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Indian National Army Monument

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Indian National Army Monument, SingaporeIndian National Army Monument, Singapore (12 September, 2010)


The Indian National Army Monument (GPS: 1.28941, 103.85373) is a monument in the Esplanade Park in Singapore. The present monument is a rebuilt replacing the original monument which was located along Connaught Drive. On one side of the monument is information on the history of the Indian National Army Monument.

The Indian National Army Monument was constructed to commemorate the "Unknown Warrior" of the Indian National Army. The words inscribed on the war memorial were its motto, which is Unity (Ittefaq), Faith (Etmad) and Sacrifice (Kurbani). It was built during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore as the Japanese and the Indian National Army (INA) had one enemy in common: the British.

The foundation stone was laid on July 8, 1945, just months before Singapore returned into British hands, and was completed by the Japanese within a month. The monument was influenced by Subhas Chandra Bose, the co-founder of the INA and Head of State of the Provisional Government of Free India, who also laid the foundation stone for the monument. The INA was backed by the Japanese forces for its goal of liberating India from its British colonial masters.

In 1945, after the Japanese retreated from Singapore and the subsequent surrender of the remaining divisions of the Indian National Army to the advancing British, the British commander Lord Louis Mountbatten ordered the memorial to be destroyed to remove all traces of rebellion against British imperial authority. By attempting to completely erase all records of the INA's existence, he intended to prevent the seeds of the idea of a revolutionary socialist liberation force from spreading into the vestiges of British colonies, amidst the spectre of Cold War politics already taking shape at the time, which had haunted the colonial powers before the war.

In 1995, long after Singapore achieved Independence from Britain, the National Heritage Board marked the place as a historical site and subsequently with financial donations from the Indian community in Singapore, a new monument commemorating the previous one was erected on that spot.

Indian National Army Monument, SingaporeThe reverse side of the Indian National Army Monument, with interpretation. (12 September, 2010)

The Indian National Army Monument is on the map of Esplanade Park

List of Monuments in Singapore

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