Subhas Chandra Bose
|2nd Leader of Indian National Army[d]|
4 July 1943 – 18 August 1945
|Preceded by||Mohan Singh|
|Succeeded by||Office abolished|
|President of the Indian National Congress|
18 January 1938 – 29 April 1939
|Preceded by||Jawaharlal Nehru|
|Succeeded by||Rajendra Prasad|
|President and Founder of All India Forward Bloc|
22 June 1939 – 16 January 1941
|Preceded by||Office created|
|Succeeded by||Sardul Singh Kavishar|
|5th Mayor of Calcutta|
22 August 1930 – 15 April 1931
|Preceded by||Jatindra Mohan Sengupta|
|Succeeded by||Bidhan Chandra Roy|
Subhas Chandra Bose
23 January 1897
Cuttack, Orissa Division, Bengal Province, British India (now in Cuttack district, Odisha, India)
|Died||18 August 1945 (aged 48)|
Army Hospital Nanmon Branch, Taihoku, Japanese Taiwan (present-day Taipei City Hospital Heping Fuyou Branch, Taipei, Taiwan)
|Cause of death||Third-degree burns from aircrash|
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
All India Forward Bloc
(secretly married without ceremony or witnesses, unacknowledged publicly by Bose.)
|Children||Anita Bose Pfaff|
|Known for||Indian independence movement|
Subhas Chandra Bose (/ / (listen) shuub-HAHSS CHUN-drə BOHSS; 23 January 1897 – 18 August 1945) was an Indian nationalist whose defiance of British authority in India made him a hero among many Indians,[h][i][j] but his wartime alliances with Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan left a legacy vexed by authoritarianism,[k][l][m][n] anti-Semitism,[o][p][q] and military failure.[r][s][t] The honorific Netaji (Hindi: "Respected Leader") was first applied to Bose in Germany in early 1942—by the Indian soldiers of the Indische Legion and by the German and Indian officials in the Special Bureau for India in Berlin. It is now used throughout India.[u]
Subhas Bose was born into wealth and privilege in a large Bengali family in Orissa during the British Raj. The early recipient of an Anglocentric education, he was sent after college to England to take the Indian Civil Service examination. He succeeded with distinction in the vital first exam but demurred at taking the routine final exam, citing nationalism to be a higher calling. Returning to India in 1921, Bose joined the nationalist movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress. He followed Jawaharlal Nehru to leadership in a group within the Congress which was less keen on constitutional reform and more open to socialism.[v] Bose became Congress president in 1938. After reelection in 1939, differences arose between him and the Congress leaders, including Gandhi, over the future federation of British India and princely states, but also because discomfort had grown among the Congress leadership over Bose's negotiable attitude to non-violence, and his plans for greater powers for himself. After the large majority of the Congress Working Committee members resigned in protest, Bose resigned as president and was eventually ousted from the party.
In April 1941 Bose arrived in Nazi Germany, where the leadership offered unexpected but equivocal sympathy for India's independence. German funds were employed to open a Free India Centre in Berlin. A 3,000-strong Free India Legion was recruited from among Indian POWs captured by Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps to serve under Bose.[w] Although peripheral to their main goals, the Germans inconclusively considered a land invasion of India throughout 1941. By the spring of 1942, the German army was mired in Russia and Bose became keen to move to southeast Asia, where Japan had just won quick victories. Adolf Hitler during his only meeting with Bose in late May 1942 offered to arrange a submarine. During this time, Bose became a father; his wife,[x] or companion,[y] Emilie Schenkl, gave birth to a baby girl.[z] Identifying strongly with the Axis powers, Bose boarded a German submarine in February 1943. Off Madagascar, he was transferred to a Japanese submarine from which he disembarked in Japanese-held Sumatra in May 1943.
With Japanese support, Bose revamped the Indian National Army (INA), which comprised Indian prisoners of war of the Indian Army who had been captured by the Japanese in the Battle of Singapore. A Provisional Government of Free India was declared on the Japanese-occupied Andaman and Nicobar Islands and was nominally presided by Bose.[aa] Although Bose was unusually driven and charismatic, the Japanese considered him to be militarily unskilled,[ab] and his soldierly effort was short-lived. In late 1944 and early 1945, the Indian Army reversed the Japanese attack on India. Almost half the Japanese forces and the participating INA contingent were killed.[ac][ad] The remaining INA was driven down the Malay Peninsula and surrendered with the recapture of Singapore. Bose chose to escape to Manchuria to seek a future in the Soviet Union which he believed to have turned anti-British. He died from third-degree burns received when his overloaded plane crashed in Japanese Taiwan on August 18, 1945.[ae] Some Indians did not believe that the crash had occurred,[af] expecting Bose to return to secure India's independence.[ag][ah][ai] The Indian National Congress, the main instrument of Indian nationalism, praised Bose's patriotism but distanced itself from his tactics and ideology.[aj] The British Raj, never seriously threatened by the INA, charged 300 INA officers with treason in the INA trials, but eventually backtracked in the face of opposition by the Congress,[ak] and a new mood in Britain for rapid decolonisation in India.[al]
Bose's legacy is mixed. Among many in India, he is the muscular hero, his saga serving as a would-be counterpoise to the many actions of regeneration, negotiation, and reconciliation over a quarter-century through which the independence of India was achieved.[am][an][ao] His collaborations with Japanese Fascism and Nazism pose serious ethical dilemmas,[ap] especially his reluctance to publicly criticize the worst excesses of German anti-Semitism from 1938 onwards or to offer refuge in India to its victims.[aq][ar][as]
Subhas Chandra Bose was born to Prabhavati Bose (née Dutt) and Janakinath Bose on 23 January 1897 in Cuttack—in what is today the state of Odisha in India, but was then the Orissa Division of Bengal Province in British India.[at][au] Prabhavati, or familiarly Mā jananī (lit. 'mother'), the anchor of family life, had her first child at age 14 and 13 children thereafter. Subhas was the ninth child and the sixth son. Jankinath, a successful lawyer and government pleader, was loyal to the government of British India and scrupulous about matters of language and the law. A self-made man from the rural outskirts of Calcutta, he had remained in touch with his roots, returning annually to his village during the pooja holidays.
Eager to join his five school-going older brothers, Subhas entered the Baptist Mission's Protestant European School in Cuttack in January 1902. English was the medium of all instruction in the school, the majority of the students being European or Anglo-Indians of mixed British and Indian ancestry. The curriculum included English—correctly written and spoken—Latin, the Bible, good manners, British geography, and British History; no Indian languages were taught. The choice of the school was Janakinath's, who wanted his sons to speak flawless English with flawless intonation, believing both to be important for access to the British in India. The school contrasted with Subhas's home, where only Bengali was spoken. At home, his mother worshipped the Hindu goddesses Durga and Kali, told stories from the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, and sang Bengali religious songs. From her, Subhas imbibed a nurturing spirit, looking for situations in which to help people in distress, preferring gardening around the house to joining in sports with other boys. His father, who was reserved in manner and busy with professional life, was a distant presence in a large family, causing Subhas to feel he had a nondescript childhood. Still, Janakinath read English literature avidly—John Milton, William Cowper, Matthew Arnold, and Shakespeare's Hamlet being among his favourites; several of his sons were to become English literature enthusiasts like him.
In 1909 the 12-year-old Subhas Bose followed his five brothers to the Ravenshaw Collegiate School in Cuttack. Here, Bengali and Sanskrit were also taught, as were ideas from Hindu scriptures such as the Vedas and the Upanishads not usually picked up at home. Although his western education continued apace, he began to wear Indian clothes and engage in religious speculation. To his mother, he wrote long letters which displayed acquaintance with the ideas of the Bengali mystic Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and his disciple Swami Vivekananda, and the novel Ananda Math by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, popular then among young Hindu men. Despite the preoccupation, Subhas was able to demonstrate an ability when needed to focus on his studies, to compete, and to succeed in exams. In 1912, he secured the second position in the matriculation examination conducted under the auspices of the University of Calcutta.
Subhas Bose followed his five brothers again 1913 to Presidency College, Calcutta, the historic and traditional college for Bengal's upper-caste Hindu men. He chose to study philosophy, his readings including Kant, Hegel, Bergson and other Western philosophers. A year earlier, he had befriended Hemanta Kumar Sarkar, a confidant and partner in religious yearnings. At Presidency, their emotional ties grew stronger. In the fanciful language of religious imagery, they declared their pure love for each other. In the long vacations of 1914, they traveled to northern India for several months to search for a spiritual guru to guide them. Subhas's family was not told clearly about the trip, leading them to think he had run away. During the trip, in which the guru proved elusive, Subhas came down with typhoid fever. His absence caused emotional distress to his parents, leading both parents to break down upon his return. Heated words were exchanged between Janakinath and Subhas. It took the return of Subhas's favorite brother, Sarat Chandra Bose, from law studies in England for the tempers to subside. Subhas returned to presidency and busied himself with studies, debating and student journalism.
In February 1916 Bose was alleged to have masterminded, or participated in, an incident involving E. F. Oaten, Professor of History at Presidency. Before the incident, it was claimed by the students, Oaten had made rude remarks about Indian culture, and collared and pushed some students; according to Oaten, the students were making an unacceptably loud noise just outside his class. A few days later, on 15 February, some students accosted Oaten on a stairway, surrounded him, beat him with sandals, and took to flight. An inquiry committee was constituted. Although Oaten, who was unhurt, could not identify his assailants, a college servant testified to seeing Subhas Bose among those fleeing, confirming for the authorities what they had determined to be the rumor among the students. Bose was expelled from the college and rusticated from University of Calcutta. The incident shocked Calcutta and caused anguish to Bose's family. He was ordered back to Cuttack. His family's connections were employed to pressure Asutosh Mukherjee, the Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University. Despite this, Subhas Bose's expulsion remained in place until 20 July 1917, when the Syndicate of Calcutta University granted him permission to return, but to another college. He joined Scottish Church College, receiving his B.A. in 1918 in the First Class with honours in philosophy, placing second among all philosophy students in Calcutta University.
At his father's urging, Subhas Bose agreed to travel to England to prepare and appear for the Indian Civil Services (ICS) examination. Arriving in London on 20 October 1919, Subhas readied his application for the ICS. For his references he put down Lord Sinha of Raipur, Under Secretary of State for India, and Bhupendranath Basu, a wealthy Calcutta lawyer who sat on the Council of India in London. Bose was eager also to gain admission to a college at the University of Cambridge. It was past the deadline for admission. He sought help from some Indian students and from the Non-Collegiate Students Board. The Board offered the university's education at an economical cost without formal admission to a college. Bose entered the register of the university on 19 November 1919 and simultaneously set about preparing for the Civil Service exams. He chose the Mental and Moral Sciences Tripos at Cambridge, its completion requirement reduced to two years on account of his Indian B. A.
There were six vacancies in the ICS. Subhas Bose took the open competitive exam for them in August 1920 and was placed fourth. This was a vital first step. Still remaining was a final examination in 1921 on more topics on India, including the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, Indian history, and an Indian language. Successful candidates had also to clear a riding test. Having no fear of these subjects and being a rider, Subhas Bose felt the ICS was within easy reach. Yet between August 1920 and 1921 he began to have doubts about taking the final examination. Many letters were exchanged with his father and his brother Sarat Chandra Bose back in Calcutta. In one letter to Sarat, Subhas wrote,
"But for a man of my temperament who has been feeding on ideas that might be called eccentric—the line of least resistance is not the best line to follow ... The uncertainties of life are not appalling to one who has not, at heart, worldly ambitions. Moreover, it is not possible to serve one's country in the best and fullest manner if one is chained on to the civil service."
In April 1921, Subhas Bose made his decision firm not to take the final examination for the ICS and wrote to Sarat informing him of the same, apologizing for the pain he would cause to his father, his mother, and other members of his family. On 22 April 1921, he wrote to the Secretary of State for India, Edwin Montagu, stating, "I wish to have my name removed from the list of probationers in the Indian Civil Service." The following day he wrote again to Sarat:
I received a letter from mother saying that in spite of what father and others think she prefers the ideals for which Mahatma Gandhi stands. I cannot tell you how happy I have been to receive such a letter. It will be worth a treasure for me as it has removed something like a burden from my mind."
For some time before Subhas Bose had been in touch with C. R. Das, a lawyer who had risen to the helm of politics in Bengal; Das encouraged Subhas to return to Calcutta. With the ICS decision now firmly behind him, Subhas Bose took his Cambridge B.A. Final examinations half-heartedly, passing, but being placed in the Third Class. He prepared to sail for India in June 1921, electing for a fellow Indian student to pick up his diploma.
Subhas Bose, aged 24, arrived ashore in India at Bombay on the morning of 16 July 1921 and immediately set about arranging an interview with Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi, aged 51, was the leader of the non-cooperation movement that had taken India by storm the previous year and in a quarter-century would evolve to secure its independence.[av][aw] Gandhi happened to be in Bombay and agreed to see Bose that afternoon. In Bose's account of the meeting, written many years later, he pilloried Gandhi with question after question. Bose thought Gandhi's answers were vague, his goals unclear, his plan for achieving them not thought through. Gandhi and Bose differed in this first meeting on the question of means- for Gandhi non-violent means to any end were non-negotiable; in Bose's thought, all means were acceptable in the service of anti-colonial ends. They differed on the question of ends- Bose was attracted to totalitarian models of governance, which were anathematized by Gandhi. According to historian Gordon, "Gandhi, however, set Bose on to the leader of the Congress and Indian nationalism in Bengal, C. R. Das, and in him Bose found the leader whom he sought." Das was more flexible than Gandhi, more sympathetic to the extremism that had attracted idealistic young men such as Bose in Bengal. Das launched Bose into nationalist politics. Bose would work within the ambit of the Indian National Congress politics for nearly 20 years even as he tried to change its course.
He started the newspaper Swaraj and took charge of publicity for the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee. His mentor was Chittaranjan Das who was a spokesman for aggressive nationalism in Bengal. In the year 1923, Bose was elected the President of Indian Youth Congress and also the Secretary of Bengal State Congress. He was also the editor of the newspaper "Forward", founded by Chittaranjan Das. Bose worked as the CEO of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation for Das when the latter was elected mayor of Calcutta in 1924. During the same year, when he was leading a protest march in Calcutta, he along with Maghfoor Ahmad Ajazi and other leaders were arrested and put behind bars. In a roundup of nationalists in 1925, Bose was arrested and sent to prison in Mandalay, where he contracted tuberculosis.
In 1927, after being released from prison, Bose became general secretary of the Congress party and worked with Jawaharlal Nehru for independence. In late December 1928, Bose organised the Annual Meeting of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta. His most memorable role was as General officer commanding (GOC) Congress Volunteer Corps. Author Nirad Chaudhuri wrote about the meeting:
Bose organized a volunteer corps in uniform, its officers were even provided with steel-cut epaulettes ... his uniform was made by a firm of British tailors in Calcutta, Harman's. A telegram addressed to him as GOC was delivered to the British General in Fort William and was the subject of a good deal of malicious gossip in the (British Indian) press. Mahatma Gandhi as a sincere pacifist vowed to non-violence, did not like the strutting, clicking of boots, and saluting, and he afterward described the Calcutta session of the Congress as a Bertram Mills circus, which caused a great deal of indignation among the Bengalis.
A little later, Bose was again arrested and jailed for civil disobedience; this time he emerged to become Mayor of Calcutta in 1930.
During the mid-1930s Bose travelled in Europe, visiting Indian students and European politicians, including Benito Mussolini. He observed party organisation and saw communism and fascism in action. In this period, he also researched and wrote the first part of his book The Indian Struggle, which covered the country's independence movement in the years 1920–1934. Although it was published in London in 1935, the British government banned the book in the colony out of fears that it would encourage unrest. Bose was supported in Europe by the Indian Central European Society organized by Otto Faltis from Vienna.
In 1938 Bose stated his opinion that the INC "should be organised on the broadest anti-imperialist front with the two-fold objective of winning political freedom and the establishment of a socialist regime." By 1938 Bose had become a leader of national stature and agreed to accept nomination as Congress President. He stood for unqualified Swaraj (self-governance), including the use of force against the British. This meant a confrontation with Mohandas Gandhi, who in fact opposed Bose's presidency, splitting the Indian National Congress party.
Bose attempted to maintain unity, but Gandhi advised Bose to form his own cabinet. The rift also divided Bose and Nehru; he appeared at the 1939 Congress meeting on a stretcher. He was elected president again over Gandhi's preferred candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya. U. Muthuramalingam Thevar strongly supported Bose in the intra-Congress dispute. Thevar mobilised all south India votes for Bose. However, due to the manoeuvrings of the Gandhi-led clique in the Congress Working Committee, Bose found himself forced to resign from the Congress presidency.
On 22 June 1939 Bose organised the All India Forward Bloc a faction within the Indian National Congress, aimed at consolidating the political left, but its main strength was in his home state, Bengal. U Muthuramalingam Thevar, who was a staunch supporter of Bose from the beginning, joined the Forward Bloc. When Bose visited Madurai on 6 September, Thevar organised a massive rally as his reception.
When Subhas Chandra Bose was heading to Madurai, on an invitation of Muthuramalinga Thevar to amass support for the Forward Bloc, he passed through Madras and spent three days at Gandhi Peak. His correspondence reveals that despite his clear dislike for British subjugation, he was deeply impressed by their methodical and systematic approach and their steadfastly disciplinarian outlook towards life. In England, he exchanged ideas on the future of India with British Labour Party leaders and political thinkers like Lord Halifax, George Lansbury, Clement Attlee, Arthur Greenwood, Harold Laski, J.B.S. Haldane, Ivor Jennings, G.D.H. Cole, Gilbert Murray and Sir Stafford Cripps.
He came to believe that an independent India needed socialist authoritarianism, on the lines of Turkey's Kemal Atatürk, for at least two decades. For political reasons Bose was refused permission by the British authorities to meet Atatürk at Ankara. During his sojourn in England Bose tried to schedule appointments with several politicians, but only the Labour Party and Liberal politicians agreed to meet with him. Conservative Party officials refused to meet him or show him courtesy because he was a politician coming from a colony. In the 1930s leading figures in the Conservative Party had opposed even Dominion status for India. It was during the Labour Party government of 1945–1951, with Attlee as the Prime Minister, that India gained independence.
On the outbreak of war, Bose advocated a campaign of mass civil disobedience to protest against Viceroy Lord Linlithgow's decision to declare war on India's behalf without consulting the Congress leadership. Having failed to persuade Gandhi of the necessity of this, Bose organised mass protests in Calcutta calling for the removal of the "Holwell Monument", which then stood at the corner of Dalhousie Square in memoriam of those who died in the Black Hole of Calcutta. He was thrown in jail by the British, but was released following a seven-day hunger strike. Bose's house in Calcutta was kept under surveillance by the CID.
Bose's arrest and subsequent release set the scene for his escape to Nazi Germany, via Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. A few days before his escape, he sought solitude and, on this pretext, avoided meeting British guards and grew a beard. Late night 16 January 1941, the night of his escape, he dressed as a Pathan (brown long coat, a black fez-type coat and broad pyjamas) to avoid being identified. Bose escaped from under British surveillance from his Elgin Road house in Calcutta on the night of 17 January 1941, accompanied by his nephew Sisir Kumar Bose, later reaching Gomoh Railway Station (now Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Gomoh Station) in the then state of Bihar (now Jharkhand), India.
He journeyed to Peshawar with the help of the Abwehr, where he was met by Akbar Shah, Mohammed Shah and Bhagat Ram Talwar. Bose was taken to the home of Abad Khan, a trusted friend of Akbar Shah's. On 26 January 1941, Bose began his journey to reach Russia through British India's North West frontier with Afghanistan. For this reason, he enlisted the help of Mian Akbar Shah, then a Forward Bloc leader in the North-West Frontier Province. Shah had been out of India en route to the Soviet Union, and suggested a novel disguise for Bose to assume. Since Bose could not speak one word of Pashto, it would make him an easy target of Pashto speakers working for the British. For this reason, Shah suggested that Bose act deaf and dumb, and let his beard grow to mimic those of the tribesmen. Bose's guide Bhagat Ram Talwar, unknown to him, was a Soviet agent.
Supporters of the Aga Khan III helped him across the border into Afghanistan where he was met by an Abwehr unit posing as a party of road construction engineers from the Organization Todt who then aided his passage across Afghanistan via Kabul to the border with the Soviet Union. After assuming the guise of a Pashtun insurance agent ("Ziaudddin") to reach Afghanistan, Bose changed his guise and travelled to Moscow on the Italian passport of an Italian nobleman "Count Orlando Mazzotta". From Moscow, he reached Rome, and from there he travelled to Nazi Germany. Once in Russia the NKVD transported Bose to Moscow where he hoped that Russia's historical enmity to British rule in India would result in support for his plans for a popular rising in India. However, Bose found the Soviets' response disappointing and was rapidly passed over to the German Ambassador in Moscow, Count von der Schulenburg. He had Bose flown on to Berlin in a special courier aircraft at the beginning of April where he was to receive a more favourable hearing from Joachim von Ribbentrop and the Foreign Ministry officials at the Wilhelmstrasse.
In Germany, he was attached to the Special Bureau for India under Adam von Trott zu Solz which was responsible for broadcasting on the German-sponsored Azad Hind Radio. He founded the Free India Center in Berlin, and created the Indian Legion (consisting of some 4500 soldiers) out of Indian prisoners of war who had previously fought for the British in North Africa prior to their capture by Axis forces. The Indian Legion was attached to the Wehrmacht, and later transferred to the Waffen SS. Its members swore the following allegiance to Hitler and Bose: "I swear by God this holy oath that I will obey the leader of the German race and state, Adolf Hitler, as the commander of the German armed forces in the fight for India, whose leader is Subhas Chandra Bose". This oath clearly abrogated control of the Indian legion to the German armed forces whilst stating Bose's overall leadership of India. He was also, however, prepared to envisage an invasion of India via the USSR by Nazi troops, spearheaded by the Azad Hind Legion; many have questioned his judgment here, as it seems unlikely that the Germans could have been easily persuaded to leave after such an invasion, which might also have resulted in an Axis victory in the War.
Soon, according to historian Romain Hayes, "the (German) Foreign Office procured a luxurious residence for (Bose) along with a butler, cook, gardener, and an SS-chauffeured car. Emilie Schenkl moved in openly with him. The Germans, aware of the nature of the relationship, refrained from any involvement." However, most of the staff in the Special Bureau for India, which had been set up to aid Bose, did not get along with Emilie. In particular Adam von Trott, Alexander Werth and Freda Kretschemer, according to historian Leonard A. Gordon, "appear to have disliked her intensely. They believed that she and Bose were not married and that she was using her liaison with Bose to live an especially comfortable life during the hard times of war" and that differences were compounded by issues of class. In November 1942, Schenkl gave birth to their daughter. In February 1943, Bose left Schenkl and their baby daughter and boarded a German submarine to travel, via transfer to a Japanese submarine, to Japanese-occupied southeast Asia.
In all, 3,000 Indian prisoners of war signed up for the Free India Legion. But instead of being delighted, Bose was worried. A left-wing admirer of Russia, he was devastated when Hitler's tanks rolled across the Soviet border. Matters were worsened by the fact that the now-retreating German army would be in no position to offer him help in driving the British from India. When he met Hitler in May 1942, his suspicions were confirmed, and he came to believe that the Nazi leader was more interested in using his men to win propaganda victories than military ones. So, in February 1943, Bose boarded a German U-boat and left for Japan. This left the men he had recruited leaderless and demoralised in Germany.
In 1943, after being disillusioned that Germany could be of any help in gaining India's independence, Bose left for Japan. He travelled with the German submarine U-180 around the Cape of Good Hope to the southeast of Madagascar, where he was transferred to the I-29 for the rest of the journey to Imperial Japan. This was the only civilian transfer between two submarines of two different navies in World War II.
The Indian National Army (INA) was the brainchild of Japanese Major (and post-war Lieutenant-General) Iwaichi Fujiwara, head of the Japanese intelligence unit Fujiwara Kikan. Fujiwara's mission was "to raise an army which would fight alongside the Japanese army." He first met Pritam Singh Dhillon, the president of the Bangkok chapter of the Indian Independence League, and through Pritam Singh's network recruited a captured British Indian army captain, Mohan Singh, on the western Malayan peninsula in December 1941. The First Indian National Army was formed as a result of discussion between Fujiwara and Mohan Singh in the second half of December 1941, and the name chosen jointly by them in the first week of January 1942.
This was along the concept of, and with support of, what was then known as the Indian Independence League headed from Tokyo by expatriate nationalist leader Rash Behari Bose. The first INA was however disbanded in December 1942 after disagreements between the Hikari Kikan and Mohan Singh, who came to believe that the Japanese High Command was using the INA as a mere pawn and propaganda tool. Mohan Singh was taken into custody and the troops returned to the prisoner-of-war camp. However, the idea of an independence army was revived with the arrival of Subhas Chandra Bose in the Far East in 1943. In July, at a meeting in Singapore, Rash Behari Bose handed over control of the organisation to Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose was able to reorganise the fledgling army and organise massive support among the expatriate Indian population in south-east Asia, who lent their support by both enlisting in the Indian National Army, as well as financially in response to Bose's calls for sacrifice for the independence cause. INA had a separate women's unit, the Rani of Jhansi Regiment (named after Rani Lakshmi Bai) headed by Capt. Lakshmi Swaminathan, which is seen as a first of its kind in Asia.
Even when faced with military reverses, Bose was able to maintain support for the Azad Hind movement. Spoken as a part of a motivational speech for the Indian National Army at a rally of Indians in Burma on 4 July 1944, Bose's most famous quote was "Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom!" In this, he urged the people of India to join him in his fight against the British Raj. Spoken in Hindi, Bose's words are highly evocative. The troops of the INA were under the aegis of a provisional government, the Azad Hind Government, which came to produce its own currency, postage stamps, court and civil code, and was recognised by nine Axis states – Germany, Japan, Italian Social Republic, the Independent State of Croatia, Wang Jingwei regime in Nanjing, China, a provisional government of Burma, Manchukuo and Japanese-controlled Philippines. Of those countries, five were authorities established under Axis occupation. This government participated in the so-called Greater East Asia Conference as an observer in November 1943.
The INA's first commitment was in the Japanese thrust towards Eastern Indian frontiers of Manipur. INA's special forces, the Bahadur Group, were involved in operations behind enemy lines both during the diversionary attacks in Arakan, as well as the Japanese thrust towards Imphal and Kohima.
The Japanese also took possession of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1942 and a year later, the Provisional Government and the INA were established in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with Lt Col. A.D. Loganathan appointed its Governor General. The islands were renamed Shaheed (Martyr) and Swaraj (Independence). However, the Japanese Navy remained in essential control of the island's administration. During Bose's only visit to the islands in early 1944, apparently in the interest of shielding Bose from attaining a full knowledge of ultimate Japanese intentions, Bose's Japanese hosts carefully isolated him from the local population. At that time the island's Japanese administration had been torturing the leader of the island's Indian Independence League, Diwan Singh, who later died of his injuries in the Cellular Jail. During Bose's visit to the islands several locals attempted to alert Bose to Singh's plight, but apparently without success. During this time Loganathan became aware of his lack of any genuine administrative control and resigned in protest as Governor General, later returning to the Government's headquarters in Rangoon.
On the Indian mainland, an Indian Tricolour, modelled after that of the Indian National Congress, was raised for the first time in the town of Moirang, in Manipur, in north-eastern India. The adjacent towns of Kohima and Imphal were then encircled and placed under siege by divisions of the Japanese Army, working in conjunction with the Burmese National Army, and with Brigades of the INA, known as the Gandhi and Nehru Brigades. This attempt at conquering the Indian mainland had the Axis codename of Operation U-Go.
During this operation, On 6 July 1944, in a speech broadcast by the Azad Hind Radio from Singapore, Bose addressed Mahatma Gandhi as the "Father of the Nation" and asked for his blessings and good wishes for the war he was fighting. This was the first time that Gandhi was referred to by this appellation. The protracted Japanese attempts to take these two towns depleted Japanese resources, with Operation U-Go ultimately proving unsuccessful. Through several months of Japanese onslaught on these two towns, Commonwealth forces remained entrenched in the towns. Commonwealth forces then counter-attacked, inflicting serious losses on the Axis led forces, who were then forced into a retreat back into Burmese territory. After the Japanese defeat at the battles of Kohima and Imphal, Bose's Provisional Government's aim of establishing a base in mainland India was lost forever.
Still the INA fought in key battles against the British Indian Army in Burmese territory, notable in Meiktilla, Mandalay, Pegu, Nyangyu and Mount Popa. However, with the fall of Rangoon, Bose's government ceased to be an effective political entity. A large proportion of the INA troops surrendered under Lt Col Loganathan. The remaining troops retreated with Bose towards Malaya or made for Thailand. Japan's surrender at the end of the war also led to the surrender of the remaining elements of the Indian National Army. The INA prisoners were then repatriated to India and some tried for treason.
Main article: Death of Subhas Chandra Bose
In the consensus of scholarly opinion, Subhas Chandra Bose's death occurred from third-degree burns on 18 August 1945 after his overloaded Japanese plane crashed in Japanese-ruled Formosa (now Taiwan). However, many among his supporters, especially in Bengal, refused at the time, and have refused since, to believe either the fact or the circumstances of his death. Conspiracy theories appeared within hours of his death and have thereafter had a long shelf life,[az] keeping alive various martial myths about Bose.
In Taihoku, at around 2:30 pm as the bomber with Bose on board was leaving the standard path taken by aircraft during take-off, the passengers inside heard a loud sound, similar to an engine backfiring. The mechanics on the tarmac saw something fall out of the plane. It was the portside engine, or a part of it, and the propeller. The plane swung wildly to the right and plummeted, crashing, breaking into two, and exploding into flames. Inside, the chief pilot, copilot and Lieutenant-General Tsunamasa Shidei, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Japanese Kwantung Army, who was to have made the negotiations for Bose with the Soviet army in Manchuria, were instantly killed. Bose's assistant Habibur Rahman was stunned, passing out briefly, and Bose, although conscious and not fatally hurt, was soaked in gasoline. When Rahman came to, he and Bose attempted to leave by the rear door, but found it blocked by the luggage. They then decided to run through the flames and exit from the front. The ground staff, now approaching the plane, saw two people staggering towards them, one of whom had become a human torch. The human torch turned out to be Bose, whose gasoline-soaked clothes had instantly ignited. Rahman and a few others managed to smother the flames, but also noticed that Bose's face and head appeared badly burned. According to Joyce Chapman Lebra, "A truck which served as ambulance rushed Bose and the other passengers to the Nanmon Military Hospital south of Taihoku." The airport personnel called Dr. Taneyoshi Yoshimi, the surgeon-in-charge at the hospital at around 3 pm. Bose was conscious and mostly coherent when they reached the hospital, and for some time thereafter. Bose was naked, except for a blanket wrapped around him, and Dr. Yoshimi immediately saw evidence of third-degree burns on many parts of the body, especially on his chest, doubting very much that he would live. Dr. Yoshimi promptly began to treat Bose and was assisted by Dr. Tsuruta. According to historian Leonard A. Gordon, who interviewed all the hospital personnel later,
A disinfectant, Rivamol [sic], was put over most of his body and then a white ointment was applied and he was bandaged over most of his body. Dr. Yoshimi gave Bose four injections of Vita Camphor and two of Digitamine for his weakened heart. These were given about every 30 minutes. Since his body had lost fluids quickly upon being burnt, he was also given Ringer solution intravenously. A third doctor, Dr. Ishii gave him a blood transfusion. An orderly, Kazuo Mitsui, an army private, was in the room and several nurses were also assisting. Bose still had a clear head which Dr. Yoshimi found remarkable for someone with such severe injuries.
Soon, in spite of the treatment, Bose went into a coma. A few hours later, between 9 and 10 pm (local time) on Saturday 18 August 1945, Bose died aged 48.
Bose's body was cremated in the main Taihoku crematorium two days later, 20 August 1945. On 23 August 1945, the Japanese news agency Do Trzei announced the death of Bose and Shidea. On 7 September a Japanese officer, Lieutenant Tatsuo Hayashida, carried Bose's ashes to Tokyo, and the following morning they were handed to the president of the Tokyo Indian Independence League, Rama Murti. On 14 September a memorial service was held for Bose in Tokyo and a few days later the ashes were turned over to the priest of the Renkōji Temple of Nichiren Buddhism in Tokyo. There they have remained ever since.
Among the INA personnel, there was widespread disbelief, shock, and trauma. Most affected were the young Tamil Indians from Malaya and Singapore, both men and women, who comprised the bulk of the civilians who had enlisted in the INA. The professional soldiers in the INA, most of whom were Punjabis, faced an uncertain future, with many fatalistically expecting reprisals from the British. In India the Indian National Congress's official line was succinctly expressed in a letter Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi wrote to Rajkumari Amrit Kaur. Said Gandhi, "Subhas Bose has died well. He was undoubtedly a patriot, though misguided." Many congressmen had not forgiven Bose for quarrelling with Gandhi and for collaborating with what they considered was Japanese fascism. The Indian soldiers in the British Indian army, some two and a half million of whom had fought during the Second World War, were conflicted about the INA. Some saw the INA as traitors and wanted them punished; others felt more sympathetic. The British Raj, though never seriously threatened by the INA, tried 300 INA officers for treason in the INA trials, but eventually backtracked.
Subhas Chandra Bose believed that the Bhagavad Gita was a great source of inspiration for the struggle against the British. Swami Vivekananda's teachings on universalism, his nationalist thoughts and his emphasis on social service and reform had all inspired Subhas Chandra Bose from his very young days. The fresh interpretation of India's ancient scriptures had appealed immensely to him. Some scholars think that Hindu spirituality formed an essential part of his political and social thought. As historian Leonard Gordon explains "Inner religious explorations continued to be a part of his adult life. This set him apart from the slowly growing number of atheistic socialists and communists who dotted the Indian landscape."
Bose first expressed his preference for "a synthesis of what modern Europe calls socialism and fascism" in a 1930 speech in Calcutta. Bose later criticized Nehru's 1933 statement that there is "no middle road" between communism and fascism, describing it as "fundamentally wrong." Bose believed communism would not gain ground in India due to its rejection of nationalism and religion and suggested a "synthesis between communism and fascism" could take hold instead. In 1944, Bose similarly stated, "Our philosophy should be a synthesis between National Socialism and communism."
Bose's correspondence (prior to 1939) reflects his disapproval of the racist practices and annulment of democratic institutions in Nazi Germany: "Today I regret that I have to return to India with the conviction that the new nationalism of Germany is not only narrow and selfish but arrogant." However, he expressed admiration for the authoritarian methods which he saw in Italy and Germany during the 1930s; he thought they could be used to build an independent India.
Bose had clearly expressed his belief that democracy was the best option for India. However, during the war (and possibly as early as the 1930s), Bose seems to have decided that no democratic system could be adequate to overcome India's poverty and social inequalities, and he wrote that a socialist state similar to that of Soviet Russia (which he had also seen and admired) would be needed for the process of national re-building.[ba] Accordingly, some suggest that Bose's alliance with the Axis during the war was based on more than just pragmatism and that Bose was a militant nationalist, though not a Nazi nor a Fascist, for he supported the empowerment of women, secularism and other liberal ideas; alternatively, others consider he might have been using populist methods of mobilisation common to many post-colonial leaders.
His most famous quote was "Give me blood and I will give you freedom". Another famous quote was Dilli Chalo ("On to Delhi)!" This was the call he used to give the INA armies to motivate them. Another slogan coined by him was "Ittehad, Etemad, Qurbani" (Urdu for "Unity, Agreement, Sacrifice"). 
Bose was featured on the stamps in India from 1964, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2016, 2018 and 2021. Bose was also featured in ₹2 coins in 1996 and 1997, ₹75 coin in 2018 and ₹125 coin in 2021. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at Kolkata, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, formerly Ross Island and many other institutions in India are named after him. On 23 August 2007, Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe visited the Netaji Bhawan in Kolkata. Abe, who is also the recipient of Netaji Award 2022, said to Bose's family "The Japanese are deeply moved by Bose's strong will to have led the Indian independence movement from British rule. Netaji is a much respected name in Japan."
In 2021, the Government of India declared 23 January as Parakram Divas to commemorate the birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose. Political party, Trinamool Congress and the All India Forward Bloc demanded that the day should be observed as 'Deshprem Divas'. A holographic statue of Bose at the India Gate to mark his 125th birth anniversary was installed at India Gate and a permanent granite statue replaced the holographic statue later.
The Japanese agreed to provide him transport up to Manchuria from where he could travel to Russia. But on his way, on 18 August 1945 at Taihoku airport in Taiwan, he died in an air crash, which many Indians still believe never happened.
Bose died in a plane crash off Taiwan, while being flown to Tokyo on 18 August 1945, aged 48. For many millions of Indians, especially in Bengal, he remains a revered figure
Chronology of World War II in the Pacific: 18 August 1945 Subhas Chandra Bose killed in a plane crash in Taiwan.
18 August 1945. Upon hearing of Japan's defeat in the Pacific War, Chandra Bose, who had dedicated his life to the anti-British Indian independence struggle, immediately decided to head for the Soviet Union, "out of my commitment to ally with any country that regards the US and Britain as their enemies." The Japanese Foreign Ministry and the military cooperated in Bose's exile, placing him aboard a Japanese plane headed for Dalian (Yunnan) from Saigon to put him in touch with the Soviet army. After a stopover in Taipei, however, the passenger plane crashed immediately after takeoff. Despite freeing himself from the wreckage, Bose was engulfed in flames and breathed his last.
Even before the INA memorial was completed, it became the focus of mourning for Singapore's Indian community. The cause of this premature use was news that Bose had died in a plane crash at Taipei, on 18 August. He had been trying to escape capture after the surrender of Japan on 15 August. Singapore and Malaya remained under Japanese control until 5 September when British forces returned. On 26 August 1945, meanwhile, wreaths were laid at the INA memorial in honour of Bose. A large group gathered at the memorial and speeches on Bose's life were made by Major-General M.Z. Kiani and Major-General S.C. Alagappan of the INA, and ITL members. The Japanese newspaper, the Syonan Shimbun, reported that "during the ceremony which lacked nothing in solemnity and dignity, many husky warriors — Sikhs, Punjabis, and others from the Central Provinces — soldiers who had taken part in the actual war operations were seen to shed tears as they saluted for the last time a giant portrait of Netaji which occupied a prominent position in front of the War Memorial".
Even after the Japanese surrender, Bose was determined to carry on the Free India movement and planned to return to the Subcontinent, despite his renegade status among the British. But on August 18, 1945, the airplane carrying him from Darien to Manchukuo crashed on take off from an airfield in Formosa, and Bose was killed.
Bose, Subhas Chandra (1897–1945): Charismatic socialist member of the Indian National Congress and radical anti-imperialist. Bose was born on January 23, 1897, in Cuttack, Bengal, India, and was killed in a plane crash on August 18, 1945.
Chronology 1945: Indian Army play a major role in the liberation of Burma and Malaya from Japanese occupation; Indian troops sent to receive Japanese capitulation in the Dutch East Indies involved in clashes in Surabaya with Indonesian nationalists opposed to the return of the Dutch; in Indochina, Indian troops help the French re-establish control over Saigon and the south of Vietnam; death of Subhas Bose in a plane crash in Taiwan.
If all else failed (Bose) wanted to become a prisoner of the Soviets: 'They are the only ones who will resist the British. My fate is with them. But as the Japanese plane took off from Taipei airport its engines faltered and then failed. Bose was badly burned in the crash. According to several witnesses, he died on 18 August in a Japanese military hospital, talking to the very last of India's freedom. British and Indian commissions later established convincingly that Bose had died in Taiwan. These were legendary and apocalyptic times, however. Having witnessed the first Indian leader to fight against the British since the great mutiny of 1857, many in both Southeast Asia and India refused to accept the loss of their hero. Rumours that Bose had survived and was waiting to come out of hiding and begin the final struggle for independence were rampant by the end of 1945.
On the plane were: Bose, Shidei, Rahman. Also: Lt. Col. Tadeo Sakai; Lt. Col. Shiro Nonogaki; Major Taro Kono; Major Ihaho Takahashi, Capt.Keikichi Arai, an air force engineer; chief pilot Major Takizawa; co-pilot W/O Ayoagi; navigator Sergeant Okishta; radio-operator NCO Tominaga. The crew was in the front of the aircraft and the passengers were wedged in behind ... there were no proper seats on this aircraft. The plane finally took off (from Saigon) between 5.00 and 5.30 p.m. on August 17. Since they were so late in starting, the pilot decided to land for the night at Tourane, Vietnam. ...The take-off from Tourane at about 5 a.m was normal ... and they flew to Taipei (Japanese: Taihoku) ...At Taipei ... the crew and passengers took their places ... and they were ready to go at 2:30. ... Just as they left the ground—barely thirty meters up and near the edge of the airfield—there was a loud noise. ... With an enormous crash they hit the ground. ... The injured, including Bose and Rahman and the surviving Japanese officers, were taken to Nanmon Army Hospital. Ground personnel at the airfield had already called the hospital shortly before 3 p.m. and notified Dr. Taneyoshi Yoshimi, the surgeon in charge of the hospital, to prepare to receive the injured. ... Upon arrival the doctor noticed that Bose ... had third degree burns all over his body, but they were worst on his chest. ...Bose and Rahman were quickly taken to the treatment room and the doctor started working on Bose, the much more critically injured man. Dr Yoshimi was assisted by Dr. Tsuruta. ... An orderly, Kazuo Mitsui, an army private, was also in the room, and several nurses were also assisting. ... Bose's condition worsened as the evening darkened. His heart grew weaker. Finally between 9.00 and 10.00 pm, Bose succumbed to his terrible burns.
Epilogue and conclusion: Finally, however, the example of Germany also demonstrates that their work in Europe frequently forced anticolonialists to make difficult moral choices, as their presence in that continent required them to take a position not only on colonialism worldwide, but also on inner-European political and ideological conflicts. This was true, especially, during World War II. The war situation brought to stark light, one last time, the contradictions within the western political model of rule, leading to a rift among the anticolonialists then present in Europe. As the western empires fought against Nazi Germany, most anticolonialists felt that they could no longer support, simultaneously, the emancipatory projects of anticolonialism and antifascism. Some, such as Subhas Chandra Bose, began to cooperate with the radically racist Nazis against colonialism, while others decided to work against Nazism with the very western authorities who had been engaged, over the previous decades, in creating a widespread network of trans-national surveillance against them.
On 21 August 1942 the Jewish Chronicle of London reported that Bose was anti-Semitic and had published an article in Angriff, the organ of Goebbels, in which he described Indians as the real ancient Aryans and the brethren of the German people. He had said that the swastika was an old Indian sign and that anti-Semitism must become a part of the Indian freedom movement, since the Jews, he alleged, had helped Britain to exploit and oppress the Indians. The Jewish Advocate expressed horror at Bose's statement about a Jewish role in India's exploitation but added, "one may expect anything from one who has traveled the road to Berlin in search of his country's salvation." Norman Shohet pointed out how insignificant a part in the economic and political life of the country the Jews of India actually played. He also mentioned that other Indian leaders had so far not shown any anti-Semitic leanings, but that on the contrary, Gandhi, Nehru, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, and others had been positively friendly to the Jews.
In his presidential address, Subhas Chandra Bose highlighted the contradictory nature of the British Empire and its inconsistent policy over Palestine. As a heterogeneous empire, Bose observed, the British had to be pro-Arab in India and pro Jewish elsewhere, and accused that London "has to please Jews because she cannot ignore Jewish high finance. On the other hand, the India Office and Foreign Office have to placate the Arabs because of the Imperial interests in the Near East and India."' While his reasoning was logical, Bose's anti-Jewish slur was no different from the anti-Semitic remarks in the (Muslim) League deliberations referred to earlier. Bose also opposed Nehru's efforts to provide asylum to a limited number of European Jewish refugees who were fleeing from Nazi persecution. Despite the opposition led by Bose, Nehru "was a strong supporter of inviting (Jewish refugees) to settle down in India... (and felt that) this was the only way by which Jews could be saved from the wrath of the Nazis... Between 1933 and the outbreak of the War, Nehru was instrumental in obtaining the entry of several German Jewish refugees into India"
Jawaharlal Nehru called the Jews 'People without a home or nation' and sponsored a resolution in the Congress Working Committee. Although the exact date is not known, yet it can be said that it probably happened in December 1938 at the Wardha session, the one that took place shortly after Nehru returned from Europe. The draft resolution read: 'The Committee sees no objection to the employment in India of such Jewish refugees as are experts and specialists and who can fit in with the new order in India and accept Indian standards.' It was, however, rejected by the then Congress President Subhas Chandra Bose, who four years later in 1942 was reported by the Jewish Chronicle of London as having published an article in Angriff, a journal of Goebbels, saying that "anti-Semitism should become part of the Indian liberation movement because Jews had helped the British to exploit Indians (21 August 1942)" Although by then Bose had left the Congress, he continued to command a strong influence within the party.
None of the works that deal with ... Subhas Chandra Bose, or his Indian National Army has engaged either Bose's reaction to German mass killing of Sinti and Roma (Gypsies) because their ancestors came from India or the reaction of the soldiers in his army to the sex slaves kidnapped in Japanese-occupied lands and held in enclosures attached to the camps in which they were being trained to follow their Japanese comrades in the occupation of India.
Bose requested a declaration from the Germans that they supported the movement for freedom in India – and in Arab countries. He had opposed Nehru in permitting political asylum to Jews fleeing Europe in 1939. He was prepared to ingratiate himself with Nazi ideology by writing for Goebells's Der Angriff in 1942. He argued that anti-Semitism should become a factor in the struggle for Indian freedom since the Jews had collaborated with British imperialism to exploit the country and its inhabitants.
(p. 79) This was owing to Japan's own ambivalent attitude towards Indians: on the one hand, the Japanese saw them as potential allies in the fight against Britain, and they made an alliance with the dissident nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose; on the other hand, they despised them as a 'subject race' enslaved by the British. Thanks to this alliance, however, the Indians escaped some of the harshest measures that the Japanese took against the Chinese population in the region. That said, 100,000 Indian coolies, mostly Tamilian plantation workers, were conscripted as forced labour and put to work on various infrastructure projects for the Japanese Imperial Army. Some were sent from Malaya to Thailand to work on the infamous Thailand–Burma railway project, resulting in 30,000 deaths of fever and exhaustion (Nakahara 2005). Thousands of war prisoners who had refused to join the Indian National Army (INA) of Subhas Bose were sent to faraway New Guinea, where Australian troops discovered them hiding in 1945.
(p. 113) y. Amongst the 16,000 Indian prisoners taken by the Axis armies in North Africa, some 3,000 joined the so-called 'Legion of Free India' ('Freies Indien Legion'), in fact the 950th Infantry Regiment of the Wehrmacht, formed in 1942 in response to the call of dissident Indian nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose (1897–1945), who had escaped from India, where he was under house arrest, in 1940 and reached Germany in 1941 after a long trek via Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. The soldiers of that regiment swore allegiance both to Hitler and to Subhas Bose and wore special insignia over their German uniforms. A few German officers were detached to command the regiment (Hartog 2001). As a fighting force, however, the legion proved singularly ineffective. First stationed in the Netherlands, it was moved in 1943 to south-west France, where it did garrison duties along the 'Mur de l'Atlantique', not a very onerous task. Following the Allied landing in June 1944, it was incorporated into the Waffen SS and followed the German army in its gradual retreat from France, occasionally engaging in skirmishes with the French Résistance. There was a breakdown of discipline, some men took to looting and raping, and twenty-nine 'légionnaires' captured by the Résistance were publicly executed on Poitiers' main square in September 1944. The remains of the force ended up in Germany, and the legion was officially dissolved in March 1945. The men then tried to reach Switzerland, but most of them were caught by British and French troops. A few were summarily executed by Moroccan troops of the French army, but the majority were transferred to India where they were imprisoned awaiting trial, which eventually did not take place. They were not allowed to re-enlist in the army after the war but were awarded pensions by independent India.
(p. 114) Part of the INA participated in the Japanese invasion of March 1944, but its entry into India failed to trigger the rising that Bose had hoped for, and the INA soldiers met with a determined response from their ex-comrades in the Indian army. Many were taken prisoner, and the rest retreated into Burma, where they soon faced an invasion from India. While, from a strictly military point of view, Bose's attempt was a total fiasco, the political outcome of his adventure was more significant
And not all the Indian PoWs who joined the first INA were volunteers. Between April and December 1942, those Indian commissioned officers, with the aid of some VCOs who had joined the INA, used violence to force the jawans to change sides. Those jawans who refused to join the INA were denied medical treatment and food and were even sent to work in the Japanese "death camps" (labor camps) in New Guinea. One example is that of John Baptist Crasta, who was born on 31 March 1910 near Mangalore in South India. He was an Indian Christian. In 1933, he joined the Indian Army in the noncombatant branch. In March 1941, the 12th Field Battalion in which Crasta was serving was ordered to Singapore. As head clerk, Crasta was in charge of supplying rations to the 11th Indian Division. According to him, torture of the nonvolunteers started under Mohan Singh's direction from late March 1942 onwards. In Crasta's own words: "Near Bidadare, a camp was created to torture non-volunteers. Although given the innocent name of Separation Camp, it was actually a concentration camp where the most inhuman atrocities were committed by the INA men on their non-volunteer Indian brethren. Subedars Sher Singh and Fateh Khan were put in charge of this notorious prison. High ranking officers who refused to have anything to do with the INA were thrown into it without clothing or food, made to carry heavy loads on their heads, and to double up on the slightest sign of slackness. . . . They would be caned, beaten, and kicked." However, Subhas Bose never used violence to compel the PoWs to join the second INA. Nevertheless, the Indian PoWs were subjected to virulent propaganda in order to ensure their compliance to join the INA.
By this point the Congress leadership was in turmoil after the election of Subhas Chandra Bose as president in 1938. His victory was taken, principally by Bose himself, as proof that Gandhi's star was in decline, and that the Congress could now switch to his personal programme of revolutionary change. He set no store by non-violence and his ideals were pitched a good deal to the left of Gandhi's. His plans also included a large amount of leadership from himself. This autocratic temperament alienated virtually the whole Congress high command, and when he forced himself into the presidency again the next year, the Working Committee revolted. Bose, bitter and broken in health, complained that the 'Rightists' had conspired to bring him down. This was true, but Bose, who seems to have had a talent for misreading situations, seriously overestimated the strength of his support—a significant miscalculation, for it led him to resign in order to create his own faction, the Forward Bloc, modelled on the kind of revolutionary national socialism fashionable across much of Europe at the time.
One of the principal points of dispute between Bose and the Congress high command was the attitude the party should take toward the proposed Indian federation. The 1935 Constitution provided for a union of the princely states with the provinces of British India on a federal basis. This was to take place after a certain number of states had indicated their willingness to join. This part of the constitution never came into effect for it failed to secure the assent of the required number of princes, but nevertheless the question of its acceptance in principle was hotly debated for some time within the party. In opposing federation, Bose spoke for many within the Congress party. He argued that under the terms of the constitution the princes would have one-third of the seats in the lower house although they represented only one-fourth of India's population. Moreover, they would nominate their own representatives, whereas legislators from British India, the nominees of various political parties, would not be equally united. Consequently, he reasoned, the princes would have a reactionary influence on Indian politics. Following his election for a second term, Bose had charged that some members of the Working Committee were willing to compromise on this issue. Incensed at this allegation, all but three of the fifteen members of the Working Committee resigned. The exception was Nehru, Bose himself, and his brother Sarat. There was no longer any hope for reconciliation between the dissidents and the old guard.
The Indian National Army (INA) was formed in 1942 by Indian prisoners of war captured by the Japanese in Singapore. It was created with the aid of Japanese forces. Captain Mohan Singh became the INA's first leader, and Major Iwaichi Fujiwara was the Japanese intelligence officer who brokered the arrangement to create the army, which was to be trained to fight British and other Allied forces in Southeast Asia.
((citation)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)