Patriot and ex INA officer Shah Nawaz Khan - an associate of Netaji Bose

Patriot and INA Shah Nawaz Khan
with Netaji Patriot and INA Shah Nawaz Khan
Among the prominent people who served the Indian national Army revamped by Netaji Chandra Bose, a great patriot and freedom fighter, was one  Shah Nawaz Khan (24 January 1914 – 9 December 1983) who served INA during World War I. The INA was acting independent of British India Army and  it had alliance with the Japanese Army. The purpose was to fight against the British by way of enlisting ex Indian army  men, POWs  and volunteers.  The INA was accused of working and cooperating with the Axis forces (Germany, Italy and Japan) and the British India black-listed them and it was not in the interest of the British government.
Born in the village of Matore, Kahuta, Rawalpindi District, British India (now Pakistan) Khan was with the British Indian Army in 1940,  and  saw action in the Battle of Singapore before being taken prisoner by the Japanese after the surrender of the city. Inspired by  Bose’s energy, enthusiasm and patriotic speeches to free India from the British, Nawaz joined the INA in 1943 which was reorganized by Bose. Earlier
the first INA was disbanded in December that year after differences between the INA leadership and the Japanese military over its role in Japan's war in Asia.  Khan said of Bose,  "It will not be wrong to say that I was hypnotized by his personality and his speeches. He placed the true picture of India before us and for the first time in my life I saw India, through the eyes of an Indian." 
Netaji with Nehru, Patel and others Daily Mail
He  not only became a key member of the Arzi Hukumat-e- Azad Hind (INA) formed by Bose but also a leader a regiment of INA consisting of experienced and well trained army men.  It was Khan who led the INA regiment into NE India seizing control of Kohima and Imphal . They were held by INA under the  authority of the Japanese during their offencive.  Now Khan was entrusted with the responsibility of commanding the  1st Division at Mandalay, Burma and saw action against allied forces there. At last he  and other INA army men surrendered to British troops in Burma.  Since INA was waging war against the King Emperor, the British government in November 1946,  arrested them convicted Khan, along with G.B.S. Dhillon and P.K. Sehgal  on  charges of treason at the Red Fort in Delhi. The trial became a sensational one  and in the face of overwhelming public support and  brimming nationalist sympathies General Auchinleck had no choice except  to discharge Khan and his co-defendants with loss of pay.  They were defended by  well-known lawyers Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Asaf Ali, Bhulabhai Desai, Kailash Nath Katju and others. Their  defense argument rested on the fact that they should be treated as prisoners of war as they were not paid mercenaries or bona fide soldiers of a legal government and further,  they recognized the free Indian state as their sovereign and not the British sovereign.

After the trial, Khan  made a declaration that here on he would take the path chosen by Gandhiji - non-violence and later joined the Indian  Congress party.  After this he had a successful  political career beginning with his first Lok Sabha victory in 1952 from  Meerut Parliament constituency. He held important pst in the central cabinet ministry
The Parliamentary Secretary and Deputy Minister of Railway and Transport for 11 years (1952–1956) & (1957–1964 (second term). Three time he was Food and Agricultural minister. Finally he held the post of Chairman  of Food Corporation and  Natonal Seed Corporation.   As for Khan's  political ideology, you can see his shift toward left. Hr was a strong advocate of land distribution and land reforms.  In 1967, he was defeated against the Jan Sangh party as his support  for permanent separate personal laws for religious communities drew criticism.  When the Congress part was split in 1969, he sided with Mrs. Indira gandhi.  Till his death on 9 Dec. 1983 he  remained as head of Congress Sewa Dal.

He was an important member to go in to the mysterious death of Netaji Bose who was purported
to have died in an air crash. His committee was of the opinion that Netaji  did die in an air crash 

at Taihoku (Japanese for Taipei) in Formosa (now Taiwan), on 18 August 1945. They stated that his ashes were kept in Japan's Renkoji Temple and should be reinstated to India.


The Indian National Army (INA; Azad Hind Fauj; lit.: Free Indian Army) was an armed force formed by Indian nationalists in 1942 in Southeast Asia during World War II. Its aim was to secure Indian independence from British rule , hence it formed an alliance with Imperial Japan in the latter's campaign in the SE Asian theater of WWII.  The army was first formed in 1942 under Mohan Singh, by Indian POW of the British-Indian Army captured by Japan in the Malayan campaign and at Singapore.  This first INA was disbanded in December that year after differences between the INA leadership and the Japanese military over its role in Japan's war in Asia.  It was revived under the leadership of Subhas Chandra Bose after his arrival in Southeast Asia in 1943. The army was declared to be the army of Bose's Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind (the Provisional Government of Free India).  Under Bose's leadership, the INA drew ex-prisoners and thousands of civilian volunteers from the Indian expatriate population in Malaya (present-day Malaysia) and Burma.