INA veteran remembers a brother-like Bose ahead of birth anniversary
Though Gurdial Singh, 96, fails to recollect exact dates, he talks about the strategy, speeches and spirit of Subhas Chandra Bose with palpable excitement, on Monday, the eve of a function by the Punjab State Freedom Fighters Descendants’ Association to mark Bose’s 131st birth anniversary that falls on Tuesday.
Gurdial proved after a long court battle that he was in the Indian National Army established with the aim to overthrow the British Raj in India by Bose, and he now gets a pension for that.
Claiming that he was Bose’s trusted guard and driver, he said he travelled with him to Singapore, Burma (now Myanmar) and Bangkok “in the 1944-45 period”. Born on January 1, 1922, at Bhotna village of Barnala district, Gurdial had gone to Malaysia for work in 1937 and joined the INA in 1943 when Bose visited.
“In Singapore, he once delivered that mesmerized people. The INA had members from varied communities. He was like a brother to them.”
Gurdial said it is “false propaganda” that Bose was liberal towards the ideology of Adolf Hitler.
Jagmohan Singh, a professor, added, “Bose worked on the philosophy of Bhagat Singh and his comrades following his document, dated February 2, 1931, to young political workers of India, in which they were advised to work among the people, and organise workers and peasants.”