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The ASIAN CENTER, originally founded as the Institute of Asian Studies in 1955, seeks to implement tl1e statement of national policy, Section 1, R. A. No. 5334: "to develop . . . con- tact with our Asian neighbors in the field of learning and scho- larship to attain knowledge of our national identity in relation to other Asian nations through . . . studies on Asian culture, his- tories, social forces and aspirations." The ASIAN CENTER was proposed as early as 1957 by President Ramon Magsaysay; in 1968, it was signed into law by President Ferdinand E. Marcos upon the active encouragement of President Carlos P. Romulo of the University of the Philippines. Today, with augmented facilities aqd staff, it offers facilities for conducting studies and sharing the results of research on Asia among Asian scholars. Pri- marily a research unit, the ASIAN CENTER also administers a degree program leading to the Master of Arts in Asian Studies with four alternative general areas of concentration: East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and West Asia. A specific area of con- centration is the Philippines in relation to any of these four areas.

The program of study is designed to provide training and research on Asian cultures and social systems on the basis of an under- graduate concentration in the social sciences, humanities, or the arts, and seeks to develop an area or regional orientation, with a multidisciplinary approach as. the principal mode of analysis.

The CENTER publishes two journals, a Newsletter, a monograph series and occasional papers, in its publications program. It is now the Secretariat for the regional grouping, the Committee for Asian Studies Centers in Southeast Asia.

Cover des,15 ...

Rod Perez


Volume VII, Number 1, April 1969 Salud C. Buiiag

Issue Editor


April 1969 Volume VII, Number 1



Harry J. Benda 1

The Indian National Army-Motives, Problems and Significance

Kalyan Kumar Ghosh . . . 4 Japanese Policy and the Indian National Army

Joyce Lebra . . . . . . 31 The Uses of Buddhism in Wartime Burma

Dorothy Guyot . . . 50 Japanese Military Administration in Malaya-Its Formation and Evolu-

tion in Reference to Sultans, the Islamic Religion, and the Muslim Malays-1941-1945

Yoji Akashi . . . 81 The Revolt of a PETA-Battalion in Blitar, February 14, 1945

Nugroho Notosusanto ... 111


Please address-

do not necessarily represent the views of either the Asian Center or the Univer·

sity of the Philippines. The authors are res,ponsible for the opinions expressed and for the accuracy of facts and state·

ments contained in them.

Asian Studies is published three times a year April, August and December - for the Asian Center by

The University of the Philippines Press Quezon City, Philippines


All manuscripts to the Program Coordinator, Asian Center


Correspondence on exchange to the Librarian, Asian Center

Correspondence on subscription

to the University of the Philippines Press, U.P. Post Office

Quezon City, Philip,pines






The appearance in print of the five essays contained in this issue of Asian Studies has been made possible, first by the conveners of the Fourth International Conference on Asian History, held at Kuala Lumpur, Malay- sia, between 5 and 10 August, 1968, and, second, by the generous initia- tive of Professor Josefa M. Saniel and her colleagues at the Asian Center in the University of the Philippines, who offered to set aside a whole num- ber of the excellent journal published by that institution for early publication. As the organizer and chairman of the session at which these papers had been originally presented, I was subsequently asked to write a few prefatory lines for this issue. To all the above, but most of all to the authors who kindly responded to my invitation to participate in the panel, I should like to express my sincere thanks. Given the relative paucity of published materials on wartime Southern Asia, historians of the region will appreciate the convenience of having these five important contributions to the field appear in one short volume, thus being saved the trouble of tracking them down individually in a variety of learned journals.

To all intents and purposes, we are still in the opening, "ingathering"

stages, of the historiography of this short though tremendously important era in Asian History.1 Our areas of ignorance are still so vast, and the available resources so far flung and often in such problematically short supply, that it may take years before a reasonably comprehensive picture of Southern Asia between 1942 and 1945 will emerge. The more gratify- ing, then, that the number of serious studies has been slowly yet percep- tibly increasing, especially so in the countries so deeply affected by the Japanese interregnum. Thus Dr. Nugroho Notosusanto's ongoing research on the anti-Japanese rebellion of the PET A battalion at Blitar, of which the paper here printed constitutes a tantalizingly small installment, augurs well for the study of wartime Indonesia, a field hitherto preempted by a few Western and Japanese scholars.

In fact, most of the contributors to this issue of Asian Studies have al-, ready authored, or are about to author, full-length studies, which, together, will immensely enrich the as yet so scanty literature. This is especially true with regard to India, whose history in the years of the "Rising Sun"

Professor Lebra and Dr. Ghosh have profoundly studied from the Jap-

1 For earlier symposia, see Josef Silverstein, ed., Southeast Asia in World War II: Four Essays (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, Mono- graph Ser5es #7, 1966), and Grant K. Goodman, ed., Imperial Japan and Asia:

A Reassessment (New York: East Asian Institute, Columbia University, 1967).


anese and Indian angles, respectively, as is shown in their valuable, coJ plementary contributions to this symposium.2 Dr. Guyot's doctoral disst tation at Yale, with which I was personally associated, is to be publishe~..

shortly; her present article may serve as a fine indication of the riches which her research-in-depth in Burmese sources, combined with interviews on the spot, have unearthed.3 Professor Akashi, a Japanese-born scholar now resident in the United States, here demonstrates some of the results of his equally rewarding labors, especially in the Tokugawa Papers depo- sited in the National Defense Agency in Tokyo, a veritable goldmine on occupied Malaya which should ere long yield fascinating new insights into Japanese policies from his pen.4

It would be hard to extract from the present collection any general insights, and I shall not attempt such a fruitless task.5 Let me, rather, make a few more or less random comments inspired by our present authors. First, as the twin articles by Lebra and Ghosh show, a truly comprehensive picture of any single situation requires intensive work in indigenous Southern Asian and Japanese-and of course also Western- sources. Since very few students of Asian history possess the requisite linguistic skills, let alone the time, to do justice to such an assignment, we are most fortunate that these two scholars, though unbeknown to each other for quite some time, have been able to accomplish so much;

the absence, until now, of adequate works on the Indian National Army makes their labors the more welcome and indeed indispensable.

What does clearly emerge from their studies is, that however peripheral a place India may have occupied in the eyes of Japanese policy makers, the Indian National Army and its brilliant leader, Subhas Chandra Bose, had a profound-and, as Dr. Ghosh has argued, a decisive-effect on India's ultimate independence from Britain.

Second, I am increasingly intrigued by the importance of individual Japanese in the making of Southern Asian history, of men like Colonel Suzuki Keiji who played such a dominant role in Burma, and Major

2 Already published is K. K. Ghosh, The Indian National Army: Second Front of the Indian Independence !Movement (Meerut: Meenakshi Prakashan, 1969). Pro- fessor Lebra's Japan and the Indian National Army is scheduled for publication in late 1969 by Donald' Moore Ltd. in Singapore; a Japanese translation is to appear in Tokyo shortly.

3 An earlier essay by Dr. Guyot, "The Burma Independence Army: A Po!.itical Movement in Military Garb," appeared in Silverstein, ed., op. cit., pp. 51-65.

4 On the Tokugawa Papers, see Lea E. Williams, "Some Japanese Sources on Malayan History," Journal of Southeast Asian History, Vol. IV #3 (September, 1963), especially pp. 102-04.

5 I have endeavored to present brief and highly tentative syntheses concerning the occupation of Southeast Asia in a short essay, "The Japanese Interregnum in Southeast A9ia," in Goodman, ed., op. dt., pp. 65-79, and, somewhat more ex,ten- sively, in John Bastin and Harry J. Benda, A History of Modern Southea:<It Asia:

Colonialism, Nationalism and Deoalonization (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice- Hall, 1968 and Singapore: Federal Publishers, 1969), pp. 123-52.



Fujiwara Iwaichi, who not only loomed large in the development of the Indian National Army, but who is also prominently mentioned in con- nection with the Japanese invasion of Acheh in northern Sumatra. 6 Both, if we are to believe Drs. Guyot and Lebra, were men of very consid- erable skill and stature, to say the least, but both also wanted to achieve more for their Southem Asian "protege's" than higher Japanese author- ities proved ultimately willing to grant. Isn't it high time for someone to devote himself (or herself) to the study of such highly individualistic policy "entrepreneurs" and the organizations (kikan) they headed? In- cluded in such a study might be others, like the ubiquitous Shimizu Hitoshi of Sendenbu fame in wartime Djakarta.7

Third and last, Drs. Nugroho's essay makes me wonder whether we will ever be able to fathom the full extent, and for that matter the motiva- tions, of the numerous rebellions directed against the occupying power in so many parts of the Nampa. For, though even occupation policies and practices are far from adequately documented, there appears to be 1iteral1y nothing in the printed records to guide us. Lest this "hidden" but essen- tial part of occupation history be lost forever, one would wish for con- certed efforts along the lines so patiently pioneered by our Indonesian colleagues: interviewing the survivors of these rebellions as quickly as possible. How strange that the technological revolution, with its many ...

faceted, and often disastrous, effects on part of Southern Asia, has not yet given rise to a wide distribution of that little miracle, the casette tape recorder, to research institutions in the region! Wish that scores of them could be made available to "catch" the fading memories of the quickly diminishing number of the actors, and sufferers, of this poignant phase in the region's modern history! 8

Institute of Southeast Asiatl' Studies, Singapore.

June, 1969.


6 See A. J. Piekaar, Atjeh en de Oorlog met Japan (Acheh and the War with Japan), (Bandung and The Hague: W .. van Hoeve, 1949).

7 For brief but rercept,ivc comments on Shimizu, see Eencdict R. O'G, Ander- son, "Japan: 'The Light of Asia,'" in Silverstein, ed., op, cit., p, 16. Cf. also I. J.

Brugmans. ed., Nederlandsch-Indiii onder Japanse bezettlng (Netherlands India under Japanese Occupatdon), (Franeke: T. Wever, 1960), pp, 195-96.

8 As work on several aspects of the Second World War in As,ia proceeds in different quarters, it would seem that the time has come for some coordinated efforts. We are as yet without major bibliO'graphical surveys, and without sys- tematized knowledl!e of who is working where on what country or field. Readers may therefore wekome to be told of efforts recently launched in France by a newly-created International Committee on the History of the Second World War (Comite International d'Histoire de Ia 2eme guerre mondiale), of which Mr. H.

Michel has been appointed -Secretary-General. The Committee's address is 32 rue de Leningrad, Paris VJTie, France. It is contemplating the publication of a special issue of ,its Revue d'Hi:stoire, to be devoted to "Japan's Greater East Asia.''






Indian National Army (I.N.A.)-indeed, an unprecedented event in the history of the Indian army-was the massive transfer of loyalty in which forty thousand 1 out of fifty-five thousand z Indian men and officers who surrendered to the Japanese on the fall of Singapore in 1942 repudiated their allegiance to the British Crown_ The local Japanese military author- ities in Southeast Asia had taken up just before the Pacific War a scheme for winning over the Indian soldiers stationed in the region. The plan was to re-employ them in auxiliary war duties during the Malayan campaign and encourage them to organize a legion. The representatives of the Indians including the P.O.W. s who met at the Singapore, Tokyo and Bangkok Conferences in the first half of 1942 favoured in principle the proposal to raise an army for achieving "complete independence of India." The Japanese agreed in 1942 to arm only sixteen thousand Indian P.O.W.s which formed the nucleus of the I.N.A.3 Later, with the implementation of a "scheme for a total mobilization" of the resources of the Indian community in the Japanese occupied areas, the strength . of the army increased. It was estimated to be forty-five thousand in 1945.4 Along with the Japanese forces the army campaigned without

"'This paper is based on a larger study on the Indian National Army which was the author's successful Ph D. dissertation (1965) at Indian School of Inter- national Studies, New Delhi. In the preparation of the paper I haYe received encouragement and valuable suggestions from Professor Harry J. Benda of Yale University and Professor Grant K. Goodman of Kansas University. I am grate- ful of them.

1 A copy of the speech delivered by Mohan Singh in Indian Parliament on 18 February 1964 explaining the I.N.A. personnel's claim for arrear dues from the Government of India, All-India I.N.A. Relief and Enquiry Committee (A.l.I.N.A.- R.E.C.) Delhi. Toye corroborated the figure. He wrote: "By the end of August 1942 forty thousand Prisoners of War had signed the pledge to join the Indian National Army under Mohan Singh". Hugh Toye, The Springing Tiger (London, 1959), p. 9.

2 A.E. Percival, The War in Malaya (London, 1949), p. 276. See also the list issued on 21 February 1942 by the Imperial General Headquarters mentioning the relative strength of the British, Australian and the Indian troops taken pri- soners by the Japanese army on the surrender of Singapore, which was reproduced in a pubiication of the Indian Independence League. Indian Independence League

Britain Surrenders (Bangkok, 1943), p. 2. '

3 Prosecution witness Lt. D.C. Nag in the first I.N.A. court martiaL Motiram, ed., Two Historic Trials in Red Fort (Delhi, 1946), p. 22; Major-General A.C.

Chatterjee, India's Struggle for Freedom (Calcutta, 1947), p. 35.

4 Photostat copy of the personal and secret memorandum of the Commander- in-chief of the Indian army, Gen. Sir Claude Auchinleck, on the effects of th<.'



success during 1944-5 on the Indo-Burma borders and disintegrated with the end of the World War II.

This paper takes up for discussion only three aspects of the I.N.A.

It includes a study of the motives of those Indian officers who joined the I.N.A. as it sheds some light on the nature of their participation in the Greater East Asia scheme of Japan. While Japan's relations with other nationalities in Southeast Asia during the occupation are fairly known now, her policy towards the Indian community in the region and more particularly, the problems which followed from that policy have hardly drawn any scholarly attention. This forms the second part of the paper. The impact of the I.N.A. courts martial in India at the end of the war on the Indian officers in the Indian armed forces is dis- cussed in the last part of the paper.


The behaviour of the Indian officers who joined the I.N.A. was of crucial importance for more than one reason. They were sizeable in strength-according to one information four hundred in all5-and in- cluded many with good service-records. As such, their behavior could not be explained away as an instance of lack of discipline. Moreover, it had deeper implications for the ordinary ranks. As a matter of tra- dition in the Indian army, the focus of loyalty of an average and illi- terate sepoy was his immediate higher officer on whom he depended for his welfare, advancement and future prospects. Thus, the decision of the officers to join the I.N.A. or remain out of it, was bound to influence the attitude of the larger section of the Indian P.O.W. towards the proposal for raising a liberation army. A study of the considerations which shaped the decision of the officer corps is, therefore, important.

In the years following the war, I.N.A.'s motives were reviewed main- ly by two groups of officers, the British and the former I.N.A. Because of their indirect involvement with the event, the views they expressed were more or less one-sided. For the British, it was most annoying to find a large number of Indian officers, who had been taught to stand firm by their commission, joining the enemy during the war. Their atti- tude towards the I.N.A. was shaped by their hostility derived from the battle field.6 The accounts of the former I.N.A. officers, on the other

first I.N.A. court martial, circulated among the senior British officers of the Indian army. Photostat copy obtained by the writer from Sir Claude. Hereinafter referred to as Auchinleck's memorandum.

5 Discussion with Gen. Mohan Singh at New Delhi in February 1962.

6 The Commander-in-chief described in detail the attitude of the Br,itish officers in his letter to the Viceroy. See Gen. Auchinleck to Viceroy, 26 November 1945, John Cannel, Auchinleck: A Biography of Field Marchal/ Sir Claude Auchin/eck (London, 1959), p. 806; also Lieut. Gen. Sir Francis Tucker, While Memory Serves (London, 1950), pp. 51-72.


hand, put undue emphasis on patriotism. Mention must be made in this connection of the Government of "India's attempt at the end of the war to categorize the I.N.A. officers as Black, Blackest, Grey and White.7 Purely administrative in its origin as well as purpose, this categorization ran across the various commissions of the Indian officers, as the Govern- ment sought to sort out a few office-rs against whom certain charges could be proved and punish them in ordec to uphold the discipline of the army. s This attempt, however, did not intend to find out the reaction of various commissions, mainly, the King's Commissioned Officer (K.C.O.), Indian Commissioned Officer (I.C.O.) and the Viceroy's Commissioned Officer


A commission-wise study of the motive of the Indian officers ap- pears to be more relevant because the response of each of these groups to the proposal for raising the I.N.A. had its own distinct pattern. It also indicated the different degrees of Western impact on them and the variety of responses. The fact that the I.N.A. officers brought under trial by the Indian army commanod after the World War II were the I.C.O. and the V.C.O., and they included no K.C.O., lends support to this approach.

This approach, too, has its OWj} problems. It requires the individual account from a large number of officers who joined the I.N.A. to permit generalization and the means to vecify it. Moreover, individual decision- making being a complex psychology process, an element of uncertain'ry possibly always remains in any sue


generalization. The writings of the former I.N.A. officers apart, it was the evidence and proceedings of the I.N.A. courts martial whioh presented for the first time the individual account from a large number of Indian officers explaining their own reasons for joining the I.N.A. In tl1e first I.N.A. trial alone, for exam- ple, the Defence Counsel interviewed and obtained individual testimony from 120 officers. The Prosecution (lroduced before the court twenty-four officers and sepoys.9 These accounts came from officers holding various commissions and were, therefore, fairly representative in nature. Al- though it is difficult to be sure as to what extent some of these accounts are worthy of credence, they often stood modified on cross-examina- tion,

An analysis of the motives of the I.N.A. officers, drawn carefully to represent various sections, illustiate the effects of discrimination on

7 For the text of the communique to the press in which the Government outlined the,ir I.N.A. policy see Keesing's .Contemporary Archiv,es, 1946-8 (London), p. 7821.

8 Philip Mason's foreword in Toye, op cit., pp. VIII-IX. Mason was an Addational Secretary to the War Department of the Government of India at the end of the war.

9 See Defense Counsel's reply to the Judge Advocate in the first I.N.A. Court martial. Motiram, ed., op. cit., p. 4.


THE INDIAN NATIONAL ARMY 7 the colonial forces. The attitude assumed by the Indian officers in 1942 is to be analysed in the context of their conditions in the Indian army before the surrender of Singapore. Prior to the war, strong grievances were felt by the Indian officers on account of slow Indianization, dif- ferential treatment with regard to pay and allowances and racial dis- cnmlnation. In October 1939 there were only 396 Indian officers in the combatant section of the Indian army. The proportion of the British and Indian officers was 10:1.1. In January 1941 there were 596 Indian officers in the combatant section but the ratio became more uneven.

It was 12:1. Although the vast expansion of the Indian army in the years following 1941 led to the commissioning of a larger number of Indian officers (the strength of the Indian officers was eight thousand, and the ratio was 4.1: 1, in 1945), those who surrendered at Singapore in 1942 did not work in such a favorable situation.l0 Moreover, prior to the Pacific War an ordinary sepoy used to receive as his pay twenty- five rupees while a British soldier used to get tb.ree times more every month. An Indian lieutenant used to get a monthly salary of three hundred and fifty rupees only, while British lieutenants were drawing nearly double that amount.11 Indian officers came across instances of racial discrimination in India and abroad where they served.12 These grievances, later eloquently expressed by the Indian officers themselves at the time of the I.N.A. courts martial, created among them a sense of alienation from their commission. When the military disaster at Sin- gapore put their loyalty to a severe test, the abstract bonds of commission proved too weak in many cases.

Justifying the disloyalty to the British, a publication issued in 1943 by the Directorate of the Military Bureau of the I.N.A. mentioned these grievances in some details. It pointed out that in the Indian army the Indian officers had been given

differential treatment jn the matters of their pay, allowances, clothing, rations, accommodations, service conditions, social privileges, etc., not only in India but in every theatre of war to which they had the misfortune to be posted. It is a standing disgrace that such invidious distinctions have always been kept up be- tween the arrogant Br,itishers and the Indians from time immemorial, in all walks of life, more particularly so in the Indian army. In addLtion, the British officer gets various unofficial pr.ivileges such as, choice of stations, choice of

10 For the details regarding the Indian officer corps see Sri Nandan Prasad, Expansion of the Armed Forces and Defence Organization, 1939-45. Bisheswar Prasad ed., Official History of the Indian Armed Forces in the Second World War, I~dia and Pakistan; Combined Inter-Serv.ices Historical Section, 1956, p. 182.

11 Statement of Capt. H. M. Arshad to the I.N.A. Defence Counsel, I. N. A.

Defence Papers, A.I.I.N.A.R.E.C.; Shah Nawaz Khan, My Memories of J.N.A.

and its Netaji (Delhi, 1946), p. 21.

12 For instances of racial discrimination in the Indian army before the war see Humphrey Evans, Thimayya of India: A Soldier's Life (New York, 1960), pp. 88, 111.


job, etc. Whatever the British officer does or does not is correct, as he is always like Caesar's wife above critic,ism and his defect is his recommendation because he is British)l3

The adverse effect of these grievances on the loyalty of Indian officers was acknowledged at the end of the war by the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian army. He pointed out that

the early stages of Indianization from ,its inception to the beginning of the late war were badly mismanaged by the British Government of India, and this pre·

pared' the ground for disloyalty when the opportunity came. There ,is little doubt that Indianization was at its inception looked on as a political expedient which was bound to fail mnitarily. There is no doubt also that many senior British officers believed and even hoped that it would' fail. The policy of segregation of Indian officers into separate units, the differential treatment in respect to pay and terms of service as compared with the British officer, and the prejudice and lack of manners of some-by no, means all-British officers and thejr wives, all went to produce a very deep and bitter feeling of racial discrimination in the mind's of the most intelligent and progressive of the Indian officers, who were. naturally nationalists, keen to see India standing on her own legs and not to be ruled from Whitehall forever.14

The adverse effect of these grievances on the loyalty of the different sections of Indian officers was not uniform. The officers who held King's Commission (the K.C.O.) usually came from well-to-do families. They had their education in British public schools and later in the British Military Academy at Sandhurst and were close to the British and their way of living.15 Although they felt somewhat sore about the practice of racial discrimination against them, hardly any one of them turned anti- British on that account. It is interesting to note that among the K.C.O.s, called up for evidence by the Prosecution and the Defence at the I.N.A.

courts martial, only one, Lt. Col. Gill, mentioned an instance of colour- bar in an officers' club in Mal'aya, but none complained against slow Indianization, difference in pay and allowances.l6 This also explained their attitude towards the formation of the I.N.A. in 1942. For them any co-operation with the Japanese was as much a difficult job as it was for a British officer. Of about half·a-dozen K.C.O. who surrendered at Singapore17 none whole-heartedly supported the I.N.A. Some of them expressed themselves as non-volunteers at the outset and kept out of the I.N.A.l8 Others, who threw their lot with the I.N.A. did so with more

13 Indian Independence League Headquarters, British Army of Occupation in India (Singapore, 1943), p. 4.

14 Auchinleck's memorandum, op. cit.

15 Tuker, op. cit., p. 64; also Evans, op. cit., pp. 98-108.

16 Statement of Lt. Col. N. S. Gill to the Defence Counsel, first I.N.A. court martial, I. N. A. Defence Papers, A. I. I. N. A. R. E.C.

17 These officers included Lt. Col. N. S. Gill, Lt. Col. J. R. Bhonsle, Major M.S. Dhillon, Major N. S. Bhagat, Capt. K. P. Dhargalkar and Capt. H. Budhwar.

18 Capt. Dhargalkar and Capt. Budhwar did not join the I.N.A. in 1942.

Evidence by Capt. Dhargalkar for the Prosecution in the first I. N. A. trial, see Motiram, ed., op. cit., pp. 47-8. Major Bhagat also did not join the I.N.A. in



than one motive. One of them went over to the Indian army in 1942 19 and two others were later removed from the I.N.A. on charges of secret connection with the British.20 Although the charge against one of the latter group, Col. Gill, was not proved, his personal influence ove:r: Mohan Singh and the go-slow policy regarding the I.N.A. un- doubtedly arrested the growth of the army.21 He later associated himself with the group of officers who were opposed to the formation of the I.N.A. Only one K.C.O., Col. Bhonsle, was in the I.N.A. in 1945. He joined the army only in 1943 and since then his role was useful for ceremonial purposes.

The adverse effect of the pre-war grievances was more acutely. felt on the loyalty of the I.C.O. and other junior officers. Educated in India and commissioned from the Indian Military Academy at Debra Dun, the I.C.O. had little contact with the British outside their academy.

They belonged to the generation of officers who showed some awareness of the national movement which was in full swing in the courrtry.22 It was natural for these officers to react most sharply to the existing grievances in the army. This was further indicated by the fact that later, during the I.N.A. officers' trials, some of the bitterest criticisms of the pre-war British policy of slow Inclianization, differential treatment to the Indians with regard to pay and allowances came from the I.C.O.

"Discriminatory treatment between the Indians and British soldiers by the champions of equality and liberty in the world was in evidence everywhere in the Indian Army", wrote Mohan Singh.23 Statements of the I.C.O. with similar grievances can be multiplied.24 Service in Malaya added new bitterness. Many Indian Officers in their statements to the

1942 as he "did not trust the Japanese at all." Later, he joined the I.N.A. but was discharged from the command of the second I.N.A. divi&ion in 1944 "for insubordination anc! disloyalty." Major Bhagat's &tatement to the Defence Counsel of the first I. N. A. court martial, I. N. A. Defence Papers, A. I. I. N. A. R. E. C.

19 This referred to Major M. S. Dhillon. See Chatterjee, op. cit., p. 15; also notes received by the I.N.A. History Committee from Col. N.S. Gill. Hereinafter referred to as Gill's notes to the I.N.A.H.C.

20 This referred to Col. Gill who was taken into custody by the Japanese military police in December 1942. See Gill's notes to the I.N.A.H.C. It has been already mentioned that Major Bhagat was removed from his position in 1944.

12:1 IbM. This was corroborated by Capt. S. M. Hussain who was a Staff officer attached to the Indian P.O.W.s Headquarters headed by Col. Gill ,in 1942.

See Capt S. M. Hussain's statement to the Defence Counsel of the first I.N.A.

court martial, I. N. A. Defence Papers, A. I. I. N. A. R .E. C.

22 This was suggested by the occasional contacts the Indian officers established w,itb the nationalist leaders before the war to seek their direction in the,;r own duty. See Evans, op. cit., pp. 116 ff.

23 Mohan Singh's statement before the Defence Counsel of the first I.N.A.

court martial, l.N.A. Defence Papers, A.I.I.N.A.R.E.C.

24 The statement of Shah Nawaz Khan before the firot I.N.A. court martial.

Motiram, ed., op. cit., p. 110; statements of Capt. H.M. Arshad, Capt. S. M Hussain, Capt. Eshar Qadir and Capt. RDdrigues to the Defence Counsel of the first I. N. A. court martial; Statement of Col. Burhanudd;n before his court martial A.I.I.N.A.R.E.C., The I.NA Speaks (Delhi, 1946), p 56 Hereinafter referred to as The I.N.A. Speaks.


I.N.A. Defence Counsel later narrated the instances when they were victims of colour-bar in the trains and clubs of Malaya before the out- break of the war.25 As the war started, they had to work against the heaviest odds - without air-support, modern military equipment like tanks, anti-tank guns, etc. 26 which gave birth to a general feeling among them that in defending Malaya they had been given too ecx:acting a task.27

There were complaints of discriminatory treatment against the Indian officers at that trying time and instances of lack of fighting spirit among some British officers. 28 The unhappy position in which the Indian and British officers were placed before and during the war in Malaya was illustrated by the "incidents" which succeeded in snapping all relations between them. Such incidents took place in the Hyderabad Regiment and the Punjab Regiment.29 These incidents might not have assumed much importance, but coming as they did on the eve of Singapore, they foreshadowed the events to come. It was, however, the fall of Singapore which indicated to the junior Indian officers, as the Commander-in-chief of the Indian army later correctly assessed, "the end of all things, and certainly of the British Raj to whom the Army has been used for many years of war and peace to look to as its universal provider and pro- tector. . . . " 30 The separate hand-over of the Indian men and officers to the Japanese at Farrar Park which followed the surrender of Singapore, held out no hopes for the former that the British could protect them much longer and past experience left little goodwill to sustain an atti- tude of wait and see.

All these held out possibilities that the I.C.O. would adopt an attitude more favourable for the plan of raising the I.N.A. in comparison to that of the K.C.O. But a number of most pressing factors such as the general bewilderment, the practical difficulties which followed the surrender, and uncertainty about Japanese intentions led most of them to attach various connotations to their co-operation with the Japanese.

In explaining the conduct of the I.N.A. officers, undue importance has

25 Statements of Capt. Mahboob Ahmed, Capt. S. M. Hussain, Capt. Arshad, Capt. Rodrigues, Capt. Bhagat, Lt. M. Riaz Khan to the Defence Counsel of the first I.N.A. tdal. f.N.A. Defence Papers, A.I.I.N.A.R.E.C.; Khan, op, cit., p. 21.

26 Percival, op. cit., p. 206.

27 Khan, op. cit., pp. 22-5; Statements of Major Rawat, Lt. R.iaz Khan, Capt. Arshad and Capt. Rodrigues to the Defence Counsel of the first I.N.A. trial.

I.N.A. Defence Papers.

28 Shah Nawaz Khan's statement before the first I.N.A. trial, Motiram, ed., op. cit., p. 104; Major Rawat's statement to the Defence Counsel, I.N.A. Defence

Paper~; the statement of Major Fateh Khan before his trial, The I.N.A. Speaks, op. cit., p. 92.

29 For details see Capt, S. M. Hussain's statement to the Defence Counsel, I. N. A. Defence Papers; Evans, cw. cit., pp. 167-72; statement of Lt. G. S. Dhillon's statement before the first trial, Motiram, ed., op. cit., p. 117.

30 Auchinleck's memorandum, op. cit.



been placed on personal opportunism.'31 What emerges from the testi- monies of all witnesses for the Prosecution and the Defence of I.N.A.

courts martial and eschewed the attention of observers, was the deep fear and suspicion in the Japanese, universally shared by them. It was this fear of the Japanese intentions which created, from the psychological point of view, a great difficulty for most of the officers to accept the I.N.A. sponsored by the former. Security of subordinate men and officers, that of the civilian population in East Asia or India, or even the desire for rendering the I.N.A. an ineffective instrument,-all these considera- tions sprang from the same fear. Such consideration, more than the purely patriotic objective of liberation of India proved more decisive for the overwhelming majority of officers. Similarly, those branded as

"opportunists" displayed merely one type, simple and pure, of reaction of that fear. It is interesting to note that of the witnesses called up for the Prosecution and the Defence in I.N.A. courts martial only two junior officers (V.C.O.) were said to have joined the I.N.A. to escape fatigue duties of the Japanese army 32 and three others (V.C.O.) barring the honourable exception of Mohan Singh claimed to have been moved by the urge of their motherland's liberation only.ss

A large number of the I.C.O. and the V.C.O. who joined the I.N.A.

in 1942 had mixed motives. The prevailing suspicion in the intentions of the Japanese led many officers to view the proposal of raising the I.N.A. in 1942 as a measure of defence agains't the misconduct of their ally. There were some who were moved only by such limited patriotic consideration as the security of their own men and that of the civilian Indian population in East Asia.34 There were others, more numerous

31 Mason's foreword, Toye, op. cit., p. VI. S. P. Cohen speaks of "rich monetary rewards" expected by the officers for themselves and the,ir families too for their act. Stephen P. Cohen, "Subhas Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army", Pacific Affairs (Canada) Vol. XXXVI (Winter 1963-4), p. 413. It is not clear from whom, according to Cohen, they expected it. Minutes of the meetings of the Council of Action following the Bangkok Conference, in which the proposal for raising the I.N .A. was accepted, recorded that funds to pay pocket money to the I.N.A. volunteers at a minimum rate were made available by Rash Behari Bose from what he claimed to be his own savings. See the minutes of the meetings of the Council of Action from 24 June to 9 July 1942 at Bangkok, Indian Independence League Papers, National Archives of India, New Delhi. One might doubt Rash Behari's claim. It is also doubtful if the funds were adequate to meet I.N.A.'s needs in 1942. The Japanese, however, mad'e it clear to Subhas Bose that they would be responsible for paying only the former P.O.W.'s in the I.N.A., who formed only one third of its strength in 1944-5. See Toye, op. cit., p. 98.

32 Evidence of the Prosecution witnesses Havildars Sucha Singh and Mohammad Sarwar in the first I. N. A. tr,ial. Motiram, ed., op. cit., pp, 60, 64.

33 Subed'ar Singhara Singh's statement before h;s court martial, The J.N.A.

Speaks, p. 70; evidence of Subedar-Maj()r Baboo Ram and Lance Naik Mohinder Singh for the Prosecution in the first I.N.A. trial, Mot,iram, ed., op. cit., pp. 55, 76.

34 Major Rawat in his testimony to the Defence Counsel in the first I.N.A.

trial said that he joined the I.N.A. and persuaded the 15000 men of the Garwali Regiment to do so because the Japanese appeared to them "so mysterious that we

"ould not know their intentions and this created all sorts of doubt in our mind


than the previous group, who visualised the I.N.A. as an instrument which would be useful not only for their country's freedom but also for protecting India from the excesses of a Japanese invasion which appeared to them imminent. Those among them who were more alert about the vulnerability of India in 1942 found the I.N.A. chiefly useful for the latter purpose.35 In this group, there were some others who viewed the I.N.A. in the same light but did not ignore its usefulness in ensuring the security of the Indian P.O.W. and civilian population in East Asia. 36

There was yet another group of officers, mostly the I.C.O., who shared the strong suspicion of all other Indian offic.ers in the Japanese intentions. They were also not lacking in patriotism. But they had a great deal of doubts in Mohan Singh's ability to deal effectively with the Japanese if they would double-cross the Indians which appeared to them very probable. Shah Nawaz Khan who had earlier served in the same regiment with Mohan Singh made no secret of this doubts in his statement before the I.N.A. court martial. He said: "With all due regard to Capt Mohan Singh's sincerity and leadership which he dis- played later-! had known him well for the last 10 years-he had always been an efficient, but very average officer. . . . I was fully con- vinced, knowing Mohan Singh so well that politically, at any rate, he

.... All my people preferred to be in the I.N.A. than to fall .into the hands of the Japanese. We were experiencing quite clearly that it was on account of that movement that the Japanese treatment began to be better toward's Indians. The immediate thing that we had in mind was that we shall be able to protect the Indian civilian population from the Japanese atrocities." See I.N.A. Defence Papers.

35 Capt. P. K. Saghal's statement in the first I.N.A. trial represented' the views of these officers. In spite of his desire to see his "motherland free from all foreign domination" he kept out of the I.N.A. in 1942 because he was "skeptical of the intention of the Japanese." He stated the circumstances which later com- pelled him "to revise earlier decision to keep out of the Indian National A.rmy ...

the Japanese forces met with the most astounding successes in every theatre of the war, and an attack on India appeared to be imminent . . . The last Indian drafts that had arrived to reinforce Singapore consisted only of raw recruits and gave one a fair indication of the type of men available for the defence of India.

Officers who came to Singapore shortly before its surrender told' us that there was no modern equipment available for the army in India . . . . The .information we had about the state of defence in India was by no means encouraging and the most optimist amongst us could not be sure of the ability of the Br.itish to stop the Japanese advance . . . . the question that began to agitate the mind of us, who had so far stayed away from that Army was whether it was not our duty to join that army for securing the freedom of our country-not so much from the Bdtish who could hold her no longer but from the Japanese who were bent upon invading India." See Motiram, ed., op. cit., pp. 113-4; see also the statements of Lt. G. S. Dhillon before the first l.N.A. trial, ibid., pp. 118-9; state- ments of Capt. J aswant Singh, Major Pman Singh before their courts martial.

The l.N.A. Speaks, pp. 132-4; Chatterji, op. cit., pp. 350-1.

36 Col. Burhanuddin's statement before his court martial illmtrated the motives of these officers. He said: "Thinking on these lines I came to the conclusion that the only way I could serve my country effectively was to join and help in organizing a strong I.N.A. . . . Jt was therefore not only a question of liberating India bm of immediately protecting Indian lives and property in the Far East and if 'need be later in India." The l.N.A. Speaks, p. 59; also the statement of Major Fateh Khan before his court martial, ibid., p. 95.



would not be able to cope with the Japanese political intrigues and we would be exploited by them for their own ends."37 This group of officers, about sixty in strength, was initially opposed to the idea of raising the I.N.A. at all and came closer to Lt. Col. N. S. Gill who was resisting the formation of the I.N.A. from within.38 Thus a resistance unit came into existence in the I.N.A. Some events took place in the middle of 1942 which clearly manifested this resistance. Gill came back from the Tokyo Conference with his suspicion of the Japanese intentions strength- ened. Reinforced by the support of the I.C.O.s he challenged an order of the Japanese army to abolish the P.O.W. Headquarters which had been set up after the fall of Singapore.39 Shah Nawaz Kahn also men·

tioned that he did not only dislike Mohan Singh's proposal that the army should take part in the Bangkok Conference (June 1942) but he openly disapproved of the method by which Mohan Singh wanted the Indian P.O.W.s to be represented in that conference.40

In analysing the motive of the I.N.A. officers one can hardly under- estimate the influence of Subhas Chandra Bose's personality. Before he took over, the vast majority of the officers viewed the outcome of their associations with the I.N.A. with a sense of suspicion and futility. Shortly after his arrival in East Asia, the army expanded rapidly and it took the field. Whatever might be the outcome of the military campaign in which it took part, there is enough evidence to believe that he succeeded to a large measure in binding his officer corps in a spirit of real revolu- tionary partnership.

That Bose's personality acquired a tremendous appeal for many Indian P.O.W.s is acknowledged on all hands. Describing his arrival in East Asia as an event of "some importance" an official despatch of the India Command referred to him as a colourful seditionist with a powerful personality who could easily influence others with his own enthusiasm.41 Testimonies of several I.N.A. officers including some of

37 Shah Nawaz Khan's statement before the first I.N.A. trial, Motiram, ed., np. cit., p. 105. Emphasis ori!!inal, Another I. C. 0., Mahboob Ahmed corroborated this view. Discussion with Mahboob Ahmed at Kuala Lumpur in August 1963.

38 N. S. Gill's statement to the Defence Counsel of the first I.N.A. trial, I.N.A.

Defence Papers.

39 Ibid.

40 Khan, op. cit., p. 49.

41 Despatch of Gen. A ucltinleck on the Operation in the Indo-Burma Theatrr based on lndia (2/ June-15 November· 1943) Comhined Inter-Services Historical Section, Regd. File No. 601/7553/H, Government of India and Pakistan, Ministry of Defence, Government of India.

At the end of the war the Commander-rin-ch;ef of the Indi:an army came to have an access to the views of a substantial number of I.N.A. men and officers.

In spite of his strong re,ervation about Bose's war-time activities his estimate of Bose's character ,is noteworthy. He referred to the I.N.A. officers and wrote:

"I am in no doubt myself that a great number of them, especially the leaders, be- lieved that Subhas Chandra Bose was a genuine patriot and that they themselves were right to follow his lead. There is no doubt at all from the mass of evidence


those who later appeared as witnesses for the Prosecution as well as the Defence are in full agreement in bearing out the impact of Bose's leadership on the I.N.A. One aspect of it can be studied with reference to the officer corps who had associated themselves with the I.N.A. in 1942 but could not accept it wholeheartedly for one reason or another.

Few of them had known and none had met him earlier. Many, how- ever, ackonwledged the effect of their first meeting with Bose on them- selves to be decisive and instant.42 What led many of them thus, to dramatise the impact of Bose's leadership was possibly the relief gen- erated by the widely-shared belief that his leadership was dependable.

This was substantially corroborated by a Prosecution witness to the first I.N.A. court martial. He said: " .... Subhas Chandra Bose arrived in July 1943. After that everybody thought that they had got a leader who could guide them on proper lines without being subordinated to the Japanese". 43 It was this confidence of the officers corps in Bose which ensured for the latter a commanding position in the army and made

him the focal point of their loyalty.

Bose's ability to win over the confidence of the hesitant officers could be attributed to the great measure of success he achieved in dis- pelling their deep-rooted suspicion in the Japanese. No doubt, he had to work within a set pattern of objective conditions as his predecessor did, over which he had hardly any control; his success with the I.N.A.

lies in charting out its own course. He spun with forceful arguments a broad scheme, a blue-print for India's liberation, which boldly pleaded for the acceptance of Japanese help without being apologetical about it, carefully balanced Japanese help with another scheme of total mobiliza- tion of the Indian resources in East Asia and left room for a patriotic role for his army in spite of its heavy dependence on the Japanese in

vie have that Subhas Chandra Bose acquired a tremendous influence over them and that his personaEty had been an exceedingly strong one." See Connell, op. cit., p. 803.

42 One officer after a brief interview with Bose recorded his impression. He said to have never met a leader so "well informed" as Bose. The latter "already knows the small place-names on the map, the climate and different conditions in the jungles, the details of the plans and methods adopted by the Japs to outwit the British Army." But what impressed the officer most was "the technical knowl- edge about modern warfare and modern armies which Subhas Tlabu showc-d."

The entry in the officer's diary concluded: "He is a real leader of the people."

V. K. Jhaveri and S. S. Batlivala, eel., Jai Hind: The Diary of a Rebel Daughter of India (Bombay, 1945), p. 39. The statement of Capt. Shah Nawaz Khan was also interesting. He joined the I.N.A. in 1942 with a large number of officers to offer as much resistance to the growth of the army as possible from within. He later said: "when Netaji arrived ,in Singapore, I watched him very keenly; I had never seen or met him before. and did not know very much about his activities in India. I heard a number of his public speeches, which had a profound effect on me. It will not be wrong to say that I was hypnotised by his speeches. He placed a true picture of India before us and for the first time in my life I saw India, through the eyes of an Indian." Statement of Shah Nawaz Khan in the first I.N.A. court martial, Motiram. ed., op. cit., p. 109.

43 Evidence of Lt. D. C. Nag, ibid., p. 41.


THE INDIAN NATIONAL ARMY 15 many respects. This certainly made it easier for the hesitant and pa- triotic elements in the officer corps to identify themselves totally with the I.N.A.

Undoubtedly, when Bose took over, the army having no high morale or discipline was in a bad shape. The tremendous popularity that Bose earned so quickly among his officer corps on his arrival in East Asia was partially due to his success in tackling with reasonable satisfaction some fundamental issues which were to determine the progress ot the revolution. The relationship of the military leade.rship with the civilian leaders, which was never happy in the initial part of the movement, was straightened and since then no problem arose regarding the civil- military relations. He succeeded in settling some outstanding operational issues, some of which had wrecked the army in 1942. He vastly improved the amenities of the army and its facilities for training and recruitment, and secured the approval of the Japanese to his plans for the expansion of the army and its active role in the future military campaign against India. All these went a long way towards restoring the officers' con- fidence. That Bose took over the leadership of the army after securing the promise of support from the Japanese for the satisfactory solution of these issues, and not before that, was a pointer. Moreover, a careful reader of Bose's speeches can hardly ignore his uncommon persuasive power. His speeches reveal authority, singleness of mind, personal en- thusiasm and straight deductions from the study of international politics.4' Such attributes could not but move a soldier's mind.45


The I.N.A. faced ai number of problems. These included such in- stitutional question as sdting up a sound decision-making body and such operational issues as the expansion of the army, deficiency in arms and ammunitions, and an arrangement under which Japanese assistance would be available. Of these, the attitude of the Government of Japan was important as the satisfactory solution of some of these problems had a great deal to do with it. In this part of the paper, therefore, the policy of the Government of Japan towards the I.N.A. for a short 44 On one occasion Bose told his officers: "For the present I can offer you nothing except hunger, thrust, suffering, forced march and death. But if you follow me in life as well as in death . . . J will le3d yov on to the ro~1d to 'Jc- tory and freedom. It does not matter \vho among us shall live to see India free It is enough that India shaH be free and we shall give our all to make her free."

There was surely something new in it which the men and officers of the I.N.A. had never felt before. Bose's address to the I.N.A. on 5 July 1943, Government of India, Selected Speeches of Subhas Chandra Bose (New Delhi, 1962), p. 184.

45 For a detailed study of the influence of Bose's leadership, see K. K. Ghosh,

"Subhas Chandra Bose and I.N.A. Leader<;hip," in B. R. Chatterji, Southeast Asia in Transition (Meerut, 1965), pp. 163-76.


period of one year-1942 which was crucial in I.N.A. history-would be mentioned in briefest outlines and the problems it created, reviewed.

The Imperial General Headquarters (I.G.H.Q.) attempted to win over the nationalists of some Southeast Asian countries before their forces overran those countries. The I.G.H.Q.'s parallel efforts to enlist the help of the Indians in Southeast Asia and their encouragement to the proposal for raising the I.N.A., therefore, provoked suspicion that in doing all this Japan had a plan to invade India too. There is, however, little evidence for any intentions on her part to undertake any major plan of invasion of India at any time during the war. The published accounts of Japan's diplomatic moves to come to terms with Germany on the eve of the Pacific War which made it necessary for her to spell out the countries to be included in the Greater East Asia, lend no support to it.46 Nor do the various plans which were formulated in advance by the Governmental agencies of Japan for the administrative and economic organization of her empire.47 The battle order issued by the I.G.H.Q.

on 15 November 1941 instructing their forces to start hostilities on 8 December permitted them to occupy in the west only "a part of Burma".48 The chief objectives of her military operations in the northwest of Burma in early 1942 was to isolate China by cutting off "the transportation route between U.S.A. and Britain," i.e., the air ferry route between the Allied base in India and the American base in China. An attempt should be made through propaganda means to prevent the Indians from "co-operat- ing with Britain".49 Later, in August 1942, a plan with limited aggres- sive intentions to take "important areas in Northeast Assam and Chitta- gong" was issued by the I.G.H.Q., but it could not be implemented any- way.50 Read with another document embodying an understanding reached seven weeks earlier between the Japanese army and the navy for co- operating mutually to perfect the defense of the occupied areas, this plan seemed to aim at destroying the Allied air-bases in the vicinity of north-

46 A. Toynbee and V. M. Toynbee, ed., The Initial Triumph of the Axis (Lon- don, 1958), p. 592; also R. J. C. Butow, Tojo and the Coming of the War (New Jersey, 1961), p. 162.

47 M. A. Aziz, Japan's Colonialism and Indonesia (The Hague, 1955), p. 83;

also An outline of the Government of the Territories to be occupied in operations in the vital Southern Areas: Imperial Headquarters Army Branch, 25 November 1941, Combined Inter-Services Historical Section, India and Pakistan, Registered Bile No. 601/7775/4, Translation of tlze Japanese Documents, Ministry of De-

fence, Government of India. (Hereinafter C.I.S.H.S. File).

48 Orders relcting to the occupation of the vital Southern Areas, C.I.S.H.S.

File No. 601/7775/4.

49 English translation of the decis,ion taken in the liaison conference of the Japanese Cabinet and the I.G.H.Q. on 10 January 1942, Decision of the Tojo Ministry from December 1941 to March 1942, War History Office, Government of Japan. Photostat copy of the document obtained from the War History office.

50 From Gen. Su&iyama, Chief of General Staff to G.O.C. Southern Army, Count Terauchi, 22 August 1942, C.I.S.H.S. File No: 601/7775/4, op. cit.

Mga Sanggunian


Commenting on the over-all results of the government's promotion of Buddhism, Smith writes: "The cost of the government's religious involve- ment has been high in terms of: the