Soviet Unions Recognition of the Azad Hind Government
By: Dr.Dipak Basu
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(The author is a Professor in International Economics in Nagasaki University, Japan)
For the people brainwashed by false propaganda, it is difficult to recognize the truth. That is particularly true about the Indian population fed with gigantic propaganda unleashed by the Government of India and the historians attached to the government since 1947 against the memory of both Subhas Chandra Bose and his Free India Government in exile. Although it is a fact that along with Germany, Italy, Japan, the Soviet Union also has recognized the Free India Government established in 1943 in Singapore, Indian population at large still cannot believe it.
Part of the explanation is due to the propaganda of the Indian historians that Subhas Bose was an associate of the Fascists and Nazis and as a result must had been denounced by the Soviet Union. A proper analysis can demonstrate that contrary to that view, Subhas Bose was a pro-Soviet socialist all along and had maintained links with the Soviet leaders throughout the Second World War and had gained recognition for his Azad Hind Government from Stalin, when the communists in India following their British comrades denounced Subhas Bose as a "Dog of Tojo" and a "Traitor ".
Evidence regarding the recognition of the Azad Hind Government by the Soviet Union comes from the Russian military archives in Paddolsk, near Moscow, discovered by General Alexander Kolesnikov, a retired military leader of the now demised Warsaw Pact Forces, who later became a Professor in the Institute of Oriental Studies in the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. During a meeting with an Indian Parliamentary Delegation to the Russian Federation in 1996, he gave a written account of all his findings. The delegation, which included the late Chitta Basu and Sri Jayanta Roy of the Forward Bloc, brought the writing back to India. This account is the basis of the affidavit before the Mukherjee Commission submitted by Dr Purabi Roy, Professor in Jadavpur University, Calcutta, who was sent as part of Asiatic Society"s three-member team to Russia to study Indian documents from 1917-1947. Other two members were Hari Vasudevan and Sobhan Lal Dutta Gupta. Their findings were published in two books, Indo-Russian Relations, 1917-47 and Russo-Indian Relation in the Nineteenth Century: A Selection of Documents ~ both published by the Asiatic Society, Kolkata. These views are summarized in the website of Anuj Dhar entitled http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/specials/Netaji/purabi4.htm and in his book, "Back from the Dead" published by Manas Publications, New Delhi.
Prof.Kolesnikov mentions in his article, "Destiny and Death. Subhas Chandra Bose" in Ezhenedelnaiya Gazeta, January No. 3 1997, Moscow, that Subhas Bose had maintained contacts with the Soviet-Leadership. He sent the authorized representative of Azad Hind Government Kato Kochu (an assumed name) with the rank of an Ambassador to Omsk, which was the alternative capital of the Soviet Union during the 2nd World War. There is evidence to the effect that Kato-Kochu reached Omsk and was received by the Soviet Union". In another article published in the same journal V.B. Turadzev wrote another article "Against whom Subhas Chandra Bose fought during the years of Second World War" indicating the same close relationship of Subhas Bose and the Soviet Union.
Pramod Mehra, of the National Archives of India, New Delhi, in March 1999, had presented a seminar paper at the Netaji Institute of Asian Studies, Calcutta. In his paper on "The Declassified Documents from the Ministry of Defense" at page 6 he had mentioned that "The recognition of the Provisional Government by the world powers, viz. Japan, Burma, Germany, Italy, Thailand, Philippines, Russia declared the firm resolve to support the Provisional Government of India in its struggle for India"s freedom." A file (No. 265/I.N.A) of the National Archives of India refers that the Provisional Government of Free India was having its representation at Omsk and the name of the representative consul was Kato-Kochu.
The most important evidence comes from a letter from Subhas Bose himself which, he wrote to the then Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, which is quoted below in full:
Tokyo, the 16th November 1943.
His Excellency the Foreign Minister of the USSR.
I have the honour to inform Your Excellency that in accordance with the Will of all the freedom - loving Indians in India and abroad - and with the fullest support of all Indians residing in East Asia who number close upon three millions, and of their political organisation, The Indian Independence League as well as with the backing of the Indian National Army now stationed in East Asia - The provisional Government of Azad Hind (Free India) was established on the 21st of October 1943, with its Headquarters temporarily at Syonan or Singapore.
In communicating this information to Your Excellency, I avail myself of this opportunity to express my sincere desire that there should exist between our two Governments and our two nations the most cordial relations of amity and friendship.
I also take this opportunity of assuring Your Excellency of my warmest esteem.
SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE
Head of the State, Prime Minister
& Minister of Foreign Affairs
of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind.
(From former KGB (FSB) archive. Moscow; source: Purabi Roy)
It is indeed very surprising that while communists in India were so much against Subhas Bose the Soviet Union maintained such a close relationship with him. The reasons are obvious. Subhas Bose has always proclaimed both in his book "Indian Struggle" and later in various speeches that his aim was to establish socialist planned economy in India to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and caste-religious differences within a decade. With that aim he has established the First Planning Commission for India in 1938 with Jawaharlal Nehru as the Chairman to create a blueprint for future industrialization of India. He was the only one politician in India who has supported Stalin"s inclusion of the Baltic States within the Soviet Union as the reestablishment of Russia"s historical claims on its ancient lands. He also has supported the Stalin-Hitler non-aggression pact of 1939, by saying that the real enemies of the oppressed people are the Anglo-American imperialism and the Soviet Union had to fight the final war against the Anglo-Americans while Germany and Italy serving as temporary disturbances. With the ambition to receive Soviet support for the India"s war of independence he went to the Soviet Union in 1941. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 Subhas Bose was in Rome. He wrote a spirited letter to the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop denouncing the German invasion and forbade the use of the Azad Hind Force in Germany against the Soviet Union in any form.
When Subhas Bose has arrived in Japan in 1943 Hediki Tojo, Japan"s war time prime minister had transformed himself from a military leader to the champion of the freedom fighters of Asia. 1943 Conference of the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere in Tokyo was attended by Sukarno of Indonesia, Subhas Bose of India, Aung Sang of Burma, deposed kings of Vietnam, Malay, emperor of China, and political leaders from Mongolia, Philippines and across Asia. It was a replication of the Conference of the Oppressed Nations held in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1920 under the sponsorship of Zenoviev of Comintern, the international communist movement and the Brussels Conference of the "League against Imperialism" in 1927 organized by Virendranath Chattopadhya, brother of Sarojini Naidu, associate of Veer Savarkar and Bipin Pal, and one of three founder of the CPI in Moscow in 1920.
Virendranath Chattopadhya was the link between Subhas Bose, the Soviet Union, and Japan, and without him Azad Hind Government might not be a reality. He became the leader of German Indian Committee, which was helping revolutionaries in India with weapons and sanctuaries. This committee had supplied weapons to the revolutionary groups in India like Jugantar, Anusheelal Samity, to Jatin Sarkar or Tiger Jatin and to the legendary Surya Sen. This Committee sent Narain Marathe, Herambalal Gupta, and Rash Bihari Bose went to Japan in 1915. They are the frontrunner of the Azad Hind Fauz, organized later by the Japanese friends of Virendranath. In 1933, Virendranath had escaped to the USSR. He became the head of the Indian Department of the USSR Academy of Science in Leningrad and became very close with the two very important leaders of the Russian revolution, Lenin"s wife Nadezhda Krupskaya and Sergey Kirov.
Japanese government sent over a number of scholars to Germany during 1920s. To this circle in 1926-29, belonged many young scholars who later led the Japanese academics and culture. Rouyama, Arisawa, Kunizaki of Tokyo University, and professors from Kyoto University - Muraichi Horie, Yoshihiko Taniguchi, Katsuichi Yamamoto, and Katsujiro Yamada - were the founding members of "The Association of Revolutionary Asians". In addition to these scholars, there were Japanese artists and journalists in Berlin in this group. Theatre and film personalities of Japan Koreya Senda, Seki Sano, Yoshi Hijikata, Teinosuke Kinugasa, Souzo Okada, writer Seiichirou Katsumoto and Seikichi Fujimori, painter Ousuke Shimazaki, and architect Bunzou Yamaguchi were also members when this group. Virendranath was the leader of this group of Japanese in Berlin in the "Association of Revolutionary Asians".
These Japanese intellectuals became very prominent upon their return to Japan. They have supported and financed the formation of the Azad Hind Fauz in Japan and hosted Indian revolutionaries including Mohan Singh, Giani Pritam Singh, Satyananda Puri, and Rash Bihari Bose. They have influenced the Japanese government to bring Subhas Chandra Bose from Germany to Japan and to release about 80,000 Indian prisoners of war held by Japan in Singapore in 1942 to fight for the freedom of India.
The most important rationale for the Soviet decision to recognize the Azad Hind Government was provided by Subhas Bose himself in a letter to Jacob Malik, the Soviet Ambassador to Japan during the 2nd World War. The letter is quoted below:
ARZI HUKUMATE AZAD HIND
(Provisional Government of the Independent India)
Hotel Imperial, Tokyo
Monday, November, 20, 1944
To His Excellency Ambassador of the Soviet Union, Tokyo
Now, when I am in Tokyo, I would like to use this opportunity to see your Excellency. Looking for this, I put a task in front of myself to find through your Excellency a support of the Soviet Government in the struggle of India for its independence.
2. The fact, that now we have close connections with Axis powers in our common struggle against British and Americans does not stop me. I am happy to say that Axis powers have a very clear idea about the peculiarity of problem of India and they have kindly recognized the Azad Hind (Independent India) Provisional Government. We are very thankful for it. Besides Japan, whose relationship with the Soviet Union has strictly neutral character, even the Government of Germany has understood in full and appreciated the fact, that we, the Hindu, were interested only in actions against England and America. The Government of Germany also understood and appreciated the fact that we were not interested in the actions against the Soviet Russia. In reality, the activity of my organization in Europe was only against England and America, but not against the Soviet Russia. It was lying in the base of our co-operation with Axis powers in Europe and in this connection we have the full understanding and approval from the side of the German Government and Fascist Italian Government.
3. I know, that there is an alliance between the Soviet Government and Governments of the England and USA now. But I am quite well understand the international policy to see that it can not prevent the Soviet Government from rendering us a support in our struggle for independence. With gratitude I recall the assistance rendered to me by the Soviet Government after I left India in 1941. I conveyed my gratitude for this to his Excellency Mr. Molotov, Minister of External Affairs, in my letter sent from Berlin, which, I hope, was received by him in a proper way.
4. During his life Lenin always from the bottom of his heart supported colonial countries in their struggle for independence. It also gives me an impulse. As I know, after Lenin"s death the Soviet Government has not changed its policy concerning problems of subjugation of such countries as India at all.
5. As far as my party concerned-Progressive bloc, - I can say, that at time when the Soviet foreign policy in Europe was blamed by approximately all parties of India in 1939-1940, we were the only people who openly supported the Soviet foreign police towards Germany and Finland. What is more, we belong to the left wing of the national movement in India and we have the most progressive views on social and economic problems. Going on, our party is the only one party in India, which up to the present day is carrying on uncompromising struggle against the British imperialism in collaboration with some other revolutionary groups.
6. I would like very much to see Your Excellency and to find with the help of Your Excellency a support of the Soviet Government in our struggle for independence. As far as the type of assistance, which the Soviet Government can render to us, is concerned, that is such question which should be settled down by the Soviet Government in connection with the present military situation. I would like only to add, that we are full of determination to make India absolutely free and those Governments who have recognized the Provisional Government of Independent India unconditionally agree with us in this question. I would like to assure you, Your Excellency, in my highest respect to you and hope to get your response soon.
Still sincerely yours,
SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE
(From former KGB (FSB) archive. Moscow; Affidavit - Dr Purabi Roy to The Mukherjee Commission)
Subhas Bose maintained socialist views throughout his life, and, on very many occasions, expressed his hope for an egalitarian, especially classless, and casteless industrialized society in which the state would control the basic means of production. That has not escaped the notice of the Soviet Union, who never had any faith on Gandhi.
The decision for the CPI to transform itself from a revolutionary organization to a pro-British organization in 1942 was prompted by two factors, hitherto neglected by the historians. CPI was formed by the Indian revolutionaries M.N.Roy, Abani Mukherjee, and Virendranath Chattopadhya in Moscow in 1920 sponsored by no other than Lenin himself. However, after the arrival of the deposed members of the Khilafat Movement, Muzzafar Ahmed for example, and their inclusion in the CPI in the Tashkent conference in 1926 against the wishes of the original founders of the CPI, has changed the character of the CPI a lot. Later during the 1930s, a group of very privileged British educated Barrister sons of mega rich Zaminders of India, Jyoti Basu, Somnath Lahiri, Indrajit Gupta, Bhupesh Gupta, Somnath Chaterjee and many others has changed the character of the CPI totally making it a chapter of the British Communist Party of Rajini Palme Dutt British socialists are traditionally anti-Indian, Pro-Muslim and staunchly anti-Hindu. It was not the Soviet Communist Party but the British Communist Party who had advised the CPI to go against Subhas Bose and Azad Hind Government during the 2nd World War as the CPI could not have any direct contact with the Soviet Communist Party.
The class characteristic of the Indian communists had changed by that time, with most revolutionaries who used to be in the CPI had left it for the Forward Block or the RSP or the Congress Socialists. CPI then became a very pro-British organization reflecting the propaganda of George Orwell, a member of the British spy network MI6, who used to spread his venoms against Subhas Bose and Azad Hind Government regularly in the BBC (George Orwell: The War Broadcasts, Edited with an introduction by W.J. West, Duckworth and the BBC, London, 1985).
This British connection is also responsible for the decision of the CPI, along with Gandhi, to support the "Pakistan proposal" of Jinnah as the right of self-determination of the Muslims in British India, as the British in general were and still are pro-Muslim and pro-Pakistani. The decision of a section of the CPI, who later formed the CPI (M), to support the Chinese invasion against India in 1962 was also provoked by this British connection, as the Soviet Union had denounced that Chinese invasion but the British in general had supported that invasion.
CPI before 1948 and CPI (M) since its formation in 1964 had committed a number of "Historic Blunders". These are due to the inability of its leaders to have a proper international connection with the Soviet Communist party and their associations with first the British and then the Chinese Communists, who are mainly anti-Indian, pro-Muslim and anti-Hindu. As a result of that the communist movement in India never could go beyond the restricted arenas of Bengal and Kerala. The decision of the CPI to oppose the Azad Hind government, which was supported by the Soviet Union, is one of those major "Historic Blunders".