World War I commemoration - homage to Indian soldiers

As the world turns its attention to the centenary year of the World War I, this winter, we shall commemorate the remarkable but largely forgotten constribution of Indian soldiers.

Alliance Française of Hyderabad, Goethe-Zentrum with the support of the Government of Telangana, the British Deputy High Commission in Hyderabad, the Consulate General of France and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany paid homage to Indian soldiers at the World War I monument in Chaderghat, Hyderabad, in order to create awareness on the disastrous effects of the war and to recount the untold stories of Indian soldiers who fought in this war.The idea is to spread through this ceremony the message of peace.

The impact of the First World War on the colonies was profound and multitudinal. A conflict that began in the Balkans turned into a general European war in July and August 1914, then took on extra-European dimensions, as some of the belligerent states ranked as the most important colonial powers globally. Not only did about 650,000 colonial troops fight on the European battlefields but colonies such as German East Africa became war theatres in their own right.

The conflict had special relevance to the Indian subcontinent as Britain, the ruling colonial power mobilised 1.5 million volunteer Indian soldiers during the war, of which about 75,000 were killed.

Some 150,000 Indian soldiers were deployed in Europe from September 1914 on.

Last but not the least, World War I spelt the beginning of the end of colonial powers, as they could no longer entertain the myth of their so-called "superiority" and has betrayed the promises they had made to justify massive recruitment.

Last modified on 31/01/2015

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