“… Our work has already begun. With the slogan ‘Onward to Delhi!’ on our lips, let us continue to labour and fight till our National Flag flies over the Viceroy’s House in New Delhi, and the Azad Hind Fauj holds its victory parade inside the ancient Red Fortress of lndia’s metropolis”, said the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Supreme Commander, Indian National Army (INA) on August 25, 1943.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose inspecting the INA troops Picture Source: Netaji Research Bureau, Kolkata
Living this dream of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to hoist the National Flag in Delhi and hold a victory parade inside the Red Fort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurled the tri-colour from the Red Fort in Delhi on October 21, 2018. This was to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the formation of ‘Azad Hind Government’ by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on October 21, 1943.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisted the flag at the Red Fort Picture Source: DNA India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this occasion in his speech highlighted the fact how many leaders including Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose were forgotten for ‘one family’. Speaking on Netaji led Azad Hind Government, he said,
“साथियो, आजाद हिंद सरकार, ये आजाद हिंद सरकार, ये सिर्फ नाम नहीं था बल्कि नेताजी के नेतृत्व में इस सरकार द्वारा हर क्षेत्र से जुड़ी योजनाएं बनाई गई थीं। इस सरकार का अपना बैंक था, अपनी मुद्रा थी, अपना डाक टिकट था, अपना गुप्तचर तंत्र था। देश के बाहर रहकर, सीमित संसाधनों के साथ, शक्तिशाली साम्राज्य के खिलाफ इतना व्यापक तंत्र विकसित करना, सशक्त क्रांति, अभूतपूर्व, मैं समझता हूं ये असाधारण कार्य था।”
(Translation – Friends, Azad Hind Government, this Azad Hind Government was not only a name but under the leadership of Netaji, this government had made plans related to all the areas. This government had its own bank, own currency, own postal ticket and own intelligence system. Staying outside the country, with limited resources, building such an extensive system against a powerful empire, powered revolution, remarkable, I understand that it was an extraordinary task.)
Netaji advanced the freedom of India by stirring the emotions of Indian soldiers serving in British Indian armed forces. It is to the credit of ‘INA Trials’ that British realised that it had become difficult to rule India with rebel armed forces. Major General Gagandeep Bakshi (Retd.) in his book, Bose: An Indian Samurai, has covered this aspect in much detail, as to how Netaji’s INA served as the last nail in the British coffin in India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken some bold steps to relive the legacy of India’s much-loved heroic fighter, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, who has been ignored since a very long time in his own country by successive governments of independent India.
Fulfilling the long pending demands of Netaji’s family, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declassified most of the confidential files related to the death mystery of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
It is interesting to recall that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal interest in Netaji’s legacy continued even when he was on his Japan tour, right after becoming the Prime Minister of India, i.e. in September 2014. He made it a point to meet Saichiro Misumi, Netaji’s oldest living associate in Japan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Netaji’s aide Saichiro Misumi in Japan Picture Source: India Today
Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an award in the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to honour those who risk their lives to save others during the disaster operations. This award was announced on the occasion of inauguration of National Police Memorial in Delhi on October 21, 2018.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has not been given his due credit by various governments of independent India. However, in recent times, there have been a number of efforts by the current Indian Government to remember this hero and his remarkable contribution to India’s freedom struggle.