We Indians are taught to date that it was the Congress party that gave us freedom from the British empire. But the truth is far from it. After the First War of Independence, Congress was formed by a British man- A.O. Hume (1857). Britishers supported the Congress party so that such armed rebellion will not happen again.
Congress always preached for an unarmed struggle against the tyrant British empire. Then came Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who was once elected as the Congress President. But Mahatma Gandhi did not support his ideas. So Netaji left the Congress.
The world was then at war, and Bose tried to seek help for an armed struggle from the Axis Forces. He formed the Indian National Army (INA). These were the Indian soldiers from the British army who surrendered to the Axis forces. They attacked India from the east and managed to reach Kohima and Imphal. But sadly, due to a lack of support and supplies, they had to surrender. Thousands were captured and killed in action.
In India, Gandhi's Quit India Movement died in 1945. The INA, too, surrendered in 1945 in Japan. But the sentiments towards Bose and INA soldiers were positively forming amongst the Indians. Bose was always held in high regard by the Indian people. He was highly respected before and even more after the INA's surrender.
The Allied Forces won the war in Europe. Britishers, then, had no intention to leave India. The Britishers interrogated the captured soldiers of INA. The British empire was afraid of people's support for Bose. So they decided to put the INA soldiers on trial. The Red Fort Trials began in November 1945. Prem Sehgal, Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon, and Shahnawaz Khan were charged with treason, abatement to murder, and murder. This was done to teach the Indian armed forces a lesson. But this backfired miserably on Britishers. There was anger against British rule because of these trials. This made the people of India realize the hollowness of Congress's unarmed struggle. Furthermore, the Royal Indian Navy too revolted against the Raj in Mumbai in 1946.
This revolt spread widely in British India from Karachi to Calcutta. 20000 Naval staff and 78 Royal Navy ships were revolting against British Raj. This revolt also inspired people and other armed forces of the British Army in India. Congress and Muslim League did not support this revolt. Violent protests took place all over India. This mutiny made it hard for Britishers to rule and govern. The British Empire realized that now the Royal Indian Armed Forces cannot be trusted anymore. Britishers in India were now fearful for their lives. The empire knew it was time to leave India. Soon the long process of transfer of power started.
British transferred power to Indian politicians in 1947. However, all the credit was given to Congress and Gandhi. The INA soldiers who fought and gave their lives for India's freedom were denied the status of Freedom Fighter by Congress. Bose tried to hide his whereabouts from Britishers. He faked his death and fled to Russia. But Nehru came to know of this information and contacted then the British prime minister Clement Attlee.
The British prime minister influenced Joseph Stalin to banish Bose to Siberian labor camps. Bose was sent to a gulag to remain in anonymity. The greatest Freedom Fighter lived the rest of his life in a gulag. The Indian politicians never cared to search for him even though they knew the truth. At least now, we ought to give Bose and many others like him their due credit and respect.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and may necesarily not of Prachyam as an entity, unless stated explicitly. The articles are contributed as an awareness effort towards what the authors consider an important issue for India.