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This article is about the Second INA under Subas Chandra Bose. For the organisation under Mohan Singh, see First Indian National Army. For the modern Indian military, see Indian Armed Forces. For the army of the British Raj, see British Indian Army.

The Indian National Army (INA; Azad Hind Fauj; Hindi: आज़ाद हिन्द फ़ौज; Urdu: آزاد ہند فوج‎) was an armed force formed by Indian nationalists in 1942 in Southeast Asia during World War II. The aim of the army was to secure Indian independence from British rule, for which it allied with and was supported by Imperial Japan in the latter's campaign in South-East Asia. The army was first formed in 1942 immediately after the fall of Singapore under Mohan Singh with Indian prisoners of war captured by Japan in the Malayan campaign and at Singapore. This First INA collapsed and was disbanded in December that year after differences between INA leadership and Japanese military over what it's role was perceived to be in Japan's war in Asia. It was revived under the leadership of Subhas Chandra Bose after the his arrival in South-East Asia in 1943 and proclaimed the army of Bose's Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind (the Provisional Government of Free India). Under Bose's leadership, it drew ex-prisoners of war as well as volunteers from Indian expatriate population in Malaya and Burma. This second INA fought along with the Imperial Japanese Army against the British and Commonwealth forces in the campaigns in Burma, Imphal and Kohima, and later against the successful Burma Campaign of the Allies.

In military strategy and effectiveness the INA is accepted to have been of little value by historians. However, the end of the war saw a large number of the troops repatriated to India where some faced trial for treason. These trials became a galvanising point of the Indian Independence movement. The Bombay mutiny in the British Indian forces, as well as a number of other mutinies in 1946 have been credited to the nationalistic influence from the fallout of the INA trials. Historians point out these events played a crucial role in hastening the end of British rule. A number of people associated with the INA during the war later went on to hold important roles in public life in India as well as other countries in South-east Asia, most notably Lakshmi Sehgal in India, and John Thivy and Janaki Athinahappan in Malayasia.

The legacy of the INA is controversial given its associations with Imperial Japan and the other Axis powers, the course of Japanese occupations in Burma, Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia, as well as Japanese war crimes and the alleged complicity of the troops of the INA in these. A different controversy relates to the conduct of independent India towards INA recruits. Although widely commemorated and indulged in the immediate aftermath of Indian independence, members of the INA were denied by the Government of India the status of Freedom fighter, accorded to those in the Gandhian movement. The army, however, remains a popular and emotive topic in popular Indian culture as well as politics.


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