New Leadership

Military parade of the INA at the Padang
on 5 July 1943.

Between December 1942 and February 1943, Rash Behari Bose tried but failed to keep the IIL and INA going. Thousands of INA soldiers returned to the status of POWs again and most of the IIL leaders resigned. To save the situation, the Japanese held meetings with the INA leaders and were told only Subhas Chandra Bose could lead the IIL and INA.

On 6 July 1943, Premier-General Hideki Tojo (War Minister of Japan) inspected the INA with Subhas Chandra Bose at the Padang, Singapore.

On 2 July 1943, Subhas Chandra Bose reached Singapore. Two days later, he assumed leadership of the IIL and INA in a ceremony at Cathay Building. With his fiery speeches and charisma, Bose quickly revived the demoralised IIL and INA. The INA, which previously comprised mainly POWs, doubled in strength as local civilians joined. Many Indians who joined – ranging from barristers to plantation workers – had no military experience.

To ensure a well-trained army, Bose established an Officers’ Training School for INA officers and the Azad School for the civilian volunteers. Some 45 youths were also sent to Japan’s Imperial Military Academy for advanced training. The IIL was reorganised to unite the efforts of all its branches in Southeast Asia.






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