RECENTLY, a selected group of the Poorva Sainik Sewa Parishad and citizens from Manipur, gathered at Moirang in Manipur to commemorate the hoisting of Indian Tricolour on Indian soil by the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauz). The idea was first mooted by senior RSS functionary Shri Indresh Kumar in 2008 at a meeting of the Poorva Sainik Sewa Parishad with a view to instill a feeling of patriotism and awaken the dormant spirit of nationalism. Here is the report of this unique event based on the discussions with Shri Indresh Kumar with this correspondent.
July 4-5, 1941. Farara Park Singapore. Soon after assuming the Chairmanship of Indian National Army, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose gave his clarion call of “Delhi Chalo” against the British Occupation Government of India. On August 9, 1942 Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi asked the British to “Quit India”. The next 5-6 years were very crucial in the history of India’s Independence struggle. We got freedom on August 15, 1947 with the sacrifice of countless martyrs but it was marred by the unfortunate vivisection of our dear motherland.
It may be worth mentioning that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was the first Indian who took oath of office as President of Independent Indian Government in exile on October 21, 1943 at Singapore. His presidency was approved by a number of countries and governments. On December 7, 1943, his office was shifted from Singapore to Rangoon. While addressing Netaji had said that his country was languishing in slavery and he was the president of this nation without land. The then Government of Japan handed over the islands of Andaman and Nicobar, which they had won from the British to Netaji Subhas Bose. On December 29, 1943, Netaji Subhas Bose first unfurled the Indian Tricolour at Port Blair as First President and Chief of the Indian National Army. Till then the Indian Army was loyal to the British Occupation Government of India and Netaji’s Indian National Army was the only nationalist and patriotic army of India. We should also appreciate this help and assistance to the INA by the Government of Japan during those difficult and critical days of freedom struggle.
Considering the importance of historical Moirang event the All India Poorva Sainik Sewa Parishad has decided to celebrate and observe this day as ‘National Pride Day’. It is a happy coincidence that April 14, happens to be the birthday of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, a geat son of Mother Bharat who heralded the revolution of ‘social justice’. Besides, April 14 is observed as a ‘New Year Day’ not only in the eastern Indian region but also in other parts of the country. Therefore, it was decided to celebrate April 13-14 as “Netaji Subhas Miorang Utsav”. The main objective of this event is to protect and preserve the integrity and unity of India and usher in an era of peace and progress in the otherwise troubled north-eastern region of India.
This year the festival was organised at Guwahati on April 11, Dimapur-Kohima on April 12 and at Imphal and Moirang on April 13-14, 2010. Over 150 ex-servicemen from 14 states including Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Kerala and citizens in thousands participated in the festival. The event became more important since hundreds of Indians along with the Nagas and the Manipuris who had been threatened to quit Nagaland and Manipur participated in this great event and paid tribute to Netaji Bose and the INA.
The event was held under the guidance of Lt Gen (Rtd) S P M Tripathi (UP), Air Vice Marshall Sardar H PO Singh (Delhi), Brig Das (Guwahati), Col Krishna Singh Juneja (Udhampur), Col Mahesh Gandhi (Udaypur), Dr Omprakash and Col D B Singh (Lucknow), CBR Prasad (Andhra Pradesh), Indresh Kumar, Panna Lal and Praveswh Khana of FINS, Delhi. Besides, former Chief Secretary of Assam Jai Prakash Rajkhowa, IAS, Chairman of Nagaland Sainik Board Lt Col. Jakhalu, former IGP S P Kar, Deputy Director of Art & Culture, Government of Mnipur Dr K Sabita Devi, Dr Sarojini Devi, intellectuals, historians like Madhu Mangal Singh, Jatra Singh, Sharat Chandra Sarma, Madhye Singh, P Bharat Singh, sitting Congress MLA Prithivi Raj Singh, T Mangee Babu Singvh and senior Army officials also participated in the ceremony.
Over 20 ex-servicemen from all over the country campaigned for this festival contacting their counterparts in north-eastern region. The message of this event was very clear and straight against the demographic invasion from across the border, against insurgency and high-handedness of China in north-eastern region. The event also gave a strong message that people of north-east are equally patriotic and nationalist as their counterparts in other provinces of India.
A book titled Manipur ke Azad Hind Senani was released on this occasion. The meeting also accepted a resolution to celebrate December 29 and April 14 as national pride Day and Moirang be declared as national memorial. The Congress MLAs, who participated in this programme demanded that sacrifice of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his INA colleagues should be not be overshadowed by the sacrifice of revered Mahatma Gandhi. On the other hand it should be highlighted to instill and inculcate the feeling of patriotism and nationalism amongst the youth of India.