The Indian National Army (INA) or the Azad Hind Fauj was an armed force formed by Indian nationalists under the leadership of Netaji Subhas Bose in Southeast Asia during World War II to secure Indian independence. “Jai Hind” was coined by Netaji and later adopted by the Government of India and the Indian Armed Forces.

There are reasonable grounds to believe that the Subhas Bose INA’s military onslaught on the British and the INA Red Fort trials of 1945-46 and its consequences (mutinies in the armed forces) were a major factor in the British decision to quit India, and not the Quit India movement (which had petered off in 1942 in a few months) of Congress. For details, please check Blunder#12.

Yet, Nehru and Congress had all through opposed Subhas and INA. A lot is made of Nehru donning his lawyer’s robes to fight for INA soldiers in their trial by the British in 1945. The reality was that elections were imminent, and INA and Bose being the people’s favourites, Congress and Nehru wanted to get cheap popularity by projecting themselves as pro-INA.
Says Anuj Dhar in ‘India’s Biggest Cover-up’ :                                                                                “Captain Badhwar reported that the Congress leaders’ turnaround had little to do with any love for their ousted former president [Bose] or the people who fought under his command…He [Asaf Ali—CWC member] travelled across India and discovered that people were overwhelmingly in support of the INA. ‘This inflamed feeling forced Congress to take the line it did,’ Badhwar said…Ali was positive that as and when Congress came to power, they ‘would have no hesitation in removing all INA from the Services and even in putting some of them to trial.’…The top Congress leadership’s duplicitous disapproval of Bose and INA was exposed by numerous pre-1947 statements made by its leaders, especially Nehru.”

Strangely, but expectedly, while Nehru made a big show of being a part of the Defence Committee to defend the INA veterans Colonel Prem Sahgal, Colonel Gurubaksh Singh Dhillon, and Major General Shah Nawaz Khan (for the sake of votes in the ensuing elections) in the Red Fort Trials of 1945–46, after independence Nehru as PM refused to reinstate them in the army—hypocrisy unlimited!

As expected from Nehru and the Congress, rather that honouring and rewarding them, the INA-veterans were debarred from the Indian Army by the Government of independent India! Why? Because, that was the way the British and Mountbatten wanted, as INA soldiers had fought against them. And, Nehru being an anglophile and a chela of his guru Mountbatten, faithfully carried out the British bidding. Reportedly, Mountbatten (as Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia then) even went to the extent of dynamiting the INA Memorial in Singapore in 1945.

The above was in sharp contrast to Jinnah who had inducted Muslim INA soldiers into the Pakistani army.

The INA personnel remained ineligible for the Freedom Fighters Pension till 1972. Captain Ram Singh Thakur (1914–2002) was an INA soldier of Nepali origin. He was also a musician and a composer. His famous patriotic compositions include “Kadam Badhaye Ja, khushi k ē geet g āē j ā , yēzī ndagi hai qâum kī , tū qâum pēlūt āējā …” and “Subh Sukh Chain”. His final years were difficult. He was also initially denied the status of a freedom fighter by the government.

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