputation, solely in the interest and cause of his country. In January 1941, while under both house arrest, and strict British surveillance, he escaped. After an arduous trek through the rugged terrains of several countries, with an Italian passport under the assumed name of Orlando Mazzota - (in which he was aided by underground revolutionaries and foreign diplomatic agents) - Bose appeared in Berlin, via Moscow, on 28 March 1941.

Bose was welcome in Germany, although the news of his arrival there was kept a secret for some time for political reasons. The German Foreign Office, which was assigned the primary responsibility of dealing with Bose and taking care of him, had been well informed of the background and political status of the Indian leader through its pre-war Consulate-General at Calcutta and also by its representative in Kabul. Bose himself, naturally some what impatient for getting into action soon after his arrival in Berlin, submitted a memorandum to the German government on 9 April 1941 which outlined a plan for co-operation between the Axis powers and India. Among other things, it called for the setting up of a "Free India Government" in Europe, preferably in Berlin; establishment of a Free India broadcasting station calling upon the Indian people to assert their independence and rise up in revolt against the British authorities; underground work in Afghanistan (Kabul) involving independent tribal territories lying between Afghanistan and India and within India itself for fostering and aiding the revolution; provision of finances by Germany in the form of a loan to the Free India government-in-exile; and deployment of German military contingents to smash the British army in India. In a supplementary memorandum bearing the same date, Bose requested that an early pronouncement be made regarding the freedom of India and the Arab countries.[2] It is significant to note that the memorandum did not mention the need for formation of an Indian legion. Evidently the idea of recruiting the Indian prisoners of war for the purpose of establishing a nucleus of an Indian national army did not occur to him during his early days in Berlin.

At that time the German government was in the process of formulating its own plan for dealing with Sublias Chandra Bose in the best possible manner. The Foreign Office felt itself inadequate to discharge this awesome responsibility without referring the whole matter to Hitler. While this issue was being considered at the highest level of the government, Bose's own requests as set forth in the submitted memorandum, made it far too complicated and involved to be resolved at an early date. There was a long wait for Bose, during which period he often tended to become frustrated. Nevertheless, through several sympathetic officers of the Foreign Office, he continued to press his requests and put forth new ideas.

Finally, after months of waiting and many moments of disappointment often bordering on despair for Bose, Germany agreed to give him unconditional and all-out help. The two immediate results of this decision were the establishment of a Free India Center and inauguration of a Free India Radio, both beginning their operations in November 1941. These two organizations played vital and significant roles in projecting Bose's increasing activities in Germany, but a detailed account of their operation lies outside the purview of this paper. It should suffice to say that the German government put at Bose's disposal adequate funds to run these two organizations, and he was allowed complete freedom to run them the way he liked at his own discretion.

In its first official meeting on 2 November 1941, the Free India Center adopted four historical resolutions that would serve as guidelines for the entire movement in subsequent months and years in Europe and Asia. First, Jai Hind or Victory to India, would be the official form of salutation; secondly, Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore's famous patriotic song Jana Gana Mona was to be the national anthem for the free India Bose was fighting for; thirdly, in a multi-lingual state like India, the most widely-spoken language, Hindustani, was to be the national language; and fourthly, Sublias Chandra Bose would hereafter be known and addressed as Netaji, the Indian equivalent of the "leader" or the "Fuehrer." In November 1941, Azad Hind Radio (or the Free India Radio) opened its program with an announcing speech by Netaji himself, which, in fact, was a disclosure of his identity that had been kept officially secret for so long. The radio programs were broadcast in several Indian languages on a regular basis.


When the new version of the history of the Twentieth Century India, and especially the episode of the country's unique struggle for independence comes to be written, it will no doubt single out but one person who made the most significant and outstanding contribution among all his compatriots toward the emancipation of his motherland from the shackles of an alien bondage. During World War II this man strode across two continents like a colossus, and the footsteps of his army of liberation reverberated through the forests and plains of Europe and the jungles and mountians of Asia. His armed assaults shook the very foundations of the British Empire. His name was Subhas Chandra Bose.





SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE




http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f380/ ... w2__02.jpg

inspecting the army

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f380/ ... w2__03.jpg
with other top german army officials.


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 05:44 
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http://www.missionnetaji.org/index_new.php


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 06:48 
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LINK

Quote:
In Japan

The Indian National Army (INA) consisted of some 85,000 regular troops, including a separate women's army unit named after Rani Lakshmi Bai (the women's combat army unit was the first of its kind in Asia).
These troops were under the aegis of a provisional government, with its own currency, court and civil code, called the Provisional Government of Free India (or, the Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind), and recognised by nine Axis states - Germany, Japan, Italy, the Independent State of Croatia, Wang Jingwei's Government in Nanjing, Thailand, a provisional government of Burma, Manchukuo and Japanese-controlled Philippines. Of those countries, five were states established by Axis occupation. This government participated as a delegate or observer in the so-called Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

En route to India, some of Bose's troops assisted in the Japanese victory over the British in the battles of Arakan and Meiktila, along with the Burmese National Army led by Ba Maw and Aung San. The Provisional Government and the INA were established in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, part of the British Indian Empire under Japanese occupation. On the Indian mainland, an Indian Tricolour, modeled after that of the Indian National Congress, was raised for the first time in the town in Moirang, in Manipur, in northeastern India. The towns of Kohima and Imphal were placed under siege by divisions of the Japanese, Burmese and the Gandhi and Nehru Brigades of I.N.A. At the time of the Great Bengal Famine of 1943, during which millions died of starvation, Bose had offered (through radio) to provide Burmese rice to the victims of the famine. The British authorities in India (and in the UK) naturally refused the offer.

When the Japanese were defeated at the battles of Kohima and Imphal, the Provisional Government's aim of establishing a base in mainland India was lost forever. The INA was forced to pull back, along with the defeated Japanese Army. Japan's surrender also led to the eventual surrender of the Indian National Army.


Last edited by svinayak on 20 Nov 2006 06:31, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 07:38 
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Japan's surrender also led to the eventual surrender of the Indian National Army.


Why did the INA surrender with the surrender of Japan's Imperial Army?


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 08:01 
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Acharya wrote:
Japan's surrender also led to the eventual surrender of the Indian National Army.


Why did the INA surrender with the surrender of Japan's Imperial Army?


What choice did they have? The Japanese provided all the supply and support infrastructure. Most of the INA were not trained for guerilla warfare so the options were limited.


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 09:13 
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I knew a few INA troopers myself. Eachtime we visited relatives in the Far East, my mom would take me to a barber popular with the relatives. I was very young and remember a picture of a young "him" on the wall in military uniform. I asked him if he was in the military. He said he was a soldier during the "Japanese war" and fought against the British.

At the end of the war, him and others like him were taken by the British and went through interogation and sometime later released. He is still alive and I am friends with his son who is my age. Eachtime I visit Singapore, I visit them.

There was another man who joint the INA to escape the attrocious conditions building the railway bridge in Burma ( yep....the same Bridge OVer River Kwai thingy). The Japs were digging ditches in some location in Malaya and they were rounding up every able bodied person to make them work the ditches.

This man saw from a distance what was happening as he was going home one evening. He quickly undid his turban, tore it in two pieces. He then spit lots of paan/betel nut he was chewing onto the pieces to make it look like blood stein. And he wrapped one of his leg and arm with them.

When the Japs saw him in bloodsteined bandages, they just shooed him away. Lucky him. But one night he was caught while foragging for food.
By then everyone had heard of the death railway for words have begun seeping back.

He was in the train heading towards Syam one night when he crawled under the legs of the Jap guards and jumped out into some forests. Lucky him twice. He found his way into an isolated village. The tribes took him in and even conducted a quick marriage between him and one of their girls.

One day the tribe sent him to the local city market with some wares to be sold and other goods to be bought with the money. Being someone who is not prone to sit iddle in one location, he sold the wares and took off with the money.

Someway along the way he was caught again by the Japs and ended up in the dreaded location. He was appaled by the inhuman conditions and the rapes committed by the Japs especially on Indian women. According to him, Japs were also living in miserable condition themsellves.

Onetime, Mr. Bose himself visited the place and the Japs made some drastic make over and treated the Indian slaves a little better for a few preeceding days. The surviving Indian women who were raped (many committed suicide) were isolated and kept faraway from the visiting INA delegates. This is when this person decided to join the INA to get out of "hell".

The war ended. His family thought he probably ended up dead and gave up seeing him alive. Oneday sometime in 1960 a bearded man walked into the village and upon seeing an old lady out working her flower garden, approached her and enquired about a certain family. It so happened that the old lady was his mother. What a way to have a re-union. I knew both of them.

There is a funny side to this. After the war, he was left stranded in Burma and befriended a few other Desis. One he got very close to the point that this particular Desi would say that he had a sister in India and would like him to marry her. Noone knew if this was a ploy but my friend sensed so. Each time he would come home in the evening from work, he would find this particular Desi eating up the food he had cooked previously leaving nothing. This had been going on for months.
Oneday, fed-up with this, he just poured a ton of chili in his cooking and left for work. When he came back in the evening, the dude was waiting with a machete. That was when he decided to return home to "Malaya"
A witty and foxy man to the very end of his life. I still have the Banana dollar he gave me many many years ago. RIP.

This things you would never read in books or news accounts. These are people who did not become famous hence no accounts of them will be known.
Since I am a product of the east and the west, I have heard and know lots of stories from people who have lived these stories both in Europe and Asia.
I never knew the importance of these accounts. But as I grow older, I am beginning to realize the importance of history that I did not appreciate when I was younger.
I think the trouble with Asiatic soceities is that they are very oral people when it comes to recording history. Thus history and tradition is passed down orally via folklore and other stories. History is also transmuted along similar lines. Record keeping is not part of it. This tradiiton is still alive in many parts.
Avram Sprinzl


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 12:27 
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Jagan wrote:

Why did the INA surrender with the surrender of Japan's Imperial Army?

What choice did they have? The Japanese provided all the supply and support infrastructure. Most of the INA were not trained for guerilla warfare so the options were limited.


Or is it because of the Bomb


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 18:08 
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the Japanese ensured that the INA was never a viable force. They did not receive any new equipment other than what was surrendered at Singapore, etc. They never fully trusted them and used them for propaganda purposes mostly. Their actions at Kohima and elsewhere were always on the margins of the Japanese forces. Once the counter offensive started in Burma, the Japanese pretty much cut them off and left them to their fate.

The Germans and Italians never trusted their Indian POW converts either.

read "The Forgotten Army" by Peter Ward Fay


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 21:17 
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I have a book from (autobiography) from the founder of INA.. Capt. Mohan Singh. Its authographed by him (got it in Chandigarh some years back from the second-hand book market outside the University Gate)

http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/pe ... h_ina.html

The book is cALLED: "Mohan Singh, General, Soldiers Contnbution to Indian Independence Delhi, 1974"


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2006 23:08 
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So we know the approximate size of the INA-40-85,000. I want the unit comoposition and the order of battle. What was the ideology and post war plans?


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2006 23:50 
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ramana:

I recall having read a book on the INA written by one of its top Generals - ShahNawaz, Sehgal, or Dhillon. It was a full narrative, including details of Units and the INA operations they participated in. I can't find it on Google, but I am sure the History section of any decent college library in India will have it. I remember that book truly had the 'other side of the story' - from the INA folks' perspective. You may want to look for it.


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 00:10 
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http://www.vho.org/GB/Journals/JHR/3/4/ ... 7-439.html


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 00:20 
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There is lot of info in the threads/posts about the Free Indian Legion and the INA in this forum
http://forum.axishistory.com/

Many rare photographs too.Request BR ( Jagan saar!!) follow up with that forum and get the info and the pics to be reproduced here.


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 00:25 
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This book is available from:
Vedams eBooks (P) Ltd.
Vardhaman Charve Plaza IV,
Building # 9, K.P Block, Pitampura,
New Delhi 110 034, India
Fax: 91-11-27310613
e-mail: vedams@vedamsbooks.c


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 01:31 
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One of the things I remember from the book written by the INA officer was about the issues they had in dealing with the Japanese Army, starting with food.

The Japanese soldiers apparently were issued very meagre and frugal rations, just rice and dried fish IIRC. So when the Indian soldiers asked for lots of things such as Atta, Daal, Rice, Ghee etc. the Japanese thought they were being ridiculous. They were given demonstrations of preparing Indian food before they reluctantly relented.

I think it was Shahnawaz who wrote the book. The author was a King's Cadet, and he struggled with his conscience before signing up with the INA. Netaji's charisma finally persuaded him.

The guy described several INA operations in the book. Apparently the INA folks were motivated to look for and kill British officers in combat. They tried to fight against British units as much as possible. Fighting against Indian units was obviously heart-wrenching for them.

Well, it was nearly 30 years ago that I read the book, so my memory has faded. But I think it had as much detail on the INA from the inside as you would get.

Just my two cents.


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 01:32 
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http://www.yorozubp.com/netaji/75birthday/dhillon.htm

http://www.yorozubp.com/netaji/75birthday/yajee.htm

http://www.yorozubp.com/netaji/75birthday/ayer.htm


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 03:07 
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Should we think of renaming the Andaman and Nicobar islands as "Shaheed" and "Swaraj" respectively." as named by Netaji?


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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2006 07:00 
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http://library.flawlesslogic.com/bose_2.htm

National Army, and the War of India's Liberation
Ranjan Borra
Indian National Army of Liberation in the East
On 15 February 1942, Singapore fell to the Japanese army advancing southward from the Malayan peninsula. Two days later, in an impressive ceremony held at Farrar Park in the heart of the town, [British] Indian troops were handed over to the Japanese as prisoners-of-war by their commanding officer, Colonel Hunt.

Major Fujiwara took them over on behalf of the victorious Japanese, and then announced that he was handing them over to Captain Mohan Singh of the Indian contingents, who should be obeyed by them as their Supreme Commander. Mohan Singh then spoke to the Indian POWs, expressing his intention of raising an Indian national army out of them to fight for India's freedom. He held a preliminary discussion with some prominent Indians in Malay and Burma in a meeting in Singapore on 9 and 10 March, which was attended by Rashbehari Bose, a veteran Indian revolutionary exile living in Japan for the last quarter of a century. Bose then called a conference in Tokyo, which was held 28-30 March. The delegates representing several East and Southeast Asian countries present at the conference decided to form the Indian Independence League to organize an Indian independence movement in East Asia. Bose was recognized as head of the organization. The conference further resolved that "military action against the British in India will be taken only by the INA and under Indian command, together with such military, naval and air cooperation and assistance as may be requested from the Japanese by the Council of Action" and further, "after the liberation of India, the framing of the future constitution of India will be left entirely to the representatives of the people of India."20


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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2006 23:02 
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I notice that the INA officers were the enlisted regimental center->Officers-> and the States Forces Officers. Not any KCIO types. What were the reasons? Also has this affected enlisted men chances for OCS in Post Independence era?


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2006 21:26 
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/standateast.shtml

Episode 2 has a section on INA


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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2006 13:52 
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Kakkaji wrote:
ramana:

I recall having read a book on the INA written by one of its top Generals - ShahNawaz, Sehgal, or Dhillon. It was a full narrative, including details of Units and the INA operations they participated in. I can't find it on Google, but I am sure the History section of any decent college library in India will have it. I remember that book truly had the 'other side of the story' - from the INA folks' perspective. You may want to look for it.


FYG - Only Shah Nawaz was a General in the INA.

The book you refer to is

FROM MY BONES" memoirs of Col. Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon (1998)
: ARYAN BOOKS INTERNATIONAL,
Pooja Aptts, 4B,
Ansari Road,
New Delhi-110002. FAX-91-11-3270385.
ISBN 81-7305-148-8


An amazing read and a very interesting account of the Red fort trials - including some elements on the contribution by Nehru and other prominent lawyers.


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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2006 03:16 
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http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v14/v14_Montgomery.html
Subhas Chandra Bose and India's Struggle for Independence

By Andrew Montgomery


[quote]

A New India

Bose clearly anticipated that the British would be driven out of India in an armed struggle (under his leadership), / 58 and that a social and political revolution would begin the moment the Indian people saw British rule under attack in India itself.
/ 59 This revolution, he believed, would bring an end to the old caste system and traditional social hierarchy, which would be replaced by an egalitarian, casteless and classless society based on socialist models. This process would require very careful guidance, with a firm hand, to prevent anarchy and chaos. / 60

Bose had, in fact, held these beliefs since the early 1930s, as Mrs. Kitty Kurti, a close German friend of Bose, revealed in her anecdotal memoir. At a June 1933 meeting attended by Kurti, Bose explained that: / 61

“Besides a plan of action which will lead up to the conquest of power, we shall require a program for the new state when it comes into existence in India. Nothing can be left to chance. The group of men and women who will assume the leadership of the fight with Great Britain will also have to take up the task of controlling, guiding and developing the new state and, through the state, the entire Indian people. If our leaders are not trained for post-war leadership also there is every possibility that after the conquest of power a period of chaos will set in and incidents similar to those for the French Revolution of the 18th century may be repeated in India . . . . The generals of the war-time period in India will have to carry through the whole program of post-war reforms in order to justify to their countrymen the hopes and aspirations that they will have to rouse during the fight. The task of these leaders will not be over till a new generation of men and women are educated and trained after the establishment of the new state and this new generation are able to take complete charge of their country's affairs.â€


Last edited by svinayak on 01 Dec 2006 03:11, edited 1 time in total.

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http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v03/v03p407_Borra.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3684288.stm
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v07/v07p353_Riggenbach.html
An Indian Revolutionary Gains Favor Posthumously

Quote:
An Indian Revolutionary Gains Favor Posthumously
Film Boosts Interest In Anti-Colonial Fighter

By John Lancaster
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, May 23, 2005; Page A12

CALCUTTA -- Asha Pachiasia has a problem with Gandhi.

Sure, she said, the frail, cotton-robed independence leader -- known as "the Mahatma" -- did his part and then some, leading the nonviolent rebellion that drove British colonial rulers from the subcontinent in 1947.

But as a hero and symbol of India's freedom movement, Pachiasia said, Mohandas K. Gandhi leaves something to be desired.

"I don't believe so much in Gandhi's policy of just showing the other cheek," said Pachiasia, a 47-year-old Montessori teacher. "I think now Indians are more aware that we should have fought for our freedom. I see how the Americans celebrate the Fourth of July. Mentally, we are still in the chains of the British Raj."


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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2006 03:40 
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Saurabh wrote:
Kakkaji wrote:
ramana:

I recall having read a book on the INA written by one of its top Generals - ShahNawaz, Sehgal, or Dhillon. It was a full narrative, including details of Units and the INA operations they participated in. I can't find it on Google, but I am sure the History section of any decent college library in India will have it. I remember that book truly had the 'other side of the story' - from the INA folks' perspective. You may want to look for it.


FYG - Only Shah Nawaz was a General in the INA.

The book you refer to is

FROM MY BONES" memoirs of Col. Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon (1998)
: ARYAN BOOKS INTERNATIONAL,
Pooja Aptts, 4B,
Ansari Road,
New Delhi-110002. FAX-91-11-3270385.
ISBN 81-7305-148-8


An amazing read and a very interesting account of the Red fort trials - including some elements on the contribution by Nehru and other prominent lawyers.


No, the book I read covered the period before the Red Fort trials, the period including the raising of the INA and the various battles it fought against the British.

For some reason, I still think it was written by Shah Nawaz Khan. He was a King's Cadet, wasn't he?


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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2006 14:30 
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Kakkaji,

Col. Dhillon's book covers the period from his entry into the Army as a Sepoy - right through his time at the Officers Academy (sorry can't remember what it was called - but don't think he went to Sandhurst- Added later - following from Wikipedia "During June 1936 he was selected for training at Kitchner College, Nowgong as a perspective candidate for Indian Military academy Dehradun") - commissioning and then traces his career right through to the time he joined INA under Mohan Singh. He discusses in great detail the the formation and the politics of the INA - including Mohan Singh's resignation and Netajis rise.


He commanded the Nehru brigade (4th Guerilla regmnt) during the Burma campaign, which is fairly well detailed with maps and Col. Dhillon covers the retreat through Burma, subsequent capture and the trials in detail.

Hope this helps.

Brgds


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Image

Rare color pic of sikhs from the Azad Hind Legion


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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2006 02:48 
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ramana wrote:
Should we think of renaming the Andaman and Nicobar islands as "Shaheed" and "Swaraj" respectively." as named by Netaji?


As you must know, most of the Indian army regarded the INA as traitors, at the end of the 2nd world war. Not only had they broken the oath they had taken when they joined up, much worse, they had committed acts of violence against their own former brothers in arms, in the employ of a foreign power. The Japanese were certainly not out to liberate India.

Yet, many of them were motivated by ideology, and many genuinely believed in the ideal of freeing India from British rule. Alas, had the Axis powers overpowered India, the Azad hind Fauj would have been relegated, at best, to the status of varioous other collaborator states such as Manchukuo, and Vichy France, policing over their own people.


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ASPuar wrote:
Alas, had the Axis powers overpowered India, the Azad hind Fauj would have been relegated, at best, to the status of varioous other collaborator states such as Manchukuo, and Vichy France, policing over their own people.


Wasn't the British Indian Army (BIA) fulfilling the same role for the British?

If the INA was a tool in the hands of a foreign power (Japan), wasn't the BIA similarily a tool in the hands of another power (Britain)?

I agree that after WWII, the BIA and the INA could not have been merged, there was too much bad blood between them and there would have been morale issues. But how was the BIA morally superior to the INA?

Had the Japanese won the WWII, the BIA would have been disbanded. Some years down the line, when India would have obtained its independence from the Japanese, the INA would have become the IA.

The victors write the history, and to them go the spoils.

JMT.


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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2006 03:40 
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Kakkaji wrote:

Wasn't the British Indian Army (BIA) fulfilling the same role for the British?

If the INA was a tool in the hands of a foreign power (Japan), wasn't the BIA similarily a tool in the hands of another power (Britain)?

I agree that after WWII, the BIA and the INA could not have been merged, there was too much bad blood between them and there would have been morale issues. But how was the BIA morally superior to the INA?

Had the Japanese won the WWII, the BIA would have been disbanded. Some years down the line, when India would have obtained its independence from the Japanese, the INA would have become the IA.

The victors write the history, and to them go the spoils.

JMT.


Having spoken with several WW2 veterans, I can vouch for it that a number of them joined up with the BIA because it was the Indian Army. Very few saw themselves as tools of the British and almost everyone joined up because they saw soldiering as a honorable profession, or were patriotic, or thought it was the right thing to do.

It would sound difficult for us to understand today - because we grew up in sixty years of freedom and now know the british as Occupiers. But for many who had joined up then, they had only seen the british run administration - it was but a natural decision to consider the armed forces as their own and not some tool of colonialism, even if it meant serving under british officers.

The same logic can be applied to other services as well. Why did people join the railways? or the ICS? or the Indian Medical Services? What about the local policemen - many were indians. very few were brits. Because they saw it as their own. The introduction of Indian Officers in the 30s was all the more reason to believe that it was on its way to becoming 'truly indian'.

Otherwise Its very hard to explain why the British Indian Army would grow from 300k to two million strong - all volunteers. It certainly cant be the lure of money or power...


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Also, the Japanese did not cover themselves with Glory after occupation of the Andaman Islands. There ruled with a iron hand there.

http://www.andaman.org/BOOK/reviews/rev ... ta2003.htm

Quote:
Japanese behaviour initially was correct and even friendly towards the remaining Indian population. This soon changed and many gruesome atrocities took place. Some nationalist Indians sympathized with the Japanese as the alleged liberators from the British joke. They were soon to be disillusioned. Subhas Chandra Bose set up his "independent India" at Port Blair and unrolled there what some Indian nationalists still regard as a turning point in Indian history, the "first flag of an independent India". Wishful hindsight, controversy and confusion is stil obvious at Port Blair as any visitor to the Cellular Jail and monuments to the war dead can testify. It is difficult to discover on the monuments or exhibits who precisely killed the dead mourned there. Responsibility is deliberately obfuscated so that it comes as a shock to find out , eventually, that the baddies were not the British but Bose's allies and friends, the Japanese.


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Jagan wrote:

Having spoken with several WW2 veterans, I can vouch for it that a number of them joined up with the BIA because it was the Indian Army. Very few saw themselves as tools of the British and almost everyone joined up because they saw soldiering as a honorable profession, or were patriotic, or thought it was the right thing to do.

It would sound difficult for us to understand today - because we grew up in sixty years of freedom and now know the british as Occupiers. But for many who had joined up then, they had only seen the british run administration - it was but a natural decision to consider the armed forces as their own and not some tool of colonialism, even if it meant serving under british officers.

The same logic can be applied to other services as well. Why did people join the railways? or the ICS? or the Indian Medical Services? What about the local policemen - many were indians. very few were brits. Because they saw it as their own. The introduction of Indian Officers in the 30s was all the more reason to believe that it was on its way to becoming 'truly indian'.

Otherwise Its very hard to explain why the British Indian Army would grow from 300k to two million strong - all volunteers. It certainly cant be the lure of money or power...


Continuity of British colonial rule on India for 200 years is unprecedented in Human History. In 1900 Churchill had a plan for 500 years of dominion rule on India. If this was the case what would elite Indians do when the economy, military and political power was controlled by occupiers.

Being part of the British empire was considered normal in those days. If you take an any old book on Political geography you will see India marked as similar to Britain in race and ethnicity effectively as same country.


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Jagan wrote:
Having spoken with several WW2 veterans, I can vouch for it that a number of them joined up with the BIA because it was the Indian Army. Very few saw themselves as tools of the British and almost everyone joined up because they saw soldiering as a honorable profession, or were patriotic, or thought it was the right thing to do.

1. The men who joined might have their reasons but that does not change the fact that the BIA was an exceptional tool, a very well trained one, used to promote British interests across the world.

2. Why did they consider this to be patriotic? Can you provide more details?


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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2006 06:03 
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Shshir,

You know the brits opened up the Officer corps to Indianisation in the mid 20s. They didnt do it because they were feeling generous, but more because they were pushed to it by demands among prominent indian politicians who felt that Indians had an equal right to be commissioned officers in an army they considered belonged to India rather than the Brits. (or maybe they felt that indianisation is the only way to rid the brit control over the army). The Skeene Committee which opened up the Comm ranks for Indians was headed by skeene but had twelve prominent indians as advisors - people like Moti Lal Nehru and Jinnah were part of it. It was them who recommended the number of vacancies at Sandhurst and at Cranwell.

Motilal Nehru is on record telling thimayya and others that it was with difficulty that they had opened up the officer corps for indians and that they should not be let down now. He also advised them to remain apolitical - because they would need them once the brits are out of the country.

So there was an element of official sanction for many to join up - as well ownership among those who joined up. Its more of availing a right rather than being granted a privilege.

Certainly the AF legends like Mukerjee and Majumdar fell in this category. I would recommend Harjinder Singh's 'Birth of an Air Force' - who writes about the trials and tribulations of the early lot of officers and airmen - and how they struggled to prove to the British that Indians were not inferior in anyway.


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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2006 07:35 
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shyamm wrote:
http://forum.axishistory.com/

Many rare photographs too.Request BR ( Jagan saar!!) follow up with that forum and get the info and the pics to be reproduced here.


Jagan , a request again. They have a huge collection of photographs, many of them shot in brilliant (for that time) German Agfa color.


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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2006 07:46 
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Jagan wrote:
Also, the Japanese did not cover themselves with Glory after occupation of the Andaman Islands. There ruled with a iron hand there.

http://www.andaman.org/BOOK/reviews/rev ... ta2003.htm



Japanese atrocities in 2 articles THE PORT BLAIR MASSACRES (March 23, 1942) and MASSACRE ON ANDAMAN (August 14, 1945) at this link
Japanese atrocities in the Andamans


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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2006 21:08 
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The Sign of the Tiger : Subhas Chandra Bose by Rudolf Hartog of the Werhmacht attached to the Indian legion is a good read on the formation of the Indische Freiwilligen Legion der Waffen-SS and its earlier avatar Infanterie-Regiment 950 (indische), or Legion Freies Indien

Right from recruitment of Indian POWs captured in Africa and Crete in 1941 to their retreat from France after D-Day surviving American troops and vengeful French Resistance fighters. A few of the men were massacred/executed by the French Resistance.

They were put to work to fortify the Atlantic Wall before D-Day , even being complimented by field marshal Rommel during his inspection visits. Hartog mentions that the Legion's morale went down considerably when Bose supposedly "ditched" them and went to Japan by submarine/plane in Feb-may 1943.


Last edited by shyamm on 01 Dec 2006 21:14, edited 1 time in total.

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