Amazon Prime hit me with a trailer for a miniseries titled The Forgotten Army – Azaadi ke liye.

The series is described this way:

The Forgotten Army’ is the dynamic story of Lt. Sodhi and his daredevil band of men and women who fought a heroic battle for the independence of India as part of the Indian National Army which was forged out of British defeat in Singapore during WWII and led by the charismatic, indomitable Indian leader Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.


Do they mean the same Subhas Chandra Bose who was a collaborator with Adolf Hitler and Imperial Japan to use Axis powers’ support to fight the British in India and hinder the Allied war effort?  And is this the same Indian National Army that was complicit in Imperial Japanese war crimes against other ethnic groups in South East Asia?

Therein lies the rub.  Even in India, there is controversy because it’s hard to separate Bose’s ethnonationalism from that of Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan.

But clearly they are the unabashed heroes of this series because they are fighting the Imperial British.

It’s doubly ironic that they showcase the Women’s Army of the INA, as though that was some great Progressive leap forward that India had that the West didn’t when it was the British that introduced the very concept of Women’s Rights to India.  Outlawing things like widow burning and honor killings, and imposing Western ideas about punishment for rape.

Coincidentally, the more the British influence trickles out of India, the more things like gang rape on public trains, mass sexual assault, acid attacks, and honor killings take place.

But I digress.

I guess for the fans of anti-colonial Progressive history, this will be a wonderful series.

For the rest of us who know the ugly truth, I’d rather watch Netflix’s Siege of Jadotville, which makes the UN look like the bureaucratic shitty fucking cowards that they are.

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By J. Kb

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