A grand reception was organised jointly by Poorva Sainik Seva Parishad (PSSP), Azad Hind Fauj Smarak Nyas and Sainya Matrishakti to honour the living INA veterans in New Delhi recently. To commemorate the diamond jubilee of INA”s advancement up to Moirang in Manipur and liberation of parts of large territories of Nagaland and Manipur on April 14, these brave soldiers undertook a hazardous journey from April 10 to 18 to the same spot in Moirang and hoisted the national flag on April 14. The eminent personalities who attended the function included Smt. Mridula Sinha, chairperson, Central Social Welfare Board, Dr Ved Pratap Vaidik, senior journalist, Dr Prem Wahi, general secretary, Sainya Matrishakti, Lt Gen. (Retd) R.P. Aggarwal, PVSM, VSM, Lt Gen. (Retd) J.S. Bakshi, MVC, VSM, Major General Vinod Bhanot, VrC VSM, AVM, HP Singh, VrC, VSM, Shri Srikant Joshi, Prof. Devendra Swarup and Capt. S.S. Yadav (INA), who was ADC to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
Lt Gen. (Retd) R.P. Aggarwal emphasised the need to infuse the spirit of patriotism, courage and discipline into the new generation of the country so as to fulfill the dream of Netaji of building a strong nation. He said that India got freedom due to the invaluable contribution of Netaji and not because of what the present generation was being taught about. He pointed out that in the last event-International Reunion of INA veterans held in April 2002-16 INA soldiers had come from different countries of the world.
Dr Ved Pratap Vaidik narrated some interesting incidents of his time on Netaji'sstay in Kabul, on his way to Germany, in 1941. He said that Netaji was not a character who could be cowed down by any force-be it the Germans or the Japanese-as being perceived and propagated by vested interests in India. Had Subhash been on the scene, his vision of Akhand Bharat would have become a reality and the partition of the country would not have been possible.
Lt Gen. J.S. Bakshi, a veteran soldier of Indian Army, recalled that as a Commanding Officer of a Jat battalion posted in Manipur, his soldiers along with Brig. G.S. Randhawa had hoisted national flags at Moirang on April 14 right through 1967 to 1969. He suggested that PSSP should take up the case with the Government of India to declare April 14 a national holiday along with August 15, October 2 and January 26 as a mark of respect to the INA, which had paved the way for freedom of India. Air Vice Marshal H.P. Singh, president, PSSP, Delhi Pradesh, admired the INA veterans for undertaking such a hazardous trip in hot summer at the age of 80 plus and thanked all the participants and organisers of the function. (FOC)