Mohan Singh started Indian National Army

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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.

Mohan Singh of the Indian National Army
Mohan Singh of the Indian National Army

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: amardeepsinghranghar@yahoo.com.sg

 

[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE! Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]

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20 COMMENTS

  1. I would like to share my research findings (PhD thesis, 2015) on the formation of the INA. The origin of the INA can be traced to the first meeting between Major Fujiwara Iwaichi, Giani Pritam Singh and Captain Mohan Singh at Sher Singh Estate (a rubber plantation), Kuala Nerang, near Jitra on 15 December 1941. This meeting was facilitated by Ramdan Singh (Sher Singh’s son). Captain Mohan Singh was second in command of a battalion of the 15th Brigade, 1/14 Punjab Regiment of the British Indian Army stationed at Jitra. He and his men were cut off from the main force during the Japanese attack on northern Malaya. Pritam Singh explained the aims and objects of the Indian Independence League (IIL) and urged Captain Mohan Singh to join the IIL and raise an Indian National Army. After prolonged discussions with Pritam Singh and Major Fujiwara, Captain Mohan Singh agreed to join the Indian independence movement and fight against the British based upon the following major terms: (i) Captain Mohan Singh be authorized to establish an INA from the Indian POWs; (ii) the Japanese Army would give the INA whole-hearted support; (iii) the INA and the IIL will cooperate for the time being; (iv) the Japanese Army was to treat the Indian POWs with goodwill and release those soldiers who wish to join the INA; and (v) the INA be regarded as an allied army by the Japanese Army. The Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) was formed at Taiping on 31 December 1941. All Indian prisoners of war captured by the Japanese were to be placed immediately at the disposal of Mohan Singh who was made the commanding officer of the newly formed INA. The official announcement of its formation was to be withheld until after it was firmly established. A combined headquarters of the F Kikan, the IIL and INA was established in Ipoh.

  2. Giani Pritam Singh’s work for “Indian Independence League” is very valuable and important enough but it doesn’t justify his descendants giving him credit for setting up the Indian National Army (INA). It is interesting that the comments made by Gurcharan Singh are based on a chance encounter in 2014 with a descendant of Giani Pritam Singh and the only documented proof he has presented on an article he has posted on Sikhnet.com is a self written (by the family of Giani Pritam Singh) titled “TO WHOMSOEVER IT MAY CONCERN”, which self proclaims that Giani Pritam Singh was the only founder of Azad Hind Fouz. Gurcharan Singh in that article in Sikhnet.com says that he met the descendant of Giani Pritam Singh by chance in 2014, and such a self proclaimed document is presented by him to weigh over the thousands of history books and the Singapore Governments fact documentation about the INA. This is not how history can be validated and presented. Interestingly, in that article in sikhnet.com, the real work of Giani Pritam Singh as a key member of “Indian Independence League” does not even find a mention.

  3. Jarnail Singh Ji and Awtaar Sidhu,

    No Sirs, The Singapore Museum and the historical books on INA are not at all wrong. There is no needle to be searched in the haystack here. The facts are very clear and can be confirmed from multiple sources, which you too can do so by delving into the books which you seem to also have at your end. The reality is as below.

    Giani Pritam Singh was a member of the organization called “Indian Independence League” of which many other noted leaders like Rash Behari Bose were members too. Rash Behari Bose though was based in Tokyo and leading the parent body of the “Indian Independence League” from Japan, where it was started in 1921. The newly set up branch of “Indian Independence League” that was set up in Asia (Thailand and Malaya) in 1941 had thereafter aligned with Major Fujimara to form an army by recruiting the Indians in the region. The Indian Independence League Organization thereafter won the support of Captain Mohan Singh to create the INA and to do so the Captain first became the member of the Indian Independence League. Thereafter in 1941 Captain Mohan Singh dedicated himself to the creation of the Indian National Army (INA) organization from the grass-root level.

    By the way, neither Giani Pritam Singh nor Rash Behari Bose themselves were the members of the INA, remaining as the members of the “Indian Independence League”.

    If you wish to go down the path of saying that Giani Pritam Singh created the INA, then we need to also accept that all other Executive Member of the “Indian Independence League” were also the individuals also created the INA. That means please give full credit to Rash Behari Bose also as the equal creator of the INA.

    This is where we need to appreciate that to create the INA, the Executive Committee of the “Indian Independence League” made a joint decision and thereafter Captain Mohan Singh led the effort as the member of the League, becoming the first member of the INA and recruiting the others. Also note that no other Executive Members of the “Indian Independence League” became the members of INA.

    In stating these well known facts, yes the needle lies in the intricacies of the involvement of the “Indian Independence League” and therefore we can’t ignore the role played by Giani Pritam Singh or Rash Behari Bose. But the so called haystack remains the reality, the role of Captain Mohan Singh is not a lie in the Museum of Singapore or in the thousands of books on the subject of INA.

    The objective of this post was to make the public aware of the history of INA’s set up much earlier than Subhash Chandra Boses’ arrival in 1943 because the current youth only associates INA with SC Bose. But interestingly this whole conversation has been taken somewhere else altogether.

  4. Amardeep Singh JI, Like Giani Jarnail Singh says,dont take the haystack to be the truth.You may have taken ONE book, written by a half baked writer, and assumed all is well and true.I have about 6 books, in Punjabi and they all says a perscpective generally that ignores, or is Chnadra Bose biased, and many others currently from India are Congress biased.As I understand , this Indian Indepoendance leage was originally forme din Bangkok, the next phase was the INA.There is another Indian Independence league that was in Europe under Chnadra Bose.They were never the same.By the way, I see you are contradicting yourself-you say team work in breath, and you omitted the team aand potrayed cap Mohan ion the other.Please stop, beating about the bush ji.Sr Gurcharan Singh ji too has produced enough evidences of how Museums have got it wrong many times before, especially Sikh history.I think, now you are collecting the haystacks for unecessay arguments.

  5. The Gurmukhi books on INA with interviews of Captian Mohan Singh quote “Car viccho Giani Pritam Singh nei nikal key Indian Independence League da Kam tey Nishaana uss dey Samhney rakhya tey Captain Mohan Singh nu kehya ki oh Indian Independence League da member bun key INA banaye”

    What this means is that Giani Pritam Singh and Major Fujimara approached Captian Mohan Singh on behalf of the Indian Independence League and asked Captain Mohan Singh to join the Indian Independence League as its member and thereafter create the Indian National Army (INA) organization.”

    Yes Giani Pritam Singh got Mohan Singh to join the Indian Indepnedence League and thereafter Captain Mohan Singh took on the task of creating the INA.

    No one is denying the role of Giani Pritam Singh as a founding father but it was only when Captain Mohan Singh and Giani Pritam Singh met that thereafter latter joined the movement and was instrumental in getting the first bacth of his soldiers to also move to the INA that they collectively formed. hereafter, Mohan Singh did the entire ground level work in recruiting and leading the organization from 1941 – 43. Yes Giani Pritam Singh had an important role to play as one of the starting founding members. Immediately thereafter he died and the Mohan Singh continued to lead the organization. The purpose of this post remains to highlight to the general public about the early pioneers of the INA, two years before SC Bose came on board. In this early two year period, Mohan Singh remained the founding General and did the major work on the grassroots level.

  6. After going through the comments above the only conclusion i can reach is that Sikh History in this part of the Diaspora is also buried under loads of chaff….Here and there is a sole seed of wheat..but each is covered up by a mountain of chaff (toorree)….TRUTh is lost like the proverbial needle in the haystack and people are taking the haystack as truth and claiming the needle is a figment of the imagination. Museums can be wrong,(and found to be wrong) historians can be wrong, we must be all honest in the search for the TRUTH.
    Many many heartfelt thanks to Gurcharan Singh ji for persevering at digging up the TRUTH. It is doing the Kaum an invaluable service.

  7. Over the years since 1945, there has been an on going controversy about the founding father of the Indian National Army. In the Court Marshall cases that took place against some of the officers, in New Delhi, in 1945/6 there was one notable name missing. For he was a civilian, who was the real brains behind the idea of the Azad Hind Fauj, a Giani Pritam Singh Dhillon.

    He has been mentioned in the early books published about the INA-both in Punjabi and English. But over the years, thanks to a few vested interests, his name has almost disappeared. Even today, Sikh writers miss the point and continue to erroneously claim that Capt. Mohan Singh is the “founder”. Sadly, this just proves the shallow understanding and knowledge of these “writers” and their “research”

    Although, I had read his name here and there, it was only in 2005, I first came across a very detailed account about Giani Pritam Singh , in a old book published in Punjabi by Vidhata Singh Tir, in 1949, where a whole chapter was dedicated to the INA. I found this book with a family in Moga, when I visited my ancestral village. It clearly stated that the idea of INA originated from Giani Pritam Singh, who had met with an Intelligence officer of the Japanese Imperial Army and mooted the idea.

    May I add, as a young child growing up in Kedah, I had heard the name Giani Pritam Singh and some other interesting stories from the old time residents in Kedah.

    However, over the years in books and history, his name has almost, but been erased and only two names are repeatedly mentioned, Capt, [later General] Mohan Singh and Chandra Bose, a Bengali Indian freedom worker, who lived in Germany and became the head of the European Indian Freedom League based in Berlin. Prior to that Bose had been involved in the youth wing of Indian National Congress, and escaped to Germany from India in 1940 after his involvement with agitation against the British

    Whether by an act of God or mere fate, in 2014, I was in Harmander Sahib, sitting late into the night, when a young lad came and sat next to me, bringing two hot of cups of tea, offered me one, which was a welcome gesture out on a chilly night, on the cold marble floor.

    This chance meeting led us to conversation, when finding out I was from Malaysia, he got very excited and said, my baba ji Giani Pritam Singh was in Malaya during the Japani time. He was involved in the Azad Hind fauj, ji. That name stirred my memories and interest. We got chatting, and he turned out to be Giani Pritam Singh Ji’s great grand nephew. That chance meeting revealed a lot of information, and curiosity on both sides. Most of the personal information and photos, I got from Lakhwinder Singh Dhillon, the young man. He has promised to get hold of the diaries, which now are said to be in a Amritsar, Press Office with a Ram Singh Majithia. He has promised to get them for me.

    Giani Pritam Singh ji was born on the 18th of November, 1910 in village Nagoke Sarli, District Lyallpur, currently in Pakistan.

    11242315_1574299182819573_14941142951494114295_o (63K)

    His father’s name was Sardar Maya Singh, and mother was Mata Fateh Kaur. Pritam Singh, as was the culture then, got married quite young to Bibi Kartar Kaur. They had two children. One son, Prithipal Singh, and a daughter Gursharan Kaur.

    He did his early studies in Lyallpur, and then passed out as Giani from Lahore. He then joined the Lyallpur Agricultural College, but left half way to join the Shahid Sikh Missionary College in Lahore to become a Sikh missionary. His wife passed away in 1938.

    As missionary, and revolutionary his work led him to Bengal. While there he became actively involved with the Indian Independence Movement and Gadher Party. He was instrumental in the failed 1915 mutiny, that he stirred among a Bengal Lancers regiment. The authorities started hunting him. He fled via Burma to Bangkok, in 1919, where a number of Indian revolutionaries from other parts of India were living.

    Once in Bangkok, he mingled with the local Sikh community and along with his missionary work began spreading the message of the Gadhar party.

    Then he met with Major Fujiwara, head of the Japanese field intelligence section in the region, who had, even before the declaration of war by Japan, reached an agreement of collaboration with The Japanese at Bangkok on 4 December 1941 . It was Giani Pritam Singh’s idea, working with Major Fujiwara, that captured Indian soldiers be asked to join an Indian national army to fight for Indian independence. These plans were started long before the war broke out, among a group of revolutionaries based in Bangkok. His wife passed away in 1938, while he was still in Bangkok

    Thus, Capt. Mohan Singh is NOT the founder of INA, but was ONLY the FIRST operational Commander of the INA, accepted the position on Giani Ji and Major Fujimura’s insistence.

    The brains behind INA were Major Iwaichi Fujimura and a Giani Pritam Singh Dhillon.

    In 1941, Capt Mohan Singh of the 14th Punjab regiment was stationed at the Thai border, in operation Matador, when the Japanese attacked. The 14th Punjab retreated along with the rest of the Allied Forces. Capt Mohan found himself in the jungles of Jitra, as a straggler. There they made an approach through locals to surrender to the Japanese, after they found some leaflets in Punjabi were dropped by the Japanese calling upon British Indian soldiers to surrender, and join the INA to fight the cause of Indian Independence.

    At Jitra, Kedah, they were met by Giani Pritam Singh and Major Iwaichi Fujimura in a car that carried an Indian tri-flag along with a Japanese flag. They persuaded Capt Mohan to join the cause of INA. He was one of the most Senior Indian officers in the British indian Army. He agreed to take the operational command. He did NOT find the INA.

    Next day, they gathered at Alor Star Gurduara, where the first ardas for the success of the INA and Indian Independence was done. Thus, a very strong element of little known history is attached to Alor Star Gurduara Sahib, that has not been realised nor commemorated or acknowledged by the local community, that a great event took place within it’s grounds.

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    I attach some historical photos of Giani Pritam Singh and other INA leaders, along with Major Fujimura, attending an all Malaya INA conference in Kuala Lumpur in 1943

    The irony is, later an almost nobody from Europe, who worked with German based Indian freedom movement, Chandra Bose stole the show from Mohan Singh, who then went on to steal the role of Giani Pritam Singh, and kept Giani Pritam Singh’s personal diaries, which came into his possession after Giani Ji died in an air crash in Tokyo. Giani JI along with 6 other INA officials had flown from Saigon after a conference to Tokyo, where he died in an air crash accident at the airport, on 24 March 1942

    The two children were shipped off to India from Singapore by another INA officer Colonel Niranjan Singh. Giani ji’s role was played down as Capt Mohan Singh took the diary records and did not divulge to the world. Giani Ji’s family was not able to voice the truth.

    Like Capt Mohan Singh usurped the role of Giani PRITAM SINGH, the same happened to Capt Mohan Singh, as Chandra Bose, usurped the credit for INA.

    As mentioned, writers with shallow knowledge have not pursued the story of Giani Pritam Singh, THE REAL FOUNDER of INA-Giani Pritam Singh Dhillon. Mohan was NOT the founder, just as Chandra Bose, as claimed in recent article derived from wikipaedia.

    Kuala Lumpur fell on 11 January 1942 with 3,500 Indian prisoners of war and Singapore on 15 February 1942 with 85,000 troops of whom 45,000 were Indians. Giani Pritam Singh asked for volunteers who would form the Azad Hind Fauj to fight for freeing India from the British yoke, under Capt Mohan Singh’s command. A large number, again mostly Sikhs, came forward. Mohan Singh established his headquarters at Neeson in Singapore with Lt Col. Niranjan Singh Gill as Chief of Staff, LtCol. J. K. Bhonsle as Adjutant and Quarter master General and Lt. Col. A. C. Chatterjee as Director of Medical Services. The Azad Hind Fauj, however, was formally established on 1st September 1942 by which date 40,000 prisoners of war had signed a pledge to join it.

    Another notable Sikh name was Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon.

    It is claimed by most current writers that Giani Pritam Singh and Chandra Bose were “friends” is untrue. Records clearly show Giani Ji left India in 1919 and passed away in March 1942, in Tokyo.

    Chandra Bose was in India until 1940 and left for Europe. He arrived in Malaya in 1943, after Giani Ji’s demise. They may have heard about each other, but they were not friends.

    As I get hold of these Giani Ji’s diaries in near future, we will learn the TRUTH of history, not the “truth” made up by copycat writers.

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  8. Who is taking the credit away from Giani Pritam Singh? He is indeed a man who initiated the idea but all that we need to agree is that the INA came into full form and started chuggin under the leadership of Mohan Singh. As you have pointed that Giani Pritam Singh died in the few months thereafter its formation.

    I am not distorting history but only giving credits where it is due because the history books across India only project Subhash Chandra Bose as the INA (Azad Hind Force) leader and the objective of the post was to make people aware that for 2 years before the advent of SC Bose, the INA was being led by Mohan Singh.

    As for Zorawar Singh article, Gurcharan Ji, please point where in my past article on my personal journey that traced the General Zorawar Singh’s footsteps, have I ever talked about his personal faith? In the link below on Zorawar Singh, please read word by word and tell me? I have said “Zorawar Singh was born at Khalur, now in the state of Himachal Pradesh, which was then a part of Punjab. At a very young age, he rose to become a General in Maharajah Ranjit Singh’s army.” Ranjit Singh had a secular Army where it didn;t matter what the faith of his soldiers was. And collectively they formed his first Punjabi empire, which was later termed as the Sikh Empire by the British.

    The conquests of Ladakh under Zorawar Singh’s force was in 1834, and the treaty of Chishul was signed between the Lahore Darbar and the King of Ladakh. So as an employee of Ranjit Singh’s army he acquired Ladakh in 1834 when Ranjit Singh was alive. That is the point that matters and not his personal faith. The latter conquests of Baltistan in 1840 and the failed Tibet expedition of 1841 were also done with columns of Zorawar Singh in former and in latter with supplemented columns of Basti Ram and Ghulam Mirza Baig. Yes Gulab Singh Dogra was the appointed Commander of the Norther region in this period and he too was a salaried employee of the Lahore Darbar till he got an independent kingdom from British in 1846. So any action on territorial expansion that Gulab Singh led till 1846, were for the Lahore Darbar of the Sikh kingdom.

    So irrespective of what faith was of Gulab Singh, Zorawar Singh, Basti Ram and Ghulam Rasul Baig the fact is they were all commanding an army for the Lahore Darbar of the Sikh Kingdom. It shows the secularity of the kingdom and yes it didn’t matter what be the faith of the soldiers who were making these military contributions. Ranjit Singh’s army had over 50% soldiers belonfging to the Muslim faith who also helped in Westward conquests of NWFP territory. So will you question their contributions because of their faith.

    If you have doubt, please read Tsepon Skba’s Political History of Tibet. The author was the Finance Minister of the Dalai Lama when he was exiled in 1950s from Lhasa. In this book about the war in the Western Tibet in the years 1841 are termed as the war against the Sikh Empire. If the defendants of the territory saw the army as the Sikh Army, then who are you and me to bring in the faith of the individuals who were leading the forces for the Lahore Darbar.

    Refer my post at link below : http://amardeepphotography.com/general-zorawar-singh/

  9. Now dont be ridiclous!Major Fujimura was only a step in the chain.It was Giani Pritam Singh Dhillon.Others too played their roles, but the point is Mohan Singh was not the founder.

    Of course Pritam Singh passed away in 1942,so it is common sense the British could only chase after Mohan Singh, and the otehr remaining officers, Like GS Dhillon, Shah Nawaz, Niranjan Singh etc.

    Dont distort the history further, like making Gen Zorawar Singh , a rajput dogra into a Sikh!

    The DSGMC museum too was potraying a photo of the Afghan Sher Mohammad as that of Maharajah Ranjiit Singh or Hari Singh Nalwa.All Sikhs were jubilantly bowing to it.It even had put it up in its museum for three year
    On much correspondance, it has now been removed.

    Lately, the Musuem at Hazoor sahib has put up that same inaccurate photo as of Hari Singh Nalwa.Foolishly soem people are bowing to this musalmaan!

    For many years, the Albert Museum in London had the put up a Kalgi, bought off a gypsy by Chanan Singh Chan,as that of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.It was removed after exposure.

    Then there were the two swords passed on as of MIRI PIRI, again subsequently removed.

    So, instead of compounding the historical falsehood, talk to the Singapaore Museum and get the facts right!Dont continue to push inacurate history.I have nothing further to say , I have pointed out the facts.

    Just because Singapore Museum has it , does not make it factualkly correct.

  10. If one wishes to takes credit away from a core team of founding fathers and bring the credit to one man then the only founding father of INA is Major Fujimaru. The reality is that the core founding team had to enlist Mohan Singh to turn the idea into a reality. For which Mohan Singh had to serve 5 years in jail too. Did Giani Pritam Singh go to jail when British came back to power in Singapore? Clearly even the British saw Mohan Singh to have been the main man to have led the mutiny against them through INA. Again I say, I am not questioning the role of Pritam Singh but we can’t ignore Mohan Singh as being a core founding member who did the major lifting work for the organization.

  11. Daily I have thousands of ideas flowing through my mind and many I discuss with people. But for any idea to materialize the true credit I would give to the man who will take them and do the heavy lifting to implement. That man when joins as a believer of the idea and takes it forward, becomes the man who would be finally credited for having created something. Mohan Singh rolled his sleeves and created the organization which he led for 2 years before falling off the line with Japanese and was then imprisoned. Then British imprisoned him for another three years for having sided Japanese. Pray tell me did Giani ji go to the jail? If not then in the eyes of the British too it was Mohan Singh who created a revolt against them. I again say we are not taking the credit away from Giani ji’s contributions.

  12. Like Chandar Bose stole the credit from Mohan Singh, Mohan stole the credit due to Giani Pritam Singh.
    After all, It was Major Fujimura and Giani Pritam Singh appointed him to lead, after he came out of hiding in the Kedah jungles.

    Singapore museum obviously has not done enough correct research,is crediting the wrong man more than his due.It needs to get it’s facts right!

  13. many people will come together, but not many will steal the credit of another.Like Chandra Bose took away the credit from Mohan as the frist operational Commander, Mohan Singh stole all the credit that was due to Giani Pritam Singh.

    Mohan a soldier running away from the enemy was appointed by iwaichi and Giani Pritam Singh to lead.

    It is obvious Singapore museum needs to do a lot more research and get it’s facts correct before dispensing to the Public.It probably got it’s story from some half baked story teller.

  14. Just as Chandra Bose was not the first founder, neither is Mohan Singh.

    Pritam Singh was the man responsible for the set up of INA and appointed Mohan Singh because Mohan had the military background.Considering that Mohan was simply one of a stragllers , hiding out in the jungles of Jitra.

    Like the allegation Chandra Bose usurped the credit of the early INA,Mohan Singh too stole the credit from Pritam Singh, and enjoyed the perks that came with it!Now, a case is being presented to the Indian High Court to recognise Sr Giani Pritam Singh. contribution.Singapore Museum need to do more research and get to the truth!

  15. Any organization requires many people to come together to create and lead it. While no one is challenging the effort of people like Giani Pritam Singh but it is a fact that Mohan Singh was the first leader on the streets, to have led the INA. For this he had to go to the prison under Japanese and the British later. In Singapore museum he is recognized for his grassroots work as its first leader.

  16. Veer ji Gurcharan Singh ji, Thank you so much for keeping alive many aspects of our history.My father from Alor Star used to mention of a subedar fighting the Japanese alone in Sungai Patani for many hours.This must be it.I have heard of the INA Ardas in Alor Star gurduara. Why have we Sikhs not made stone memorial for such incidents like the Kampar Ridge, Sungai Nyior as I read from some your aticles.

    I saw the photos of Giani Pritam Singh, they are wonderful and living evidence of who the real founder of INA is. Thanks sooo much. Guru bless you, look forward to read more from you.

  17. Giani Jarnail Singh ji, Thank you so much.Shaheedahn dee perrh perrh in Punjabi by Sohan Singh Seetal is indeed a great book,I have a copy.What is annoying that a lot of misrepresentation is done by todays writers, when they gather information from here and there, without any basis or source.

    I rebut this nonsensical and misleading claim about INA.I have now completed my article on Giani Pritam Singh Dhillon, with many historical photos and sent to the SIKHNET.In one Giani Pritam Singh ji along with late Sucha Singh of Kuala Lumpur stands tall along with Major Iwaichi Fujimura and Capt. Mohan Singh, SC Gohe, Col Niranjan Singh Dhillon and Capt Akram,and others during an All Malaya INA branches Conference in 1942.These are all on my facebook page with the article, abt Giani Pritam Singh.I am hoping the diaries that his nephew promised me , will arrive soon.

    There are many forgotten instances of Sikh heroism-that are forgotten-eg the Subedar Pritam Singh who held the Japanese at bay over Sungai Petani River for 24 hours on his own with his machine gun.When the Japs eventually found another crossing, and came up behind him, they captured him and gorged out hiws eyes, as they blamed his sharp shooting skills for their inability to cross over the river at that bridge point.

    Dr jagat Singh’role is another,I now see they have removed all references to him from the Perlis, Penang and National Archives!So much for any research work on Malaysian Sikhs now.Anyone doing any work now, will find much has disappeared.TY for your compliments.I have compiled much more.Please look up the photos of Giani Pritam Singh on time line, currently, until Sikhnet publishes them.Harijot is not in currently.So they may take a few days to get published.

  18. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa waheguru ji Ki fateh.

    Sardar Gurcharan Singh Ji Kulim is correct about the sterling role of Gyani Pritam Singh Dhillon in the Indian Independence Movement. Shaheedahn dee perrh perrh in Punjabi by Sohan Singh Seetal has the details about the many SIKH Revolutionaries based in Bangkok Thailand. These were ordinary Jatt Farmers form Punjab who had managed to establish buisnesses in Free Thailand. Many of their leaders rankled the British who tried their best to have them extradited out of Thailand but the Thai King valued his independence and neutrality too much to surrender Thai Citizens to the British. The Thai Chapter of this Movement was independent of the Ghadar Movement based in Canada and USA, bt their objectives were the same.

    Another fact not so publicized is that so many thousands of dirt poor TAMIL Labourers in the Estates showed so much fervour to free their India Motherland that they gave up all their gold and jewellery kept for generations for passing on form mother to daughter for the INA. This was a huge financial sacrifice of these poor working class which History has totally forgotten.

    These forgotten chapters of Sikh/Punjabi History need to be revisited and restored before they are lost forever buried in the sands of time. Sikhs will have to take the initiative to dig them up for our future generations because others have no interest or rather a vested interest in keeping them buried.

    many thanks to GS Kulim Ji for his invaluable works in this regard.

    Jarnail Singh Arshi Gyani Selayang

  19. GUrcharan Ji, I have read your series in Punjabi-INA da asal bani kaun-in the Punjab Times.It was very well written and well explained.It is a general ignorance and misconception that Mohan Singh was the “founder”of the INA.You are right the real person was Giani Pritam Singh.many of older versions in Punjabi write about him being the founder.But later day so called historians have expelled his name like a herd mentality keep ranting on what little they know, often wrongly.

    It is very sad such people distort the real history.Their ego turns non Sikhs with the name into singh into Sikhs and we get all sorts of self cooked mirch masala these days.

    I look forward to seeing the photos that you have in your possession.I read about Giani Ji’s grand nephew Lakhwinder Singh meeting with you somewhere else in a Punjabi article, of yours , I think.

  20. Mohan Singh did NOT start the Indian National Army -Azad Hind Fauj. Mohan Singh was the FIRST operational Commander of the INA.
    The brains behind this were actually Major Iwaichi Fujiwara and a Giani Pritam Singh Dhiilon.

    Pritam Singh Dhillon was a revolutionary, who had escaped ater stirring the Indian Soldiers of a Bengal Lancers to Bangkok.There he met with Major Fujimura,of the Japanese Intelligence, who was assigned to work with Indian Revolutionries and independence fighters. It was his idea working with Major Fujimura, that would ask captured Indian Soldiers to join an Indian national army to fight for Indian independence. These plans were started long before the war broke out, among a group of revolutionraies based in Bangkok.

    In 1941,Capt Mohan Singh of the 14th Punjab regiment was stationed at the Thai Border, when the Japanese attacked. The 14th Punjab retreated along with the rest of the Allied Forces. Capt Mohan found himself in the jungles of Jitra. There they made an approach through locals to surrender to the Japanese, after they found some leaflets dropped by the Japanese calling upon British Indian soldiers to surrender, and join the INA to fight the cause of Indian Independence.

    They were met by Giani Pritam Singh and Major Iwaichi Fujimura in a car that carried an Indian tri flag along with a Japanese flag. They persuaded Capt Mohan to join the cause of INA. He was one of the most Senior Indian officers in the British indian Army. He agreed.

    Nnext day, they assembled at Alor Star Gurduara, where the frist organised ardas for the success of the INA and Indian Independence was done. Thus,a very strong element of little known history is attacjhed to Alor Star Gurduara that has not realised nor commemorated this event within it’s grounds.

    I have some historical photos of Giani Pritam Singh and other INA leaders, along with major Fujimura.. attending an all Malaya conference in Kuala Lumpur. But a previous request to Asia Samachar to share this information fell on deaf ears! I never got to write this.

    The irony was…later, a nobody from Europe,who worked with German based Indian freedom movement, Chandra Bose stole the show from Mohan Singh, who then went on to steal the role of Giani Pritam Singh, and kept Giani Pritam Singh’s personal diaraies, which came into his possession after Giani died in an air crash in Taiwan.

    His wife and two children were shipped off to India from Singapore. His role was played down as Capt Mohan Singh took the diaries record and did not divulge to the world. The wife was not able to voice the truth.

    Like Capt Mohan Singh usurped the role of Giani PRITAM Singh, the same happened to him, as Chandra Bose, usurped the credit for INA.

    As mentioned, Asia Samachar did not pursue the story of Giani Pritam Singh, many historical pictures will be featured elsewhere, when I sit to write, about the real founder of INA-Giani Pritam Singh Dhillon.

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