Yet, after the war, the British rewarded Indian loyalty with even more repressive laws. Peaceful protestors were killed in Jallianwala Bagh. The nationalists now wanted independence. And in the collective hatred against the British, the pain and loss of Indian soldiers of World War 1 was somehow forgotten – the imperialists chose to think of them as minor players, in India the feeling was that they were mercenaries, who fought for the colonial powers for money.
In recent years, however, the conversation around Indian participation in the First World War has been gaining volume. In the run-up to 100 years of Armistice Day (November 11) — the signing of the agreement between the Allied Forces and Germany that marked the end of the war — as events have been held across the world, seminars and memorial services for Indian soldiers are also being held here. A new memorial in France also commemorates their valour, an addition to the few that already exist abroad. Indian soldiers of WW1 are finally getting respect and remembrance. and people, especially the elderly and young children, were asked not to go out.
On Saturday, authorities extended a ban on construction work and entry of heavy vehicles into Delhi in order to help control local emissions. Industries running on coal have also been asked to cease operations.
“Several emergency measures have been rolled out while new measures were added over the past ten days. These might have worked,” said Sunita Narain, member of the Supreme Court-appointed pollution control authority Epca.
Farm fires are largely seen as the reason for the air to enter hazardous levels at the start of winters in recent years. In a bid to check this, the Union and state government in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana have announced strict penalties on farmers who burn crop residue. In Punjab, the pollution control official quoted above said that farmers are now resisting inspections.
“Most of the incidents are being reported from the Malwa districts where farmer unions are strong and are not allowing authorities to take action against violators. There have been more than 600 cases where field staff could not take action against violators following farmers’ opposition. On Friday, a Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) team was gheraoed in Bathinda,” said another official.