Subhas Chandra Bose is a much respected leader in India. Popularly called Netaji, he is supposed to have given the stirring call for "deli Chalo' ( Onward to Delhi) during the Second World War. During this period he had sided with Japan and almost became a lackey of the Japanese leadership.
He formed the Indian National Army as well as a provisional government in exile. In 1943 the Imperial army of japan mounted an invasion of the Anadaman Islands. These islands were guarded by about 200 Sikh militia, under command of a British oficer. When the Japan army invaded theAndaman islands, the Militia offered very little resistance and quickly laid down arms. The British officers were arrested and imrisoned in the Cellular Jail at Port Blair.
The Japanese also captured the small island of Car Nicobar about 200 miles from Port Blair. This island is inhabited by a mixed race of Malaya Burmese. When the Japanese invaded these islands the Indian settled there assumed that freedom was at hand and the Japanese would be their friends. Subhas Bose also visited Port Blair and unfurled the flag of independence. But this was only a facade and Bose rushed away from the Islands as quickly as he had come. He did not interact with the local populace who wished to apprise him of the conditions of Japanese rule, which were simply atrocious.
At car Nicobar the localvillagers were put to work by the Japanese to construct an aerodrome. The conditions were terrible and many locals were executed for not working. No food was given to the workers. In addition the japanese started a systematic massacre of the men folk and atleat 20,000 were executed. The Japanese followed up by taking the Nicobarese women as 'comfort women' like in korea. They used them for sex and impregnated thousands of these girls witha view to change the race of the people there.
Subhas was no where to be seen when these massacres and atrocities were being committed. It is a sad episode and the apologists of Bose have not been able to explain why and how Bose allowed this to happen. maybe he was just a pawn, but then he cannot escape the blame for the death of thousands of citoizens of Car Nicobar at the hands of the Imperial army as well as the 'comfort women' enslaved by them. In hindsight one wonders what Bose was planning. In any case his Azad Hind fauj was also a paper tiger and achieved precious little.
The massacres in the car Nicobar Island are not well documented and there is a need for further study in this area.