Whenever on individual, a community or a nation wants to achieve anything, it has to work or struggle for it. For success in such work or struggle, the attention must be undivided and all energy and all resources must be directed to the same purpose. Great objects cannot be achieved easily. Usually there are obstacles on the way and many difficulties have to be overcome. The greater the difficulties and the harder the object to attain, the greater must be the coordination of all resources and energy. In other words there must be absolute unity of purpose.
No individual, sectarian, class or communal interests should be brought in while the struggle is being continued and the object is unattained. The firmer we are in this resolve and subordinate all interests to that of the objective that we wish to achieve the greater the chance of our success. This is exactly what we are faced with in our cause, that is, the achievement of the Independence of our Motherland. We must never allow individual, class or communal interests to come in the way of the progress of the movement. If we do, we can never succeed and we have to face failure. Such individual and sectarian interests must be subordinated to that of the country’s cause. There are many examples in the history of the world, where a nation was ruined or the country lost its freedom because of the individual or class interests being put higher than that of the country as a whole. Memorable example of such failure is that of China, where the different war lords divided the country into different parts and continued to fight with one another, and made treaties with foreigners which are wholly detrimental to the country of China, as a whole (post world war II history is changed-Ed).
Similarly, there are excellent examples of the other side, where sectarian interests were subordinated to those of the country such as that in Egypt and Japan. In Egypt the Muslims combined themselves with the Copts who were Christians. Both of them subordinated their sectarian interests to the cause of the country as a whole, with the result that Egypt of today is far better united than ever before. Similarly in Japan, the Samurai, who were the fighting class and the Shogun, who were the ruling class of Japan surrendered their privileges and rights to Emperor Meiji, for the advancement of the people of Japan with the result that Japan achieved remarkable progress within a very short time indeed.
These examples should serve as a salutary lesson in subordinating our individual and group interests to those of the Mother-country. Our mind, energy and resources should be wholly directed towards the service of our cause; that should be our only interest now. The following points should be remembered.
PROCLAMATION OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF AZAD HIND. (21st October, 1943, Cathay Hall, Singapore).
After the first defeat at the hands of the British in 1757 in Bengal, the Indian people fought an uninterrupted series of hard and bitter battles over a stretch of one hundred years. The history of this period teems with examples of unparalleled heroism and self-sacrifice. And in the pages of that history, the names of Sirajuddoula and Mohanlal of Bengal, Haider Ali, Tippu Sultan and VeluTampi of South India, Appa Sahib Bhonsle and Peshwa Baji Rao of Maharashtra, the Begums of Oudh, Sardar Shyam Singh Atariwala of Punjab, and last, but not the least, Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi, TantiaTopi, Maharaj Kunwar Singh of Dumrao and Nana Sahib among others – the names of all these warriors are forever engraved in letters of gold. Unfortunately for us, our forefathers at first did not realize that the British constituted a grave threat to the whole of India and they did not therefore put up a united front against the enemy. Ultimately when the Indian people were roused to the reality of the situation, they made a concerted move and under the flag of Bahadur Shah, in 1857, they fought their last war as free men. In spite of a series of brilliant victories in the early stages of this war, ill luck and faulty leadership gradually brought about their final collapse and subjugation. Nevertheless, such heroes as the Rani of Jhansi, TantiaTopi, Kunwar Singh and Nana Sahib live like eternal stars in the nation’s memory to inspire us to greater deeds of sacrifice and valour.
Forcibly disarmed by the British after 1857 and subjected to terror and brutality, the Indian people lay prostate for a while- but with the birth of Indian National Congress in 1885 there came a new awakening. From 1885 till the end of the last world war, the Indian people, in their endeavor to recover their lost liberty tried all possible methods- namely agitation and propaganda, boycott of British goods, terrorism and sabotage- and finally, armed revolution. But all these efforts failed for a time. Ultimately in 1920, when the Indian people, haunted by a sense of failure, were groping for a new method, Mahatma Gandhi came forward with a new weapon of non-cooperation and civil disobedience.
For two decades thereafter, the Indian people went through a phase of intense patriotic activity. The message of freedom was carried to every Indian home. Through personal example people were taught to suffer, to sacrifice and to die in the cause of freedom. From the centre to the remotest villages, the people were knit together into one political organization. Thus, the Indian people not only recovered their political consciousness, but became a political entity once again. They could now speak with one voice and strive with one will for one will for one common goal. From 1937 to 1939, through the work of Congress ministries in eight provinces, they gave proof of their readiness and their capacity to administer their own affairs.
Thus on the eve of the present world war, the stage was set for the final struggle of India’s liberation. During the course of this war, Germany, with the help of her allies has dealt shattering blows to our enemy in Europe- while Nippon with the help of her allies has inflicted a knockout blow to our enemies in East Asia. Favoured by a most happy combination of circumstances, the Indian people have a wonderful opportunity of achieving their national emancipation.
For the first time in recent history, Indians abroad have also been politically roused and united in one organization. They are not only thinking and feeling in tune with their countrymen at home, but are also marching in step with them, along the path to freedom. In East Asia in particular, over two million Indians are now organized as one solid phalanx inspired by the slogan of “Total mobilization”. And in front of them stand the serried ranks of India’s Army of Liberation, with the slogan “Onward to Delhi” on their lips.
Having goaded Indians to desperation by its hypocrisy and having driven them to starvation and death by plunder and loot – the British rule in India has forfeited the goodwill of the Indian people altogether and is now living a precarious existence. It needs but a flame to destroy the last vestige of that unhappy rule. To light that flame is the task of India’s Army of Liberation. Assured of the enthusiastic support of the civil population at home and also of a large section of Britain’s Indian Army, and backed by the gallant and invincible allies abroad- but relying in the first instance on its own strength, India’s Army of liberation is confident of fulfilling its historic role.
Now that the dawn of freedom is at hand, it is the duty of the Indian people to set up a provisional Govt of their own and launch the last struggle under the banner of that Government. It is therefore the duty of the Indian Independence League in East Asia supported by all patriotic Indians at home and abroad, to undertake this task-the task of setting up a Provisional Government of Azad Hind (Free India) and of conducting the last fight for freedom, with the help of the Army of Liberation (that is, the Azad Hind Fauj or the Indian National Army) organized by the league.
Having been constituted as the Provisional Government of Azad Hind by the Indian Independence League in East Asia, we enter upon our duties with a full sense of responsibility that has devolved on us. We pray that Providence may bless our work and our struggle for the emancipation of our motherland. And we hereby pledge our lives of our comrades in arms to the cause of our freedom, of her welfare, and her exaltation among the nations of the world.
It will be the task of the provisional Government to launch and conduct the struggle that will bring about the expulsion of the British and of their allies from the soil of India. It will then be the task of the Provisional Government to bring about the establishment of a permanent National Government of Azad Hind constituted in accordance with the will of the Indian people and enjoying their confidence. After the British and their allies are overthrown and until a permanent National Government of Azad Hind is set up on Indian soil, the Provisional Government will administer the affairs of the country in the trust of the Indian people.
The Provisional Government is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Indian. It guarantees religious liberty; as well as equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens. It declares its firm resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally and transcending all the differences cunningly fostered by an alien government in the past.
In the name of God, in the name of bygone generations who have welded the Indian people into one nation and in the name of the dead heroes who have bequeathed to us a tradition of heroism and self sacrifice- we call upon the Indian people to rally out round our banner and to strike for India’s freedom. We call upon them to launch the final struggle against the British and all their allies in India and to execute that struggle with valour and perseverance and full faith in Final Victory – until the enemy is expelled from the Indian soil and the Indian people are once again a free nation
SIGNED ON BEHALF OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF AZAD HIND.
SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE (Head of State, Prime Minister and Minister for War and Foreign Affairs)
CaptMrs Lakshmi Sehgal (Womens’ organization)
S.A.Ayer (Publicity and Propaganda)
Lt Col A.C.Chatterjee (Finance)
Lt Col. Aziz Ahmed, Lt Col N.S. Bhagat, Lt Col J.K. Bhosle, Lt Col Gulzara Singh, Lt Col M.Z. Kiani, Lt Col A.G.
Loganandan, Lt Col. Ehsan Qadir, Lt Col. Shah Nawaz, (representatives of the Armed Forces)
A.M. Sahay (Secretary).
Rash Behari Bose (Supreme Advisor)
Karim Gani, Debnath Das, D.M. Khan, A. Yellappa, J. Thivy, Sardar Ishar Singh (Advisors).
A.N.Sarkar (Legal Advisor).