Amazon Prime Video is launching a new web series ‘The Forgotten Army’, which puts at the centre the stories of forgotten Indian soldiers who fought for independence. Directed by Kabir Khan, who also directed a critically acclaimed documentary of the same name, the series will star Sunny Kaushal (Vicky Kaushal’s younger brother) and newcomer Sharavari (next to be seen in YRF’s Bunty aur Babli 2) in the lead.
Based on the lesser-known history of The Indian National Army, the series is a high-octane war drama unfolding at an epic scale. Watch the teaser below.
The story of the INA begins during World War II in the ‘Far East’, where close to 70,000 Indian troops were stationed as part of the British Indian Army to fight Japanese forces. Japan occupied most of South-east Asia, including Malaya and Singapore, taking thousands of Indian soldiers as prisoners of war.
The Japanese chose to maintain good relations with the Indian PoWs and, with the help of prominent Indian expat leaders, convinced them to defect and raise an Indian army. Tens of thousands of soldiers signed up for a chance to fight the British and amidst slogans of Inquilaab Zindabad and Azad Hind, the Indian National Army, also known as the Azad Hind Fauj, was born. The movement was further bolstered by Subhash Chandra Bose who’s rousing speech at the Cathay Hall in Singapore breathed new life into the INA. Almost 100,000 more Indian civilians living in South East Asia answered his call to join the liberation movement.
Among these volunteers were many extraordinary young women who eventually formed the Rani of Jhansi Regiment — the world’s first female infantry. The women hailed from varying classes, castes, faiths and ages, but worked tirelessly in the pursuit of one mission — Azad Hind. Several of them were teenagers when they joined, one even as young as 12, and had never received military training before. The regiment was commanded by Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, who emerged as a prominent freedom revolutionary and, later, a politician.
The reinvigorated INA began to march towards Burma and reached Rangoon in December 1943. By April, 1944, the INA had reached the Indian border at Manipur where they, for the first time, hoisted the Indian flag.
The INA suffered setbacks and were eventually captured by the British. During the infamous Red Fort trials, these captured soldiers were stripped off their identities and termed ‘traitors’ by the British. This led to mass uprising in various parts of the country, including by Indian soldiers serving in the British forces, and provided the final tipping point for the British who agreed to pursue the dialogue for independence demanded by Indians. And just two years after the INA’s long march, India gained freedom from the British.
To do justice to the story of INA’s epic journey, the web series not only recreates the events, but it also sets them in the backdrop of themes such as war, love and patriotism. Tune into The Forgotten Army on Amazon Original Series.
This is a partnered post.