Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2005) 

 

 

 

Director:     Shyam Benegal. 

Starring:      Ila Arun (Ranu),  Pankaj Berry (Aabid Khan),  Nicolas Chagrin (General Auchinlek),  Nalini Chatterjee (Meera),  Pradeep Kumar Das (Servant),  Divya Dutta (Ila Bose),  Chris England (CID Chief),  Jayant Gadekar (Col Bhonsale),  Sonamoni Jayant Gadekar (Capt Janaki),  Arindham Ghosh (Subhas Chandra Bose's Cousin),  Rajit Kapoor (Abid Hasan),  Ahmed Khan (Mian Akbar),  Shakeel Khan (Sarat Bose),  Kulbhushan Kharbanda (Uttamchand Malhotra),  Sachin Khedekar (Subhas Chandra Bose).

Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945) a Bengali leader who favored violent means to liberate India

 

Spoiler Warning:  below is a summary of the entire film. 

 

Teipuei Congress, 1939. Two men are meeting with Gandhi. One man says to the leader: "Now that I've won the election on my own, you don't want me."

Gandhi replies: "Each one has to listen to his conscience, Subhas. . . . If you follow the party discipline and swear by non-violence, Congress can consider you."

Subhas says that non-violence was a good weapon, during the time of peace, but now they are facing war. So how could non-violence prevail in this new atmosphere?

Gandhi responds by saying that Congress banned Subhas just because he has this different point of view. Subhas says that a second World War will be a good chance for India to defeat Britain. Gandhi says it's not fair to kick a man when he's on the ground. They should wait until after the end of the war to fight for their independence.

Subhas says that If the British emerge victorious, they will enslave India for several more generations. Gandhi responds that's why he is calling for individual non-cooperation. When Subhas counters by saying that individual effort is not any way to fight a war, Gandhi says they will have to part over this matter.

Subhas is upset at this. Gandhi says: "You're a wayward son of mine, Subhas."

Calcutta, October 1940. Secretively Subhas hands a note to a young man.

Part I. Faith.

In the countryside a telegram arrives from Subhas. The receiver reads the note: "Putting me in jail is unjust. So I've no alternative, but to register a moral protest. My fast unto death is to wake up the powers in London."

Hunger strike, November 29, 1940.

The young man who took the note from Subhas turns out to be his nephew. The guard at the prison tells this Mr. Sisir that the soup he has brought for his uncle is not needed because uncle is on a hunger strike.

The British man in charge of the prison is very annoyed that Mr. Bose has now been on a hunger strike of two weeks. He says he has an order from the Governor to force feed Mr. Bose if he does not start to eat on his own. Three guards grab him, but Bose fights to keep the food from being forced into his system.

Government House, Calcutta. The Governor is worried. He says India will erupt if Mr. Bose dies in prison. After all, a dead Subhas is more dangerous than a living Subhas. The warden says he can not guarantee that Subhas won't die in prison. So the Governor simply tells him to let Bose go free. Send Bose home, but keep him surround both day and night by a wall of their own men.

December 5, 1940. Subhas comes home on a stretcher. He rests in bed. His brother brings him a telegram from Gandhi. Gandhi sends his regards and friendship for the Bose brothers. But the ban on Subhas stays. Brother tells Subhas that Gandhi has said that a victory for Subhas will be a defeat for Gandhi.

Subhas says that the time for compromise has ended. "It's time for a decisive war."

Subhas calls in Sisir.. A servant named Nemai watches them closely. Subhas tells his nephew to turn up the radio. He now tells Sisir be prepared to drive him some day on a long journey.

Nemai reports to the guards that Subhas and Sisir talked together, but he could not hear them because of the loud radio. The guards now want to know who is the stranger just arriving?

The fellow is Akbar. Akbar speaks with Subhas saying that the British can arrest him again at anytime they want. So Bose wants Akbar to take him into Russia via Kabul, Afghanistan. Subhas believes that Russia can help the Indians raise a revolutionary army to free India.

The Governor wonders what Akbar and Subhas are up to. He tells his man in charge of the guards not to let Bose leave Calcutta. If he had his way, he would hold Bose in prison until he died.

Subbhas tells his mother he is renouncing the world. He will take a vow of silence and stay behind a curtain away from the others in the house. After the fortnight is over, he will renounce the world.

Nemai tells the guards that Mr. Subhas is renouncing the world.  Actually, Subhas is using the renouncing of the world as a pretext so he can sneak out of his house without being spotted.

They successfully get away from the house. They get through a police check point with the help of Subhas' fast talking.

His nephew drops uncle off. He then drives ahead to tell his brother that uncle is coming here as Mohammed Ziauddin, an insurance agent. Everyone in the house plays along with the ruse, for fear that their servant will discover the real identity of Mr. Ziauddin.

Later uncle starts walking to the railway station. The family dismisses their servants and then drive to pick uncle up along the road. They drive into the night to arrive at the train station.

Back at home the guards still don't know that Bose has left.

Peshawar Junction. Akbar waits at the station to pick up Bose. A friendly driver takes Bose to his hotel. The next day a man named Abaad Khan, secretary of the Kirti Kisan Party, pays a visit to Bose. He says that Mr. Akbar Shah could not make it because of a police patrol.

Abaad now transfers Bose to his house. Akbar is there to greet him. Bose starts to really worry when he realizes that the journey to Kabul and Russia has not yet been arranged. He tells his confederates that soon his escape will be known.  The men say they sent out two of their people to arrange things with the Russians, but one of the agents drowned trying to cross a river and the other was arrested by the Russian border guards.

Abaad Khan says that he will escort comrade Bose to Moscow himself. He has to because he told everyone in his village that he would accompany Bose. Bose can hardly believe what he's hearing. He asks: "You told everyone?"

They dress Bose as a Pathan.  [The Pathans of Punjab are originally Pashtun people (Pathans) who settled in the Punjab region of today's Pakistan and India.Now they introduce Bose to comrade Bhagatram Talwar the president of their political party. For the trip Abaad tells Bose that the small man is his nephew Rehmat Khan and Bose is the man's uncle, Khan Mohammed Ziauddin Khan. The "uncle" and "nephew" walk through the mountains. They reach the border and get past the guards.

January 23, 1941. Niece Ila now pretends that she just found out that Uncle Bose has gone. Mother says she thought her son might escape. The guards are stunned when they learn that Bose has escaped from them. The British Governor is really angry with his men, who can't find Bose.

Uncle and nephew stop to listen to a charismatic speaker say that those who are gathered here around him are all freedom fighters. Italy and Germany are on their side and they will crush the British.

Kabul, January 27, 1941. Over the radio Bose and Talwar hear about the escape of Bose. Some of the people are very happy to hear that the Bengal Tiger Subhas has escaped once again.

Bose and Talwar stopped by for something to eat, but a man starts asking them too many questions. They leave. But the inquisitive fellow follows them.

Talwar tries to get inside the Russian embassy. But the guard won't let him come in. So Talwar tries to ask two Russian women to help him. The guy following them now shows up and cautions Talwar about making passes at Russian girls.

Their shadow approaches Bose and Talwar. Now he demands to know what these two men are up to? And who are they? He says it's his duty to report all suspicious characters. He wants to know from Talwar why were they at the Russian embassy? Talwar offers him a bribe and the man takes it and leaves. Bose says they have to get going before that man goes and gets the police.

An acquaintance named Zaman tells Talwar that he knows he has Bose with him. He wants to know why is Talwar helping this man? Stalin and others in Russia say that Bose is no good in the cause of revolution. Talwar says he already promised Bose that Zaman would help them.

So Talwar has to tell Bose that he could not find Zaman. The bribe accepter comes back for more. He threatens to take them to the police station. So the corrupt man decides to take Bose's gold watch. Again the man leaves.

The gold watch was a gift to Bose from his father for passing the ICS examination. At that time Bose told his father that he would not work in the British bureaucracy. You can't serve both Britain and India at the same time.

The guys go down to where the embassies are. Talwar grabs Bose saying that Ambassador Kozlov and his wife are coming back from a walk. The ambassador stops to listen to Talwar, but then asks how can he be sure that this man before them is Subhas Bose? He says the man look like he's an Afghan. Finally, the ambassador says he can't help the man even if he is Subhas Bose. He and his wife walk off.

Talmar tells Bose about his failure to get the help of the ambassador. Bose is losing patience with Talwar. At the German embassy Bose tells Talmar to distract the guard and Bose himself will just walk into the embassy.

It works. Bose walks in. He tells the ambassador that he is Subhas Bose. The German says he was just reading about his escape. His name is Hans Bilger. Bose asks for asylum, but Hans says he cannot grant a man asylum at a moment's notice. He has to ask for permission to grant asylum to a refugee seeking asylum. In the meantime, he suggests that Bose stay at the Indian quarters in Shor Bazar.

Talwar walks into a radio repair shop and asks if the attendant is Uttam Chand Malhotra? The shop owner doesn't want to offer any help at all, even to an important political refugee from India. Talwar says the refugee is none other than Bose. Talwar starts to leave, but the shop owner goes after him. Now Talwar yells for Bose to come with him to the radio repair shop. The shop owner will help them. The wife of the shop owner is offended that their guests are Muslims. She agrees to fix them one meal, but she refuses to let them stay in her place.

But the owner does let the two men stay. He wife is really angry with him and he breaks and tells her that it is Subhas Chandra Bose up in the attic.

The next morning the wife is all sweetness to Bose and Talwar. She says she is honored to serve a great man such as Bose.

Bose talks to the shop owner and says he thinks he would like to proceed to Russia alone. The shop owner warns him that while it's easy enough to get to the border, once in Russia he will need an experienced guide.

Now Bose goes to speak with the Italian ambassador. He asks the ambassador to persuade Rome to recognize their government of free India in exile. If Rome agrees, then Berlin and Moscow will follow. Once this is done, Bose will raise an army and march it from the Soviet Union into India. The Italian ambassador tells Bose that he first has to get the okay from Berlin because that's the center of Axis power.

The shop owner tells Bose that he has found a good guide to escort him into Russia. Talwar says they must wait, but Bose says he is tired of waiting. He is going to cross over the Oxus River into Russia.

The guide blabs about guiding two Pathans through Russia. The corrupt man now grabs the guide. Bose and the two men with him start running away from the scene.

Bose tells the shop owner that they must leave before the police arrive. The wife of the Italian ambassador now comes to see Bose at the radio repair shop. The shop keeper goes down to talk to the woman. She has a list of instructions for Bose to follow. The Axis powers are happy to support Mr. Bose.

Bose says goodbye to the shop owner and his wife. The shop keepers cry when saying goodbye to Bose. The wife even gives Bose some money to help with the cause of Indian independence from the British.

March 18, 1941. Bose gets his new passport from the Italian ambassador. His new name is Count Orlando Matsoto. He will have to travel through Russia and then into Germany.

Talwar cries when Bose sets out on his long journey by himself. Bose tells him they will meet again in a free India.

 

Part II. Unity.

Berlin, April 2, 1941.

Two Indians, Swami and Abid, go to see Count Orlando Matsota at his huge home. Abid immediately recognizes Count Orlando as Bose. The men decide to have some tea and talk. Bose says it's been five years since they first met. He then asks Abid will he help them in the fight for India's independence? Yes.

Bose says Germany will help them raise an army to fight the British in India. Another man, this one named Nambiar, joins the three gentlemen. Bose says they are petitioning Hitler to recognize their Government of Free India. They will build an army using the Indian POWs here in Germany. And when their army reaches Indian soil, the whole country will rise up against the British.

Swami tells Bose that Fraulein Emilie Schenkl has come to talk with him.

Vienna, June 1934. Emilie comes into the office of Bose applying for the post of secretary. Bose tells her he needs help with the book he is writing. Emilie charms Bose and he gives her the job.

Back to the present. Emilie tells Bose that she kept every scrap of paper that Subhas ever touched. She has brought her typewriter and is anxious to begin working. Subhas says they have to make notes for his meeting with Foreign Minister Ribbendrop.

Bose and two of his men sit down with Ribbendrop and five or six other Germans. Ribbendrop asks what would happen if the British suddenly left India? Bose says they would elect a leader democratically.

How can the Indians defeat the British in India? Bose says there are only 70,000 British soldiers in India. Their key to success is that they also command a large army of native Indians. He wants to raise an army of 50,000 men to eliminate the British in India.

Ribbendrop tells the Indians that Hitler has the impression that the Indian leadership is not too fond of Germany. Yes, that's true, but as soon as the Indians know that the Axis powers have recognized their government in exile the Indians will fight for their motherland.

Ribbendrop reminds Bose that even if he might want to leave Germany, he cannot do so except with their permission. Bose reminds the Germans that he escaped from the British. The hint is that he might just escape from Germany.

A German gives Bose a ride in his car driven by a chauffeur. He warns the Indian leader not to place too much hope in the Nazis. Their goals are very different from those of Bose and Gandhi. India counts for little in the schemes of the Nazis.

Bose's start talking with the Indian POWs. The POWs say Bose is a traitor. Bose tells his crew that he should speak alone with the soldiesr. But the crew says given the nasty mood of the POWs, it's not safe to talk alone with them. Bose comes in to speak with the POWs. They are hostile to him and call him a Nazi spy. He ignores the insults and threats and just starts talking to one soldier at a time. He now gets a crowd of men around him. Bose speaks so well that he gets the men to start training for a possible invasion of India.

The men take a personal oath swearing allegiance to the leader Subhas Chandra Bose. They give a modified fascist salute to Bose. They raise their right arm straight out and not at an upward 45 degree angle.

Nambiar comes in to tell Bose that Hitler has invaded Russia (June 22, 1941). Bose is shocked and has to sit down. The invasion means that Bose cannot take his POWs through Russia to get at India. Nambiar tells him that Hitler's opening of a second front will mean the eventual defeat of Germany. Bose says his Indian National Army will have to get out of Russia and go to Asia.

Emilie speaks with Bose at night. He tells her that just when he is an inch close to fulfilling his goals, something always happens to spoil his plans. He also tells her that the Nazis have no intention of letting Bose attack the British in India. Emilie asks him so why did he bother with the Nazis in the first place? Bose says he knows the Nazis would be much worse masters of India than ever the British were. There's an old Indian saying that it takes a poison to kill a poison.

December 7, 1941. The Japanese are at war with the United States.

December 8, 1941. Bose speaks with Herr von Traut. He tells the German that the Italians have agreed to fly Bose to East-Asia. Germany is unable to recognize the Indian government in exile. Von Traut says that the Germans are prepared to back Bose following the defeat of the Soviet Union. Bose can't wait that long.

Von Traut tells Bose about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Japanese Embassy, Berlin, February 1942. Japanese films of the attack at Pearl Harbor are shown to Bose. Bose toasts to a Japanese victory in the Pacific area.

And now the ambassador shows films of British POWs as the British Surrender at Farrar Park, Singapore, Feb. 17, 1942. Japanese Major Fijiver says he now turns over the POWs to Indian Captain Moha Singh, who is C.O.C. of the Indian National Army. The captain says he now turns the men over to the chief of the Indian Independence League, Mr. Rasbihari Bose, who is forming the Indian National Army to fight for the independence of India. The captain also cites the efforts of Subhas Bose in Berlin to establish a "Free India army" to fight for India's liberation.

Bose tells the Japanese ambassador: "That's where I should be." The ambassador completely agrees and says that Rasbihari Bose is ready to turn the Indian National army over to Subhas.

Bose now does a radio broadcast for his fight for the independence of India.

Emilie tells Subhas that he sounds good on the radio. But Bose has bad news for Emilie. The road to Indian independence now goes through Japan and not Germany. And now Emilie drops a bomb on Subhas. She is pregnant. And she wants a proper Hindu marriage for the sake of the child.

Emilie and Subhas are married.

Bose asks von Traut to register his marriage in Germany. The German has to explain to Bose that this is not possible. The Fuehrer does not like mixed marriages. Bose leaves the room. Von Traut now explains to Emilie that if the marriage is registered, she will lose her German citizenship. And if the marriage becomes public knowledge, it will create an enormous scandal both for Germany and India.

Later, Emilie tells Subhas that maybe she should go back to Vienna, Austria and live with her sister Moti. She does not want to hinder his life's work. She realizes she is second to his first love: mother India.

May 27, 1942. Bose meets with Hitler. Against all the advice of the Germans, Bose starts correcting some of Hitler's misunderstandings of India. Then he proceeds to correct these misunderstandings. And, of course, Hitler starts getting angry. Bose then compounds his troubles by telling Hitler that he was wrongly advised to attack Russia. Hitler says they are already at the gates of Moscow.

Hitler takes Bose over to a giant globe of the world. He says he should go to Japan and from there take an army into India. So Bose asks for a German plane to take him to Japan. Hitler says no. Bose will go to Japan via a German U-boat.

August 10, 1942. The headlines in the newspapers say that that the Australians and America are attacking the Japanese chain of islands known as the Solomons (of which Guadalcanal is one). Another article headline is that swift action is taken against Indian agitators.

Bose tells Namiar that Gandhi has been arrested. Apparently, Gandhi told the Brits to get out of India. Bose says that with Gandhi's new slogan of "do-or-die", Gandhi has come close to Bose's ideology.

Japanese Embassy, Berlin, October 1942. Bose says right now is the time for him to march into India with his army. The ambassador tells him that the Japanese armies are fully in place in Singapore, Malaya and Burma.

December 6, 1942. Bose visits his wife and his baby girl in Austria. He enjoys seeing his family, but he has to leave soon for fear that the Gestapo may find him.

Later, Emilie comes by herself to see Subhas. She is worried that she may never see her husband again. Bose gives her a letter he wrote to his family telling them about Emilie and their daughter Anita Bose. Her last assignment as his secretary is to post the letter. They part. Emilie reads the letters and sobs over it.

Kiel Harbor, February 8, 1943. The harbor is located 90 kilometers (56 mi) north of Hamburg, Germany. Captain Wisenberg welcomes Bose aboard ship.

Fifteen days later. A destroyer drops depth charges around the U-boat. The depth charges rock the whole submarine, but they do not destroy the U-boat itself.

One month later. The U-boat has spotted an enemy ship. The U-boat torpedoes the ship.

The captain tells Bose that they will rendezvous with a Japanese submarine and he and Abid will be transferred to the Japanese sub.

Off Madagascar, Indian Ocean, April 29, 1943. Subhas and Abid row their life raft over to the Japanese submarine.

Sabang, Indonesia, May 6, 1943. Bose and Abid are welcomed by Col. Hujiward, head of the Indo-Japanese regimen, Hikari Kikan. The colonel tells Bose that Rasbihari Bose and his people are waiting eagerly to welcome Subhas to Indonesia.

Cathay Cinema Hall, Singapore, July 4, 1943. Bose makes a speech on his goals for the Indians of East Asia. Their slogan will be: "March to Delhi."

Prime Minister Tojo's Office, Tokyo Japan. Bose gets Japan's full cooperation for his goals.

Singapore Headquarters, Indian National Army, July 9, 1943. Bose meets with the officers of the Indian National Army. The army has only 8,000 soldiers. One of the officers says that neither the English or the Japanese will take them seriously.

Bose says that they will build a larger army Some three million Indians have their homes in Burma, Malaya, Singapore and Thailand. Another officer says that these Indians are largely indentured laborers in rubber plantations. Furthermore, the Japanese have behaved very badly in Burma and Malaya. Bose says that on October 31 he will announce the government of free India.

Bose reviews the troops. He then gives a speech to the soldiers. He says his dream of raising an army of liberation has come true. He says every soldier must remember: Faith, Unity and Sacrifice. He invites the women to take part in the liberation. He says give me your blood and I'll give you your freedom.

 

Part III. Sacrifice.

Rangoon, Burma, 1943.

Burma Headquarters, Indian National Army.

A woman tells Bose that the Burmese women won't let their daughters join the army. As for herself, she just wants to do a doctor's job, so don't ask her to fight. But Bose says they need a Joan of Arc more than a Florence Nightingale. He makes Dr. Lakshmi Swaminathan a captain.

And the women do come and join the army. The Japanese say they do not want the women to fight, but Bose says that India has a long tradition of women fighters.

October 31, 1943. The Japanese general tells Bose that the INA can only assist the main Japanese force, but Bose rejects this saying that they will fight together as equal nations. And the INA will spearhead the march into India. In addition, Bose wants to lead his troops into battle. The Japanese general says he can't allow Bose to take such risks. He adds: "Send a few men to Arakan for probing action. If these men can fight like the Japanese, then the rest of INA may join the infra campaign."

Bose tells his officers that Shahanawaz will handle their trial campaign. Kiyani says he wants to go to Manipur, which is surrounded by jungles. There they can establish a base and then capture the rail head at Dinapur [north of Imphal]. Controlling the railway they can easily reach both Assam (to the northwest) and Bengal (to the southwest).

Bose says that's fine but they still have to start from Arakan. They have to let the Japanese know that they can fight and win.

Bose learns that his mother has died. He says he's been gone from home for too long.

January 1944. Captain Lakshmi tells Bose that the women have decided that they would be sent to the front as well as the men. Bose tells the doctor that as soon as they reach Imphal the women can come to the front. [Imphal is the state capital of Manipur, eastern India.]

Bose learns that the Japanese have not given them any mosquito netting or medicines. Furthermore, they have only given the INA five trucks. Bose believes the Japanese are playing with them.

The Japanese finally bring more trucks to the INA. But still most of the men have to walk.

News arrives that the enemy's crack west African division is heading toward Eva so they can cut off the INA supply lines. Major Raturi will stop the enemy. Raturui does stop the enemy by a surprise attack on their camp.

To divert the British from Kohima, Major Ram Singh and Major Padam Singh will go to the Ching hills of Fakafallam via Mandalay and Kaleva. The mission is a success with another surprise attack.

Major Mishra and Mher Das will go to Arakans to get the Indians fighting on the side of Britain to defect to the other side. The first attempt turns out badly when a few recruits head out to the INA and are shot in the back by the other soldiers. A general fire fight breaks out.

General Kawabe comes to see Bose. The general has come to complain about his men in the Arakans. They act according to their own plans and not those of the Japanese. He wants Bose to pull his soldiers out of Arakans.

The general wants to attack Imphal with small groups of INA men attached to the larger 15th army formations. Bose says absolutely not. The two men part without an agreement.

Chindwin River Crossing, March 1944. The INA is trying to reach Kohima by dawn tomorrow.  The soldiers reach Indian soil, but motor shells starts dropping all around them. The INA soldiers rally and win the day.

Bahadur Shah Zafar's Grave, Rangoon, Burma. The man was the last Mughal emperor. And today they reached India without the falling mortar shells.

Viceroy's House, New Delhi. The Viceroy does not like this fellow Bose, even if he does have a good speaking ability. He says he wants no stories dealing with Bose in the newspapers.

Bose learns that the Japanese have reached Imphal and are ready to pounce. He tells Kiyani that they have to be at Imphal when the first assault takes place. He puts Kiyani in charge of the troops.

Pallel Airfield, Manipur. The INA men sneak up next to a barbed wire fence. They cut the wire. The guard in the tower hears the noise and starts shooting at the men. The guard is hit and falls from the tower. Now the soldiers go into the airfield camp. They use hand grenades to destroy the planes. After they have knocked out quite a few, they retreat. Bose learns that the INA assault on Dimapur was halted by the Japanese.

The Japanese come to say to the INA soldiers that Kota told them to take the truck and head back to Rangoon. Bose goes to the general and asks why are they cutting the INA's supply lines? Because Japan is now under attack directly by the Americans. If the Japanese can't hold Burma, how can they possibly capture India? Headquarters also wants the INA to withdraw from the area.

Bose has to face reality. It's impossible for the INA to keep on the offensive when they are not receiving any supplies at all. Radio communications tells the men in the field to withdraw back to Rangoon. One group of fellows just do manage to leave their campsite when mortar shells start clobbering the camp.

The retreating INA soldiers start coming to Rangoon. Bose is there ready to tell the men of the Gandhi brigade that they were very brave on the battlefield. He tells them that he is very proud of them.

Abid of the Gandhi brigade comes to speak with Bose. He tells the leader that the situation they were in was not very good. Bose says that things are not good all around them. Hitler had their friend Herr von Traut hanged for being involved in a plot to kill the Fuehrer.

Bose tells officer Dhillon that with the last brigade they have at the front, at least they can start a guerilla fight against the enemy and harass them continually.

Eastbank, Chindwin River, February 13, 1945. Dhillon thinks an enemy attack is coming tonight.

At night the enemy starts to cross on rubber rafts. The INA open up on them with mortars and gun fire. The enemy has to turn back or be slaughtered. So the enemy leadership sends out decoy men in boats for the INA to shoot at and thus give away their positions.  Dhillon tells his non-commissioned officers to stop firing because they are firing at decoys and they just don't have much ammunition left.

Now the British start to call for air support to flush out Bose's men. One of the INA officers starts waving a white flag of surrender and a non-commissioned officer shoots him in the back of the head.

Captain Dr. Lakshmi has fallen in love with one of Bose's officers. Bose tells her to never let him go.

Bose speaks to the Indian-Burmese civilians and asks for their support and money. The civilians give him a hearty round of applause.

Road to Mount Popa, March 16, 1945. The enemy is bringing up its tanks now. And now it's mortar fire versus the tanks. The tanks finally return fire and hit some of their targets. The soldiers attack the tanks now with grenades and their rifles.  At night the battlefield is filled with dead soldiers.

Rhani of Jhansi Brigade, Ziawaddy Estate, April 23, 1945. Bose speaks to the brave soldiers of the Rani Jhansi Brigade. These are the female soldiers. Bose wants them to move back because he doesn't want any female casualties. The women say they will die in battle. Bose says that the women have been ordered back to Rangoon.

Just then planes start strafing the soldiers and dropping bombs on the huts. Everyone still alive starts jumping into the jeep and into the back of the trucks. The planes come around again and repeat the process. Bose's jeep almost gets strafed.

Word arrives that the Japanese would not let the women soldiers on the train to Rangoon. General Yasoda said that he will try to get some trucks so the women can head for Rangoon. But the trucks and the female soldiers must ride and walk their way along jungle roads to avoid the chance of being discovered by the airplanes.

April 28, 1945. Bose travels with the women soldiers. He and his advisors and a couple of Japanese soldiers go over to see if the river can be crossed during this rainy season. The river water is running really fast. A long rope is placed across the river. The women use it to cross the river.

Singapore, August 11, 1945. Ever since Bose heard about the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima (August 5), he has hidden himself away from everyone. Now news comes of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki (August 9). Japan is about to surrender.

Bose speculates that they are the last group of soldiers who still have not surrendered to the Allies. And he has no intention of surrendering to them. Instead, they will disband the army.

Singapore, August 12, 1945. Bose says when the British army reaches Singapore, he wants Mountbatten to see their high rise building that he wants to build before the British arrival. He is informed that the British will be here shortly.

The men and women of the INA are not happy about being demobilized. Bose says it's a necessary precaution. He doesn't want his soldiers to be detained by the British.

Saigon Airport, Vietnam, August 17, 1945. Captain Kyano tells Bose that only he and one other person can fly today because the plane only has left two seats. Bose asks when can a plane take all of his crew together with him? It could take a week, but the French forces are coming quickly toward Saigon.

Bose starts saying goodbye to his crew, but Captain Kyano says the pilot and passengers want to leave now. So Bose and Habib get on the plane.

The news reaches Emilie and her family over the radio. Bose has died in an air crash at Ti Hoku airport in Formosa  (Taiwan) on August 18.

A train carries INA POWs to Delhi, India. The people at the station start demanding that the British release their war heroes.

Captain Shah Nawaz Khan, Captain P.K. Seghgal and Lt. Garbak Singh Dhillon are judged to have engaged in war against the British emperor of India. After hearing the brave words of the soldiers, soldiers of the Royal Indian Air force rebelled. Elsewhere, royal Indian navy employees removed the British flag from the ships. The British were puzzled.

British Prime Minister Atley wants to know if the Indians revolt, will the Indians in British service put the revolt down? The British officers can't be sure.

Independence Day, August 15, 1947. Red Fort was the scene of celebration on Independence Day for India. If it wasn't for Bose and his soldiers, Indian would not have gotten its independence.

Dedicated to the memory of the Indian National Army (1942-1945).

 

 

The film is dedicated to Bose and his soldiers of the Indian National Army, but I don't share any enthusiasm for the INA and Bose. When I think about the INA supporting the fascist powers and killing Allied soldiers, I become furious about Bose supporting the genocidal fascists. No one should ever fight for fascism in this world.

To me Bose is an example of a man with too insular a view of life and morals. He had a very narrow view of the world where only his own country mattered. He was so blinded by his own nationalism that he violated the higher moral codes of the world and were partners with war criminals because they helped the fascists.

As I would not honor Hitler and Tojo, I refuse to honor Bose. He was a morally bankrupt man with a thin veneer of religion that justified his horrid decisions to fight for fascism. Oh, of course, Bose has a whole bunch of rationalizations for his actions, but that's all he had: excuses, excuses, excuses.

Nothing can justify fighting for fascism. Period.

I thought Bose a stubborn, blind man who got Allied troops killed as well as his own small group of countrymen. And it is ridiculous to say that India would not have gained its independence without Bose and his soldiers. After World War II, most of the former colonial nations became independent.

Gandhi was right to keep Bose away from him. And it was Gandhi who was the father of Indian independence and not Bose.

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.  

 

 

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