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In a first, Four veterans of Netaji's INA take part in R-Day parade

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New Delhi, Jan 26: In a first, four INA veterans, aged between 90-100 years took part in the 70th Republic Day parade this year. The veterans, seated in open jeeps, were preceded and succeeded by various contingents of the Indian Armed Forces.

Photo credit: PTI

Th four veterans who marched past the saluting base in open jeeps were, Laltiram (98) from Chandigarh; Parmanand (99), Hira Singh (97) and Bhaagmal (95), all from Gurugram.

While it deserves to be revered as independent India's first military force, the Indian National Army (INA) had been relegated to the shadows and denied a place in our forces.

Netaji quit as the Indian National Congress president in 1939 and formed the Forward Bloc before heading off to Germany after he had escaped from Kolkata. On October 21, 1943, he proclaimed the establishment of a provisional independent Indian government named the Azad Hind government and 'Azad Hind Fauj' (INA).

Bose and the INA entered India with the Japanese and marched into Kohima in March 1944 before being defeated by the British. Netaji is believed to have died in a plane crash in August 1945.

Earlier this month, the Union government renamed three islands in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, honouring Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army.

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