INA History Thread

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 21 Apr 2013 02:32


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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Kakkaji » 22 Apr 2013 02:31

Battle to repel Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose-led Azad Hind Fauj selected 'Britain's Greatest'

LONDON: Britain's struggle to repel a combined force of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose-led Azad Hind Fauj and Japan during World War II, around Imphal and Kohima in 1944 has been adjudged as the 'greatest ever battle involving British forces', a report said.

The clashes that took place in northeastersn corner of India, were voted the winner of a contest run by the National Army Museum here, to identify 'Britain's Greatest Battle'.

The battles of Imphal and Kohima saw the British and Indian forces, under the overall command of Lieutenant-General William Slim, repel the Japanese invasion of India and helped turned the tide of the war in the Far East.

The Japanese, along with soldiers of the Azad Hind Fauj, eventually lost 53,000 dead and missing in the battles. The British forces sustained 12,500 casualties at Imphal while the fighting at Kohima cost them another 4,000 casualties.

The campaign of Imphal-Kohima was on a shortlist of five battles which topped a public poll. Finally it was selected as the winner by an audience of more than 100 guests at a special event at the museum in Chelsea yesterday.

Imphal-Kohima received almost half of all votes. It was far ahead of D-Day and Normandy, in 1944 which received 25 per cent of the vote and came second, followed by the famous Battle of Waterloo, in 1815 (22 per cent).

"I had thought that one of the bigger names like D-Day or Waterloo would win so I am delighted that Imphal-Kohima has won. You have got to judge the greatness of a battle by its political, cultural and social impact, as much as its military impact," he was quoted by the Telegraph as saying.

"Imphal and Kohima were really significant for a number of reasons, not least that they showed that the Japanese were not invincible and that that they could be beaten, and beaten well. The victories demonstrate this more than the US in the Pacific, where they were taking them on garrison by garrison," Lyman added.

The fight for Imphal went on longer than that for Kohima, lasting from March until July. Kohima was smaller in scale, and shorter, from April to June - but the fighting was so intense it has been described as the 'Stalingrad of the East'.

In one sector, only the width of the town's tennis court separated the two sides. When the relief forces of the British 2nd Division arrived, the defencive perimeter was reduced to a shell-shattered area only 350 metres square.

There are several memorials to the British and Indian troops who fought in the area, including one with an inscription that has become famous as the 'Kohima Epitaph'. It reads-- 'When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today'.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 17 May 2013 20:39

Two X-Posts from GDF...

viv wrote:I accidentally came across an interesting tid-bit - Anand Bakshi, prolific lyricist for Hindi films, was part of the Naval mutiny in 1946. He later joined the IA too (though not the Navy). It reminded me of the role of Patel in resolving it - though there were casualties in some places - and then the INA trials. Nehru was part of the defence committee. It has been general theme here that Nehru was not popular but am sure he was in limelight and was certainly seen very favourably by the nation(Yes, Desai was the primary lawyer) in 1945; and was seen by Gandhi all those years before and as Congress president. Will look for pro and counter examples for popularity.

The second bit is about dynasty - if Patel had lived longer, or Shastri had survived longer and IG had not been made the PM, there would not have been so much of harking back to Nehru and use of Gandhi's name (which was a positive accident for IG). So dynasty accusation against him is somewhat incorrect. It is more due to IG.



and

brihaspati wrote:His popularity bit is shown by that fact that his name was not returned by the majority of the PCC's. So organizationally not. As for mass-popularity - difficult to measure. He was dfefinitely electable by his constituency in UP. But that was always - as now a complicated question of biz+criminal+merchant+dhimmi-mullah alliance. If you were seen to be advantageous for that combination - you will be elected.

Patel-JLN-MKG all had a common line about the 1946 uprising. They simply did not favour it. The mutineers had adopted MKG's name as a tactical one - to stop MKG and JLN from using their clout aggressively against the mutineers, which the the duo had already started off in their speeches of disapproval. JLN demanded that ll the various militant movements then going on in the land against the Brits not directly sanctioned by the High-command be stopped - students/youth should go back leaving the task of ruling/leading to those who were legitimate/qualified to do so - [like himself].

A parallel military uprising that might spread, and radical youth and labour movements- against the Brits would not be in the JLN-group, the biz-associated networks that connected both Brits and India, and the British ruling regime's interest itself. It would take away the halo and legitimacy that was being planned for the Congress core to take power.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Singha » 18 May 2013 12:45

it seems that japanese and later british killed and ate around 10,000 indian POWs in rabaul, new guinea...

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.co ... nd-may-day

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Singha » 18 May 2013 13:32

http://ajitvadakayil.blogspot.in/2011/0 ... ntold.html

a lot of pictorial detail on the cheating of mohan singh to send INA to rabaul for construction work and what happened thereafter incl the missing Netaji mystery.

B-ji is this some of the stuff you allude to on dark nights?

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Lalmohan » 18 May 2013 20:10

people should be under no illusions about the brutality of the imperial japanese army towards pows - including indians and also the men of the INA when the going got tough

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Yayavar » 18 May 2013 22:32

total nastiness. I went to Yasukuni and my Japanese colleagues had not been there at all which surprised me. Justice Pal's memorial is there, so also a nice zero on display. We need a comprehensive history. There is official history, some known history of INA, and then all this 'whispered' stuff. Not too different than the English obliteration of their famines and massacres. The best I've read, and it does not deal with the above, is Fay's 'forgotten army' based on Sehgal's memories.
Last edited by Yayavar on 18 May 2013 22:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Yayavar » 18 May 2013 22:40

btw, all that CT of Shastri, Nehru all knowing about the Baba, and it being kept secret but known otherwise, is too hard to believe. Too many CT's all around.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Lalmohan » 19 May 2013 15:09

my general theory on CT's is that often its the simplest explanation that is the truth

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Lalmohan » 19 May 2013 15:14

when the japanese were being routed through burma by the (largely) indian army - they were in absolutely dire conditions. any INA units that were still enmeshed with them (and not pulled out intact out of the way to surrender to allied troops) - simply 'disappeared in the jungle' - i dread to think of how these men - betrayed time and again - met their grisly ends.

Fay's book is really very good - particularly around the sympathy that ordinary BIA jawans and afsars felt for their INA counterparts

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Yayavar » 25 May 2013 10:14

^^Yes, it is a good book. It was however Aung San's men who switched sides and helped capture INA men.

btw, was in Tokyo on a business trip and found time to go to the restaurant (Nakamurya) that Ras Behari Bose's FIL started. It has photos of Bose, his wife (Toshiko), his children at the entrance. Took with my phone camera. RB curry i.e. Indian curry (Bengali) was introduced to the Japanese by Bose through this restaurant and is now a very popular item all over (at least in Tokyo). There is a memorial in Saitama (sp?) city but I did not have time to go there.

History is not one dimensional. INA suffered but at the same time RB Bose was sincerely supported by many Japanese and eventually led to the forming of the INA.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Jagan » 16 Aug 2013 07:00

FWIW, I copied this from the Library of Congress

http://osmaniac.blogspot.com/2013/08/an ... -army.html

An evaluation written in 1945 by an OSS officer (percussor to the CIA).

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 30 Nov 2014 10:29

Link:
www.niticentral.com/2014/11/25/ajit-dov ... 46597.html

Ajit Doval on Subhash Bose and British India

Nov 25, 2014

Saswat Panigrahi

#indian freedom struggle
#Mahatma Gandhi
#Subhas Bose

NSA Ajit Doval reveals one of the best kept secrets about Netaji. (File Photo)

This is contrary to historiographers’ interpretations of Indian freedom struggle. It was not because of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, but because of Subhas Chandra Bose the British left India.

This would certainly be a great surprise to those who believe in Nehruvian interpretation of history. But the fact of the matter is that this was the truth.

It was one of the best kept secrets till date, thanks to Jawaharlal Nehru and his Congress. The truth has finally become official as National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval retold it.




It was the year 1956. Justice Phani Bhusan Chakravartti, then Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, asked visiting British Prime Minister Clement Atlee about why the Britishers left India. Citing the conversation, NSA Ajit Doval said in a recent Conference:

“Clement Atlee was asked that why did you (the British) leave India, after all you had won the Second World War. The burst was over since then. The Quit India Movement was a flop in 1942. So what was the tearing hurry in 1947 that you decided to leave the country immediately?

Then British Prime Minister replied it was (because of) the spark that Subhas Chandra Bose created among the soldiers of Indian Army. Atlee said, ‘It was the threat of Subhas Bose and the rise of Indian nationalism from which we understood that it was a matter of time’.”

Recall Royal Indian Navy Mutiny. The stories of Subhas Chandra Bose and INA’s fight during the Siege of Imphal and in Burma were seeping into the glaring public-eye. From the initial flashpoint in Bombay, the revolt spread to Karachi and Calcutta. There was similar resistance in Indian Army, thanks to the influence of Subhas Bose.

NSA Ajit Doval said:

“British understood that the revolt in Indian Army was something that they couldn’t have handled.”

The NSA explained how Subhas Bose’s Indian National Army (INA) is the sole example in the annals of warfare.

“Of the entire strength of 60,000, two-third soldiers of the INA died fighting the British. But still the soldiers kept on fighting for an Independent India.”

Exposing Congress’s dirty politics over freedom struggle, Ajit Doval further said:

“The soldiers of INA were neither rehabilitated nor integrated into the Indian Army.”

For Mahatma Gandhi, peaceful non-cooperation movement was a means to evict British from India. In sharp contrast, Subhas Bose took the path of armed struggle to throw British out of India.

Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution to freedom struggle can’t be discounted. But the fact of the matter is that the historiographers have deliberately ignored Subhas Bose’s decisive role in the freedom struggle. It’s time Indian history did justice with Netaji.


So finally BRF topics are hitting mainstream!!!

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 01 Dec 2014 07:44

http://www.historytoday.com/hugh-purcel ... ist-leader

Subhas Chandra Bose: The Afterlife of India’s Fascist Leader
By Hugh Purcell | Published in History Today Volume: 60 Issue: 11 2010


The intriguing death of an Indian holy man in 1985 suggested that he was none other than Subhas Chandra Bose, the revolutionary and nationalist who, it is officially claimed, died in an air crash in 1945. The truth, however, is harder to find, as Hugh Purcell discovers.

Subhas Chandra Bose and Mohandas K. Gandhi at the Indian National Congress annual meeting in Haripura in 1938

Mohandas K. Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose at the Indian National Congress annual meeting in Haripura in 1938

On September 16th, 1985, in a dilapidated house in Faizabad, formerly the capital of Oudh province in India, a reclusive holy man known as Bhagwanji or Gumnami Baba (‘the saint with no name’) breathed his last. Locals had long suspected that he was none other than Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945), the Indian quasi-Fascist leader who in the 1930s had advocated a violent revolution against the British Empire to gain total independence for India.The Second World War had enabled him to practise what he preached and his Indian National Army had fought with the Japanese in Burma attempting to drive the British out of the subcontinent.

Although Netaji (Great Leader) Bose was reported killed in an air crash in August 1945, while trying to escape to the Soviet Union, many believed then and continue to believe now that, helped by his Japanese allies, he faked his death, reached Russia and returned to India many years later to lead the secret life of a hermit. Surprisingly for a poor sadhu (mystic) the ‘saint with no name’ left behind many trunks of possessions and in 1986, realising that these might solve the mystery once and for all, Bose’s niece Lalita obtained a high court order for an inventory to be made of their contents. Among the 2,673 items indexed, Lalita claimed she saw letters in her uncle’s handwriting and family photographs. Gumnami Baba’s belongings were re-packed in 23 boxes and sent to the District Treasury.

This was the latest but by no means the last of the dramas attending the fate of Bose. During the previous 40 years the Indian government had been forced to set up two inquiries into his death (the Nawaz Khan Committee in 1956 and the G.D. Khosla Commission 1970-74) and, although both confirmed the reported story that he died in an air crash, the rumours persisted. In 1999, reluctantly, but under pressure from Bose’s home state of Bengal in particular, the Indian government appointed Justice M.K. Mukherjee to ‘launch a vigorous inquiry ... to end the controversy ... over the reported death of [Bose] in 1945’.

On November 26th, 2001, Mukherjee drove up to the District Treasury in his official white Ambassador car. A large crowd had gathered to watch the boxes being opened. They included the Hindustan Times journalist Anuj Dhar who described to me what happened: out came a pair of German binoculars, a Corona typewriter, a pipe (taken away for DNA but without result), a Rolex watch – ‘Netaji’s watch,’ gasped a spectator in awe – a box of five teeth (also taken away but found not to belong to Bose) and a pair of silver, round-rimmed spectacles. Clearly, Gumnami Baba had been an extraordinary man. It was his collection of books that was most thought-provoking. Bear in mind that Bose had received an English education (finishing at Cambridge University) and, in the eyes of the British, had committed war crimes against them possibly escaping to the Soviet Union; then appreciate, for example, Gulliver’s Travels, P.G. Wodehouse’s The Inimitable Jeeves, the scarcely available International Military Tribunal for the Far East, The History of the Freedom Movement in India, The Last Days of the Raj, Moscow’s Shadow Over West Bengal and Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago. This could not be the bedtime reading of a typical sadhu. Either he had been an obsessive collector of Bose memorabilia, or someone had added to his possessions posthumously as a hoax, or he really was Bose. Some of the books had writing in the margins that Anuj Dhar submitted to an expert. He issued a certificate that the handwriting belonged to Bose, but the Indian government promptly appointed an expert of its own who disagreed.

In his inquiry report, completed in 2006, Justice Mukherjee was categoric. He concluded: ‘Netaji Bose is dead [a safe bet as he would have been 109]. He did not die in the plane crash as alleged and the ashes in the Japanese temple in Tokyo [maintained by the Indian government since 1945] are not of Netaji.’ He was more narrowly legalistic about the Faizabad connection:

In the absence of any clinching evidence to prove that Bhagwanji/Gumnami Baba was Netaji the question whether he died in Faizabad on September 16th,1985, as testified by some of the witnesses, need not be answered.

Nevertheless, caught off guard in a TV interview in January 2010, Mukherjee can clearly be heard saying that he thinks Bhagwanji and Bose may well be the same person. This probably did not impress the Indian government which had already dismissed the Mukherjee Report as unreliable. Why have these rumours persisted for so long? Why do they continue to divide well-educated Indians, including Bose’s own extended family? And why for many less educated Bengalis has Bose assumed the semi-divine status of a sadhu? There are several reasons.

In the first place, Bengal needs Netaji now more than ever. Bose, twice Mayor of Calcutta (Kolkata) in the 1930s, was the one great Bengali national and international politician of the last 75 years. A recent opinion poll of Indian students ranked him second only to Gandhi and above Nehru as the greatest Indian statesman of the 20th century. He has become a legendary figure. Taxi drivers in Kolkata discussing the appalling roads or flooded pavements of their town will say, ‘If only Netaji was still alive!’ A play staged there last year was based on the premise that Bose returned to India after Independence. Forward Bloc, the political party he founded in 1939 after he was forced to resign the presidency of the Indian National Congress for advocating violent revolution, still exists under his name, campaigning for a form of national socialism. Associations with Bose distract from the diminished status of Kolkata today: no longer the political or economic capital of India but the centre of a partitioned state.

The afterlife notion also persists because Netaji’s real life encourages conspiracy theorists. When the story of Bose’s death in 1945 reached Viceroy Wavell he said: ‘I suspect it very much. It is just what should be given out if he meant to go “underground”.’ In 1946 Gandhi claimed that ‘inner voices’ were telling him ‘Subhas is still alive and biding his time somewhere’. Bose certainly had form as an escaper. He spent his life moving easily, sometimes secretly, from country to country. In 1941 he escaped from British house arrest in Calcutta and reached Afghanistan from where, aided by the Italian ambassador and disguised as an Italian businessman ‘Orlando Mazzota’, he travelled up through central Asia to Moscow and from there to Berlin. Soon Britons and Indians could hear his propaganda broadcasts stirring up revolt against the British Empire and boasting about his Indian Legion, a body of soldiers trained by and intended to fight alongside the German Wehrmacht. In 1943, discouraged by Hitler’s lacklustre support for Indian independence and aware that the theatre of war where he needed to pit his troops was now the Far East, he travelled half-way round the world under water by first German and then Japanese submarine to Japan. Admired there, he received official support and set up his 50,000-strong Azad Hind Fauj or Indian National Army (INA), recruited largely from Indian soldiers of the British Empire Army who had been captured by the Japanese in their successful offensive of 1942.

If Netaji became a mystic in his afterlife then this too had a precedent in his former life. Always ascetic and distant from personal relationships (although in 1937 he probably married his Austrian secretary with whom he had a child, Anita, in 1942), he was a student of Ramakrishna, the 19th-century Bengali mystic whose followers believe was an incarnation of God. As a student Bose left home in search of the religious life. In his unfinished autobiography Indian Pilgrim he wrote of this time: ‘The desire to find a guru grew stronger and stronger within me ... We looked up as many sadhus as we could and I returned home a wiser man.’

The enduring mystery of the death of Bose arises above all from the circumstances of his disappearance. The facts are these. In May 1945 Slim’s 14th Army pushed the Japanese 33rd Army, supported by the INA, out of Burma. For the INA (referred to dismissively by the British as ‘JIFS’ – Japanese Infiltrated Soldiers) it was an ignominious rout, exposing Bose’s hopeless idealism as a war leader. On August 10th a Russian army began its offensive through Manchuria. From the seas and skies the American navy and air force pounded Japan, culminating with the atomic bombs on August 6th and 9th. On August 14th Japan surrendered.

Bose, whose political acumen was a lot sharper than his military knowledge, realised that the Cold War was the new world war and that Russia could be India’s one remaining ally in its fight for freedom. He had already made contact with the Soviet embassy in Tokyo (in November 1944) and on August 16th at a meeting in Bangkok, Major General Isoda Saburo, head of the Hikari Kikan, or Japanese liaison with the INA, agreed to try to get Bose into Manchuria as the first step to reaching Moscow. The last photo of Netaji alive or dead shows him at Saigon airport on August 17th, 1945. Five days later, on August 23rd, the Japanese News Agency announced the death of Bose:

He was seriously injured when his plane crashed at Taihoku airfield [Taipei, then in Formosa, now in Taiwan] at 14.00 hours on August 18th. He was given treatment in a hospital in Japan [sic] where he died at midnight.

On September 7th Colonel Habibur Rahman, Bose’s sole INA travelling companion who said he had survived the plane crash and described how Netaji had died, arrived in Tokyo carrying an urn of ashes. They were placed in Renkoji temple and an announcement was made: ‘Netaji chale gaye’ (Netaji has gone). But in the absence of a body the controversy began. It intensified the following year when an Indian journalist, Harin Shah, visited Taipei and obtained, so he thought, the medical and police reports on the death of Netaji and the certificate issued permitting cremation. When these were translated into English all these documents referred to one Okara Ichiro who had died of heart failure on August 19th and had been cremated. When Harin Shah pointed this out, according to the Mukherjee report:

The Formosan clerks ... said the Japanese officer accompanying the dead body, under whose instruction they acted, told them that for state reasons, the particulars of the person had to be kept confidential.

Was the death of Netaji faked so that he could escape possible execution by the British as a traitor and take his fight for Indian independence unimpeded to Russia? There was a precedent. Subhas’ nephew Pradip Bose, a well-known writer in Delhi, recalls meeting Dr Ba Maw, President of Burma, in Rangoon in 1962: ‘He told me that the Japanese had announced his “death” in an air crash [in early 1945], while he was actually hiding in Japan [to escape the British].’

It was to resolve the question of a possible hoax and to quell rumours of reported sightings of Bose in India and elsewhere that the first two inquiries were launched in 1956 and 1970. What is convincing about their conclusions is that the several Japanese eye-witnesses of the air crash and death of Bose who gave evidence at both inquiries agreed about what they saw and stuck to their version of events over nearly 20 years. As Justice Khosla said in his summing up:

I am not prepared to accept the contention that the entire military organisation of Japan had entered into a conspiracy to put forward a false story in order to cover up Bose’s escape, still less 11 [and now 25] years later when the trial of war criminals was over, when nothing could be gained by telling lies. Such a hypothesis just does not make sense.

Conspicuous among the eyewitnesses was Dr Taneyoshi Yoshimi, first interviewed in Stanley Gaol, in Hong Kong in 1946 by British Intelligence (the document is in the British Library), who claimed that he treated Bose and signed his death certificate, giving the cause of death as ‘burns of the third degree’. However the death certificate, if it ever existed, has disappeared. That is the trouble with long-held conspiracies; one fact begets a counter fact. Justice Mukherjee reports that he was shown a death certificate for Chandra Bose signed by Dr Yoshimi, but it was dated 1988, clearly a photocopy, and the aged Dr Yoshimi said he did not have a good memory of it.

What is equally convincing about Justice Mukherjee’s report is that, taking a rigorous approach that approves of primary documents and abhors circumstantial evidence, he finds that there is absolutely nothing to go on. There is no pictorial or written evidence of the crash in the Taipei airfield log, or in the local newspapers or held by the Taiwan government; there are no death certificates or cremation certificates for Bose and several others who are supposed to have died with him. Attempts by Mukherjee’s team to remove some of the ashes from Renkoji temple for DNA testing were unsuccessful, though it is doubtful whether such tests would have worked anyway. Mukherjee concluded:

a) There is no satisfactory evidence of the plane crash; on the contrary, the story given out in that respect is rather improbable.
b) In the absence of any contemporaneous record in the hospital, the Bureau and/or the crematorium, the oral account of the witnesses of Netaji’s death and cremation cannot be relied on to arrive at a definitive finding; and
c) A secret plan was contrived to ensure Netaji’s safe passage, to which Japanese military authority and Habibur Rahman were parties
.

When the Congress Party has been in power it has always refused requests to return the ashes to India. In fact Bose’s admirers believe the Congress Party will never allow the truth about their hero to be known because it is the party of the Nehru family and Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) and Subhas Bose were bitter rivals. Some go further and believe that Prime Minister Nehru conspired with the Russians to prevent Bose returning to India after Independence because he felt threatened by him; hence the cover-up.


One thing is certain – if Bose did die in the air crash then he succeeded posthumously in his fight for India’s independence. Immediately after the war the British put on trial for treason in the Red Fort of Delhi three leaders of the INA, symbolically a Hindu, a Muslim and a Sikh. This caused uproar, not least among soldiers of the British Indian Army who only a short time before had been fighting their fellow Indians in the Burmese jungle. The war was over; it was India’s time for freedom now. Netaji was hailed as a martyr. To avoid further martyrs the British virtually acquitted the defendants, letting them off with the lightest sentences, and concluded that the time had come for the British to quit India too. On August 15th, 1947, almost two years after Bose’s reported death, India and Pakistan became free nations.

Over the next few years rumours were rife that Bose had reached Russia. An India Office document marked ‘Secret’ of May 2nd, 1946 includes this report from a Miss Hanchet: :mrgreen:

The D.I.B. [Director of Intelligence Bureau in India] mentioned the receipt from various places in India of information that Subhas Bose was alive in Russia. In some cases circumstantial details have been added. Consequently he is not more than 90 per cent sure that Subhas is dead.

A stenographer, Sham Lal Jain, deposed before the Khosla Commission that ‘Pandit Nehru asked him to make typed copies of a hand-written note that said Bose had reached Russia via Dairen [Manchuria]’. He also alleged that Nehru asked him to type a letter to British Prime Minister Attlee that ‘Bose, your war criminal, has been allowed to enter Russian territory by Stalin’. According to the Hindustan Times of March 4th, 2001, Justice Mukherjee asked for this correspondence (when on a visit to London) but was told that the British Government will declassify Bose documents ‘only after 2021 if the Indian Government so desires’. :((

Netaji watchers report further circumstantial evidence that Bose was sent to the Gulag. In 2000, an Indian engineer, Ardhendu Sarkar, said he had worked in the Ukraine in the 1960s for a German engineer, Zerovin, who had known Bose in Berlin and had come across him again in 1948 after being sent to a camp in Siberia ‘for indoctrination’. Sarkar reported the meeting between Zerovin and Bose to the Indian Embassy in Moscow, after which he was suddenly recalled to India. Others reported to the Khosla Commission that the Indian ambassador to the USSR in the early 1950s, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, had seen Bose in Siberia.

The most persistent voice of the ‘Bose in Russia’ group belongs to a Professor of International Affairs at Kolkata’s Jadhavpur University, Dr Purabi Roy who specialises in Indo-Russian relations. She is convinced that Bose arrived in Russia and possibly died there because she dismisses any sadhu–in–Faizabad connection. She also related to me word-of-mouth ‘evidence’, the most plausible of which came from her colleague in the Russian Institute of Oriental Studies, former USSR General Alexander Kolesnikov. He told her that he had seen a file that noted the minutes of a Politburo meeting of August 1946 when Voroshilov, Mikoyan, Molotov and others discussed whether Bose should be allowed to stay in the Soviet Union. Dr Roy’s attempts to see this file ended in failure, however. At her urging, the Mukherjee Commission went to the Russian Federation, visited six archives and interviewed four witnesses though not Kolesnikov who was ordered abroad on the eve of his appearance. The archives drew a blank and the witnesses refuted what Dr Roy claimed they had told her. Not surprisingly, Justice Mukherjee concluded that ‘the assertion of Dr Roy regarding Netaji’s presence in Russia cannot be acted upon’. However, she claims a book to be published this winter, will vindicate her position.

During the 1950s and 60s other stories about Netaji contended that he never left India but remained in hiding disguised as a peripatetic sadhu. We are in a position to judge the truth of these not only because of the evidence of the first inquiries but also because of the research of Bose’s biographer Leonard Gordon. He traced the supposed wanderings of Bose round India between 1948 and 1959 through the publications of the Subhasbadi Janata, a propaganda organisation under Major Satya Gupta, a former political ally of Netaji. According to this, Netaji attended Gandhi’s cremation in 1948 after which he roamed India three times doing tapasa, or penance, to save mankind. Gordon has exposed some of this account as fraudulent and believes the rest is myth. He is convinced Bose died on August 18th, 1945. He has no time for the Mukherjee report, though his biography was written some time before it came out, and he also believes that Professor Roy should put up her evidence or shut up.

The mystery of what happened to Netaji Bose will remain until the Indian Government opens some 100 classified files on the subject; and allows files in Russia and Britain to be opened also. :?: Anuj Dhar and the Hindustan Times, convinced of a government cover-up, have been campaigning for this through their website www. MissionNetaji.org. The response of the Indian Government is revealing:

The disclosure of the nature and contents of these documents would hurt the sentiments of the people at large and may evoke widespread reactions. Diplomatic relations with friendly countries may also be adversely affected if the said documents are disclosed.

Justice Mukherjee complained at length in his Report (itself hard to obtain) about the lack of government disclosure and the many obstructions of officials he encountered when he was conducting his inquiry. Pradip Bose agrees that the only way to solve the Bose mystery is for the government censorship to end and the files to be opened. He asks why, if his uncle did die in the air crash, the government does not allow his ashes to be brought back from Japan ‘with the great national honour that he fully deserves’?

Meanwhile, in Bengal a cult called the Santan Dal is still waiting for Netaji ‘to appear again’. Its members rioted outside a cinema in Kolkata in 2005 when a biopic of Netaji The Forgotten Hero showed, accurately, that Bose had a sexual relationship with a western woman. There is no doubt that to many Bengalis, at least, Bose has assumed a semi-divine persona. One of many letters discovered in the Faizabad trunks said:

Crores [many millions] of Indians have put their eyes upon you. One day the Lord will himself salvage the sorrow of the people, the evil will be destroyed and God will prevail. You are our God in human form.

Bose saw his struggle as a moral crusade. The British Empire was evil and he was fighting for the good, in epic terms that Indians love –‘Give me your blood and I will give you freedom,’ was his cry. In a country where the lines between mortality, sainthood and the divine are finely drawn, why not bring back the epic hero, Netaji, as a symbolic figure to achieve a Divine Age on earth?

Hugh Purcell is a writer on British India. His latest book is The Maharaja of Bikaner in the Makers of the Modern World series (Haus Histories, 2010).
Further reading:

* Leonard Gordon, Brothers Against the Raj, (Columbia University Press, 1990)
* S.K.Bose, A. Werth and S.A. Ayer, A Beacon Across Asia (Orient Longman,1996)
* Anuj Dhar, Back from the Dead (Manas Publications, 2005)
* Purabi Roy, Riding the Tiger Purple (Peacock Books, Kolkata, Dec 2010)



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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Avarachan » 01 Dec 2014 08:52

Hmm. There is quite a bit of British propaganda in that article.

1) No, Bose was not a fascist leader. Was FDR a Stalinist because he allied with Stalin?

2) The Azad Hind Fauj fought well. The book "His Majesty's Opponent" demolishes many of the British lies regarding this (the supposedly large number of defections to the British, etc.).

3) The timing of this is curious. I suspect that it's a British psy-op to stir up tensions between Russia and India.

4) Bose was a political-military genius. He didn't want to fight the British Indian Army head-on. What would that accomplish? It would just be Indians killing Indians. (The British, true to their cowardly and manipulative nature, had Indians doing all of the hard work in their army.) Bose's real aim was the psychological and spiritual liberation of Indians from their allegiance to the British.

The British claimed that they were needed in India for India to stay united. Bose proved that this was not true. In the Azad Hind Fauj, Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs, Punjabis and Bengalis and Tamils, speakers of Hindi and Tamil and English, all worked together.

The British were only successful when they could "divide and rule." Bose united and liberated. That's why the British hate him so.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 02 Dec 2014 04:08

The outside powers are: UK and USSR
The inside powers are: MKG, JLN and Patel.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby abhik » 03 Dec 2014 17:43

Tin foil hat on:
May be the Japanese handed over SCB to the Brits at the end of the war as part of the surrender, and the Brits executed him. Plane crash story is make up so as to avoid an uproar back in India.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 03 Dec 2014 23:06

Please visit the JLN thread in GDF where an active discussion is going on.

Any way the mystery of SCB's disappearance is reaching critical mass. We will soon know the facts officially or otherwise.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Yayavar » 09 Dec 2014 00:33

Avarachan wrote:Hmm. There is quite a bit of British propaganda in that article.

1) No, Bose was not a fascist leader. Was FDR a Stalinist because he allied with Stalin?



Exactly. Churchill and FDR were Communist Totalitarianists by the same token; of course Churchill was a lot worse - a colonialist and a mass murderer.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 26 Mar 2015 09:18

Sugata Bose, "His Majesty's Opponent: Subhas Chandra Bose and India's Struggle Against Empire"
English | ISBN: 0674047540, 0674065964 | 2011 | 412 pages |


The man whom Indian nationalists perceived as the "George Washington of India" and who was President of the Indian National Congress in 1938--1939 is a legendary figure. Called Netaji ("leader") by his countrymen, Subhas Chandra Bose struggled all his life to liberate his people from British rule and, in pursuit of that goal, raised and led the Indian National Army against Allied Forces during World War II. His patriotism, as Gandhi asserted, was second to none, but his actions aroused controversy in India and condemnation in the West. Now, in a definitive biography of the revered Indian nationalist, Sugata Bose deftly explores a charismatic personality whose public and private life encapsulated the contradictions of world history in the first half of the twentieth century. He brilliantly evokes Netaji's formation in the intellectual milieu of Calcutta and Cambridge, probes his thoughts and relations during years of exile, and analyzes his ascent to the peak of nationalist politics. Amidst riveting accounts of imprisonment and travels, we glimpse the profundity of his struggle: to unite Hindu and Muslim, men and women, and diverse linguistic groups within a single independent Indian nation. Finally, an authoritative account of his untimely death in a plane crash will put to rest rumors about the fate of this "deathless hero." This epic of a life larger than its legend is both intimate, based on family archives, and global in significance. His Majesty's Opponent establishes Bose among the giants of Indian and world history.


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Re: INA History Thread

Postby tsarkar » 26 Mar 2015 16:15

Also forgotten are the Tamil community in ASEAN, who contributed their life's savings and joined the INA. Their contribution is not known nor acknowledged by the general public and the government.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 26 Mar 2015 18:59

Sugata Bose's other book on Indian Ocean has a whole chapter on it.
And WE Johns alludes to it in post war Biggles in the Orient book!!!

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 14 Apr 2015 21:55

X-Post...
svenkat wrote:The use of Hindustani in two scripts was a very sensible approach for any national leader of those days.Netaji knew the INA consisted of a large number of muslim soldiers.In fact,it would be interesting to know why Netaji 'overlooked' Hindi in that phase,if he indeed did.My guess is that there may have been very few hindu soldiers from North India in INA.Thats would be an interesting data point in retrospect.

Also two of the regiments of INA were called Nehru and Gandhi regiments and one was called Azaad presumably in honour of Maulana Abul Kalam.



An interesting exercise would be to find the class composition of the BIA that was deployed to Singapore and Malay peninsula.
And what happened to the battalions later on?

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 14 Apr 2015 22:11

This thread was created in November 2006. Now finally after one year of Modi govt in power we are seeing a lot of interest in the INA and SC Bose.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 14 Apr 2015 22:34

Old article in Hindu on the who coined the slogan Jai Hind used so often nowadays. We owe it to INA formed by SC Bose!!!!

http://www.thehindu.com/2001/10/20/stories/13201102.htm

Jai Hind Safrani

NARENDRA LUTHER

When we talk of "Freedom Fighters", we generally mean those people who fought for the independence of India within the country. Many Indians fought for the freedom of the country from outside India too.

Indian National Army

It was Captain Mohan Singh, an Indian officer of the British Indian Army, who first set up the Azad Hind Fouj (Indian National Army) on the defeat of the British by Japan on February 15, 1942.

Abid Hasan

A young enthusiastic and courageous man from Hyderabad also joined this force. His name was Zain-al-Abdin Hasan. He preferred to be called Abid Hasan and later became known as Abid Hasan Safrani.

Abid Hasan's mother Hajia Begum was anti-British, so her children were sent to Germany for higher studies. And Abid went to do a degree in engineering.

Meeting with Bose

Netaji addressed a meeting of Indian prisoners of war in Germany and asked them to join the INA. Abid met him and was inspired by the charismatic leader. He told Bose that he would join him after finishing his studies. Netaji said tauntingly that if he was caught in such small considerations, he would not be able to achieve anything big in life. Stung by that remark, Abid decided to give up his studies. He became Netaji's secretary and interpreter.

Abid Hasan was made a major in the INA. Netaji wanted an Indian form of addressing each other. Abid first suggested "Hello" and was snubbed for that. He later suggested "Jai Hind", which Netaji liked and adopted it as the formal manner of greeting for revolutionaries and members of INA. Later Nehru used it in his Independence Day address from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

The Indian National Army

INA provided a common kitchen for its soldiers irrespective of their religious affiliations. But there were many differences of opinion within its ranks. One of the controversial issues was the design of the national flag. The Hindus wanted a saffron flag, while the Muslims insisted on green. Later the Hindus gave up their insistence. Abid Hasan was impressed by this gesture that he decided to append "saffron" to his name. Since then, he became to be known as Safrani.

After the famous trial of the INA, all the members of the INA were released. In 1946, Safrani came to Hyderabad and joined the Congress Party. The party was riven with factionalism. Disgusted, he gave up politics and joined the Bengal Lamp Company. He was posted at Karachi. On the partition of India, he came back to Hyderabad.

Diplomatic career

In 1948, he was taken into the newly created Indian Foreign Service. On retirement in 1969, he returned to Hyderabad. Safrani passed away in 1984 at the age of 73.


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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 20 Apr 2015 03:52

http://www.sunday-guardian.com/investig ... -on-netaji

Congress destroyed some files on Netaji

One file, allegedly maintained by Nehru himself, was destroyed during the Indira Gandhi regime.

NAVTAN KUMAR New Delhi | 18th Apr 2015



Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

The Congress governments of the past not only hid files about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, but also destroyed some of them, raising question marks on their commitment to bringing out the truth about his mysterious death.

From information received via RTI from the records of two commissions and the PMO, it came to light that in around 1956, a file was opened in the Prime Minister's Secretariat, as the PMO was called then, on "Circumstances leading to the death of Shri Subash Chandra Bose" (No. 12 (226) / 56 – PM), and was destroyed in 1972 along with several other unrelated files, while Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister.

The files were destroyed even though the Manual Procedures in force at that time stipulated that files of historical importance, especially those relating to issues agitating the public mind, would be kept in the office for 25 years and then sent to the National Archives.

According to Anuj Dhar, activist and author of India's Biggest Cover-up, who accessed the records through RTI, this file was the "master file" of all the Bose files, and was personally maintained by Jawaharlal Nehru himself. Justice Mukherjee later made attempts to find out the subject and contents of this file and the circumstances under which it was destroyed. Despite several reminders, the government did not even send him the Rule Book governing the destruction of official records, said Dhar.

Meanwhile, Mukherjee discovered that Samar Guha, who was once a close associate of Netaji, had sought to do the job assigned to Justice G.D. Khosla of the Khosla Commission. Guha wrote to Indira Gandhi on 3 January 1974, and she replied that the file contained only copies of certain documents that are still available in other files and so it was destroyed.

"A misunderstanding seems to have arisen about the file that has been destroyed because of the subject heading given to it. I can assure you that the file contained only copies of certain documents which are still available in other files. The file was destroyed only because it contained copies. I received your letter of 21 December also. But since it mainly concerned the Ministry of Home Affairs I passed it on to my colleague, the Home Minister, with a request to send you a reply," wrote Indira Gandhi in a letter dated 9 January, 1974.

The Mukherjee Commission, after this assertion from the PM, was encouraged to approach the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs to furnish "authenticated true copies of all the documents, copies of which lying in PMO's file (No 12 (226) / 56 – PM), since destroyed, as also authenticated true copies of all those files which contain the said documents, the copies of which were lying in the said destroyed file as stated by the then Prime Minister".

The MEA and MHA passed the buck, and the PMO sent a reply that Justice Mukherjee described as "not compatible" with what had been sought. Mukherjee wrote: "The reply adduces no cogent reason for their inability to send the documents called for by the Commission."

What surprised Mukherjee was that the PMO and Cabinet Secretariat were making contradictory statements. The PMO director stated that the file 12(226)/56-PM contained an agenda paper/Cabinet decision regarding its destruction, and it could be obtained from the Cabinet Secretariat "since records of Cabinet proceedings are kept permanently" there, but a Home Ministry affidavit, speaking for the Cabinet Secretariat, claimed that the Secretariat did not have any files or papers concerning Bose's fate.

The destruction of Netaji-related records is not limited to the PMO. Other files have also been destroyed, such as Director Intelligence Bureau Letter no 31/DG/56 – II, dated 4.1.1959; No 22(381)60-66-PM, about the proposal to bring Netaji's alleged ashes to India, 1960; No 24/27/71 Pol II that contained correspondence between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Khosla Commission; and several documents of file number 23 (156) / 51—PM, related to the INA's treasure.


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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 05 Aug 2015 03:14

Philip wrote:It was the combination,"good cop,bad cop" that completely befuddled the British. Priding themselves about "fair play","justice",blah,blah,they couldn't deal with Gandhi and the non-violent freedom struggle on the one hand,and the revolt led by Netaji on the other. In the eyes of the world,they were tyrants for their violent treatment of non-violent Indians battling for freedom. As SS said in his clip,Netaji's INA also told them to pack up asap before they would be swept away in a tidal wave of bloodshed,that would electrify the other British colonies to follow suit!

We need to celebrate the INA and Netaji in far grander manner,as we are now celebrating the other wars of Independence,like '65,etc.A national museum should be dedicated to the INA and Netaji with as much fanfare and thanks from the nation,just as we've honoured Gandhi and Nehru with their memorials and museums.There should be Netaji/INA Foundation centre in every state capital.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 23 Jan 2017 22:27

Link: http://indianexpress.com/article/resear ... is-legacy/

The association between Subhas Chandra Bose and the Axis powers was closely chronicled by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which kept a hawk eye on political trends in India in the last century. Records reveal an agreement between the Axis powers that Japan would play a leading role in India and Subhas Chandra Bose would be their representative.

“The Nazis are well aware that Indian people have no national patriotism, but they hope, just the same, that Chandra Bose will be able to embarrass the British,” says a report documented by the CIA and released recently as part of a tranche of close to 12 million pages of declassified documents. The set on India highlight the US emphasis on studying the internal political climate in the subcontinent for the sake of determining a favourable foreign policy.

The influence of German intelligence agency during World War II and subversive political activities in India, leaning towards Communist ideologies were of particular importance to the American intelligence service. Records reveal an in depth examination of movements in India that might pose a challenge to American foreign policy.

Other reports speak about the alliance formed between Bose and Japanese authorities in June 1943, wherein he referred to Japan as India’s best friend. Reports also detail the successes made by the German Intelligence Agency in India through Bose’s help.




The set on India highlight the US emphasis on studying the internal political climate in the subcontinent for the sake of determining a favourable foreign policy. (Central Intelligence Agency)

The legacy left behind by Bose in independent India was a source of constant worry to an American government stuck in cold war with communist USSR and taking all measures to make sure that South Asian countries do not fall prey to the ideologies of the latter. A 24-page report titled “Psychological background survey of India” gives a detailed review of the political scene in independent India and lists the probable factors that could lean in favour of communism. “An analysis of forces at present working within and from without to influence of determine India’s domestic developments and foreign relations will be set forth below to estimate the degree to which India is capable of resisting Communist subversion,” says the report.

Describing the subversive elements present in Indian society post independence, the CIA report claims that several of them are residues of movements carried out during the British rule in the name of nationalism. Foremost among these was the political movement organised by Bose and his followers who carried out student demonstrations, illegal strikes and boycotts.

The Communist Party of India (CPI), however, posed the biggest fear for America. The report calls it “the strongest and most dangerous subversive organisation in the country today” and a serious problem confronting the newly formed government. Talking about the CPI, the report says the following:


The Party has tried to bring about internal revolution in India since independence first by attempting to foment a general strike of industrial workers as a preparatory step for country-wide insurrection and, when this approach failed, by trying to stir the peasantry to revolt in the more remote areas of Assam, where government control was not well established and loyalties to a central or provincial government were either negligible or nonexistent.

The document goes on to give details of the Constitutional arrangements made by the newly formed Indian government to deal with these subversive elements that are prone towards communism. The report further blamed the ruling Congress government of complacency and inability to efficiently deal with forces at work within the country that had the potential of causing a communist uprising.

© The Indian Express Online Media Pvt Ltd



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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Rakesh » 24 Jan 2017 21:07

West Bengal governor sends proposal for Azad Hind regiment in Indian Army
http://www.defencenews.in/article.aspx?id=250070

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Agnimitra » 08 Apr 2017 09:57

A mentor of SC Bose was Rashbehari Bose. A lot of his books and articles are in Japanese and remain untranslated. That's about to change. Some snippets here:

Bose of Japan

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Yayavar » 08 Apr 2017 10:07

Nice.. When I got a chance to go to tokyo (have written this earlier too) went to the restaurant he opened in Nakamuraya. In the lobby are pictures of Bose with his wife and children, and Rabindranath Tagore when he visited him. I could not eat there due to flight conflict so took a couple of snaps.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Agnimitra » 02 May 2017 19:26

Yayavar wrote:Nice.. When I got a chance to go to tokyo (have written this earlier too) went to the restaurant he opened in Nakamuraya. In the lobby are pictures of Bose with his wife and children, and Rabindranath Tagore when he visited him. I could not eat there due to flight conflict so took a couple of snaps.

Share the snaps!

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Yayavar » 03 May 2017 10:47

Agnimitra - those have me and friends but the photos are the same you would find in a google search. Looks like most of the articles on the net have the same photos reproduced.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Agnimitra » 03 May 2017 18:19

:)

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Yayavar » 03 May 2017 22:44

When/if you go the entrance at street level is from a Gucci (iirc) or some such TFTA name store :)

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 04 Oct 2017 20:02

Hat tip to AVM Arjun Subramaniam for acknowledging the betrayal of INA troops by the Congress party as pro quid quo with the British in his book. India's wars: A Military History 1947-1971

I hope to write a review of his book.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ShauryaT » 16 Jun 2018 20:48

How the US managed the presence of 200,000 soldiers in India in World War II with dynamic propaganda

America needed to foster sympathy for its troops in India while steering them clear of the country’s politics, Srinath Raghavan writes in a new book.

Between 1942 and 1945, some 2,00,000 American soldiers came to India. Given the military and economic commitment to India, the United States was naturally keen to project its contribution in the best possible light. American propaganda in India, however, was a rudderless ship. The Office of War Information (OWI) initially picked the journalist and author Robert Aura Smith as the head of information operations in India. He arrived in India just ahead of Louis Johnson. A “triple bourbon man at lunch”, Aura Smith’s energy was not matched by organisation.

After the arrest of the Congress leadership in August 1942, Aura Smith made a hectic effort to counter the perception that the United States was propping up British rule in India. He hired the J Walter Thompson ( JWT) agency of New York, which had been operating in India since 1929, to mount a major advertising campaign. The JWT campaign was centred on two themes: “America Fights for Freedom” and “America: The Arsenal of Democracy”. One advertisement announced: “The 150-year-old constitution of the United States contains a charter of freedom for all mankind, and their president has declared the extension of these fundamental liberties to all men [as] the base of the American people’s war-aims.” Free copies of the Life of Franklin D Roosevelt: Fully Illustrated were offered to anyone who wrote in.

The advertisements on the second theme were equally tactless: “The number of persons engaged in aircraft manufacture in the United States is equal to the total male population of Bombay, Karachi and Ahmedabad combined.”

British rulers as well as Indian subjects took umbrage at such condescension. The American consul in Madras pointed out that the campaign would have an “adverse” impact on Anglo-American relations. The consul in Calcutta feared by contrast that “it creates doubts [in Indian minds]...on American political integrity”. Phillips pointed out to Washington that the OWI’s campaign had a “cheapness” that was doing “no credit” but “considerable harm” to American interests in India. Soon, Aura Smith was relieved of the job.

His successor, Ralph Block, was another experienced journalist who was also versed in the ways of Hollywood. Block quickly understood that US policy towards India was torn between competing considerations. Yet, he felt that India “will influence the affairs of that half of the world in which America will be increasingly dominant culturally and economically”.

So, wartime propaganda should aim to foster a “sympathetic attitude towards the presence of American troops” and avoid limiting “the freedom of characteristic American action in these areas in the future”.

Towards these ends, they should aim to emphasise the similarities rather than differences between the United States and India. Instead of focusing on the “froth of American life – Hollywood, boogie-woogie, etc.” they should highlight small-town life in America, which was much more salient for the predominantly rural India. Harping on American prosperity might only end up generating envy. “Statements as to our great wealth and industrial power,” he insisted, “should take second place to the interesting human details of our common life.” Block’s ideas would shape American propaganda not only during the rest of the war, but for decades ahead.

American propaganda during these years took a variety of forms: radio programmes and photographs, libraries and newsletters. The OWI also produced and screened several documentary films with such titles as The Grand Coulee Dam, The Life of a United States Anthracite Miner, Our American Allies and Stop the Rising Sun. The last centred on the role of African American troops in India, but was pulled out of circulation owing to concerns that it portrayed American race relations in an unfavourable light and called into question the United States’ avowals of liberty.

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The presence of 22,000 African American soldiers was indeed regarded as a “delicate” matter. Not only did African Americans serve in separate military units, but their social life in India was segregated too.

In Calcutta, for instance, black soldiers only frequented places like the Cosmos Club managed by black women from the Red Cross or the Grand Hotel where black pianist Teddy Wetherford performed with an Indian band. The US army sought to muffle criticism by producing a propaganda film – shot in Karachi and edited in Bombay – of “coloured troops, their activities, recreational facilities and mode of living in India”. The African American soldiers’ experience in India was mixed. On the one hand, many Indians – especially of the upper classes – displayed a “marked attitude of aloofness” and “superiority complex” towards African American GIs. On the other, they seem to have got on fine with at least some segments of local society. As American military authorities noted, “Negroes frequently are invited to attend native civilian parties to which white troops are not invited. Many Negro soldiers attempt to adopt civilian children as ‘mascots’.”

To most American soldiers India came as a jolt. As an Indian journalist recalled, “accustomed to seeing India through Hollywood’s cameras as a fabulous land peopled by Maharajas and elephants, they were appalled and sickened by the stink and poverty of the place”. American soldiers were frequently scathing about the Raj. Seeing the emaciated poor huddled on the streets of Calcutta and peering at the shops, a GI grunted: “If I were they, I’d smash those glasses and help myself to all that’s there.” Many American soldiers and airmen took a liking to their “native bearers”, if in a paternalistic fashion. These locally recruited servants, a GI magazine joked, “make a perfectly lazy man out of a soldier”. They often gave funny nicknames to their servants. “Our bearer’s name is ‘Smokey’,” wrote a GI. “We’ve forgotten why we call him that, but there are no objections, since his real name is ‘Pabitra Mondel’. Aside from his regular duties, Smokey spends most of his time learning GI ways.”

Not surprisingly, American servicemen were advised to steer clear of Indian politics. “The political situation in India is not easily understood,” warned a handbook for GIs, “and a short stay in India is not long enough to be informed about it.” Yet, they could not be entirely insulated from the currents of nationalism swirling in India. In an open letter to American officers and soldiers in India, Jayaprakash Narayan wrote “as one who loves America only next to his own motherland”. Recalling his formative years in the United States – not only in the universities but also as a labourer in farms and factories – he wrote: “You are soldiers of freedom...It is, therefore, essential that you understand and appreciate our fight for freedom.” Having deftly overturned the tropes of American propaganda in India, he went on to denounce Britain’s claims about the Cripps Mission and the unreadiness of India for freedom.

Narayan urged them to let “your countrymen, your leaders and your government know the truth about India”.

It is difficult to judge whether such appeals had any effect on American soldiers and officers. But the brush with Indian nationalism did indelibly mark the lives of at least some young Americans. Twenty-six-year-old Joan Bondurant was finishing her second degree in music, when she volunteered for the war and was sent by the Office of Strategic Services to India in late 1943. As an intelligence analyst, Bondurant decrypted and translated Japanese messages and propaganda. In her spare time she picked up Urdu and Hindi, travelled widely in north India and befriended many Indians. During these years, she also developed an abiding interest in Gandhi’s philosophy of satyagraha. After the war Bondurant returned to India, met the Mahatma, embarked on a career in the University of California at Berkeley, and became America’s first academic expert on Gandhian non-violence.

Excerpted with permission from The Most Dangerous Place: A History of the United States in South Asia, Srinath Raghavan, Penguin Random House India.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby ramana » 16 Jun 2018 21:51

Should also read Prof. Marshall Windmiller study of OSS in India and how they cultivated future assets despite UK prohibition on developing intelligence networks. Most post Independence leaders were in OSS contact list.

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Re: INA History Thread

Postby anupmisra » 17 Jun 2018 03:34

Indische Freiwilligen Legion der Waffen SS
Free India Legion - posted in Holland


Rakesh
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Re: INA History Thread

Postby Rakesh » 26 Jan 2019 19:19

https://twitter.com/IndianDefenceRA/sta ... 1905207299 --->
"One individual May Die For An Idea But That Idea Will, After His Death, Incarnate Itself In Thousand Lives"
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