A commemorative postage stamp on the 25th Anniversary of the Provisional Government of Free India (Azad Hind), founded by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Singapore (hence, considered as first true prime minister of India) :
Issued on Oct 21, 1968
Issued for : The Indian P & T Department considers it a privilege to issue a commemorative stamp on the 25th anniversary of the formation of the Azad Hind Government. The stamp depicts Netaji reading out the proclamation on that memorable occasion.
Description of Design : The design of the stamp is vertical and depicts Azad Hind Flag and the two Swords at the left and right side of the flag, against the background of which Netaji is shown reading the proclamation.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Blue Grey
Denomination : 20 Paise
Overall Size : 4.06 X 2.28 cms.
Printing Size : 3.80 X 2.0 cms.
Perforation : 14½ x 14
Watermark : Printed on unwatermarked paper
Number Printed : 20,00,000
Number per issue Sheet : 50
Printing Process : Photogravure
Designed and Printed at : India Security Press
- The establishment of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind or Free India was announced on 21st October, 1943. The proclamation was read by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at Singapore. This historic event marked the beginning of the concluding phase in India’s struggle for independence. It was generally thought earlier that independence was to be given to India by somebody else. The Quit India Movement of 1942 and the formation of Azad Hind Government next year convinced the Indian people that Swaraj was indeed their birthright and nothing could really stop them from attaining their ultimate goal. There was no looking back thereafter till the dawn of August 15, 1947.
- Azad Hind was thus the symbol of India‘s invincible aspiration for freedom. That aspiration was given a tangible form by the leadership and sacrifice of Netaji and his band of dedicated patriots in East Asia and elsewhere. The formation of the Indian National Army and its battles with the British forces on India‘s eastern front in 1944 served to remind the Indian people that the banner of India‘s fight for freedom was still aloft; and although her leaders had been incarcerated since 1942, India‘s spirit could not be subdued. What was equally significant, the Indian National Army became an embodiment of the oneness of India, for it had in its ranks, officers and men drawn from all parts of the country and from all communities.
- The story of Azad Hind began dramatically with the disappearance from India of Netaji early in 1941. He travelled to Germany where he spent about two years organising a Free India Army from out of the Indian prisoners of war held in Europe. The entry of Japan into the war in December, 1941, brought the fighting to India‘s doorstep and gave a new opportunity to Netaji. Invited by the veteran revolutionary, Rash Behari Bose, Netaji arrived in Japan in June, 1943, after a ninety-day submarine voyage full of peril and adventure. Events moved fast thereafter and a real government of free India emerged, recognised by nine foreign powers and controlling a fighting force of its own, the Indian National Army. The Azad Hind Government also exercised physical dominion over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which are integral parts of India.
- The fortunes of war turned, and the Japanese had to surrender to the Allies in August, 1945. At this juncture, Netaji passed from the scene while on his last-known flight from Saigon. The Azad Hind Government outwardly came to an end, but its indomitable spirit lived on during and after the trials of I.N.A. officers in Delhi. The magic words “Jai Hind” (Victory to India) are a living bequest of this glorious chapter in India‘s history in which Netaji played such a leading part.