INA History Thread

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Re: Greetings on Netaji's birthday

Postby SRoy » 24 Jan 2009 23:40

RayC wrote:S Roy,

Read Philip Mason's 'Matter of Honour' to understand how the mindset was built up.

By your reckoning anyone who mutinies should be reinstated.

Why should the poor Sikhs who mutinied after Bluestar suffer?

Why should the poor bloke who fragged his officers be tried and thrown out?

And why should there not be a trade union in the Armed Forces?

Why should the armed forces not be members of a political party?

I am all for it. The Army should go on strike and demand their rights and pay increase etc. And when Pakistan attacks they do damn all till they get their due.


Tangential arguements....to skirt the real issue.

However, lets concentrate on topic being discussed

1st level parsing....
RayC wrote:By your reckoning anyone who mutinies should be reinstated.

anyone is the operative word here. The people and the event here is onetime exception.

2nd level parsing
RayC wrote:By your reckoning anyone who mutinies should be reinstated.
So the PoW mutinied? Against whom? Against theirs officers in captivity? Kindly post references.

There is no such record of offences by ex BIA soldiers in any of anti British formations either INA or Freies Indien Legion (IIRC they served under Von Runstedt)

I do not expect a neutral opinion from you, someone that stills looks at the goras as mai baaps, the least I may ask you is to recognize the facts as:

1. PoWs signing up for INA is not a regular run of the mill desertion. In fact it was not a "desertion" by any definition.

2. At the time of the trial the Brits were gone. How can be any action by uniformed combatants against the crown be held as mutiny in free India?

What an irony that you are posting in this thread and calling Netaji's volunteer Army as bunch of mutiniers.

>>

Finally, what about the erstwhile lay citizens of Indian origins (minus the ex BIA PoW)?

Keep aside the ex BIA PoW's for the moment, the erstwhile civllian volunteers of the INA deserved their place in the Indian Army.

Please do not exert yourself to cover that charlatan called Mountbatein (and his half a$$3d crony called JLN). They had enough disdain for anything Indian, please don't defend their decisions here in BRF atleast.

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Re: Greetings on Netaji's birthday

Postby Jagan » 25 Jan 2009 00:43

Rishi wrote:
Aditya G wrote:What happened to INA officers and men after we got our independence? Were they commisioned into the IA?


AFAIK all were court martialed or cashiered, many were killed by the Brits.

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


I say it is incorrect to state "many were killed by the Brits". we are talking about ex IA soldiers. and by killed i hope you mean 'executed after trial'.

On the top of it - they were classified into white, grey and black. whites were reinstated, greys were 'let go' after cancelling their awards . The blacks were courtmartialled, cashiered and served time to an extent. But probably none were killed. Col Burhan Ud din of Chitral is a prime example.

Ofcourse if by 'killed' you mean 'killed in battle' - then tough luck. that happens - nothing wrong.

The only executions were those related to 'spies' - these were special INA agents recruited from expat populations in Burma and Malaysia. not from the army, then landed on indian territory to carry out rebelion. I think there were about 30-40 of these agents. and these were the ones who took the brunt. but these were not ex BIA soldiers.

For those calling the ones who served in the BIA 'mercenaries' - please go out and talk to some of the actual WW2 veterans. you will come away with a very different impression. For many the british indian army was their army, it was their tradition, their country. it would be a disservice to call them mercenaries by reading what we read in text books now.

There is another 'myth' if you may call it that the INA veterans were ignored. they are classified as freedom fighters and drew all the benefits associated with such a title. including a pension. Now that is not available to a regular WW2 veteran who served with the BIA during the war and then was discharged at the end of it. Yes they didnt get back into the Army after the war but so did many regulars. Note that the 2 million strong WW2 indian army shrunk to a 200 or a 300 thousand force after independence.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Jagan » 25 Jan 2009 00:47

the erstwhile civllian volunteers of the INA deserved their place in the Indian Army.


And how many of these were there who were from India? And How many actually tried to get into the Indian Armed Forces? If they had been denied admission into the Indian Armed Forces, then how did R S Benegal become an Air Commodore with a Maha Vir Chakra to boot?

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby SRoy » 25 Jan 2009 01:36

Jagan wrote:
the erstwhile civllian volunteers of the INA deserved their place in the Indian Army.


And how many of these were there who were from India? And How many actually tried to get into the Indian Armed Forces? If they had been denied admission into the Indian Armed Forces, then how did R S Benegal become an Air Commodore with a Maha Vir Chakra to boot?


Sorry Jagan, I'm neither aware of significant (or any) ex-INA combatanats in post-Indpendence armed forces nor does your BRF link indicate so. However, I'm sure digging around will yield examples.

However, that's not the point of present discussion.

What we are essentially saying is a group of men whose action had a definite impact on the Independence movement have to prove their worth and allegiance for their place in the Indian Army of Independent India.

Jagan wrote:For those calling the ones who served in the BIA 'mercenaries' - please go out and talk to some of the actual WW2 veterans. you will come away with a very different impression. For many the british indian army was their army, it was their tradition, their country. it would be a disservice to call them mercenaries by reading what we read in text books now.

Very true Jagan. Isn't this how the seeds of a rentier state are laid?
It is not a coincidence that the bulk of BIA at that time came from the region that actually is a rentier state of the West, a decent hetergenous mix would have rebelled long ago.

Discussion will go back to 1857, hence I'll stop here.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Jagan » 25 Jan 2009 01:53

SRoy wrote:[

I'm neither aware of significant (or any) ex-INA combatanats in post-Indpendence armed forces nor does your BRF link indicate so. However, I'm sure digging around will yield examples.


SRoy, For RS Benegal, this is a more informative link http://mod.nic.in/Samachar/feb01-04/html/ch11.htm

Benegal tried before India became a republic and was denied admission. He tried a second time after we became a republic - and he was accepted this time and was commissioned in 52.

Benegal had age on his side. when he joined the INA he was quite young - essentailly an Officer Cadet. So he had to wait out a few years.(Incidentally his memoirs are due to be published - posthumously)

Hes the only example I know - and probably the most famous one because he is an Officer who later distinguished himself. There could have been (or NOt) examples for other ranks. but I dont know. But I would be inclined to think that if the Armed Forces had an active policy of denying civilian INA recruits from joining, then Benegal would have no way become an officer in this example.

The point I am trying to make is that those civilian members of the INA who tried to get in the armed forces, atleast the airforce didnt stop them.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby SRoy » 25 Jan 2009 02:21

Jagan wrote:Hes the only example I know - and probably the most famous one because he is an Officer who later distinguished himself. There could have been (or NOt) examples for other ranks. but I dont know. But I would be inclined to think that if the Armed Forces had an active policy of denying civilian INA recruits from joining, then Benegal would have no way become an officer in this example.

The point I am trying to make is that those civilian members of the INA who tried to get in the armed forces, atleast the airforce didnt stop them.


Military brass do not lay down policies, so no point in blaming them. But what of policy makers?

A comparative study would be going through the post WW-II history of partisans/underground formations in Europe that fought in WW-II against German forces.

Another example, did the affiliation to the arm of service was held against Germans that tried to get into BundesWehr? Except those of from SS units with evidence of war crimes were not stopped.

>>

What's done is done, but please lets not try to justify that was unfair.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Jagan » 25 Jan 2009 02:36

SRoy wrote:[

Military brass do not lay down policies, so no point in blaming them. But what of policy makers?
.


So lets get something clear.

Who exactly are you blaming? and what exactly are you blaming these people for?

SRoy wrote:A comparative study would be going through the post WW-II history of partisans/underground formations in Europe that fought in WW-II against German forces.

.


And how is this relevant in the Indian context? Please explain more.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby RayC » 25 Jan 2009 07:28

S Roy,

I wonder if the value of an Oath can be so perfunctorily taken or without intrinsic value.

If indeed, you feel an Oath is mere words and has no relevance, then your contention is correct.

For example, an Indian soldier takes an oath, and then in a war, he is captured by Pakistan. For whatever reason, this Indian soldier joins the Pakistani Army and fights against India. And then when Pakistan is defeated by India, he wishes to rejoin the Indian Army, then as per you, he should be allowed!

It is not mai baaps and goras, it is just that vachan is taken very seriously by those whose lives are mutually assured by TRUST!

Even when officers of the IA change units due to organisational requirements, they have to build the trust before they are accepted as one of their own, in the new unit.

Trust has to be earned!

Once there is a breakdown in Trust, it is well nigh impossible for one to totally accept the person, be it in the military or in civil life.

How many will now trust Ramalingam Raju and yet he has done yeoman service (as claimed by some) in his place of origin and thus for Andhra Pradesh!

It is not that I have a lower quotient of patriotism than you, but then maybe our value system is different. I rather pay greater weight to one's words and trust, rather than be emotional over issues.

I have the highest regards for Netaji and of that there is no doubt, but then that does not mean that I will not see issues and blanket myself with blind faith!

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby RayC » 25 Jan 2009 07:34

A comparative study would be going through the post WW-II history of partisans/underground formations in Europe that fought in WW-II against German forces.

Another example, did the affiliation to the arm of service was held against Germans that tried to get into BundesWehr? Except those of from SS units with evidence of war crimes were not stopped.


I am not aware of this.

However, if those Germans who fought against the German Army were taken into the German Army after the WW II, it was done with a purpose. The Victors wanted people who were loyal to their cause and have less to do with those who were staunch supporter of Hitler.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby RayC » 25 Jan 2009 07:41

Banished: 'The Forsaken' by Tim Tzouliadis
By RICHARD PIPES | July 30, 2008


This is a very sad book, the story of thousands of Americans who, during the Depression, lured by sham Soviet propaganda and pro-Soviet falsehoods spread by the likes of George Bernard Shaw and the corrupt New York Times Moscow correspondent, Walter Duranty, migrated to the USSR in search of jobs and a role in the "building of socialism." It was, in the words of the author, "the least heralded migration in American history" and a period when "for the first time in her short history more people were leaving the United States than were arriving." Most of these expatriates, not intellectuals but simple working men, were quickly disenchanted and wanted to return home, only to find that Moscow considered them Soviet citizens and barred them from leaving. Ignored by the American government, many of them ended in the gulag. In Tim Tzouliadis's "The Forsaken" (Penguin Press, 436 pages, $29.95), their dismal story is told with great skill and indignation usually missing from Western accounts of communist Russia......

Mr. Tzouliadis, a Greek native raised in England and currently a documentary filmmaker and television journalist, cites example after example of the U.S. State Department and its consular officials in Moscow ignoring appeals for assistance from these forlorn men and women. Sympathize as one may with their plight, I think he is somewhat unfair to the American authorities in stressing their failure to provide "the forsaken" with assistance. After all, they were not abducted, but went to the USSR voluntarily, and in most cases the American authorities found it impossible to determine whether they freely gave up their American citizenship or were robbed of it.

http://www.nysun.com/arts/banished-the- ... dis/82839/


Why are these people not being accepted back by the USA?

A comparative study from my side.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby RayC » 25 Jan 2009 09:57

One more thing.

If one becomes a PW, he is not absolved of the Oath he has taken.

Indeed, the Indians in the British Indian Army were fighting for a foreign ruler. If indeed, they considered that those who were ruling India then, were a foreign imperial power, they should not have joined the Army and been like many who could have joined the army then, but did not as they did not want to serve a foreign ruler.

Compare the PsW and Netaji:

Bose went to study in Cambridge, and his high score on civil service exams meant an almost automatic appointment. He then took his first conscious step as a revolutionary and resigned the appointment on the premise that the "best way to end a government is to withdraw from it."

Bose was fourth in the Merit List for the Civil Service exams and so his success in the ICS was practically guaranteed!

Therefore, Netaji was a honourable man, who betrayed nobody's trust! And his personal contribution and work in the INA is commendable.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby SRoy » 25 Jan 2009 14:43

RayC wrote:One more thing.

If one becomes a PW, he is not absolved of the Oath he has taken.

Indeed, the Indians in the British Indian Army were fighting for a foreign ruler. If indeed, they considered that those who were ruling India then, were a foreign imperial power, they should not have joined the Army and been like many who could have joined the army then, but did not as they did not want to serve a foreign ruler.

Absolutely. Agreed. Fighting the wars of an imperial power, that too the one that has colonised your country. Mercenaries do that all the time, profession over patriotism.

RayC wrote:Compare the PsW and Netaji:

Bose went to study in Cambridge, and his high score on civil service exams meant an almost automatic appointment. He then took his first conscious step as a revolutionary and resigned the appointment on the premise that the "best way to end a government is to withdraw from it."

Bose was fourth in the Merit List for the Civil Service exams and so his success in the ICS was practically guaranteed!

Therefore, Netaji was a honourable man, who betrayed nobody's trust! And his personal contribution and work in the INA is commendable.

Again, agreed 100%.
This is the reason I've pointed that the cases of erstwhile civilian volunteers of the INA is different from ex BIA volunteers.

Lets move forward....

RayC wrote:
Banished: 'The Forsaken' by Tim Tzouliadis
By RICHARD PIPES | July 30, 2008

This is a very sad book, the story of thousands of Americans who, during the Depression, lured by sham Soviet propaganda and pro-Soviet falsehoods spread by the likes of George Bernard Shaw and the corrupt New York Times Moscow correspondent, Walter Duranty, migrated to the USSR in search of jobs and a role in the "building of socialism." It was, in the words of the author, "the least heralded migration in American history" and a period when "for the first time in her short history more people were leaving the United States than were arriving." Most of these expatriates, not intellectuals but simple working men, were quickly disenchanted and wanted to return home, only to find that Moscow considered them Soviet citizens and barred them from leaving. Ignored by the American government, many of them ended in the gulag. In Tim Tzouliadis's "The Forsaken" (Penguin Press, 436 pages, $29.95), their dismal story is told with great skill and indignation usually missing from Western accounts of communist Russia......

Mr. Tzouliadis, a Greek native raised in England and currently a documentary filmmaker and television journalist, cites example after example of the U.S. State Department and its consular officials in Moscow ignoring appeals for assistance from these forlorn men and women. Sympathize as one may with their plight, I think he is somewhat unfair to the American authorities in stressing their failure to provide "the forsaken" with assistance. After all, they were not abducted, but went to the USSR voluntarily, and in most cases the American authorities found it impossible to determine whether they freely gave up their American citizenship or were robbed of it.

http://www.nysun.com/arts/banished-the- ... dis/82839/


Why are these people not being accepted back by the USA?

A comparative study from my side.


The case here is no different from our Naxalites. Has there been a change in rulership, revolution or such change in USA in last 100 years? The people described were disowning their allegiance to a democratic, capitalist republic. It is still as such and the people described have commited treason from that frame of reference.

RayC wrote:For example, an Indian soldier takes an oath, and then in a war, he is captured by Pakistan. For whatever reason, this Indian soldier joins the Pakistani Army and fights against India. And then when Pakistan is defeated by India, he wishes to rejoin the Indian Army, then as per you, he should be allowed!


Flawed analogy. :D

A proper analogy is East Bengal Regiment reneges on Oath, rebels, teams up with India, defeats Pakistan. Is their Oath to Unified Pakistan is to be held against them?

What about the civilian components of the Mukti Bahini? Could they be denied their place in the Bangladeshi Army because half of their comrades were ex - soldiers that broke their Oath to Pakistan?

So tomorrow if the Balochis rebel and Balochistan is freed this is the treatment we will reserve for Balochi nationalists (as regional power we will have a role)?

Since I quoted European examples, it is instructive to note that members of partisan units in various European countries were not denied entry into national armies in post war Europe. In East Europe that did not matter, but given the fact that partisan formations had a communist leaning ideology and had close cooperation with the Soviet, yet their case was never questioned given the background.

SS is an interesting example, a lot of them later fought as part of French forces in Indo-China. Yes, it is the utility factor. War hardened SS soldiers were jackpots.

Unfortunately INA veterans did not have that utility value.

>>

You are suggesting that a Oath to protect the Crown is a sacrosant word under a free India that freed itself from the Crown in the first place?

Your entire case rests upon that repungent idea. I'll grant it to you that the ex BIA soldiers that served in the German Army should have been shot, not more.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby SRoy » 25 Jan 2009 14:47

RayC wrote:One more thing.
If one becomes a PW, he is not absolved of the Oath he has taken.

Yes, I'm aware. My immediate and extended family has fair amount of serving and ex personnel, not counting my close friend circle.
My father must have served in the similar time-frame as you, in fact he himself escaped the fate of being a PoW on the Western front in 1971.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby RayC » 25 Jan 2009 18:10

You are suggesting that a Oath to protect the Crown is a sacrosant word under a free India that freed itself from the Crown in the first place?

Your entire case rests upon that repungent idea. I'll grant it to you that the ex BIA soldiers that served in the German Army should have been shot, not more.


Yes, I'm aware. My immediate and extended family has fair amount of serving and ex personnel, not counting my close friend circle.
My father must have served in the similar time-frame as you, in fact he himself escaped the fate of being a PoW on the Western front in 1971.


I am not aware as to what your trust index is, but it sure is important to me since trust in my profession is a sacrosanct principle that we follow as our lives depend on trust.

Trust and the Oath to you maybe mere straws in the wind, but not as far as I am concerned and I don't think it is repugnant.

First of all, none asked anyone to join the British Indian Army. They did so voluntarily. They took an Oath in the name of their God to serve. Are you suggesting that they did not believe in their God and that they were not men of Honour and their words had no value? In the Army, trust is paramount since each's life depends on that.

An oath is either a promise or a statement of fact calling upon something or someone that the oath maker considers sacred, usually God, as a witness to the binding nature of the promise or the truth of the statement of fact. To swear is to take an oath. Hence, to break an oath is an indication that the man has no value for anything sacred!

Since you claim your father was nearly captured as a PW, just ask him how he was saved. It was because trust was woven in the unit personnel and they ensured the safety of each other.

As far as the example of Bangladesh and Pakistani Army is concerned, they valued their Oath in the same perfunctory way as you are suggesting it should be treated with no value. Have you not observed history as to how they not only killed Mujibur and others and then continuously subverted the Nation?

Unfortunately, your example of the Pakistani Army and of Bangladesh is misplaced since their ethos and activities in disrupting their Nation at repeated intervals, hardly indicate that there are Men of Honour in their armed forces. Possibly they are justified in not taking their Oath seriously as Takiyah (Deception) is a permitted in Islam. Do not compare them to the Indians.

Chetwode's immortal words still reverberates in the Indian Army:

"The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time."

If you had your way, it should be abandoned lest one is ordained by you as overwhelmed by the goras and they take them as mai baaps!

I reckon you are suggesting that we abandon all principles on which the Army ethos is foundationed, just because it was something which the British gave us.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby somnath » 25 Jan 2009 19:31

This has been a very fascinating discussion..As a childhood hero, Netaji was a constant "reading material" for me. And the question on ex INA soldiers and their treatment in independnt India's Army has been an intriguing one.. This discussion brings back a lot of memories..

RayC, I agree with you on the principle of oath and allegiance. But it is often quite complicated, isnt it? Werent Von Stauffenberg and his team dishonourable men? Gen Rommel was suspected of being in the same group and executed - was he a dishonourable man? Were all those Russian Army personnel who took part in the october revolution dishonourable people? Were the soldiers who served the Vichy regime more dishonourable or the partisans and Gen De Gaulle's followers who opposed it?

LAstly, the Pak-Bangladesh experience is "closer" to us. For all our distaste of the Pak state, you would agree that the Pak Army is one of the most professional armies in Asia - for a whole lot of bengali troops to have revolted was quite a reactrion..These men reacted to the brutal treatment of the Pak state towards the bengalis - so were they dishonourable?

"My country right or wrong" - this has within its definition ones concept and perception of "country"..The ex INA soldiers were volunteers in the BIA right...But how many of them joined because that was the only profession they knew? OR it was the "in thing" in their caste/village? the whole country during that time was fired up by the fervour to obtain freedom..For them to have gotten caught up in that and use their "skills" for that cause seems quite natural to me..

Why just the BIA? How many cases have we read of where serving civil servants surreptitiously helped the freedom fighters, of both ends of the spectrum (the violent to the non violent)...Stories of the Chittagong mutiny, Bagha Jatin as well as those of the Quit India movement have numerous anecdotes. Were these civil servants being dishonourable to their oath?

To me its a lot more complicated than a simple case of having taken an oath of allegiance to one's paltan..

Therefore I think that the treatment later meted out tio the ex INA soldiers (and officers) by both the govt as well as the IA wasnt quite fair..The govt was later forced to "act" thanks to the tremendous public sympathy for them - in fact Nehru appeared for the trio of Shah Nawaz, Dhillon and Saigal - but the IA refused to take back most of these people..To me that was dishonouring their calling for a cause that was far, far higher than an oath to their paltan...

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby SRoy » 25 Jan 2009 19:57

RayC wrote:I reckon you are suggesting that we abandon all principles on which the Army ethos is foundationed, just because it was something which the British gave us.

Not at all. Please quote a specific post of mine if you think so.

And don't claim that the forces do not have share of their black sheeps.

If I'm advocating that someone overlook oaths in reference to an one time event, there are many in uniform for whom oath is just is as you described...Takiyah, just a formality.

RayC wrote:Unfortunately, your example of the Pakistani Army and of Bangladesh is misplaced since their ethos and activities in disrupting their Nation at repeated intervals, hardly indicate that there are Men of Honour in their armed forces. Possibly they are justified in not taking their Oath seriously as Takiyah (Deception) is a permitted in Islam. Do not compare them to the Indians..

My example if confined to the fact that ex - PA components of East Pakistan plus civilian volunteers that later formed the core of Bangladeshi forces. The reason for their future behaviour is something that cannot be tackled in this thread.

What kind of example is suitable for you? World history is full of example of militaries that have participated in change of power as either by working with revolutionary forces (NOT TO BE EQUATED WITH CASES OF USUAL MILITARY COUP TO CAPTURE POWER) or as free armies in exile to overthrow occupying powers. None of them had to undergo humiliation afterwards. As a matter of fact militaries worldwide have always suffered in form of purging of loyalties to erstwhile rulers (be they local or foriegn).

So, Russian, Chinese, Turks, Spaniards (numerous others) etc. (I'll exclude the French for the time being) proved to be disruptive elements to nation building later on?

Indian situation is simply reverse.

You have not yet commented about the civilian volunteers of INA.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Jagan » 25 Jan 2009 21:20

SRoy, My take on this whole thing is - who ever took the decision to keep the INA soldiers from joining the regular Army took the correct decision.

Consider the effect of mixing all of them in one force.

would INA Major General Shah Nawaz Khan be ready to go back to his pre INA rank of Major and serve in the Army in his old rank? If not would Brigaider Thimayya be happy to rub shoulders with another INA Brigader who would have been two ranks under him in normal circumstances? Suppose Shah Nawaz Khan joins in his old rank. Would he accept it if he was bypassed for promotion later on and not blame it on discrimination?

The same applies in lower ranks. Many of the Captains and Lts in the INA were NCOs in the BIA. Would they be ready to serve as sepoys or hawaldars or whatever their rank was. Would they cry foul if they had been passed over for promotion.

On the other hand, would a regular IA soldier cry foul if he found his INA counterpart being promoted and attribute it to political interference or influence? Wouldnt the Subedar Major of a particular unit who had 30 years of service be angry when his former havaldr joins as a Captain because of his INA Rank?

You have a BIA army of 2,000,000 at the end of WW2. You are cutting it down to 300,000 or whereabouts after the war. With 'layoffs' of that kind who will get first priority when cut downs happen? the guys who remained loyal to their oath or the guys who didnt?

All the INA guys took a personal oath to the Azad Hind Fauj and to Subhas Bose personally. What will happen if tommorrow Subhash Bose returns and insist he wanted to be a general? How more frustrating would that get?

The only solution to your viewpoint is to keep the INA as the main Indian Army and fire the Britihs Indian Army because they were 'mercenaries'.

If you would still have to go with the patriotic answer of 'keep the INA' and 'fire the BIA'. yes that could have been done. But it would have had disastrous consequences in the 47-48 war. Like it or not, the INA was a failure militarily. They didnt have the right combat experience, nor the exposure to planning that it couldnt be an effective force to replace the BIA. Patriotism alone is not a replacement for proper training and combat exposure and it is a fact that the INA was racked with desertions, disease and what not (like executions for deserters - something that the british gave up long ago). You wouldnt want THEM to run the 47-48 war.

How many of these 43000 or 60000 strong were actually the civilian volunteers? (not many I would suppose but I would like to knowthe numbers) How many actually wanted to join the INdian ARmy? Werent they rehabilitated properly by the government? I mean lifelong pensions, and freedom fighter tag for being with the INA for three or four years, whereas a BIA soldier who served the five to six years in the war was discharged and sent home without a pension. How can we claim the INA was badly treated? Yes they didnt get to join the armed forces but I have illustrated the problems that may have come up with mass scale integration of the INA with the BIA. and those isolated civilian recruit cases like RS Benegal seemed to have done well enough for them. So what exactly is the issue here?

Your example of Bangladesh is an excellent one and shows exactly what would have happened if the INA soldiers were forcibly merged with the regular Army.

After 71, the Bangladesh Armed Forces had its fair share of problems. You had the regular officers who defected to INdia and fought with the MB. who obviously now occupied senior positions. Then you had officers who were in west pakistan and were interned there, the 'repatriates' who returned to Bangladesh and found that they had to serve as juniors to many of their juniors. Then you had the Mukti Bahini - contrary to what you think many of the civilians were discharged and not absorbed in the army- and Mujib did keep a personal force of mujib bahini as the JRB (Jatiya Rako Bahni) - which the Bangladesh Army distrusted the most. The result - years of suspicions, indiscipline, frustrations - resulting in killings, coups, countercoups and what not. Gives us a preview of what might hae happened.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Jagan » 25 Jan 2009 21:33

http://www.ww2australia.gov.au/lastbatt ... scued.html
http://www.awm.gov.au/journal/j37/indians.asp
Further reading on the Japanese treatment of Indian POWs. How many actually joined the INA as the 'way out'?

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby SRoy » 25 Jan 2009 23:22

Jagan wrote:SRoy, My take on this whole thing is - who ever took the decision to keep the INA soldiers from joining the regular Army took the correct decision.


Jagan agreed wholeheartedly. What I do not agree is Brig. Ray's arguement, that oath being the supreme deciding factor.

Yes, that mixing would have caused problems with ranks disparity, this is an universal issue. All such post war/revolution exercises in reconcilation take years and any adjustments agreed upon are exceptions to accomodate veterans of warfare.

Netaji returning and staking a claim to be a General...funny idea. What if the INA numbers ran into lakhs and they rolled into India through the NE? Difficult situation, probably something that we cannot answer here.

In a hypothetical situation, if INA outnumbered intact BIA then what rule would have been applied?

The oath bit is a red herring. Utility is the deciding factor and thats where INA lost out.

Political orientation (read loyalty to the Brits in our case) and integration issue are taken care of by large scale purges, which the BIA escaped due to its sheer size. Utility factor after all.
Last edited by SRoy on 25 Jan 2009 23:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re:

Postby svinayak » 25 Jan 2009 23:27

Acharya wrote:INA Plans in India - some details - No links

Bose, was able to flee house arrest in Calcutta, and go to Germany. Studying the German viewpoint of the international politics gave him an understanding that Gandhi and Nehru may not have had. In a very daring trip, he would go further on to Japan, spend a few years there, and have an audience with the Premier. He would subsequently land in Burma and take control of the Burmese Indian National Army. Upon learning that Bose had come to Burma and was raising an army, the Indian soldiers of the British army switched sides in favor of their countryman. Bose was thus able to raise an army about 40,000 strong, equipped with arms from Japan. In addition, the Emperor of Japan committed about 100,000 Japanese troops and some air squadrons for his assistance. With this formidable combine, he stood a good chance of marching on to Delhi. The 100,000 Japanese troops would eventually back down, but Bose resolved to continue the fight. He occupied the Andaman and Nicobar islands, Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam and was about to enter the Bengal. From the vantage of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, the Indian National Army had effectively tied up Mountbatten in Ceylon, and he was unable to move. Bose had a brilliant strategy. A main force was to march on to Delhi. This would however be aided by three other forces, each of which would have first performed the task of destroying the British hold over three major ports Calcutta, Vishakapatnam and Chennai as well as the Dutch control of ports at Machilipatnam and Yanam. The unit landing in Calcutta would join the units from Nagaland and Assam towards Delhi, while the units from Vishakapatnam and Chennai would march towards Bombay. The conquest of these five cities, to be completed in two weeks, would have effectively ended British rule in India, cutting it off from the sea. But Bose would follow the same moral principle that Napoleon had: "Never my sword against my own people". Around the end of July 1945 he dropped leaflets over the cities of Madras, Vishakapatnam and Calcutta, requesting citizens to leave so that the INA could bomb these coastal towns prior to landing. He set a two week deadline, after which he would start the attack.

But at this critical juncture, the Nehru-Gandhi combine would intervene under pressure from Mountbatten holed up in Ceylon (it is no coincidence that Mountbatten was supreme commander of the Allied Fleet in the Pacific). They would use all available communication channels to convince the citizens of Vishakapatnam, Chennai, and Calcutta and Machilipatanam to disobey Bose and not leave the cities, thus thwarting Bose's plan. Of course the Gandhi name was put to good use in this blackmail. Gandhi would later regret his decision when the partition plan was pushed down his throat.To be fair to Gandhi, it is not likely that he was, in any sense of the term, acting as an agent of the British. He may have genuinely thought that the Indian people were not prepared to fight a full fledged war with the mighty and ruthless British, of whom he had a good taste during his stay in South Africa.

At any rate, Subhash planned to strike against the British and it is very likely that they would have been unable to face an attack by the INA. On 6 August 1945, before the deadline set by Bose was to expire, Hiroshima would be bombed, and then on 9 August, the second bomb would be dropped on Nagasaki. The historians believe the following subsequent set of events: After the Japanese surrender, Subhash evacuated the Andaman on 15 August 1945, in a plane with Japanese markings. This plane was shot down by American gunners over Manila, en-route to Tokyo. Three POWs were taken in this crash. In accord with the Geneva convention, they stated their rank, name and age. The American captors did not realize who their prisoners were.

The impact Bose and the INA had on the events in British India has since been downplayed by all the power groups that have controlled India, and not much is taught in modern history about the role played by this very great man. Clement Attlee, is on record at least once having said that the primary reason that forced the British to leave was the damage done by Bose. In this same record, he mentions Gandhi's influence on this decision as having been minimal. Again, although much of the critical information surrounding Bose and the INA are not easily available, it is at least possible to draw conclusions on the principle: "if the British propaganda said something about him in a context, negate it to arrive at a reasonable view of the truth" (analogous to British war-time propaganda that had told Indians that the Japanese were barbarians etc, to prevent Indians from siding with the Japanese.) In this context, one mention that after the defeat of the Bose-Japanese combine at Imphal (due to a combination of circumstances, including the monsoon), the British propaganda in India had ascribed this to a mis-calculation on the part of Bose. Bose, they told us, had incorrectly assumed that if his army were to enter India, the people of India would rise to support him. Negating this position, one could conclude the British fear: if the armies of Bose had been able to even enter mainland India, the attacks on the British positions would have been led by not an army of 40,000 INA soldiers, but by millions and millions of Indians who would have joined them. This would have resulted in an ignominious defeat and loss of face for the British.

Had Subhash been able to complete execution of his plan, the division and bifurcation of India would perhaps not have taken place. India's western border would have been located at Iran, the Northern border at Kazakhstan, the North Eastern border well inside modern day China, the Eastern border with Malaysia, and in the south Ceylon would have been part of India as well.
India would have not been pushed into declaring itself as a "secular republic", whatever that might mean. Instead, it would have been a constitutional republic on the lines of France. In place of the current division and secession oriented Indian constitution would have been a unification-oriented constitution drafted by Subhash Chandra Bose himself. India would have become a superpower, rather than a junior partner for the Western Elite. India would have been closer to continental Europe than to Britain or English-speaking America. Japan would anyway have been devastated at the close of the war. But the situation after 1952 would have been different. With the Indian resource base, India and Japan would have been economic partners and would have risen to economic giants. At an international level, Britain would have been rendered virtually powerless with the loss of India (see the statements by Colonel Greene).

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby RayC » 25 Jan 2009 23:29

SRoy,

It is not easy to discuss the issue of Trust, with people who have not entrusted their lives in others hand solely based on trust!

Your father would understand if he is from the combat arms, but it is difficult for others, who have not donned the uniform and faced a war to understand.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Rahul M » 25 Jan 2009 23:41

SRoy wrote:Yes, that mixing would have caused problems with ranks disparity, this is an universal issue. All such post war/revolution exercises in reconcilation take years and any adjustments agreed upon are exceptions to accomodate veterans of warfare.
......
Netaji returning and staking a claim to be a General...funny idea. What if the INA numbers ran into lakhs and they rolled into India through the NE? Difficult situation, probably something that we cannot answer here.
......
In a hypothetical situation, if INA outnumbered intact BIA then what rule would have been applied?

an interesting parallel(almost) would be the formation of the IDF from palmach.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby SRoy » 25 Jan 2009 23:49

RayC wrote:SRoy,

It is not easy to discuss the issue of Trust, with people who have not entrusted their lives in others hand solely based on trust!

Your father would understand if he is from the combat arms, but it is difficult for others, who have not donned the uniform and faced a war to understand.

Agreed with you on this particular post.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby SRoy » 26 Jan 2009 00:21

Rahul M wrote:
SRoy wrote:Yes, that mixing would have caused problems with ranks disparity, this is an universal issue. All such post war/revolution exercises in reconcilation take years and any adjustments agreed upon are exceptions to accomodate veterans of warfare.
......
Netaji returning and staking a claim to be a General...funny idea. What if the INA numbers ran into lakhs and they rolled into India through the NE? Difficult situation, probably something that we cannot answer here.
......
In a hypothetical situation, if INA outnumbered intact BIA then what rule would have been applied?

an interesting parallel(almost) would be the formation of the IDF from palmach.


Rahul,

Good example. It falls in line with my thought that utility is a major deciding factor.

Another good example that comes to my mind is fate of Cossacks (along with Russian PoWs) that volunteered for numerous SS divisons. Really two events stood out.

1. Brits handed over those soldiers (they surrendered to American units) to the Red Army fully knowing the fate that awaited them and completely disregarding the fact those soldiers volunteered to fight against USSR and the SS divisions were raised solely to be used on the Eastern Front against the Soviet. Brits did not have any problem handing over these soldiers to their ideological foes, yet they talk of oath.

2. Surprise ! Surprise ! Understandably the Russian higher rankers that collaborated with the Germans had a swift punishment many committed suicide, many were executed in German prisoner camps and large numbers perished during forced march to Kiev and Moscow, but from these mass (peak figure 800,000) of "traitors" entire ex-SS Ukrainian units were re-employed / re-absorbed in the Red Army.

Utility !

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Jagan » 26 Jan 2009 00:35

What if the INA numbers ran into lakhs and they rolled into India through the NE? Difficult situation, probably something that we cannot answer here.

In a hypothetical situation, if INA outnumbered intact BIA then what rule would have been applied?




If the INA had been victorious and the BIA defeated - there would have been only one outcome - an Army based on the INA. Do I expect the BIA to join the INA then? I am sure all the KCIOs, ICOs etc would have been given the boot for being 'loyal to the king' wont they? Would subhash chandra bose even entertain such an idea of allowing the BIA to join the INA after the fight? I think not.

I didnt get the analogy with the palmach. arent both the palmach and IDF anti-british in the first place? where is the conflict of interest there?

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Rahul M » 26 Jan 2009 00:57

I am sure all the KCIOs, ICOs etc would have been given the boot for being 'loyal to the king' wont they? Would subhash chandra bose even entertain such an idea of allowing the BIA to join the INA after the fight? I think not.

jagan, I think you are mistaken on this.

it was Bose's belief that the "Indian" component of the BIA would revolt against the brits and he was in fact counting on a mass revolt in BIA to bring about the independence of the country.

given the reactions in the following years, in spite of his unsuccessful campaign, (the various pro-independence mutinies) it does seem that he was quite right in gauging the mood of his countrymen. had the fate of INA been any different, it was very likely that a large portion of the BIA would have refused to serve the king.

Palmach is very relevant to this discussion as an analogy as it was also a british co-creation to serve the allied cause and protect palestine, similar to the argument behind the rapid expansion of BIA during WW2.
after WW2, when the brits tried to disband it, it went underground in stead and finally formed the nucleus of the IDF.

p.s. there is also the similar example of the jewish brigade.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby SRoy » 26 Jan 2009 00:58

Brits are such men of honour ... Betrayal of the Cossacks

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Jagan » 26 Jan 2009 01:21

Rahul M wrote:
Palmach is very relevant to this discussion as an analogy as it was also a british co-creation to serve the allied cause and protect palestine, similar to the argument behind the rapid expansion of BIA during WW2.
after WW2, when the brits tried to disband it, it went underground in stead and finally formed the nucleus of the IDF.



let me rephrase that. The palmach was raised by the brits (Equiv to BIA). They then revolt against the brits and go underground (So they turn equiv to INA). AFter independence they are merged with IDF - but the IDF was not anything like the BIA (i.e. loyal to the brits). So I only see a common interest here in both merging together.

SRoy.

for me its not a tough choice - towards Indians - the 'honour' of the Brits was better the 'benevolence' of the Japanese (+their axis bretheren). Not much good came about with the Andamans coming under Japanese Occupation / INA liberation from what I read. So I dont expect anything different for Mainland india either.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby SRoy » 26 Jan 2009 01:40

Jagan wrote:SRoy.

for me its not a tough choice - towards Indians - the 'honour' of the Brits was better the 'benevolence' of the Japanese (+their axis bretheren). Not much good came about with the Andamans coming under Japanese Occupation / INA liberation from what I read. So I dont expect anything different for Mainland india either.

Are you aware that INA commanders were in terms with possibility of having to fight off the Japanese if need arises? There is lots of material on this, recorded straight from INA trial.

There is a thread going on in the strategic forum that has unearthed information on activities British officers having compromised operational plans during 1947-48. Those were the officers that chose to stay back in the Indian Army of independent India. So much for comparison.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Jagan » 26 Jan 2009 01:56

SRoy wrote:Are you aware that INA commanders were in terms with possibility of having to fight off the Japanese if need arises? There is lots of material on this, recorded straight from INA trial.


Wasnt there already a need in ensuring proper treatment to Indian POWs? or in treatment of civilians in Andamansor in other countries? They were helpless to make any difference there. So sorry If i am not really convinced.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby RayC » 26 Jan 2009 07:32

I wonder if the INA were capable of removing the Japanese if the requirement arose. The war materiel they used was Japanese and they had no way to manufacture such war materiel!

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby SRoy » 26 Jan 2009 11:09

RayC wrote:I wonder if the INA were capable of removing the Japanese if the requirement arose. The war materiel they used was Japanese and they had no way to manufacture such war materiel!

Definitely not. But their stated priorities are worth noting.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby KiranM » 26 Jan 2009 12:31

More than the question of trust / oath, I think it was the psyche that prevented IA and INA from merging. Truly, an oath to the nation is a higher calling than an oath to the Army, Regiment or Platoon. However, the irony and tragedy is both Allied IA and INA fought against each other for the same nation. IA fought to prevent the onslaught of Axis against India and INA to remove the yoke of British rule.

Now coming to the point of psyche, it will be very difficult to train and fight as comrade in arms with the very person you were fighting against a couple of years back; the person who killed your buddies. This feeling applies to both IA and INA.
Relocating them to the same units would have caused much heartburn. Especially among the non-officer ranks, given their lack of understanding of geo politics, which we may expect the officer class to imbibe. Those times the composition of regiments were very much along the social lines, unlike the horizontalization now.
Maintaining separate units within IA, to prevent such heartburn, would retain the divisions between pre-independence IA and INA.
So somebody had to be left out. Hence, the INA being the lesser in terms of quantity and combat value faced the axe.

Now coming to IAF taking in RS Benegal, I guess it was because there was no instance of him involved in direct combat against any member of AF during his INA days. So no room for heartburn for him to work with the AF personnel.

Also the respect accorded to Royal Indian Navy uprising by IN; we have to see in the context of actions involved. It was more or less supported by the entire Indian personnel in Navy at that time. All violent actions were between Indian ratings and British units (atleast what I read from Wiki). Not Indian on Indian. So I guess IN could be a bit more circumspect. The same cannot be applied to IA.

I am not in the know, but if not existing, IA could incorporate INA as part of its martial heritage, history courses to cadets, officers and non-officer ranks, etc, without causing ripples to its identity.

My 2 cents.

Regards,
Kiran

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby somnath » 26 Jan 2009 12:50

what has been most galling is the complete decimation of the INA from the instituional memory of the Indian Army. It started with Nehru refusing to re admit ex INA soldiers in 1948 into the "new" Indian Army. For a long time, even the hymn of "kadam kadam badhaye jaa" was banished from the IA - if I am not mistaken it got reinstated many years later...

The men of the INA, at least most of them, certainly most of the officers, were fighting an honourable battle - in most countries their contribution would be consecrated memories..You need to speak to some of the people who were in that "elite group" - the admiration for Bose and the justness of their cause shines (or shall I say used to shine, since most of them are no more) bright..The gulf that exists in the public consciousness and official recognition is quite galling...

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Lalmohan » 26 Jan 2009 14:50

RayC wrote:I wonder if the INA were capable of removing the Japanese if the requirement arose. The war materiel they used was Japanese and they had no way to manufacture such war materiel!


from what i've read, INA mostly operated with British equipment left over from capture of Singapore. Japanese did almost no supply to INA units and tried very hard to keep them out of the way, employing them mostly for propaganda purposes. supplies and heavy weapons in the japanese army were always precarious, and post Kohima/Imphal became almost non-existant. in these circumstances INA was on its own. In contrast the new Indian army (post Burma withdrawal) was strong, fit, well trained, highly motivated, well equipped and well led.

The INA saw very little combat because the Japanese did not trust them, the British/Indian troops were ordered to accept their surrender, but in some cases there was little clemency shown, although in most cases they were treated as wayward sheep. British officers did not want to be seen to harsh to these men in the fear that their own (indian) men would rebel. the real impact of the INA was political IMHO - the attitude of the 'real' Indian army towards the INA men showing the British that they could not take the IA for granted as a tool of imperialism.

that was a key contribution to independence, as well as considerable American pressure on the old colonial powers to end the empire and make way for the american age... :) which dissuaded the british from trying too hard to use the IA to hang on to empire

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ksmahesh » 26 Jan 2009 15:47

I came across a wealth of books in history section of Leeds University library on INA. Unfortunately I had only 3 days to grasp whatever I could. According to what I read:

Japanese did supply INA and had highest regards for the bravery. (The proof was a translated telegram from a Jap officer to some logistics and MP officials, asking them to supply on equal basis as Japanese soldiers. Also MP were strictly ordered to refrain from rude behavior towards INA jawans.

Possible explanations given were
1. Japanese were respectful of the fact that INA was fighting for independence of their country against (what they called caucasian imperialism)
2. They also wanted to avoid bad blood between INA (which was a considerable fighting force and their troops as they were still not successful in Indian campaign)

Next time I shall scan and upload the pages.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Jagan » 26 Jan 2009 18:05

somnath wrote:what has been most galling is the complete decimation of the INA from the instituional memory of the Indian Army. It started with Nehru refusing to re admit ex INA soldiers in 1948 into the "new" Indian Army. .....


Its unfair to blame nehru for it. Any decision to keep the INA out would have been because the senior British and Indian Officers in the IA wanted it to be so.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Jagan » 26 Jan 2009 18:09

Sometimes I should read my own posts in this thread. The report is from the London Times (I think) but it tells us of what the Indian Govt did (or did not do) for the INA Vets

Image

From Page 1.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby somnath » 26 Jan 2009 18:25

Jagan wrote:
somnath wrote:what has been most galling is the complete decimation of the INA from the instituional memory of the Indian Army. It started with Nehru refusing to re admit ex INA soldiers in 1948 into the "new" Indian Army. .....


Its unfair to blame nehru for it. Any decision to keep the INA out would have been because the senior British and Indian Officers in the IA wanted it to be so.


I wouldnt really say so. This was the time when the political leadeship had its prestige at the zenith and therefore had the wherewithal to take "calls" without looking over their shoulders. The same leadership agreed to a British Army chief after independence (which was at least partially responsible for the the non completion of the Kashmir ops). As well as a British governer general! As well as the call to remain in the BRitish Commonwealth! The same leadership took calls on sensitive issues like the national language and non-linguistic states (both BTW had to be rescinded later)..So for Nehru to have taken a call on the INA wouldnt have been as difficult.

The newspaper article you posted is quite illuminating - Nehru describes possible "practical and psychological" problems in case INA officers and men went back to the IA. Did the civil administration suffer the same "practical and psychological" problems when erstwhile Congress "seditionists" came on seats of power? Or did they simply take it as a "Change of the times"?

Conspiracy theorists ascribe this to a hidden fear of Bose reappearing and presenting a challenge to the Congress status quo..

But to me, at a poltiical level, Nehru and the Congress were being consistent - they (especially Gandhi) after all did not even bargain for Bhagat Singh's life when the British govt was keen to cut a deal. At a military level, the British reaction is not surprising either. The Indian officer reaction is - they simply did not have the ability to perceive the nuanced position between an oath towards ones country - which is a far, far higher calling than the oath towards one's regiment....

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Jagan » 26 Jan 2009 18:40

somnath wrote:

The newspaper article you posted is quite illuminating - Nehru describes possible "practical and psychological" problems in case INA officers and men went back to the IA. Did the civil administration suffer the same "practical and psychological" problems when erstwhile Congress "seditionists" came on seats of power? Or did they simply take it as a "Change of the times"?
.


I think the previous posts quite clearly illustrate the practical and psychological problems that were there in integrating them . do we need to go through this all over again?


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