Major Durga Mall
A commemorative postage stamp on Durga Malla, first Gorkha soldier in Indian National Army (INA) :
Issued by India
Issued on Jan 23, 2023
Issued for : Department of Posts is pleased to issue a Commemorative Postage Stamp on Major Durga Mall who fought against the British for India’s freedom and for the pride of the country.
Stamp/FDC/Brochure : Ms. Neetu Arora
Cancellation Cachet : Smt. Nenu Gupta
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 302850
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
Name : Durga Mall
Born on Jul 1, 1913 at Dehradun, British India
Died on Aug 25, 1944 at Delhi, British India
- Major Durga Mall was born on 01/07/1913 in Doiwala, Dehradun, Uttar Pradesh, now (Uttarakhand). His father was Shri Ganga Ram Mall and mother Smt. Parvati Devi Mall. Durga Mall was the eldest son among all the siblings. His siblings were Laxman Mall, Padma Mall, Prem Mall and sisters Janaki Devi, Rama Devi and Shyama.
- Since childhood, he was a person of different nature. In 1930, when he was a student of ninth grade, he jumped into the freedom movement. When the Salt Satyagraha movement started, Durga Mall also started participating openly in local public meetings and demonstrations. Consequently, his father left him at his uncle’s house in ‘Bhagsu’ Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
- On 26 January 1931, at the age of 18 years, Durga Mall joined the 2/1 Gorkha Rifles, Dharamshala Cantonment. Due to Durga Mall’s educated and calm nature, he earned everyone’s praises. He soon started the army’s training and acquired distinction. He was also admired as a football player. Apart from this he was also greatly influenced by plays and poems, and himself wrote some poems. He had a strong desire to remove backwardness in the society.
- In September 1939, Germany attacked Poland and Britain and France announced to help Poland. On September 03, 1939, World War II started. The Japanese had also announced the invasion in 1941 from the east. Durga Mall got a call from the battalion and 2/1 Gorkha battalion reached ‘Malaya’ and joined the battle. The Japanese captured Singapore in 1942 by defeating the British. Three major Gorkha Rifles 2/1, 2/2 and 2/9 Gorkha battalion under the British also participated in this war. Many of their soldiers were taken prisoner by the Japanese during the war.
- Azad Hind Fauj was formed in 1942 by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The main task of volunteering the captive soldiers was given to Durga Mall and Asman Singh under the leadership of Poorna Singh Thakur, Rash Behari Bose and the supreme commander of Azad Hind Fauj, Captain General Mohan Singh.
- Azad Hind Fauj honoured Durga Mall with the title of Major due to Durga Mall’s efficiency and delivery of secret information. After reaching Singapore on 13 July 1943, Netaji declared war on Britain and the United States on 25 October 1943. Major Durga Mall was handed over the intelligence department because of his efficiency. He kept collecting secret information and sending it to the headquarters of Azad Hind Fauj in Rangoon. Taking advantage of this information the soldiers of Azad Hind Fauj kept moving forward in the war.
- On March 27, 1944, Durga Mall was taken prisoner by the British soldiers in Mashipur ‘Akhrul’ near Kohima. He was kept in the prison house of the Delhi Red Fort as a prisoner of war and was prosecuted in a military court under section 41 of the Indian Military Act and Act 121 of the Indian Penal Code. He was sentenced to death by the British Raj.
- Before his death sentence, his wife Mrs. Sharda Mall was called for his last darshan because the British government hoped that after meeting his wife he might beg her forgiveness. Durga Mall was sitting on the throne of his room, where he was reciting Gita, and Mrs. Sharda Mall fainted after seeing her husband. He brought his wife back to her senses and said: “I am sacrificing my life for the freedom of Mother India, don’t be sad. I don’t want to see you sad, what if I am not there, crores of sons of the country are with you.”
- On August 15, 1944, Veer Durga Mall was brought from Red Fort Jail to Delhi Central Jail. After 10 days, on August 25, 1944, this brave fighter, Durga Mall embraced the gallows and got his name written forever in the pages of history as ‘Amar Shaheed’.
- Text : Based on information received from the proponent.