In this defensive war which has been forced upon them, Germany, Italy and Japan are fighting against the Powers that have dominated the world up to now by means of subjugation and exploitation of other peoples. Their struggle serves a high ethic purpose. Germany, Italy and Japan are fighting at the same time for the freedom of all peoples that have been outraged by British imperialism. It is their earnest desire to see these peoples, too, once again free from the British yoke and in a position to shape unhampered their political and economic fate according to their own demands. Among these nations which have had to suffer longest and most cruelly under British domination is numbered the ancient Indian people, a nation which during its great past has conferred such rich cultural benefits on humanity. In the endeavour to open the gate of freedom to the Indian people also, at this historical moment when the British Empire is beginning to reel under the blows delivered by the armed might of the Tripartite Powers, the German, Italian and Japanese governments hereby solemnly declare that they recognise the inalienable right of the Indian people to independence and self-determination.
India for the Indians! Germany, Italy and Japan convinced that the Indian nation will break the political and economic bonds of British imperialism and then as master of its own fate will carry out a sweeping transformation of its national life for the lasting benefit of its own people and as contribution to the welfare and the peace of the world. It is no concern of the Tripartite Powers what form the Indian people, after their liberation, will in future give to their interior political organisation. It is a matter to be decided upon by the Indian people themselves and their leaders what constitution is the most suitable for their country and how it is to be put into practice. The Tripartite Powers are concerned to end—on a basis of social justice—the misery and poverty of the Indian people, and to see the exploited masses assisted to a proper standard of living as well as to employment and prosperity. Britain is the common enemy of the Indian people and of the peoples of the Tripartite Pact. The Tripartite powers have always cherished friendly feelings towards the Indian people, and the close cultural and economic relations which they enjoyed with India have helped to cement this friendship. Nevertheless, the people of India are compelled by their alien British government to consider themselves at war with Germany, Italy and Japan and to sacrifice both lives and property for the maintenance of the rule of their oppressors. As in the First World War, India’s sons must again at Britain’s behest, give their lives on the battlefields in the West and the East, in order that India is also in future to remain under British domination. Once more, Indian workers and peasants are compelled by their own war work, to tighten the bonds which Britain intends shall hold them in slavery. That is what the British call democracy and freedom. All the promises of self-government made by Britain to India have proved so far to be lies. Fresh promises will be given by Britain simply to mislead the Indian people; they, again will be broken. It will not be the victory of British imperialism that will bring true freedom to the Indian people but solely the victory of the Tripartite Powers. India has never had a more favourable opportunity of attaining freedom; the hour has struck when the Indian people themselves must act to shape their own destiny. The sincere wishes of the peoples and governments of Germany, Italy and Japan are with the people of India in their struggle for liberty, and the Powers declare their readiness to afford India every possible assistance. They are joyfully awaiting the day when India, at last a free country, will take up her rightful position in a community of free nations.