Why Remembrance Of Indian Soldiers Who Fought For The British In World War II Is So Political
Diya Gupta, 13 Nov 17
       

Indian forces in North Africa during World War II. Imperial War Museums © IWM (E 5330)

During the Allied invasion of Italy in early September 1943, an Indian lieutenant wrote a letter to his beloved.


Here I am penning this to you in the middle of one of the biggest nights in the history of this war. Love, I am sure by the time you receive this letter you will guess correctly as to where I am. I bet you, you wouldn’t like to stay here a single minute… Oh! it is terrible. Yet in the midst of this commotion, I sit here, on my own kit-bag and scribble these few lines to my love for I do not really know when I will get the next opportunity to write to you.


The lieutenant formed part of the largest volunteer army in the world, 2.5m men from undivided India – what is today India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – who served the British during World War II. They were fighting for Britain at a time when the struggle for India’s freedom from British rule was at its most incendiary.

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