Honoring the Azad Hind Government: A Glorious Chapter in India's Freedom Struggle

The Northeast Dialogue

Three years before India's Independence, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the nationalist iconic leader of the freedom movement against British rule, not only set foot in northeast India but also boosted the struggle against the British Raj. On October 21, the anniversary of the formation of the Azad Hind Government is celebrated annually across the country. The day is celebrated to commemorate India’s first independent provisional government named the Azad Hind Government. On 21 October 1943, the Provisional Government of Free India was established as a government-in-exile in Singapore by Indians in exile headed by Subhash Chandra Bose. It was also called Azad Hind or Free India.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose brought the focus on the Northeast region in the Indian national movement. His decision to enter the Northeast region and Burma was a well-planned strategy. Subash Chandra Bose had launched a struggle to free India from British rule by forming the provisional government-in-exile during the latter part of the Second World War. Bose was convinced that it was armed struggle that would help the countrymen to achieve independence. The Azad Hind government under Bose had in fact started its own bank, currency, civil code and stamps. Immediately after the formation of the government-in-exile, Azad Hind declared war against the Britishers and allied forces on the Indo-Burma Front. The actions of INA, Azad Hind Govt had triggered events that resulted in India’s independence.

Netaji’s deep concern for the spirit of unity in India made him understand the situation of the excluded Northeast region in the late 1930s. He understood that the Northeast region are significant for India. And, he visualised that the region has a potential to be included in East Pakistan if the Indian Nationalist leaders were not careful in their strategies to protect the region. His philosophy is undivided India without any aspects of communalism. And, he strongly felt that Northeast region has an important geographical boundary with neighbouring countries and plays a significant role in unifying India. Hence, he was instrumental in influencing the Congress leaders in New Delhi to focus on Northeast India. The contributions of freedom fighters from Northeast to the struggle for independence and their relationship with Netaji are often not talked about in India`s history books.


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