TODAY -

Moirang and Port Blair in the freedom struggle of India
- Part 2 -

Y Modhu Singh *

 Indian National Army (INA) museum at Moirang :: June 2011
Indian National Army (INA) museum at Moirang :: June 2011



The 17th British Division could not resist the fast advancing 33rd Division of the Japanese Army and after fighting at Torbung, Phougak-Chao-Ikhai, Tronglaobi and lastly Okshongbung (Moirang) the previous day they completely withdrew (late evening) towards Phubala and Ningthoukhong leaving behind armoured vehicles and ammunition half-burnt. In the morning (of 14th April, 1944) it was reported secretly that some Indo-Japanese forces had reached Tronglaobi, a village 5 km away to the south of Moirang.

Local leaders led by Shri M. Koireng Singh (Ex- Chief Minister, Manipur) went to Tronglaobi and held discussion whole day with them. In the evening at about 5 pm a column of Bahadur Group (Intelligence Wing of the INA) led by its Commander, Col. Saukat Ali Malik accompanying Japanese soldiers under Capt. Ito arrived at Moirang.

Before the gathering of about 50/ 60 local people Col. Saukat Ali Malik planted the Tri-Colour in a ceremonial manner at the historic Moirang Kangla, an ancient citadel where the coronation of successive kings of Moirang was held. Moirang was declared to have been privileged as the sacred soil of India liberated for the first time after sacrifice and martyrdom by the INA from the British colonial rule. Col. Saukat Ali Malik addressed the gathering and Shri M. Koireng Singh translated the address into Manipuri language.

Gist of the version is " . . . .The Provisional Government of Azad Hind had declared war on England and America. The Indian National Army with the unstinted support of the Japanese Government had crossed the Indo-Burmese border and in the course of struggle for the liberation of the people of India from the British colonial yoke we have now reached Moirang. Our commitment is the March to Delhi and unfurl the Tri-Colour at Lal-Killa. Many had died on our way to reach here (Moirang) and many more would die on our way to Delhi. However, expulsion of the enemy from the sacred soil of India is a compulsion for us . . . . ."

The jubilant crowd felt thrilled and were ready to extend fullest support and co-operation to Indo-Japanese forces. On that day the Advanced INA Head Quarters was established at Moirang in the residential building of Shri H. Nilamani Singh (Ex-Deputy Education Minister, Manipur). It was from this Head Quarters that ran a war time office for about three months to conduct forward military operations and administer the liberated areas of which AC Chatterjee was designated Chief Administrator.

Participation of the local people in the war efforts was so active that they voluntarily donated rice, dry fishes, vegetables and other food grains to be distributed to the liberation army numbering about ten thousand for long three months. Shri H Nilamani Singh handed over Rs 21,000/- to Col Saukat Ali Malik which was of great help in the conduct of war. In return, Col SA Malik affectionately called him `sethy. With the monsoon accompanied by torrential rains the Indo-Japanese forces suffered reverses.

Adjoining areas of the Advanced INA Head Quarters located at Moirang were declared enemy zone; a large number of the Manipuris who worked for the INA were blacklisted; shoot-at-sight orders was passed on them including five local leaders of Moirang. The Manipuris who were involved in the battle front and extended support to the INA were compelled to retreat to Rangoon against heavy odds. Rangoon was no longer a safe zone for them.

It was reoccupied by the British and the Indian troops numbering about 17,000 strong were captured as prisoners. Those 'prisoners of war' who put up tough fight as soldiers of an organised army (INA) and waged a legitimate war for the National liberation of India under a legitimate Government were forced to be treated as felons, mercenaries, traitors and deserters and were subjected to the Indian Army Act and were brought to be Court martialled.

Impact of the War on India winning freedom The historic Red Fort Trial began its proceedings on 5th November, 1945. The best convincing argument of the chief defence counsel, Bhulabhai Desai with classic examples from British history had no merit in the eye of the British due to chauvinistic colonial interest. It sparked revolt in Royal Indian Navy in Bombay and later spread to Karachi, Delhi, Calcutta and Madras.

The police swung into action and in firing killed 217 and wounded over 2000. More than thousands of Royal Indian Air Force camped at Bombay demonstrated in sympathy of the navy. The mutineers equally retaliated when police and military personnel opened fire at Bombay and Karachi. Ultimately after the trial, field Marshall Auchinlec, the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army who remitted the sentence of transportation passed on the three INA officers 'for waging war against the king was over weighed by the consideration of prudence than of clemency.'

He wrote in a minute, " I have no doubt at all that to have confirmed the imprisonment solely on the charge of waging war against the king would have probably precipitated a violent outbreak throughout the country." The British Prime Minister, Clement Atlee alluded on March 25, 1946 ". . . . to the spread of National idea, not least perhaps among those soldiers who have done such wonderful service in the war as being responsible for the subsequent decision to quit India on August 15, 1947."

Analysis of the two historic events A mere analysis tells the truth that hoisting of the Tri-Colour Flag at Port Blair by Netaji on December 30, 1943 is a historical truth. No one can dispute it. Before this historic event there was no territory of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind. Consequent upon the announcement of the Japanese Prime Minister that Andaman and Nicobar islands were ceded to the Provisional Government of Azad Hind Netaji went there and hoisted the Tri-Colour Flag on December 30, 1943 and became the sovereign territory of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind.

The historic event had a large number of merits at that point of time. Rather, it was extremely exigent in National interest though it was without fire of a single bullet from the barrels of the INA soldiers. But plantation of the Tri-Colour Flag at Moirang by Col Saukat Ali Malik on April 14, 1944 happened on the territories liberated from the hands of the British colonial rule by the INA heroes after sacrifice and martyrdom.

Besides, the people of Manipur paid the price for the freedom of India. Loss of civilian lives including women and children was enormous, not to speak of live stocks and properties. Altogether 509 villages in the hills and valley of Manipur were devastated; approximately 6,000 houses were reduced to ashes and Moirang alone accounted the biggest number at 600 (but local account figured at 1000); and over 70 battles and pitched battles were fought according to HS Katoch.

Viscount Slim can be quoted that very close to the figure of Japanese casualties estimated at 65,000 against 1,15,000 soldiers before Imphal-Kohima Battle. It is believed that more or less equal number of British soldiers too suffered deaths against 1,50,000 at the beginning of Imphal Front. Number of INA soldiers who martyred in the battles was figured out at 'many thousands'.

Topography itself was a formidable challenge to war engineers; Forests were very treacherous; communication was extremely bad; subtopical insects were at large; giant leeches alone which were very common in the hills of Manipur claimed thousands of lives. Number of deaths inflicted on Nippon army and INA soldiers in certain battle fronts was so high due to starvation, privation, diseases like typhoid, diahorrea, dysentery, malaria, scrub typhus, and other forms of unprotected weather conditions.

In short, the United Kingdom's National Army Museum described in April, 2013 that the Battle of Imphal was `the Britain's Greatest Battle' in the history of warfare. Now, a true Indian may exercise his moral conscience on these two historic events at Moirang and Port Blair. For Netaji he stood for National freedom to be won from the hands of the British colonial rule by offering blood, not the kind of freedom to be begged for.

Postscript The INA soldiers fought heroic battles in the Arrakan, Manipur and Kohima and fell fighting for the sake of motherland. However, freedom lovers or, any family members of those noble souls cannot find a war cemetery where rich tributes can be paid.

On the other hand, there are war cemeteries at Imphal and Kohima proudly dedicating to those soldiers who laid down their lives while fighting resisting against the army of National liberation so that India does not win freedom. Is it not a failure of our duty to the Nation !

Concluded....


* Y Modhu Singh, Associate Professor (Retd.) Moirang , wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on January 18 2023 .



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • My Memories of Imphal #9 : Download
  • World Cancer Day at Imphal
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • 'Bihari parties' in Nagaland election
  • Love for Unity :: Poem
  • Mental Health & Social Policy at Meghalaya
  • Couch surfing !
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Manipur Fashion Extravaganza #5 :: Gallery
  • World Wetland Day @Keibul Lamjao: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Wild Edible Fleshy Fungi :: Book Review
  • World Wetlands Day at Keibul Lamjao
  • Cramps in legs and feet: What to do ?
  • Challenge for state in meeting JMM objective
  • Drug menace & the HIV reality
  • 74th Republic Day @ Kangla #2 :: Gallery
  • Chinese New Year @Bangkok 2023 :: Gallery
  • It's time for Wetlands restoration
  • Popularization of Science at Chandel
  • Aqua-based IFS model : Options
  • Want fabulous skin this Winter ?
  • Local contractor paying high price for past
  • Take the War on Drugs beyond
  • Sangai Fest: Anal Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • International Bioresource Conclave
  • Chanchui Khayi wins Mega Miss NE 2022
  • Happiness :: Poem
  • Indispensable e-Governance but
  • Mass movement must to preserve forests
  • Reaching out to the interiors
  • Singcha Wuya Won @ Kamjong :: Gallery
  • 4 (Manipur) Battalion the Assam Rifles
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Hazardous chemical contaminants in fishes
  • YouTube as a Career Choice
  • Indo-Naga Talks (2012-) :: News Timeline
  • My belated New Year resolution
  • Healthcare inadequacy hallmark of rural area
  • Incursion from across border
  • Puya Awareness / Exhibition :: Gallery
  • February Calendar for Year 2023 : Tools
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Dealing with peer pressure: Tips for student
  • The inspiration to choose right
  • Sholas of Ootacamund
  • Critical analysis of reservation system
  • Manipur favourite destination for refugees
  • Disturbing call from Lamlongei
  • 74th Republic Day @ Kangla #1 :: Gallery
  • Whither women's reproductive health in Asia
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Primary Health Center (PHC) at Tamei
  • Center Manager @ Imphal
  • IT Advance Trainer @ Imphal
  • Mealybugs & their biological control in NE
  • Namesake varsities exploiting education
  • Already 30 days into 2023
  • My Memories of Imphal #8 : Download
  • MaolKeki Foundation celebrates 5th Anniv
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • As a war rages...
  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose #2
  • Wakhal Eronba (Leela) #2 :: Gallery
  • Echoes of Higher Education in Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • National Tourism Day 2023
  • Multi-State Cooperative Seed Society
  • The Mute Tree :: Poem
  • Artificial Intelligence Weapons, World at risk
  • Axe falls on 5 as anti-drug drive intensifies
  • Imphal-Ukhrul road stretch
  • Barak Festival & Dam Plans: Contradictions
  • Sangai Fest: Thang Ta :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Metamorphosis: 2023, Naga CM not need ...
  • History of Diabetes
  • Green Chemistry, for a sustainable world #2
  • Mr Imphal East Body Building :: Gallery
  • Taibang Keithel (2018) :: Review
  • Seiboi Singsit: Top achiever in Forest Dept
  • A Legal Discussion on "Frontier Nagaland"
  • Netaji & Dattatreya Hosabale
  • Thirukkural, the universal scripture
  • Perennial boundary row
  • Growing traffic congestion in Imphal
  • Support of all essential to win war on drugs
  • NH-102, part of Indo-Burma Road :: Gallery
  • Transforming education for Govt schools
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Crying foul of officials of Forest Dept
  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose #1
  • Fish stock manipulation techniques #2
  • Workplace mental health matters
  • Education : Outside Manipur, why ?
  • Hand over case to CBI demand
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Lai Haraoba #7 :: Gallery
  • Swiss Artist in Manipur
  • Deepika Mayanglambam: Netaji Bose Award
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Yes to: "Nagas Are Moving Ahead"
  • 4th Plenary Session of World Meetei Council
  • Tips for preventing cold weather acne
  • No time for verbal spat over drug issue
  • Louroi Festival @ Khurai #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Green Chemistry, for a sustainable world #1
  • Avatar of God :: Poem
  • ABHM appoints President for Northeast
  • A journey towards knowing ourselves
  • Follow up action - dismissal from service
  • More than half a century of Statehood
  • My Memories of Imphal #7 : Download
  • Tanthapolis Cinema at Sanakeithel
  • Nagas are moving ahead : A Commentary
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Vermi with aquaculture for farmer's income
  • The shameful game behind the games
  • Sangai Fest: Basanta Raas #1 :: Gallery
  • My fear for Manipuri Khorirol
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • 50 years of NS films to be observed
  • Time to use election to defeat Status quoists
  • Courage Begets Crown :: Poem
  • RSS, Mohan Bhagwat's mind
  • Healthcare sector in hills on Govt radar
  • Bringing home the spirit of the WC
  • Tributes to Oja Naba Wareppa :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Mishti Doi : Kolkata Diary
  • Fish stock manipulation techniques #1
  • Vibrant border villages: A 'game changer'
  • Keep your hands soft and smooth this winter
  • Success tale of Phalee village
  • Drugs and poppy in dry Manipur
  • Fish Fair @Hapta Kangjeibung #2 :: Gallery
  • The Sangai Film Festival, 2022
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Missionaries left enduring righteousness
  • Transaction of budget & financial business
  • Reliance Foundation Youth Sports concluded
  • Improved highways perilous for rule resisters
  • An unlikely ally for ATSUM
  • Nupilan & its impact in Manipuri society
  • Romi Meitei's Eikhoigi Yum :: Review
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Selected Screen Projects for Screen Lab
  • Moirang & Port Blair in freedom struggle #2
  • National Lok Adalat at Lamphelpat
  • 33rd Phek Area Sports Association Meet
  • Indian Army as a career choice
  • Multiple hurdles in battling drug menace
  • A process dating back to 1997
  • Louroi Festival @ Khurai #1 :: Gallery
  • South East Asian in performing art
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • BINER 2.0 @Manipur Tech Innovation hub
  • Frontier Nagaland- Marching toward Solution
  • Are our life predetermined by a higher power
  • The 108 Divya Desam Temples
  • Water crisis here to stay
  • Beyond arresting the 5 cops
  • 29th Imphal Book Fair Jan 15 2023 :: Gallery
  • 'Yumpham yaodaba / khudam leitaba wafamni'
  • Capacity Building program at Moreh
  • Health Technology : Can it solve health issues
  • A Sternly Life :: Poem
  • Sukrunye, festival of Chakhesang at Phek
  • Empowering through sex education #2
  • 'War on drugs' campaign winnable...
  • Second edition of the War on Drugs
  • My Memories of Imphal #6 : Download
  • Huidrom Nageshwar: Expedition to Antarctica
  • NNPG and NSCN joint statement
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • The Village Playground :: Poem
  • Diabetes treatment beyond medications
  • TN CM Stalin out to prove good politics...
  • Yaoshang Thabal competition #3 :: Gallery
  • 'Champions of Film Heritage Award'
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • BIG grant, Ideation to Proof of concept
  • Amit Shah poses teasers for Naga leaders
  • State delimitation & gerrymandering
  • Nail care in Winters
  • Half-hearted upgrade of DM University
  • Prohibition lifted, now what ?
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2 :: Gallery
  • Around the famous Loktak Lake!
  • Moirang & Port Blair in freedom struggle #1
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • NE India Launchpad 2.0 program
  • L Tonthoi: Best Female Actor @ GIFC
  • World Climate 2022, an overview
  • Drying up of Singda dam water fallout...
  • Shiv Sena: Hitting the right button
  • Nupilal Ningshing Lamjel #4 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Frontier Nagaland Movement- a better world
  • An introduction to Manipuri Vaishnavism #2
  • Buried Deep :: Poem
  • Empowering through sex education #1
  • Robert Memorial Badminton at Senapati
  • Firearms in the hands of reckless denizen
  • Lessons from the past
  • State Level Gaan Ngai #2 :: Gallery
  • Ima Savitri - Documentary film : Review
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • 'Chahi Taret Khuntakpa' at Cachar
  • Emerging Manipur peace, prosperity @growth
  • State of the States 2022: Manipur on top
  • War on Drugs mission far from being over
  • Of Leikhom, Leinang & Uphul, Waiphul
  • New Year picnic @Singda #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival: Sangai Dance :: Gallery
  • 50th years of Manipuri Cinema celebration !
  • Nations wished to no more have war
  • Emerging career options
  • Spike in vehicle sale: Traffic chaos imminent
  • Cong making the right noises
  • Tupul Landslide site construction :: Gallery
  • Addressing skill aspirations among adolescent
  • Shumang Leela Kumhei #1 :: Gallery
  • State Level Gaan Ngai #1 :: Gallery
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1 :: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #6: Gallery
  • Manipur Journalist Awards #2 :: Gallery
  • Dr Savitadidi N Mehta Museum :: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba @ Pune :: Gallery
  • Linthoi Chanambam- Judo Player :: Gallery
  • Olympians & National awardees of Manipur
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar for 2023