Blue Flower

A Tamil Martyr from Pondicherry in Netaji’s Freedom Struggle

 In south-east Asia (Saigon, Vietnam, French Indochina)

par JBP.More, Paris

 

In this paper, my intention is to trace the historical role played by a leading Tamil personality hailing from Pondicherry in the Indian Armed Struggle for freedom, led by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in the 1940s in south-east Asia. The name of this Tamil personality was Leon Prouchandy (written as Prushanthi in Tamil)). Pondicherry was a French colony located on the Sozhamandalam coast about 100 miles south of Madras.

 

Historical Background and Context:

Indians particularly Tamils had trading and cultural contacts with south-east Asia and China since a very long time. During British rule in India, especially during the nineteenth and early twentieth century many Tamils migrated to Burma and Malaysia, mainly as workers.1

Right from the 1860s, Tamils of Pondicherry were attracted by the employment and trade prospects in the French colony of Indo-China, composed of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Many migrated, especially to Saigon. There were other Indians, hailing from British India who also found their way to Saigon and Indochina. They were mostly the Hindu Nattukottai Chettiars and Tamil-speaking Muslims. In 1937 there were about 6000 Indians in Indochina. Most of them were Tamils.2

The launching of the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930 by Mahatma Gandhi and the demand for complete independence from British rule seems to have fascinated many Indian Tamils. There was one Tamilian settled in Indochina or rather in Saigon who was particularly fascinated by the Gandhian movement. He was Léon Prouchandy of Pondicherry. When Gandhi gave the call to Indians holding responsible positions to relinquish their jobs as a sign of protest, Léon Prouchandy was probably the only Indian and Tamil in Indochina who actually gave up his lucrative job in French credit bank. The news about his giving up the job actually appeared in a Franco-Indian journal of Pondicherry called L’Inde Illustré.3

Léon Prouchandy was born in Pondicherry on 1st May 1901 in a middle-class Tamil Christian family. Like many Pondicherrians, his father had migrated to Indochina where he was employed as a policeman. Léon Prouchandy studied in a French school in Saigon and was a Brevet diploma holder. Having lost his wife at a young age, he took as life partner a widow, who happened to be the wife of Saverikannu Prouchandy, who was one of the most prominent Indian Tamil landlords of Saigon, hailing from Pondicherry. He was owner of rubber plantations in Indochina. The French Government had honoured him with the prestigious award of ‘Chevalier’ in July 1914 for his contribution in the field of agriculture in Indochina. Saverikannu’s uncle Darmanathan Prouchandy was the first Tamil steam navigator. He ran a steam navigation line in the Mekong delta since 1891. His attempts to connect Saigon with Bangkok or Thailand since 1893 by plying steamers in the South China Sea were blocked by the French colonial government at Saigon.

Léon Prouchandy assumed control of the vast landed properties of Saverikannu Prouchandy in Saigon and Pondicherry. Besides, he donated quite often to the needy and public causes and earned for himself a name in Saigon. Léon Prouchandy lived in the sprawling villa of the Prouchandys situated in the posh ‘white’ area of Saigon at 76, rue Paul Blanchy (presently Hai Bha Trung) with his large family.4

 

Dress Reforms initiated by Prouchandy:

Having renounced his job following the call of Mahatma Gandhi, one would probably think that Léon Prouchandy would follow the footsteps of Gandhi in every way. Prouchandy definitely admired Gandhi’s objective to eradicate untouchability in Hindu society. He seems to have even contributed to the Harijan Sevak Sangh fund, founded by Gandhi.5

Prouchandy did not take to any of the usual social reforming activities of Indian stalwarts like widow remarriage.  Instead, he felt the need for the Indians to modernise themselves. So in the year 1933 he boldly launched what he called as the ‘Dress Reforms’ among the Tamils in Saigon. Léon Prouchandy himself personally contacted the various Indian Tamil groups living in Saigon  and asked them to get rid of their chomins or dhotis and kailis (lungis) and take to wearing European dresses at least when they go about in the town and also cut off their kudumis (tuft of hair on the head) in the interest of hygiene. He called upon the Tamils to emulate the Japanese and Chinese in this respect.6

He implored the prominent Tamil personalities of Saigon like Mr.J.M.Mohammad Ismail, Chief of the Congregation of the Muslims and Administrator of the Saigon mosque, Arunassalam Chettiar(President of the Association of Nattukotai Chettiars), Kumarappa Chettiar, Chief of the Congregation of Hindus, Somasundaram Chettiar, Administrator of the temple of Nattukottai Chettiars, Karpanapillai, Chinnasamy Vandayar, Kishnasamy Devar, Subramania Pillai, Subbaraya Pillai, Administrator of the temple of Mariamman, and Kathiappa Devar, proprietor, Appa Pillai, banker as well as the Pondicherry Tamil Christians to take to European dresses. Prouchandy thought that this would contribute to the good name of the Indian ethnic group and to their social progress. The Franco-Tamil journal L’Inde Illustré was the first to come out in favour of Prouchandy’s dress reforms. Most of the preceding personalities of Saigon came out in support of the dress reforms of Prouchandy.7

In pursuit of his objectives, Prouchandy wrote personally to a number of his friends and journalists in India asking them to support them in his efforts. It seems that they had strongly encouraged him to pursue his path. He issued a fervent appeal to the Indians of India to take to his dress reforms. He even expected Mahatma Gandhi and the southern social reformer Periyar E.V. Ramasami to come out in support of his reforms.8

Besides, Prouchandy also worked for the unity of the Hindus, Muslims and Christians of both French and British India settled in Cochinchina. Prouchandy was particularly interested in the fate of Hinduism and the expansion of Islam in India, especially in south India. He was also quite annoyed about the existence of caste in south Indian Christianity.9

Léon Prouchandy no doubt held Islam and the French republican values in high esteem. Prouchandy also held the Self-respect movement of Periyar Ramasamy as the greatest reform movement against ‘the ridiculous and injurious ‘brahmanical’ customs’. He exhorted all Tamils to follow the teachings of Periyar in order to establish a casteless and egalitarian society.10

 

Political Martyrdom of Léon Prouchandy:

But all this was in for a change, with the Japanese becoming more and more powerful in East Asia, threatening the colonial interests of the ‘white’ western powers. The Tamils settled in Indochina and Malaysia too seems to have come under Japanese influence. Saigon Indian Tamil personalities like Léon Prouchandy and Raoul Ramradja Vernier wrote articles in the popular Indian paper Saigon Dimanche praising the Japanese for their achievements. As we have seen earlier, Prouchandy had called upon the Indians to emulate the Japanese.11

In September 1939, the World War II broke out. A pro-German French regime under Maréchal Pétain was installed in Vichy in June 1940. Many French colonies including Indochina owed allegiance to the Vichy regime.12

During this period i.e. in the month of July 1940, J.M.Mohammad Ismail of Koothanallur, the prominent Saigon merchant was forced to call a meeting of Indians, of all religious persuasions to discuss the question of cooperation with the Japanese and the setting up of an Indian Nationalist Society in Saigon. It is quite certain that the prominent personalities of the Indian community in Saigon including Léon Prouchandy of Pondicherry participated in this meeting. In the present state of our knowledge, we do not know the outcome of this meeting. It seems that some like Leon Prouchandy were for cooperation with the Japanese while others were against. But what appears certain is that Mohammad Ismail left Saigon for India during 1941, leaving his business in charge of his brothers.13

On February 15, 1942, the British colony of Singapore surrendered to the Japanese. Articles began to appear in the Franco-Tamil journal of Saigon, Indochine-Inde about Japanese politics, written by Indian Tamils like P.M.A.Majid.14

Subhas Chandra Bose, a leading Congressman disappeared from India in early 1941. He made his way to Tokyo along with Abid Hassan in February 1943 from Germany. In Tokyo, he sought the cooperation of the Japanese in freeing India from the British.15

On 4th July, Bose accepted the Presidency of the Indian Independence League in Singapore. On August 8, he assumed the command of the Indian National Army.  Bose then founded the Rani of Jhansi women’s regiment, under the command of Captain Lakshmi Swaminathan, a doctor from Madras Medical College. She was assisted by Mrs.Thevar, another Tamil lady. Bose wanted to mobilise the human and material resources of the 3 million Indians, mostly Tamils settled in East Asia, especially in Malaya, Singapore, Thailand and Burma. The battle cry raised by Bose at this time was ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Delhi Chalo’ (On to Delhi). Already about 75000 Asiatics, which comprised of a good number of Tamil labourers from Malaya, had been pressed on by the Japanese to construct the Burma-Siam ‘Death Railway’. Only 12000 survived at the end of the war. Many of the dead were Tamils.

On 21st October 1943, at a rally attended by 50000 people, many of them Tamils, Bose inaugurated the Provisional Government of Free India in Singapore. S.Appadurai Iyer was the Tamil face of the Ministry. Among the advisers there were Tamils, settled in Malaysia like Karim Gani and John Thivy. Bose exhorted the Indians, sometimes in very harsh terms, to donate money for the cause of India’s freedom. In December the Japanese ceded the Andaman and Nicobar islands to the Provisional Government. Bose appointed Lt.Col.A.D.Loganathan, a south Indian medical officer as its first Indian administrator.16

Earlier on 9th August 1943, Bose had flown to Saigon and conferred with the Japanese Ambassador Matsumota. He was greeted with open arms by many members of the Indian/Tamil community of Saigon. It was then when he drove down in an open car in one of the main roads of Saigon, leading to Hotel Majestic, that Léon Prouchandy of Pondicherry ascended the car and garlanded Bose with a gold necklace. Bose even addressed a rally of some 1000 Indian (mostly Tamil) residents of Saigon. Leon Prouchandy eventually became one of the principal financers and supporters of the Indian freedom struggle in Saigon.17

As a matter of fact, the Japanese penetration into Indochina had created a totally novel situation for the Tamils. While some Saigon-based Tamils like Khaliloor Rahman and Leon Prouchandy supported Bose, many others, mostly pro-de Gaulle Pondicherrians and the Chettiars objected to the forcible methods (like threat of death or imprisonment), used to raise funds for Netaji’s movement. 18

The Japanese southern Army Headquarters was moved from Manila to Saigon in November 1944. Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper had noted in their book that the Japanese fostered the branches of the Indian Independence League in both Saigon and Hanoi. Towards the end of 1944, Bose once again flew to Saigon. The Indian community had assembled to greet him. It seems that Bose estimated that Indians in Indochina could contribute up to 12 million piastres for his war fund.19

On 9th March 1945, Japanese forces moved to take over all government offices and garrison camps in Saigon. On 10th March the Japanese Ambassador in Saigon declared Vietnam independent. The Japanese police and the Kempetai (Japanese Gestapo) arrested many Indians who were suspected to be anti-Japanese.20

On 4th July 1945, for the first time the Indians of Indochina, especially those residing in Saigon celebrated the ‘Netaji Week’. A big Indian Tamil meeting was organised at the Eden Cinema Hall of Saigon. Prominent Indian Tamils of Saigon participated in it.21

On 21st July 1945, when the I.N.A. and Japanese forces were retreating from Burma, the ‘Provisional Government Day’ was celebrated by the Indian Tamils of Saigon. They were expected to hoist the Indian national flag and the Japanese flag in front of their houses and shops during that day.22  

During the celebration of the Provisional Government Day, special prayers were offered at the Saigon mosque, situated at Amiral Dupré Street. The Provisional Government Ministers, A.C.Chatterji and A.M.Sahai, along with members of all Indian communities were present during the prayers. Moulvi Khaliloor Rahman, a Tamil Muslim from Koothanallur, who translated the speeches of north Indian leaders into Tamil, welcomed the leaders.23

During this period, the General Secretariat of the Indian Independence League (I.I.L.) of Saigon, was established in the spacious residence, situated at 76, rue Paul Blanchy (Hai Bha Trung presently), belonging to the Prouchandy family of Pondicherry. Actually, Léon Prouchandy, who as we have seen was active in Indian Tamil circles since the 1930s, had given this residence free of rent so that it can serve as the branch office of the I.I.L. in Saigon. Three flags – Indian, Vietnamese and Japanese – flew atop the residence. A soldier of the Indian National Army stood guard at the entrance. As the provisional government of Free India had accepted romanised Hindustani as the common language for all Indians, Hindustani classes were conducted in Saigon for the Tamils. Inscription for these classes were to be done at the Office of the I.I.L. at 76, rue Paul Blanchy.32 Besides, a recruitment bureau for the Indian National Army was established in the same place. Its secretary was a Tamil Muslim known as Abdul Majid Sahib. All details regarding recruitment and training were to be obtained from the Secretariat of the I.I.L. During this period a certain Nuarudin seems to have been the President of I.I.L. in Saigon.24 

We do not know about the exact role played by Léon Prouchandy in the I.I.L., but we know that he was an ardent supporter of the Netaji struggle to free India since 1943. He used to affirm that ‘we (Pondicherry Tamils) are French only in paper, but in our hearts, we are Indians. We will take only what is good in European civilisation, but leave the bad.’ He wanted to drive the British from India. He contributed profusely to the Netaji War Fund – gold, jewellery and cash, sometimes against opposition from his own wife and relatives. It appears that threats were handed out to him by pro-French supporters, that in the event of Japanese defeat Prouchandy’s properties in Indochina and Pondicherry will be confiscated by the French. But such threats did not seem to have deterred him from supporting the Indian Armed Struggle. Anyhow the most surprising fact was that the Secretariat of the Indian Independence League was established in the residence of an Indian Tamil from Pondicherry, when there were many other wealthy Indians in Saigon, especially the Chettiars and the Tamil Muslims, with vast landed and business interests. This only demonstrates the devotion of Léon Prouchandy for the cause of Indian independence, in his capacity as one of the prominent leaders of the Indian Tamil community of Saigon.25

At this time the branch of the I.I.L. in Saigon was reorganised with the creation of several new departments. During this period some British Indian Tamils like the rich merchant-landlord J.M.Abdul Aziz, the youngest brother of J.M.Mohammad Ismail was arrested by the Japanese for non-cooperation with them and the I.I.L. and refusing to contribute more money for the Netaji War Fund. He was let off after about two months, probably due to the intervention of Bose himself. It seems that he was tortured in prison. The French rewarded him amply after the end of the war. He was even decorated as Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.26

Some Indians of Pondicherry who were members of the I.I.L. feared that half their fortunes had to be given as contribution to the Netaji War Fund. Major General A.C.Chatterji allayed their fears and again appealed to the Indian Tamils, who were not members of the League to enrol themselves as members and sign the Fidelity Pledge to the Provisional Government of Free India at the League’s bureau at 76, rue Paul Blanchy. The Pondicherrian T.G.syed was at this time at the head of a flourishing business in Hanoi, Haiphong and Namdinh. We do not know if Syed too extended his help to Netaji’s movement.27

On 6th and 9th August, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed out of existence. On 15th August 1945, Japan capitulated. On 16th August, Bose flew to Bangkok with some of his comrades like Colonel Habibur Rahman Khan, Col.Pritam Singh, Major Abid Hassan and S.Appadurai Iyer, leaving behind Major General Mohammad Zaman Kiani and Major General Alagappan in charge of Singapore. On 17th August 1945, Bose flew with some of his close comrades to Saigon. He dissolved the I.N.A. and said: “The roads to Delhi are many and Delhi still remains our goal”. It seems that Bose held his last Cabinet meeting in the branch office of the Provisional Government of Free India. But as far as I know, the Secretariat of the Indian Independence League was at Prouchandy’s villa at 76, rue Paul Blanchy in Saigon. The three flags – Japanese, Indian and Vietnamese still flew aloft the villa and there was some coming and going in the villa on the 17th and 18th, according to witnesses. As a matter of fact, it seems quite evident that Subhas Chandra Bose held his last discussions and Cabinet meeting at the Secretariat of the I.I.L. Major General Kiani states in his memoirs that Bose spent the night in Saigon at the I.I.L. Secretariat and the following day he had discussions with his compatriots and the Japanese representatives of Field Marshal Count Terauchi’s headquarters in Saigon. From Saigon, he flew to an unknown destination along with Col.Habibur Rahman and two suitcases loaded with gold and jewellery. The plane finally crashed in Taipei on takeoff on the 18th August. Subhas Chandra Bose did not survive. His body was cremated two days later and the ashes taken to Tokyo by Tatsuo Hayashida.28 That brought the curtains down on the valiant effort to free India by Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose’s martyrdom traumatized many Indian and Tamil civilians of south-east Asia.

Ho Chi Minh declared the independence of Vietnam on 2nd September 1945. The French colonialists were in a quandary. On 8th September 1945, units of the British 20th Indian division, under General Douglas David Gracey, along with some French troops entered southern Vietnam. This was a great relief to the French to re-establish colonial rule. The Gurkha troops put to flight the Vietnamese/ Viet Minh, but not before they wreaked vengeance on local Indian Tamil population by looting and attacking them all throughout the month of September 1945. Half a dozen local Tamils were murdered and about 70 were kidnapped. Certain Frenchmen were in a retaliatory mood against the Vietnamese as well as those who supported the Japanese. Many others who had collaborated with the Japanese and even the I.I.L. were arrested, tried and even court-martialled. A.C. Chatterji, the Azad Hind’s Finance Minister, who was stranded in Saigon due to Japanese surrender, escaped into the countryside, while many others of the I.I.L were arrested, interrogated and deported. With the arrival of more French troops, colonial order was re-established on a firmer ground in Saigon.29

Subhas Chandra Bose flew to his death from Saigon. Much is talked of his death. Much has been written about his death. Some even claim that he did not die in the crash. But hardly any historian seem to worry of what happened to those Indians or Tamils who had followed and supported Netaji till the end. There is not a single book written about them and the difficulties that they encountered after Japanese defeat and Netaji’s death and the sacrifices that they had made for the cause of Indian independence.

When the Japanese were defeated and the war was over, one afternoon probably towards the end of September 1945, a colonial military jeep approached the villa of Leon Prouchandy at 76, rue Paul Blanchy in Saigon, which until then served as the Secretariat of the Indian Independence League. Some soldiers brought down the three flags –Indian, Vietnamese and Japanese - that still flew atop the residence. They arrested Léon Prouchandy from his villa and took him away to an unknown destination. This happened in front of all the helpless family members including Léon Prouchandy’s wife and her children. All family members wailed and cried when Prouchandy was taken away. Some anti-Japanese Pondicherrians were also present on the occasion. It was said that it was they who instigated Prouchandy’s arrest. The family was in total disarray, with the arrest of its head, who was only 45 years old then

About three months later Léon Prouchandy returned home. But he was no more the same lively young man. He was completely transformed. He was suffering from amnesia. In other words he had lost his senses. It seems that he was tortured while he was in custody, which rendered him amnesiac. His life and all his future was snuffed out at a young age. He never knew that he had sacrificed his life and his future for the sake of the independence of his country. The top French doctor of Saigon, Dr. Le Vilain tried to cure Léon Prouchandy. But it was of no avail. Cambodian sorcerers were pressed in as a last attempt to retrieve the senses of Prouchandy. It was not successful either. As a result, the family was in a pathetic state.30

Finally, it was decided to return to Pondicherry where the family restarted a new life at Villa Selvom, the residence of the Prouchandys in Dupleix Street, near Raj Niwas. Léon Prouchandy too was brought over to Pondicherry in an amnesic state. He underwent treatment once again at the Madras Psychiatric Hospital in Kilpauk. But it was of no avail. Most Pondicherrians never knew about what happened to Léon Prouchandy. Nor did his family members dare to speak about what had befallen him as Pondicherry was still a French colony.

In August 1947, India became independent. In November 1954, the French left Pondicherry and Pondicherry became part of India. But Léon Prouchandy was never aware of it. A few people like the Franco-Tamilian Edouard Goubert, who later became Chief Minister of Pondicherry, were aware of Léon Prouchandy’s plight. As long as he was chief minister of the Union Territory of Pondicherry, he used to send invitation to Léon Prouchandy to assist the yearly Independence Day celebrations. But Prouchandy never ever drew any freedom fighter pension from the Pondicherry or Indian government. No compensation was paid to him or his family which was in total disarray since 1945 when Prouchandy lost his senses. Of course, Prouchandy did not apply for any pension or compensation as he was in an amnesic state till his death.

Léon Prouchandy had no money any more. But whatever money that was given to him he used to distribute them to the poor and the children, seated at the government park in front of Villa Aroumé, the present Dining Hall of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. His philanthropic trait never left him even in his amnesic state. Sometimes he used to even sit with ordinary labourers on the roadside and eat their food. He used to visit the Ganesh temple nearby. Léon Prouchandy lived in that amnesic state for about two decades at Villa Selvom like a ‘robot’, when he finally passed away one evening after a severe and prolonged dysentery in the year 1968. Apart from family members and friends, no dignitary ever visited Léon Prouchandy at his death bed in the salon of the Villa Selvom to pay their last respects for a great Tamil son of Pondicherry, Thamizhnadu and India who has given his all including his life so that Indians and Tamils live with dignity without the fetters of slavery and colonialism.31

Though Subhas Chandra Bose, who too left this world tragically, has been honoured in every city of India with statues and the naming of roads after him, many of the heroes who participated in the freedom struggle along with him from India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma and Indochina have simply been forgotten. They remain the unsung martyrs of the Indian Freedom Movement. Of course Léon Prouchandy of Pondicherry is one of those great unsung Tamil martyrs who had dared to sacrifice their wealth and lives so that their countrymen may live in freedom. Leon Prouchandy stands apart from the whole array of social reformers and freedom-fighters that Pondicherry, Thamizhnadu and India had produced, due to the originality and uniqueness of his dress and hair style reforms and his ardent desire to put an end to colonialism.

 

______________________

Notes:

 

1.H. Kulke, D. Rothermund, A History of India, London, 1992, pp. 121-125; Sandhu & Mani, eds. Indian Communities in South-east Asia, Singapore, 1993

2.Philippe Franchini, Saigon 1925-1945 – De la Belle Colonie à l’Eclosion Révolutionnaire ou la fin des Dieux Blancs, (Paris, 1992), 46,47 ; J.B.P.More, ‘Indians in French Indochina’, K.S.Mathew(ed.), French in India and Indian Nationalism(1700 A.D.-1963 A.D), vol.II, (Delhi, 1999), 449 ; J.B.P.More, ‘Pathan and Tamil Muslim Migrants in French Indochina’, Pondicherry University Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol.1, Nos.1&2, 116

3.L’Inde Illustré, Septembre 1933; Interview with the late Hélène P. former resident of Saigon and eldest step-daughter of Léon Prouchandy, and other relatives of the latter

4.Interview with the late Hélène P.; J.B.P.More, op.cit., 1999, 452; J.B.P.More, op.cit., 2006, 148; L’Inde Illustré, Septembre 1933; Bulletin du Syndicat des Planteurs de Caoutchouc, 1924, p. 1081; 1939, pp. 106,192 ; J.B.P.More, Indian Steamship Ventures, 1836-1910, Pondicherry, 2013; Journal Officiel de la République Française, 10th March 1914, pp. 2141-2143

5.Saigon Dimanche (French Indian journal), 8 Juillet 1934, 12 Janvier 1936 ; L’Inde Illustré, 28 Février 1937, 23 May 1937, 15 Octobre 1939 ; Interview with the late Hélène P.

6.L’Inde Illustré, Août 1933

7L’Inde Illustré, Août, Septembre 1933 ; L’Inde Illustré, Septembre 1934 ; Saigon Dimanche, 7 Juillet 1935

8.L’Inde Illustré, Juillet 1934 ; Octobre 1933

9.Indochine-Inde (Franco-Tamil journal), 2 & 9 Mai 1937 ; Saigon Dimanche, 22 Décembre 1935 ; Saigon Dimanche, 2 Juin 1935

10.Saigon Dimanche, 27 Octobre 1935 ; 14 Mai 1936 ; 17 Mars 1935, 21 Avril 1935; 21 Avril, 2 Juin 1935; 19 Juillet 1936 J.B.P.More, Puducheri Valartha Bharathiar, Pondicherry, 2011

11.l’Inde Illustré, Août 1933; Indochine-Inde, 12 Juillet 1940; V. Thompson, French Indochina, London, 1937, p.104

12.Indochine-Inde, 28 Septembre 1940; A. Roth, Japan Strikes South, New York, 1941, p.57; P. Franchini, Continental Saigon, Paris, 1995, pp. 117, 126

13.Microfiche 458, British Indians in Saigon, Pol (S) 2519 – 1940, Centre of South Asian Studies, Cambridge; Interview with late Z.A. Latif, former Vice-President of the Saigon mosque

14.Indochine-Inde, 10 Octobre 1940; 8 Novembre 1940

15.Indochine-Inde, 13 Février 1941; J. Lebra, Ibid. p.21 ; H.Toye, The Springing Tiger – A Study of Subhas Chandra Bose, London, 1959,  p.77 ; L. Sehgal, A Revolutionary Life. Memoirs of a Political Activist, New Delhi, 1997, p.47

20.Times of Saigon, 3rd October 1945; H.Toye, Ibid., pp. 81-83, 93-95; J. Lebra, Ibid. p.24; F. Saito & T. Hayashida, ‘To Delhi! To Delhi! 1943-1945’, in Sisr Bose, A. Werth, S.A. Ayer, eds., A Beacon Across Asia. A Biography of Subhas Chandra Bose, Hyderabad, 1996, pp. 132, 156; J. Lebra, Ibid. pp. 30, 34; M. Getz, Subhas Chandra Bose. A Biography, London, 2002, p.94; L. Gordon, Brothers Against the Raj, New Delhi, 1990, p.303

17.H. Toye, op.cit. p.155; 10H684 – Propagande pour L’indépendance de l’Inde - Service Historique de l’Armée, Paris ; Saito, Hayashida, op.cit. p.155 ; Cf. Also V. Mathurakavi, Puducheri I.N.A. Thyagi Léon Purushanthi Varlatru Kaiédu(Tamil), Pondicherry, 2004; Interview with some former Saigon residents like Hélène; Information collected from various family sources

18.10H684 – Propagande pour l’Indépendance de l’Inde – Service Historique de l’Armée, Paris ; N. Pairaudeau, op.cit. p.202 ; Saito, Hayashida, op.cit. p.155

19.Saito, Hayashida, Ibid. p.179 ; Franchini, op.cit. pp. 125-126; Impartial, 3, 8 Février 1945

20.J. Lebra, op.cit. pp. 138-139; Franchini, op.cit. pp. 127-128, 131; 10H80(I), l’Occupation Japonaise; 10H78(I), L’Indochine sous l’occupation française – Service Historique de l’Armée, Paris;

21.Azad Hind, 6 Juillet 1945

22.Ibid. 6, 20 Juillet 1945

23. Ibid. 27 Juillet 1945; Interview with Z.A. Latif and Mumtaz Alam, former residents of Saigon

24.Ibid. 27 Juillet 1945, 3 Août 1945; Interview with the late Hélène P.;

25.Interview with the late Hélène P., former resident of Saigon; Cf. Also J.B.P.More ‘Indians in French Indochina’(in) Mathew, K.S.(ed.), Nationalism in French India, vol.II, New Delhi, 1999, pp.447-460

26.Azad Hind, 3 Août 1945; Interview with Mumtaz Alam, Z.A. Latif, Maricar France (former residents of Saigon)

27.Ibid.

28.Azad Hind, 10 Août 1945; Saigon Dimanche, 8 Novembre 1931; H. Toye, op.cit. p.155; Interview with M.Husain, former Qazi of Pondicherry, Hélène P., and Z.A. Latif; J.B.P.More ‘Commerçants Musulmans Tamouls en Indochine Française: J.M. Abdul Aziz et T.G. Mohamed Said’ – published by CIDIF website; Journal Officiel de l’Indochine Française, 1940-41, p.979; C. Bayly, T. Harper, op.cit. p.21; L. Gordon, Brothers Against the Raj, New Delhi, 1990, pp. 538-543, 763; M.Z. Kiani, Indian’s Freedom Struggle and the great INA, New Delhi, 1994, p.167; P.; K.C. Yadav, Seki Akiko, The Last Days of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, New Delhi, 1996, p.81; Das & Subbiah, Chalo Delhi: An Historical Account of the Indian Movement in East Asia, Kuala Lumpur, 1946, pp. 221-222

29.Franchini, op.cit. pp. 131-137; P. Isoart, ed., L’Indochine Française 1940-1945, Paris, 1982, p. 241 ; Turner, op.cit., pp. 39, 42, 45 ; C. Bayly, T. Harper, op.cit. pp. 141, 144-146, 148, 153, 156; Times of Saigon, 16, 22, 24, 27 September 1945; M.J.Gilbert, op.cit. pp. 118-126, 130, 131

30.Union Française, 11 Avril 1947; Interview with Hélène P.

31.Information collected from various family sources; Interview with Hélène P.; cf. Also Azad Hind, (Netaji Movement’s newspaper in Saigon) 27 July 1945; Veera Mathurakavy, op.cit.; Today Prouchandy’s mansion at 76, rue Paul Blanchy(Hai Bha Trung), Saigon is in a dilapidated state, confiscated by the Communist government of Vietnam. This confiscation has ruined the Prouchandy family.