SDHF Newsletter No.383 Japan Awakened Asia Part 6, Chapter 5: Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army
Japan Awakened Asia―A Miracle of the 20th Century
The Road to the Independence of India
―A Story to Be Passed Down to the Next Generation
Pribir Bikash Sarker
Part 6, Chapter 5: Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army
On July 4, 1942, Chandra Bose succeeded Behari Bose as the new leader of the Indian National Army in Singapore and announced a plan to establish the Provisional Government of Free India, emphasizing that for liberty and independence, it was imperative to fight resolutely, in defiance of dangerous forced marches, hunger or even death. His speech was received with enthusiastic applause by the Indian National Army soldiers. And on July 5, Prime Minister Tojo landed in Singapore via Manila and inspected the INA troops. On that occasion, Chandra Bose gave the legendary address, “Chalo Delhi (march to Delhi)!”
On November 5, the Great East Asian Conference was held, attended by Wang Jingwei, President of the Republic of China（Nanjing）, Zhang Jinghui, Prime Minister of Manchuria, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, Ba Maw, Head of State and Prime Minister of Burma and Wan Waithayakon, Prince and envoy from the Kingdom of Thailand. After Prime Minister Tojo Hideki made an opening address, the other participants rose to the stage and spoke. The most powerful and profound speech was given by Chandra Bose from Azad Hind (Provisional Government of Free India). Bose stated:
I am sure that we of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind and all those who under the leadership of our Government will launch the last struggle against Anglo-American imperialism, will now go to war against our sworn enemy with the consciousness that behind us stands not only the invincible might of Nippon, but also the united will and grim determination of the emancipated nations of East Asia.
On July 6, the Greater East Asian Joint Declaration was adopted unanimously.
1) The countries of Greater East Asia, through mutual cooperation, will ensure the stability of their region and construct an order of common prosperity and well-being based upon justice.
2) The countries of Greater East Asia will ensure the fraternity of nations in their region, by respecting one another’s sovereignty and independence and practicing mutual assistance and amity.
3) The countries of Greater East Asia, by respecting one another’s traditions and developing the creative faculties of each race, will enhance the culture and civilization of Greater East Asia.
4) The countries of Greater East Asia will endeavor to accelerate their economic development through close cooperation upon a basis of reciprocity and to promote thereby the general prosperity of their region.
5) The countries of Greater East Asia will cultivate friendly relations with all the countries of the world, and work for the abolition of racial discrimination, the promotion of cultural interaction and the opening of resources throughout the world, and contribute thereby to the progress of mankind.
This was an epoch making declaration in the sense that “abolition of racial discrimination” was for the first time declared in human history. Chandra Bose stated in his address: “I pray to god that this Joint Declaration … may prove to be a charter for the nations of East Asia and, what is more, a charter for the suppressed nations of the whole world.”
The failure of the battle of Imphal prevented Japan and the Indian National Army’s advance into the Indian mainland. However, a military trial of the three leaders of the Indian National Army started a nationwide independence movement, which the British authorities could not control. And the Indian independence, which Chandra Bose hoped for, became a reality on August 15, 1947.
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact