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Current Affairs 21-10-2018

75th anniversary of formation of Azad Hind Govt

  • PM Modi to hoist national flag & unveil plaque to celebrate 75th anniversary of formation of Azad Hind Govt at Red Fort, Delhi. ThePrime Minister NarendraModi will hoist the national flag and unveil the plaque to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the formation of Azad Hind Government at Red Fort, Delhi.
  • The Provisional Government of Free India, or, more simply, Free India(Azad Hind), was an Indian provisional government established in occupied Singaporein 1943 and supported by the Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and their allies.
  • It was a part of a political movement originating in the 1940s outside India with the purpose of allying with Axis powers to free India from British Rule.
  • It was established by Indian nationalists-in-exile during the latter part of the Second World War in Singapore with monetary, military and political assistance from Imperial Japan.
  • Founded on 21 October 1943, the government was inspired by the concepts of Subhas Chandra Bose who was also the leader of the government and the Head of State of this Provisional Indian Government-in-exile.
  • The government proclaimed authority over Indian civilian and military personnel in Southeast Asian British colonial territory and prospective authority over Indian territory to fall to the Japanese forces and the during the Japanese thrust towards India during the Second World War.
  • The government of Azad Hind had its own currency, court and civil code, and in the eyes of some Indians its existence gave a greater legitimacy to the independence struggle against the British.
  • However, while it possessed all the nominal requisites of a legitimate government, it lacked large and definite areas of sovereign territory until Japan gave it nominal authority of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1943 and the occupation of parts of Manipur and Nagaland.
  • Japanese officials made all the decisions, and throughout its existence it was entirely dependent on Japanese support.
  • Immediately after the formation of the government-in-exile, Azad Hind declared war against the Anglo-American allied forces on the Indo-Burma Front.
  • Its army, the “Azad Hind Fauj” (Indian National Army or the INA), went into action against the British Indian Army and the allied forces as part of the Imperial Japanese Army in the Imphal-Kohima sector.
  • The INA had its first major engagement at the Battle of Imphal where, under the command of the Japanese Fifteenth Army, it breached the British defences in Kohima, reaching the salient of Moirang before suffering a catastrophic defeat as the Allied forces held, and Allied air dominance and compromised supply lines forced both the Japanese and the INA to retreat.
  • The existence of Azad Hind was essentially coterminous with the existence of the Indian National Army.
  • While the government itself continued until the civil administration of the Andaman Islands was returned to the jurisdiction of the British towards the end of the war, the limited power of Azad Hind was effectively ended with the surrender of the last major contingent of INA troops in Rangoon.

About Bose:

  • Subhas Chandra Bose is one of the most eminent freedom fighters of India.
  • Born in Cuttack, then in Bengal Province into an affluent family. Educated in Calcutta acquiring a degree in philosophy. Selected for the Indian Civil Services (ICS) but refused to take up service since he did not want to serve the British government.
  • Bose joined the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1921. He also started a newspaper called ‘Swaraj’.
  • He was the President of the All India Youth Congress and also the Secretary of the Bengal State Congress. In 1924, he became the CEO of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation. In 1930, he became the Mayor of Calcutta.
  • Bose authored the book ‘The Indian Struggle’ which covers the Indian independence movement from 1920 to 1942. The book was banned by the British government.
  • He coined the term ‘Jai Hind’. His charisma and powerful personality inspired many people into the freedom struggle and continues to inspire Indians. He was called Netaji.

His Role in Indian Indepndence struggle:

  • Bose was sent to prison in Mandalay for nationalist activities in 1925. He was released in 1927 and became the INC’s general secretary.
  • He worked with Jawaharlal Nehru and the two became the Congress Party’s young leaders gaining popularity among the people.
  • He advocated complete Swaraj and was in favour of the use of force to gain it.
  • He had differences with Gandhi and he wasn’t keen on non-violence as a tool for independence.
  • Bose stood for and was elected the party’s president in 1939 but was forced to resign due to differences with Gandhi’s supporters.
  • Bose’s ideology tilted towards socialism and leftist authoritarianism. He formed the All India Forward Bloc in 1939 as a faction within the Congress.
  • At the start of the Second World War, Bose protested against the government for not consulting Indians before dragging them into the war. He was arrested when he organised protests in Calcutta for the removal of the monument memorialising the Black Hole of Calcutta.
  • He was released after a few days but was kept under surveillance. He then made his escape from the country in 1941 to Germany via Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. He had previously travelled to Europe and met with Indian students and European political leaders.
  • In Germany, he met with the Nazi leaders and hoped to stage an armed struggle against the British to gain independence. He hoped to befriend the Axis powers since they were against his ‘enemy’ the British.
  • He founded the Indian Legion out of about 4500 Indian soldiers who were in the British army and had been taken prisoners by the Germans from North Africa.
  • In 1943, he left Germany for Japan disillusioned with German support for Azad Hind.
  • Bose’s arrival in Japan revived the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) which had been formed earlier with Japanese help.
  • Azad Hind or the Provisional Government of Free India was established as a government-in-exile with Bose as the head. Its headquarters was in Singapore. The INA was its military.
  • Bose motivated the troops with his fiery speeches. His famous quote is, “Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom!”
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