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Mukto Mona : INA's Supreme Commander at German Submarine - page 9 / 10





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INA morale, however, was dampened neither by flood, nor for lack of supplies. They 'lived on grass and leaves for long', they could have gone on longer. Their leaders call was 'We must keep marching on.'  Even the defection of Gandhi Brigade's Commandant B.J.S. Garewal and Major Prabhudayal to British army with maps and papers pinpointing exact locations of INA positions could not destroy the fighting spirit of the INA troops. Outbreak of malaria and dysentery in the face of a total lack medical facilities and supplies dealt, however, a severe blow and took a heavy toll.

On Bose's instruction the troops eventually retreated. The extent of loss during retreat was significant. Bose and his INA troops did not give up there. The task of rebuilding and strengthening INA continued in Burma. They fought many other battles in Burma against the advancing Allied forces. On 7th May 1945 Germany formally surrendered to the Allied forces.  Fuehrer Adolf Hitler had fallen, The Fuehrer was dead.

Following the fall of Okinawa, despite Japan's proposal of surrender, nuclear attack on 6th of August in Hiroshima, followed by a similar explosion in Nagasaky on 9th, left a terrible mark on the history of an unprecedented account of loss of life and destruction.

On 10th August USSR declared war on Japan. And the inevitable followed - Japan surrendered. Bose in his ever-calm voice said to his people:

Japan's surrender is not India's surrender ... The INA would not admit defeat.

Netaji wanted to stay in Singapore. But impending arrival of the Allied forces was only a matter of time. On advice and under extreme pressure from his Cabinet members, he decided to leave Singapore.  On 17th of August 1945, Bose met up with Field Marshal Terauchi in Saigon. With him were a number of top INA officials and Japanese General Isoda and Hachaiya. Netaji, Habibur Rahman who was to accompany Netaji, General Isoda, Hachaiya and Field Marshal Terauchi had a meeting which took place behind closed doors. The rest of the INA officials were not privy to the content or subject matter of that meeting. Whatever was decided was secret and remained so to this day. Netaji and Habibur flew with General Isado and Hachaiya. They reached Taihoku airport the following afternoon, after an overnight stopover at Turan.

After a short break at the airport and following maintenance checkup of the aircraft and a light refreshment the plane took off from the runway. Mechanical troubles caused the aircraft, hardly elevated 300 ft, to collapse and it crashed down to the ground. Bose was badly injured and was taken to the Nanmoon Hospital where he died later that night.

At least that was the official announcement.  The British never believed that story; neither did the 400 million Indians. To this day and as long as India exists, to hundreds of millions of Indians and oppressed people of the world, the leader of Free India - the Supreme Commander of the Indian National Army Netaji

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