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39 Fletcher F. World Aff. 77 (2015)
India Looks Back on the First World War

handle is hein.journals/forwa39 and id is 77 raw text is: India Looks Back
on the First World War
One hundred years after the guns of August boomed across the
European continent, the world has been steeped in commemorations of
that seminal event. The Great War, as it was called then, was described as
the war to end all wars. Ironically, the eruption of an even more destruc-
tive conflict twenty years later meant that it is now known as the First
World War. Those who fought and died in the First World War would have
had little idea that there would so soon be a Second.
While the war took the flowers of Europe's youth to their prema-
ture graves, snuffing out a generation of talented poets, artists, and others
whose genius bled into the trenches, it also involved soldiers from faraway
lands who had little to do with Europe's bitter traditional hatreds. The
roles and sacrifices of Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, and South
Africans have been celebrated for some time in books and novels, and even
rendered immortal on celluloid in award-winning films like Gallipoli
and Chinook Bair. Of the 1.3 million Indian troops who served in the
conflict, however, we hear very little.
As many as 74,187 Indian soldiers died during the war, and another
67,000 were wounded. Their stories-and their heroism-have long
been omitted from popular histories of the war, or relegated to footnotes.
India contributed a number of divisions and brigades to the European,
Shashi 1haroor is an author, politician, and former international civil servant. He
is currently a second-term Lok Sabha Member of Parliament in India, following a
twenty-nine-year career with the UN, where he rose to the rank of Under-Secretary
General. Dr. Tharoor obtained a PhD in 1978 at The Fletcher School of Law and
Diplomacy and served as a founder and first Editor of The Fletcher Forum of World
Affairs. He is the author offourteen books, most recently Pax Indica: India & The
World of the 21st century. 

VOL. 39:1 WINTER 20 15

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