Though the great war is widely considered to have been a primarily European conflict, it had enormous effects halfway across the world and especially in India. Largely overlooked by Indian history textbooks, many Indian nationalists believed that supporting Britains war efforts would benefit Indias move towards self-government. As a result, over a million and a half Indians were encouraged to enlist and subsequently deployed to fight for the British.
But what did the war mean for Indian soldiers who had to fight a battle they were unprepared for, in lands they had never seen, against an enemy they didnt know and hitherto unheard of forms of warfare? And how did the war impact the political climate in India? Using first-hand accounts such as letters home, documents from various archives and rare photographs, the author reconstructs the story of a war, which was as much Indias as it was Britains. This book documents, for the first time, Indias contribution to the first world war with details of the different theaters in which Indian soldiers took part. In addition, the author also examines the unsettling encounters the Indian soldiers had with foreign, especially European, culture and how it impacted the way they viewed life and living back home.
About the Author
Vedica Kant was born and raised in India. She holds an M.Phil degree in modern middle eastern studies from the university of Oxford and a bachelors degree in economics and political science from Singapore management university.
Vedicas interest in the Indian story of the great war grew out of her research into the wartime experience of the Ottoman empire against which many Indians found themselves fighting between 1914 - 1918. She has written widely about the first world war from both an Indian and Turkish perspective in newspapers, magazines and scholarly publications. She also frequently writes on south Asian and middle eastern history, politics and culture. This is her first book.
Vedica has lived and worked in Delhi, Singapore and Istanbul and is currently based in London where she works for a leading political risk consultancy.