Rash Behari Bose (1886-1945)
The revolution failed and most of the revolutionaries were arrested. But Rash Behari managed to escape British intelligence and reached Japan in 1915.
Indian National Army
A dinner party given to Bose in his honour by his close Japanese friends, including Mitsuru Tōyama, a right-wing nationalist and Pan-Asianism leader (center, behind the table), and Tsuyoshi Inukai, future Japanese prime minister (to the right of Tōyama). Behind Tōyama is Bose. 1915.
In Japan, Bose found shelter with various Pan-Asian groups. From 1915–1918, he changed residences and identities numerous times, as the British kept pressing the Japanese government for his extradition. He married the daughter of Aizō Sōma and Kokkō Sōma, the owners of Nakamuraya bakery in Tokyo and noted Pan-Asian supporters in 1918, and became a Japanese citizen in 1923, living as a journalist and writer. It is also significant that he was instrumental in introducing Indian-style curry in Japan. Though more expensive than the usual “British-style” curry, it became quite popular, with Rash Bihari becoming known as “Bose of Nakamuraya”.
Bose along with A M Nair was instrumental in persuading the Japanese authorities to stand by the Indian nationalists and ultimately to officially actively support the Indian independence struggle abroad. Bose convened a conference in Tokyo on 28–30 March 1942, which decided to establish the Indian Independence League. At the conference he moved a motion to raise an army for Indian independence. He convened the second conference of the League at Bangkok on 22 June 1942. It was at this conference that a resolution was adopted to invite Subhas Chandra Bose to join the League and take its command as its president.
The Indian prisoners of war captured by the Japanese in the Malaya and Burma fronts were encouraged to join the Indian Independence League and become the soldiers of the Indian National Army (INA), formed on 1 September 1942 as the military wing of Bose’s Indian National League. He selected the flag for the Azad Hind movement, and handed over the flag to Subhas Chandra Bose when there friction between Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi. But although he fell from power, his organisational structure remained, and it was on the organisational spadework of Rash Behari Bose that Subhas Chandra Bose later built the Indian National Army (also called ‘Azad Hind Fauj’). Prior to being killed near the end of World War II, the Japanese Government honoured him with the Order of the Rising Sun (2nd grade). In 2013 The ashes of Rash Behari Bose were brought to Chandannagar from Japan by the mayor of Chandannagar and emersed at the Hooghly river banks.