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      Who was India’s First Prime Minister Chacha Ji or Neta Ji | RRD’s Opinion

      Actor and now politician Kangana Ranaut said that not Jawaharlal Nehru (Chacha Ji), Subhas Chandra Bose (Neta Ji) was the first Prime Minister of an independent India in a recent interview. This Kangana Ranaut’s statement start a debate over India’s first prime minister. 

      Kangana Ranaut’s claims also faces criticism from Subhas Chandra Bose’s family.

      Neta ji’s family slam Kangana Ranaut and said that no one should “distort history for their political ambition.” 

      But what is the truth behind all this, and what does history say about it, Lets Discuss?

      Government of Azad Hind

      On 21st October, 1943, during the time of World War II, Subhas Chandra Bose proclaim the formation of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind in Singapore.

      Subhas Chandra Bose said in a fiery speech in the Cathay Theatre, quoted Sugata Bose’s His Majesty’s Opponent, 2011.

      “In the name of God, in the name of bygone generations who have welded the Indian people into one nation, and in the name of the dead heroes who have bequeathed to us a tradition of heroism and self- sacrifice — we call upon the Indian people to rally round our banner and strike for India’s freedom,”

      ‘Neta Ji’ Subhas Chandra Bose receive support from the Axis Powers of Japan, Nazi Germany, Italy, and their allies.

      Subhas Chandra Bose appoint himself as the prime minister and minister of war and held the foreign affairs and war portfolios.

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      AC Chatterjee was in charge of finance, SA Ayer became minister of publicity and propaganda, and Lakshmi Swaminathan was given the ministry of women’s affairs.

      Some officers of the Azad Hind Fauj also got cabinet posts.

      Azad Hind Government claim authority over all Indian civilian and military personnel in Britain’s Southeast Asian colonies, primarily Burma, Singapore, and Malaya, which had fallen into Japanese hands during World War II, as per a report. 

      After that, it also claim prospective authority over all Indian territory that would be taken by Japanese forces, and Subhas Chandra Bose’s Azad Hind Fauj, as they attack British India’s northeastern frontier.

      In order to give legitimacy to his government, Subhas Chandra Bose chose the Andamans.

      Sugata Bose wrote :

      “Azad Hind government obtain de jure control over a piece of Indian territory when the Japanese hand over the Andaman and Nicobar islands in late December 1943, though de facto military control was not relinquish by the Japanese admiralty,”.

      Government also gave citizenship to Indian people who were living in Southeast Asia.

      As per Sugata Bose, 30,000 expatriates pledge allegiance to it in Malaya alone.

      Government form by Subhas Chandra Bose got recognition from the Axis powers and their satellites, Germany, Japan, and Italy, as well as Nazi and Japanese puppet states in Croatia, China, Thailand, Burma, Manchuria, and the Philippines.

      Azad Hind government declare war on Britain and the United States immediately after being form. 

      Provinsial Government of Raja Mahendra Pratap

      Like Subhas Chandra Bose allied with the Axis powers during World War II to fight the British, during World War I, Indian nationalists abroad, mostly in Germany and the US, as well as revolutionaries and Pan-Islamists from India, attempt to further the cause of Indian independence with aid from the Central Powers.

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      The IIC, with the help of the Ottoman Caliph and the Germans, tried to foment insurrection in India, mainly among Muslim tribes in Kashmir and British India’s northwestern frontier.

      Further, the IIC establish a government-in-exile in Kabul under the presidency of Raja Mahendra Pratap, and the prime ministership of Maulana Barkatullah, revolutionary freedom fighters who spent decades outside India trying to gather international support for Indian independence.

      Raja Mahendra Pratap form India’s First Provincial Government in Kabul

      In 1915, much before the Azad Hind government was form by Subhash Chandra Bose, Raja Mahendra Pratap form India’s first provincial government in Kabul.

      Maulana Barkatuallah of Bhopal was made the prime minister of the government.

      All these leaders form the Indian Independent Committee (IIC) with the aim of fighting for independence with aid from the Central Powers.

      With the help of the Ottoman Caliph and the Germans, the IIC try to cause a revolt mainly among the Muslims in Kashmir and British India’s northwestern frontier.

      Among the many moves orchestrated by Ghadarite revolutionaries was the Kabul provisional government.

      The Ghadar movement, which began in California in 1913, aim to overthrow British rule in India.

      Maulana Barkatullah was also one of the founders of Lala Har Dayal, one of the movement’s leaders who put forth the following plan of action for the Ghadaritess.

      As per Bipan Chandra and others in India’s Struggle for Independence, 1988 :

      “…use the freedom that is available in the US to fight the British…British rule must be overthrown, not by petitions but by armed revolt…carry this message to the masses and to the soldiers in the Indian Army…enlist their support,”.

      “If success and failure are to be measured in terms of the deepening of nationalist consciousness, the evolution and testing of new strategies and methods of struggle, the creation of tradition of resistance, of secularism, of democracy, and of egalitarianism, then, the Ghadarites certainly contributed their share to the struggle for India’s freedom,”.

      Is Provincial Governments are Actual Governments?

      Provincial Governments cannot be consider actual governments.

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      The formation of such governments and governments-in-exile has a way for resistance movements to gain political legitimacy. 

      Both the 1915 and 1943 provisional governments were symbolic acts of defiance against British rule in India.

      Subhas Chandra Bose proclaim the Azad Hind government to legitimise his arm struggle against the British.

      By a provisional government, he gave his army legitimacy in the eyes of international law.

      It is pertinent to mention that citizenship oaths taken by Azad Hind Fauj officers were produce during the 1945-1946 Red Fort trials as evidence of the legality of their actions.

      The Kabul government was proclaim to establish the seriousness of IIC’s intentions.

      Neither of the two provisional governments can be call as the Government of India.

      Rahul Ram Dwivedi (RRD) is a senior journalist in 2YoDoINDIA.
      NOTE : Views expressed are personal.

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