In 1948 Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birthday was celebrated at a grand scale in London on 23 January. Chowdry Akbar Khan, President of the Indian Workers’ Association in London, at a meeting held at Swaraj House to celebrate the birthday of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose declared – that none in India or Pakistan could deny that Netaji was one of India’s greatest fighters.
Addressing a large audience of Indians, Burmese, Chinese, and West Indians, Akbar Khan, who presided at the meeting, said: “We pay homage to this most gallant and uncompromising fighter against British imperialism. During the war, it was the fashion of pseudo-Socialists and Communists to call Netaji a traitor. If Netaji is a traitor, then every patriot of every land is a traitor.”
“British imperialists,” Akbar Khar added, “have not yet left India. Politically they have said goodbye but they left a time bomb behind them. The time bomb worked and as a result, we find a fratricidal war in India today. “Let me warn the British imperialists that no one ever divided our great country and no one will ever succeed in doing so. India was never divided yesterday and will never be divided tomorrow.”
The speech was loudly applauded. Naik Jalie, Secretary of the Swaraj House, said that it was a pity that some Indians in London during the war called Netaji Subhas a traitor “because at that time they were hobnobbing with Communists.”
The main fact of the meeting was that the two London Indian political organizations, Swaraj House and the Indian Workers’ Association, agreed to collaborate for the first time to carry out propaganda in Britain for the establishment of a United Indian Socialist Republic.
Many Muslim and Sikh speakers paid tribute to Bose. One Sikh said. “If Netaji is alive he should return to India today because he and he alone can stop the fratricidal war, not by political maneuvering nor by fasting, but by his own indomitable personality. His presence would electrify Hindus as well as Muslims.”
A Muslim speaker declared that if Netaji Subhas was alive Gandhi and Jinnah would have been forced into the background.
Mr. S. Nur, an Indian from British Guiana, said that all Indians in British Guiana honored Netaji.
(The report was prepared by Reuters and shows that Indian Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs living in Europe did not accept the partition in 1948)