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Tribute to ‘the Victory Day’
8/13/2020 11:55:14 PM

Dr.S.S.Soodan

Freedom of India is a saga of immense struggle and gallant deeds. A visit to the Indian National Army (INA) memorial complex at Moirang was a pilgrimage and a humbling experience. The old building of INA head quarters, the INA martyrs memorial, the war museum with its relics, old letters and photographs are solemn reminders to the courage and commitment of the INA for freedom of our motherland.
The Indian national army rose from the prisoners of war and fellow Indians based in south East Asia. Around 50000 highly motivated soldiers irrespective of their religion, caste, creed or region enrolled to liberate the country from foreign yoke. Its motto was ‘itehad, itmad aur qurbani’ meaning ‘unity, faith and sacrifice’. Almost 20000 lost their lives with slogans of ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Delhi Chalo’ on their lips so that India could be free.
As Head of the Azad Hind Government, Netaji Subhash Chander Bose was supreme commander of these armed forces of united and free India. He hoisted the first flag of free India on 30th Dec, 1943 at the Gymkhana club Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar islands.
After tough battles along the Indo-Burma sector, INA defeated the British imperialist forces on Indian soil. The liberated areas included Moirang in Manipur and half of Nagaland. On 14thApril 1944, Col. Shaukat Ali Malik , commander of Bahadur group of Azad Hind Fauj hoisted the tricolor on the Indian mainland at Moirang which is situated on the banks of Loktak lake about 45 kms from Imphal, capital of Manipur. He designated this place as head quarters of INA.
The fierce battles at Imphal and Kohima ignited a new national awakening. It kindled patriotic fervor, Royal Indian navy mutiny, countrywide uprisings, acts of rebellion and non cooperation movement hastened the British Empire towards its early exit from India.
The Indian subcontinent was divided on religious lines and granted transfer of power on 14th /15th August 1947. Largest migration in human history was inflicted on unsuspecting people. Millions were uprooted, looted and killed. Women were abducted /raped and paraded naked. Horror and trauma of partition was borne mainly by Bengal and Punjab.
In the history of our freedom movement, the deeds of INA seem to have been relegated to the classified files but the sacrifices made by the veterans, their brave conduct, the Red Fort trials and ‘non political’ reasons to disband these soldiers from active service shall always arise a renewed understanding to inspire the generations to come.
Every year on 14th April, people assemble to celebrate the ‘Moirang day’ as the ‘victory day’. INA had first unfurled the tricolor on the mainland on this day much before India’s independence. Prime Minister Narender Modi has given due recognition to this victory day for India. He aslo joined for hoisting the national flag at Red Fort on the 75th anniversary of the INA.
On Independence Day the nation pays homage to the fortitude and valour of the brave warriors of Azad Hind Fauj.
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