forced to retreat on foot with men and women to Malaya. “The roads to Delhi
are many”, he wrote, “and Delhi still remains our goal.”
In the winter of 1945 Netaji’s soldiers were brought to the Red Fort of Delhi.
The trial of some of their officers and the saga of the INA reached every
Indian home. Netaji had hailed the Mahatma as “the father of our nation”;
Gandhi now returned the compliment by describing Subhas as “the prince
among patriots”. Long after his mortal end, he remains deathless in the form
of an alternative vision.
Indian National Army (INA)
Between the revolt of 1942 and the end of the war in 1945, there was scarcely
any political activity in India. The Indian nationalist movement, however,
found a new expression outside the country’s frontiers in the form of the
Indian National Army or the Azad Hind Fauj.
The INA, though founded by Captain Mohan Singh with the help of the
Japanese in 1942 in Singapore, remained in a state of suspense till it was
taken over and reorganised by S.C. Bose in 1943.
The INA joined the Japanese army in its march to India, and in fact,
captured Kohima in May 1944. But with the defeat and final surrender of
Japan in 1945, the INA also surrendered to the Allies. And S.C. Bose was
believed to have died in an aeroplane accident on his way to Tokyo.
Though INA failed in achieving its objective, it did acquire great
significance in the history of Indian national movement. Following are the
achievements of the INA:
• The INA internationalised the question of Indian independence, and
thus speeded up the process.
• It proved that the Indian soldier was not merely a mercenary, but a
patriot too, and hence the British could no longer depend on him for
the subjugation of his own country.
• It also demonstrated that the non-violent methods of the Congress did
not exhaust the armoury of the struggle for freedom.
• Its organisation set a