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As India celebrates the 74th Independence Day on August 15, Moirang in Manipur continues to subsist as a chapter of history unknown to majority Indians.

On the Independence Day, while the tri-colour is hoisted at the Red Fort by Prime Minister of India, every Indian holds their head high in pride.

But, it is sad that very few Indians know as to when the tri-colour was hoisted for the first time in India.

Azad Hind Fauj had captured Moirang (situated 45 km south of Imphal) from the British Army, and it was the first victory against the British Army in India.

Military historians refer to it as one of the fiercest battles in world history.

Colonel Shaukat Ali Malik of the Azad Hind Fauj had marched into Moirang along with his soldiers and had hoisted the national flag on April 14, 1944.

Unfortunately, the important fact of India’s military history remained unknown to most Indians as school textbooks, for decades, deliberately kept the information hidden.

Almost 26,000 Ajad Hind Fauj soldiers sacrificed their lives fighting for India’s freedom. And, Moirang had remained under the control of the Azad Hind Government for almost four months.

During the four months, the Azad Hind government functioned independently at Moirang.

Unfortunately, contribution of Moirang always remained “forgotten”. On this day, let us join hands and give a round of applause to the brave-hearts of India’s freedom struggle.

Annapurna Group 1