Indians Soldiers In The First World War
The first world war was fought between 1914-1918. In this war, 13 lakh Indian soldiers fought on behalf of the British empire on the battlefield. These Indian soldiers had fought neither for any political purposes nor protection of their own country. These Indian soldiers had fought for the honour of their traditions, battalion, and community.
In this war, 54 thousand Indian soldiers died. Similarly, around 65 thousand were seriously injured and around 3500 were made prisoners. Before the first world war, British India had only a 175000 standing army of Indians.
Then the question is raised, how did 13 lakh Indian soldiers had fought for the British empire? The answer to the above can be as follows. The British government had compelled the illiterate, and poor Indians to become soldiers. These soldiers were offered land, gifts or money to enter into the army.
The first world war was not the war of Indians. But, still, these Indian soldiers laid down their life for it. The British government constructed the Indian gate at Delhi in 1931 in memory of these Indian soldiers’ sacrifice.
To conclude, the British as well as Indian historians have not given due importance to the contribution of these Indian soldiers in the history books.