SDHF Newsletter No.380 Japan Awakened Asia Part 5, Chapter 4: Inherited intent on “independence”
Japan Awakened Asia―A Miracle of the 20th Century
The Road to the Independence of India
Pribir Bikash Sarker
―A Story to Be Passed Down to the Next Generation
Part 5, Chapter 4: Inherited intent on “independence”
Bihari Bose published many books in Japan. Asia is the birthplace of the world’s five great religions, which built great civilizations. But since the Age of Exploration or the Age of Sail and the British Industrial Revolution onwards, the rich Asian Continent was put under the control of Europe and America, and while being exploited, the Asian people came to feel mentally inferior to the West. Bihari Bose says that this wrong view was overcome by Japan’s victory in the Russo-Japanese War. Japan’s victory over Russia was not just a military feat: it awakened the entire Asia from the coma of passive obedience. Bose writes:
It was at the time of Russo-Japanese War that the movement to revive Asia among countries in this vast Continent Aiming to liberate their own countries from oppressive foreign powers, the Turkish Young Party was established, Persian youths united to achieve independence of their home country, Indian youths got encouraged to fight for their country’s independence, Chinese began dreaming of the government “of Chinese, for the Chinese and by the Chinese.”
Taking the opportunity that Japan declared war against the United States and Britain on December 8, 1941, Behari Bose
formed the Indian Independence League in February 1942 and the Japanese General Headquarters supported it. However, the League’s principles clearly stated that cooperation on the part of the Japanese authorities was necessary and welcome, but the league decided their policy and carried it out on their own.
Concurrently, in the battle zone in Southeast Asia, Army General Staff’s intelligence unit “F Agent” led by Major Fujiwara Iwaichi was in cooperation and the formation of an Indian National Army was progressing. Mohan Singh, a former member of the British Army Indian officer mobilized as a member of the British Army. was recruited as its commander.
The Independence League Headquarters moved to Bangkok. On June 15, 1942, the Bangkok conference was held by Behari Bose as a chairman, with 120 delegates from the Malay Peninsula, Japan, Thailand, Manchuria, the Philippines, Borneo and elsewhere. At this conference it was decided officially to place the Indian National Army under the command of the Indian Independence League.
Behari Bose’s work overload caused deterioration of his physical condition. Chandra Bose, once chairman of the Indian National Congress, was recommended as the successor of Behari Bose. Chandra Bose was then in Germany. On February 8, 1943, Bose left Germany aboard a U-boat and on April 27, he boarded a Japanese submarine in the offing to the southeast of Madagascar, and arrived in Tokyo on May 15. Prime Minster Tojo was greatly impressed with Bose’s passion and personality at their meeting and announced his full support for Bose.
Then, Behari Bose and Chandra Bose flew to Singapore aboard the same plane. On June 4, 1943, at “the Greater East Asian Theater”, meeting of the delegates of the Indian Independence League was held, and it was officially announced that the leadership of the Indian Independence League changed hands from Behari Bose to Chandra Bose:
Behari Bose declared: “Gentlemen and gallant fighters, I now resign from my current post and hereby appoint Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose chairman of the East Asian Indian Independence League. From now on, Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose is your president and the leader of the Indian Independence War.”
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact