“Netaji: The Last Hero”, the latest film of the famous Indian director Shyam Benegal, tells the life story of Subhas Chandra Bose, the most important leader of the Indian fight for independence after Gandhi and Nehru. During the time of war he escaped the watch of the British and went on a long journey from India via Afghanistan and Moscow to Berlin. Here he sought the help of the Nazi regime to fight the British colonial rulers of India. He established the “Free India Centre” in Berlin and organized his propaganda activities from there. With the help of Indians living in Europe he produced radio programs in seven Indian languages and in English. A journal “Azad Hind” – “Free India” was published 1943-1944 in German and English. Using the facilities of the German army, Bose recruited volunteers among Indian POW’s in German camps and created a military unit called the “Indian Legion” of about 3500 men. In 1943 Bose saw no use for him in Europe anymore. The situation of war had changed and Hitler was not very interested in the fate of India. So Bose left Germany by a submarine into the Indian Ocean and on to Japan. In Southeast Asia he gathered Indians living there and formed the Indian National Army. In Singapore, Netaji, as he was called, announced the independence of India and established a Provisional Government of Azad Hind. In 1945 he died in a plane crash in Taiwan.
Facts & Files contributed to the feature through consultations, fact checking, searching for interview subjects and locations and with research for documents, pictures, and audio files.
Additional information about the feature of 3SAT Kulturzeit 08.08.2003 can be found in German at:
and in English at DW-TV: www.dw-world.de/english/