On October 21, 1943, 78 years ago today, Subhas Chandra Bose announced the formation of the Provisional Government of Free India (PGFI), Aarzi Hakumat-e-Azad Hind, or, in short, Azad Hind Government, an Indian government-in-exile. It started functioning from Singapore with 11 ministers and eight representatives from the INA.
The PGFI was a culmination of the political movement originating in the early 1940s outside India with the purpose to liberate her from the British rule. The government of Azad Hind soon had its own currency, court, civil code and national anthem ‘Subh Sukh Chain’. The INA had its motto, ‘Ittehad, Itimad aur Qurbani’ (unity, faith and sacrifice) and its national greeting ‘Jai Hind’. Its existence gave greater legitimacy to the Indian independence struggle against the British.
The PGFI was recognised by nine Axis-aligned countries: Japan, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Burma, Thailand, Philippines, Manchukuo (Manchuria), and the Republic of China (Wang Jingwei regime). It even received a note of congratulations from the Prime Minister of Ireland, Eamon de Valera. Lal salaam!
Written by Raza Naeem | Lahore