21st October is the date on which in the year 1943, the Azad Hind government was formed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in Tokyo. Right after its establishment, The Provisional Government of Free India or Arzi Hakumat-e-Azad Hind proclaimed itself to be the rightful legal entity representing Indian people and thus eligible to rule over entirety of India.
Within three days from establish, the Azad Hind Government declared war against British empire and its allies like USA for illegal occupation of Indian territories.
Despite limited resources and impossible odds, the Azad Hind Fauj, the military of the Azad Hind Government, put on such a valiant battle against British forces that it shook the foundations of colonial rule in India. Even though the government collapsed after disappearance of Netaji and its army, the INA was disbanded with top commanders arrested under charges of treason to the crown, the efforts by Bose and his associates was enough to make British understand one thing very clearly – Indians couldn’t be trusted anymore and that they were desperate for liberation.
If former British Prime Minster Clement Attlee’s submission is anything to go by, then it were the actions of INA which propelled British to realise that India could no longer be ruled and this resulted in their exit.
The legacy of Azad Hind Government has for long remained in oblivion, till Narendra Modi in 2018 became the first Prime Minister of the Republic of India to duly recognize and honor the valiant attempts of Netaji and his men.
As we observe 77th anniversary of Azad Hind Government today, let us look at some of the lesser known facts about it –
1 – National Anthem of Azad Hind
The National Anthem, adopted by the Azad Hind Government was ‘Sab Sukh Chain ki Barkha Barse’ which incidentally was a mere simplified version of India’s current national anthem, Jana – Gana – Mana, by Rabindranath Tagore.
Netaji had trusted Capt. Abid Ali, Mumtaz Hussain to simplify the highly Sanskritized Jana – Gana – Mana, and Capt. Ram Singh Thakuri to put it on a martial tune, that would not put people to sleep but awaken those who were sleeping.
The new composition was adopted as the national anthem of Azad Hind, and was played at all meetings, including at the final assembly before Bose’s departure.
A fact which many don’t know, ‘Sab Sukh Chain’ was played as India’s national anthem on the morning of 15th August, 1947, after Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled the tricolor on ramparts of Red fort. Capt. Thakuri was especially invited to play the tune of Subh Sukh Chain. However, later the founding fathers of Indian republic opted for original Jana – Gana – Mana, as opposed to its simplified version, Sab Sukh Chain.
2 – Link language of Azad Hind
Language has always remained a matter of concern in a multi lingual country like India. The constituent assembly of Republic of India sought to address this dilemma by adopting modern standard Hindi and English as link languages for the Union. However, the Azad Hind Government of Netaji had only one link language – Hindustani, a mixture of Urdu and Hindi with roman script for writing purposes.
3 – Post of Subhash Chandra Bose in Azad Hind Government
Most people are under the impression that ‘Netaji’, which roughly means as Leader, was merely an epithet fondly used by the Indian people for Subhash Chandra Bose. While there is nothing factually wrong in this belief, there is more to the epithet of Netaji, than just fondness.
Subhash Chandra Bose was both the Prime Minister as well as Head of the State of Azad Hind. However, there was no specific name of the position of the Head of State of Azad Hind, and instead of inventing any new name such as ‘President’ for the position, the cabinet of newly formed government decided to confer upon Subhash Chandra Bose, a title already in public use for him, “Netaji.”
So the positions held by Subhash Chandra Bose in Azad Hind Government were of, Netaji (leader), Prime Minister, and the Minister for War and Foreign Affairs.
4 – Recognition of Azad Hind Government
The Azad Hind Government headed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose had been recognized as a legal government of India by as many as nine countries: Japan, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Burma, Thailand, Philippines, Manchukuo (Manchuria), and the Republic of China (Wang Jingwei regime). It received a note of congratulations from the Prime Minister of Ireland, Eamon de Valera.
The Republic of China (Taiwan) which operates as a sovereign nation, has only five more international recognitions than Azad Hind did.