Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

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Harbans Lall

South Andaman, Andaman & Nicobar Islands

August 05, 2022

Harbans Lall, son of Behari Lall was born in 1933. He lived at Aberdeen village of South Andaman. He was an active member of the Cultural Wing of the Indian Independence League.

In March 1942 during the Second World War, Japanese landed at different spots of the Andaman Islands. They forthwith occupied the entire Andaman Islands. The prominent residents were the key persons to initially constitute the Andaman branch of the Indian Independence League in April 1942 following the path of Rash Behari Bose. The League members worked with the objectives of organizing, strengthening, and collecting funds for the League. Further under the League, different sister branches including the Cultural Wing were formed. Harbans Lall at his small age ly joined the Cultural Wing of the Indian Independence League. He took part in the various activities of the Wing. He, with other members, motivated the people through extensive public meetings, cultural shows, patriotic songs, and dramas, etc. These activities helped in the involvement of a large number of the islanders from remote areas in various activities of the League.

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose arrived in the Andaman Islands on 29 December 1943. On 30 December at Gymkhana Ground of Port Blair he hoisted the Indian flag for the first time in the history of India’s freedom struggle. Harbans Lall and other League members were working enthusiastically in the activities of the Cultural Wing. After his departure, Netaji sent Major General Arcot Doraiswamy Loganadan to Andaman. He arrived on 18 February 1944 in the Andamans as Chief Commissioner of Azad Hind Government of Andaman and Nicobar Islands appointed by Netaji. He was accompanied by his staff consisting of Major Mansoor Ali Alvi, Lieutenant Mohammed Iqbal, Lt. Suba Singh, and steno-typist Mr. Srinivasa Shastri. They established the Azad Hind Government to carry out civil administration in the islands. The Indian Independence League (IIL), members both male and female including Harbans Lall actively took part in the functioning of the Azad Hind Government. He died when he was a student in 1951.