Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Azad Hind, are the names that will live on in the annals of Indian freedom movement history for all time. These names shine brilliantly on the yellow pages, unspoiled by the passage of time, in which the stories of our freedom movement are recorded. Today, on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s 125th birthday, we remember Netaji and his administration, not because he led an army of thousands of Indians against the British, but because of the values and beliefs he stood for.
We’ll turn the pages to October 21, 1943, when the Provisional Government of Free India, also known as Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind or Azad Hind, was created. It was conceived at a time when the horrors of World War II threatened to rip humanity apart. There is a clear recognition that the British could have been able to develop appropriate responses to Gandhian freedom fighters’ techniques, such as ‘non-violence’ and ‘satyagraha,’ and retain control of India for a few decades after 1947. But the creation of the Indian Legion in Germany from Prisoners of War (PoWs) by Subhas Chandra Bose in early 1942 is what rocked them to their core. Following that, in 1943, Bose became commander of the Azad Hind Fauj, or Indian National Army (INA), in Singapore. Henceforth, the British realized that every Indian soldier who faithfully served the crown was also a nationalist at heart, sympathetic to the cause of independence.
We must remember that this was the administration of a united India, which in today’s terms means India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. He prophesied in 1938, as a visionary, that the British Empire would partition India along religious lines before delivering political authority to the Indians in order to counteract the good consequences of political freedom.
Azad Hind Sarkar envisioned India in its true essence, as a place where people of all religions, languages, and regions coexisted as one country. It opposed the British imperialists’ vision of India being split into countries and groups fighting among themselves. Now, more than ever before, we need to read, understand, and spread Netaji’s and his Azad Hind Sarkar’s ideologies.