Amardeep Singh | History| 29 July 2015 | Asia Samachar
It was Mohan Singh, and not Subhash Chandra Bose, who started the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauz) in Singapore to fight against the British. But history has all but forgotten his role.
By Amardeep Singh
Mohan Singh (1909 – 1989) was born in Sialkot (present Pakistan). He is a man whose contribution to the struggle for independence of India has been suppressed and the entire limelight is showered only on Subhash Chandra Bose. It was Mohan Singh, and not Subhash Chandra Bose, who started the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauz) in Singapore to fight against the British by attacking British India through Burma (Myanmar).
When Japanese occupied Singapore in 1941, Mohan Singh who was in the Army, took the initiative to form the Indian National Army (INA), enlisting 40,000 Indian soldiers of the British Indian Army who were imprisoned by the Japanese.
He sold the plan to the Japanese to free the soldiers and let him form the Indian National Army, which would invade India to free it from British occupation. He led the INA in Singapore till 1943.
In the two years as its leader, he realized that the Japanese who were till then supporting the INA were going to be equally bad if they entered India to overthrow British. He then had disagreements with the Generals of Japanese army in Singapore, questioning their hidden agenda to overtake India and establish the Japanese rule.
Mohan Singh was then arrested by the Japanese and jailed in Singapore. The Japanese then got Subhash Chandra Bose from Europe to Singapore and renamed Indian National Army to Azad Hind Force and made him its new commander.
When in 1945 Japan surrendered in Singapore and British came back to power, Mohan Singh was taken into custody by British for planning against them. He was then deported for trial to India. But fearing an uprising in India on his trial, at a time when British were feeling weak in India, he was later released.
Mohan Singh finds an honorable mention in the Singapore History Museum but unfortunately in India and Pakistan, the history is silent about the pioneer who started the Indian National Army army outside the shores of India to oust the British.
The purpose of this post is not to take away the limelight from Subhash Chandra Bose but to share about the true visionary in Mohan Singh whom the present generation is not even aware of.
Amardeep Singh lives in Singapore. His interests in photography, culture, history and spirituality were honed while pursuing an active career in the financial industry. He contributes to many reputed magazines and maintains a Blog (www.amardeepphotography.com). His email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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