After a perilous ninety-day submarine voyage, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose arrived in Southeast Asia on 6 May 1943 to lead the Indian independence movement. ‘Only when the blood of freedom loving Indians begins to flow’, he declared in one of his broadcasts in June 1943, ‘will India attain her freedom.’ In his last message, on 15 August 1945, he urged faith in India’s destiny and expressed confidence that ‘India shall be free and before long.’ Volume 12 of Netaji’s Collected Works brings together all his speeches and writings as leader of the Azad Hind movement from June 1943 to August 1945. His stirring speeches in Singapore, Malaya, and Burma electrified massive audiences of civilians and soldiers, united Indians of all religions, and inspired them to join the march towards Delhi.
The Proclamation of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind (Free India) in Singapore on 21 October 1943 blends erudition and passion. Netaji’s radio address to the ‘Father of Our Nation’ provides the most detailed justification of his course of action and seeks the Mahatma’s blessings in the ‘holy war’ raging around Imphal and Kohima. The ‘Tokyo thesis’ delivered to university faculty and students in November 1944 highlights the three supreme challenges for free India—national defence, eradication of poverty, and education for all. His letters—most published here for the first time—reveal Netaji’s special solicitude for the young women and men who joined the Indian National Army. This volume is indispensable for all interested in modern South Asian history and politics, as well as nationalism and international relations in the twentieth century.