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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quest for a National flag for India, Part - XVI Flag of the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauz)

Subhash Chandra Bose as Supreme Commander of the Indian National Army (INA) (Indische Legion) also known as Azad Hind Fauz adopted in 1943, a variant of Purna Swaraj Flag that included the words “AZAD’ on the saffron band on top, “HIND” on the bottom green band and in the centre white band a ‘Springing Tiger’ in lieu of Gandhi’s ‘Charkha’ symbolising INA’s strength and their indomitable will to fight. The Provisional Government of Free India was recognized by nine foreign powers and exercised physical dominion over the Andaman and Nicober Islands, which are integral part of India.
 Un-issued ‘Stamps’ (imperforate) of the Provisional Government of Free India (Azad Hind) – in - exile (Nationales Indien).
The ‘Plus’ values in denominations presumably were intended to raise funds for the Government and turned this into a Semi-postal status. These semi-postal stamps were printed in 1943 at Reichsdruckerrei, Berlin, designed by the team of Warner and Maria Von Axter-Heudtlass, whose “AXHEU” signature appears inconspicuously in each design.
Note; S. A . Ayer, former Minister of Publicity, Provisional Govt. of Azad Hind made a specific mention that Netaji Subhas personally approved the designs of the stamps. According to Col. Prem Saigal, Netaji’s private aide-de-camp in the far East, “The stamps were printed under the orders of Netaji himself. However, these ‘stamps were never used postally’. 
 The FDC has the special place postmark Netaji Bhawan (Ancestral home of Netaji) 
An Indian Postal stamp of 1968 commemorating 25 th. Anniversary of founding of INA, behind Subhas Bose was the flag of Azad Hind, framed by two ceremonial swords – the design recalled the “never-issued 1 rupee denomination of Azad Hind Stamps”

 Subhas Chandra Bose made it his declared aim to see the National flag atop Delhi’s Red Fort.His magnetic slogans of 'Jai Hind' & and 'Chalo Dilli' have been immortalised in many statues and paintings.
“Sabse uncha hai duniame Jhanda hamara Netaji zindabad.... 
Azad karenge, azad karenge 
Cholo bhai Deheli cholo Jhanda laherake cholo....” (Song of the INA)
From the collection of Mr. Gopal Biswas, Kolkata.
Patriotic matchbox labels depicting Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and the vow “HAMARA AZADI KA JHANDA ISKI IZZAT HAME JANSE ZYADA PYARI HAI” 

The Indian National Flag was hoisted on April 14, 1944 by Col. Shaukatullah Malik, INA at Moirang in Imphal and the Advance Headquarters of the Liberated Army was established at the residence of  H. Nilamani Singh at Moirang.
 Subhas Chandra Bose made a brief visit to the Andaman & Nicober Islands in December 1943. He hoisted the Indian National flag at Port Blair on December 30, 1943 and declared the islands free and renamed them “Saheed” and “Swaraj”. To-day the day is celebrated as “Andaman Day”, the day marks the anniversary of the unfurling of the first Indian Tricolour.
 Netaji's autograph (in Bengali) in original dated October 2, 1938 (Gandhi's birth day)

 Credits for this blog and visuals partially go to my friends Moloy Sarkar and Gopal Biswas of Kolkata.
Bibliography: “Azad Hind” and “Chalo Delhi” Stamps by Herbert A. Friedman (Published by Jal Cooper, F.R.G.S., F.S.P.H.), 1972. “Stamps of the Azad Hind Movement” by Jamie Selco, published in the journal of American Philatelic Society ‘American Philatelist’ October 1997


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