Azad Hind Fauj and Muslims
By: Muhammad Asgar Khan
“We should have but one desire today – the desire to die so that India may live – the desire to face a martyr’s death, so that the path to freedom may be paved with the
martyr’s blood. ”
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
Azad Hind Fauj was one of leading movements for independence of India undertaken on the foreign soil around 1942 when British Army were engaged in fighting external forces, particularly against Japanese soldiers in the ongoing World War II. Role of some versatile Muslims for its formations and elevating patriotic sentiment is really appreciable because on the one side British Indian Army had been fighting against Japanese soldiers; on the other hand, Azad Hind Fauj had allied with Japanese Generals who were quite opportunistic to take supports against Britishers. A fine balance was made between the two so as to avoid harm to Indians.
It is said that history can be made and distorted by the governments which have dominance and power but some names are remarkable and unchangeable in history as the prominent Muslim figure Ubiadullah Sindhi. He supported and suggested Subhas Chandra Bose to make such army that could challenge British in India. His reliable contributions cannot be ignored and forgotten which proved to be a milestone in the independence struggle of India.
Abid Hasan Safrani was the army General and head of the body which coined the famous slogan ‘Jai Hind’ while Subhas Chandra Bose was discussing to create such slogan that will be unique and remove the sentiment of religion, caste and creed but inspire patriotism and sacrifice for Indian independence. His unparalleled contribution in aiding Bose in all the crucial planning is still admired and praised. He helped Bose to reach Germany by submarine; never thought about his life and comfort and had zeal of sacrifice for freedom. Habibur Rahman was the chief advisor and officer in Azad Hind Fauj in Singapore who was martyred in the last fatal flight along with Bose from Taipei to Tokyo.
Nevertheless, people of all religions played their mammoth role for Indian Independence but contributions of Muslims in sacrificing their lives and wealth are still unforgettable and undeniable. In this context Shah Nawaz Khan and Mirza Anayet Ali Baig are worth mentioning whose contributions are remembered by commoners and particulars alike. Shah Nawaz was an army officer who was convicted for treason by British government for protesting against British rule in India and later sacrificed his life for Indian independence.
Similar to Azad Hind Fauj, Muslims have always come forward to defend their country and whenever India demanded blood they were the first to come on frontier, when it needed their wealth they had given their wealth. Mentioning a few, an Indian Muslim named Nizam Mir Muhammad donated 5000 kgs of Gold to then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1965 to support the crippling economic situation of the country. There are countless examples of generous and versatile Muslims who were very fond to defend India and faced life sentence in prison and fatal death for Indian independence.
Learning from the glorious past, Muslim youths must adopt the nationalistic fervour of their ancestors who sacrificed their lives and wealth for the sake of India and must understand the importance of nationalism though some anti-nationalists have been struggling to change meaning of nationalism. Muslim youngsters must perceive the current scenario and act accordingly in the best interest of the nation.
Azad Hind Fauj is one of revolutionary movements that shocked British Generals and Crowns. It is now an eternal memory and inspiration for the present Muslim youngsters particularly and all the Muslims in general. They should not pay attention towards hue and cry that have been raised time to time that Muslims had done nothing in freedom struggles of India and are often questioned about their loyalty. These are the temporary voice and wind that have been falsified and ignited by certain people whose fragmented and distorted broadcast will fade away sooner or later as truth can never be suppressed.
Freedom fighters ranging from Ubiadullah Sindhi to Mohammad Habib did not only sacrifice their comforts, lives and wealth just for Indian Independence but also to motivate millions of Muslim youngsters to defend their mother land India from enemies. Muslims should study about Muslim freedom fighters and take appropriate steps in order to create prosperity and brotherhood in India.