|INA and Japanese soldiers cheering after the joint forces
captured a strategic spot in the Indo-Burma border, 1944.
After several months of intensive military
training, Subhas Chandra Bose felt that the INA was ready to free
India. His plan was to
enter north-east India through Burma. By January 1944, the Provisional
Government of Azad Hind and the INA began moving to Burma. Together
with the Japanese, the INA successfully staged two military campaigns
in March and captured Imphal and Arakan.
Thereafter, the Japanese
decided to capture Kohima,
a strategic point in the mountainous border region between India
and Burma. However, the INA and Japanese took longer than expected
to capture it. When the monsoons arrived in May, the INA and
Japanese who had run out of supplies by then, were forced to retreat.
tide of war had turned.
On 15 August 1945, Japan surrendered.
Despite the loss of an ally, Bose did not waver. He immediately
looked to the
Soviet Union for support.
Portrait of Subhas
Chandra Bose, c. 1940s.
With the loss of the Japanese ally, Bose immediately looked to the Soviet Union for support. However, on 18 August 1945, while en route to the Soviet Union via Taiwan, his plane crashed. It was later alleged by various sources that the plane did not crash and Bose safely reached the Soviet Union.
"Subhas Chandra Bose was a man you could not forget
once you knew him; his greatness was manifest. Like many
other revolutionists, the essence of his greatness was that
he lived for a single task and dream and so set his own seal
Source: Ba Maw, Breakthrough in Burma. Memoirs of a Revolution, 1939-1946,
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968): 348.
Hailed as “Netaji” – or Great Leader – he
was everything a leader should be. Till today, his great leadership
skills and charisma are still remembered by many.