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.
INDIA “RALLIED TO THE BRITISH CAUSE” WRITES SHASHI THAROOR, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND AUTHOR OF ‘AN ERA OF DARKNESS: THE BRITISH EMPIRE IN INDIA,’ IN HIS ARTICLE FOR HT TODAY