On Thursday Ealing Southall MP, Virendra Sharma, gave a speech at the Nehru Centre in London essentially recommending the thoughts of Chandra Bose. Indeed Sharma’s press release is headlined “VIRENDRA SHARMA MP HONOURS THE LEGACY OF NETAJI SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE” and includes a picture of Bose in a fascist uniform, see right.
Just in case you are unclear about who Sharma is “honouring” here is another picture of Bose:
According to Wikipedia:
His stance did not change with the outbreak of the Second World War, which he saw as an opportunity to take advantage of British weakness. At the outset of the war, he went away from India and travelled to the Soviet Union, Germany and Japan, seeking an alliance with the aim of attacking the British in India. With Japanese assistance, he re-organised and later led the Indian National Army, formed from Indian prisoners-of-war and plantation workers from British Malaya, Singapore, and other parts of Southeast Asia, against British forces. With Japanese monetary, political, diplomatic and military assistance, he formed the Azad Hind Government in exile and regrouped and led the Indian National Army in battle against the allies at Imphal and in Burma.
My father fought at the battle of Imphal, in fact he soldiered through the whole Burma campaign, so you can imagine that I am not impressed with Sharma. One of the forgotten footnotes of this brutal campaign was the Indian National Army. 40,000 men joined the INA which fought with the Japanese against the allies in the Second World War. At the same time, as a part of the British Empire’s war effort, the Indian Army became the largest all-volunteer force in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in size.
Sharma gave his speech at the Nehru Centre. This is effectively part of the Indian state. Our MP has attended conferences in India, paid for by the Indian government for parliamentarians of Indian origin, see here. Maybe Sharma needs to work out whether he is an Indian MP or a British MP? It is one thing for an Indian MP to view Bose as an Indian patriot. It is quite another for a British MP to speak in praise of an Axis leader, even if he was essentially a failure at a military level. Yet again Sharma gets it wrong – only this time not slight cock up wrong, not silly old fool wrong, but resigning wrong.