‘India forgot its soldiers, world remembers them with pride’

Discussion in 'Military History' started by arnabmit, Nov 2, 2013.

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  1. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    ‘India forgot its soldiers, world remembers them with pride’ | idrw.org
    SOURCE: EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

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    Om Bhagawate Namaha – the otherwise common line in India looked extraordinarily unusual when Colonel (retd) Vijay Y Gidh discovered it in the hamlet of Forli – three-hour drive from the Italian town of Bologna. But, having gone hunting for battlefields in Italy, where Indian troops fought bravely in WW-II, Gidh was yet to witness more surprises. For when he was about to sign the visitors book of Forli Indian Army War Cemetery, the retired veteran of 14 Punjab (Nabha Akal) Battalion of the Indian Army discovered nine graves of soldiers, who belonged to his battalion, but never found a mention in the history books or coffee table books of 14 Punjab (Nabha Akal).

    Gidh, who returned recently from the trip, attended the 257th raising day of his battalion on October 24 at Ramgarh cantonment in Jharkhand, where he narrated his experiences and took up the inclusion of the nine brave names in the history books of the battalion.

    “I commanded my unit before retiring, but never came across these names in the list of our 52 martyrs, who laid down their lives in Italy, as maintained by the unit. The total tally now stands at 61. My son, who has been the adjutant of the unit, too was surprised at how the contribution of the soldiers were belittled. We returned to Venice and found out that we had forgotten the brave hearts,” Gidh said, as he admitted to have tallied 50 of the names in the list with the headstones of graves in Forli. The battalion, which was then a part of 20 Indian Infantry Brigade, fought under the 10th Indian Division in the fourth battle of the Italian Campaign and was under the larger Eight British Army of legendary Field Marshal Montgomery.

    The Italian campaign was an affair to remember. I came across Indian names, some even as common as Jadhav, Gurdayal Singh, Zamir Khan, besides others, said Gidh. “The fact that these names belonged to Indian soldiers was a matter of pride,” he added. In yet another Italian city, the tinsel town of Cassino, which is one hour and 40 minute drive from Rome, witnessed a fierce battle during 1943-44. Gidh came across two of the 52 names. The long winding road overlooking the horizon is where the Indian troops bravely fought the dominating Germans, facing rain and the ever pouring shells from hill top. The monastery on the hill top still bears witness to the fight put up by brave Indians of the fourth and eighth Indian Divisions in February-March, 1944.

    “Of the 4,271 Commonwealth servicemen buried at the Cassino War Cemetery, the largest WW-II cemetery in Italy, 431 were Indian soldiers. The cemetery’s two structures – Cassino Memorial and the original Register Box – are in Indian style,” he said. Recently, the Sikh community in Italy inaugurated a bronze monument at the main entrance of the Forli Cemetery, dedicated to the Sikh soldiers, who lost their lives during the two World Wars. “It is strange how we, Indians, forget our soldiers, when the world remembers them with pride,” Gidh said.

    The Italian Campaign

    “In this fierce campaign, nearly 50,000 Indian soldiers, most in their 20s, drawn from some of the finest regiments of the Indian Army fought for the freedom of Italy during WW-II. They were in the thick of action on many fronts, including the fight for Monte Cassino, battle for Sangro River and Liri Valley,” said Colonel (retd) Vijay Y Gidh. The Indian troops won six of the 20 Victoria crosses awarded to Allied Forces in Italy. But, this glory came at a cost. As many as 23,722 Indian soldiers were injured, while 5782 soldiers lost their lives, he added. They were buried in cemeteries across Italy, including Arezzo, Cassino, Sangro, Forli and Rimini.
     
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  3. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    This is how our Hero's Memorial in India .No one Cares No one Knows ...does the Govt was watching this

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    It's Been more sad in Cholachal where the King of Travancore defeated Dutch Navy ..the First asian Country who defeated a Western Navy ..In every Year July 25 The Indian Army's Madras Regiment Came here and Clean the Surronding and Honor the Fallen and Hail our Victory

    We Peoples demanded the Colachal Municipal to take care about the Victory Pillar ..till now No Response

    Indian Army celebrates 268th anniversary of Colachal battle | TwoCircles.net
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    VETERANS AND SOLDIERS

    Over the last three decades, I have visited the US many times. On five separate occasions, I have spent several months at a stretch in that country........

    Still, it came as a surprise, on my most recent trip, to find that those given priority in boarding passenger planes now included “veterans and soldiers”, in addition to those in wheel-chairs and those with children.

    Veterans and soldiers
     
  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    When I was a young soldier a flight attendant moved me from my assigned seat to 1st Class. This was Vietnam Era when military was not popular. A nice gesture.
     
  6. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Few have described what we owe to war dead better than Abraham Lincoln. He gave this speech 4 and 1/2 months after the Battle of Gettysburg.

     
  7. Waffen SS

    Waffen SS New Member

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    @arnabmit what is up to us? We were then being colonized and tortured by British, why should we take pride on those who helped British to keep their torture against us? What was wrong with us and Italy? Dont forget 1942 Famine, Jalianwalabagh Massacre, 1770 Famine. We dragged by false promise into an war with which we had absolutely no connection and in return suffered a lot.

    I dont give a damn about what ever those slaves did to help British Government which was killing your own ancestors. Yes Indian soldiers fought, in return what did we get? Only Famine, Millions of people starving to death, massacre, Plunder of Plussey, de-industrialization, Drain of wealth, we became poor and British became rich.

    There was no difference between Nazis killing Jews and British killing Indians. Both were of same category. British won so they wrote History.

    They are not India's soldiers and Indian public has no connection with them. They were collaborators who helped a Foreign government to ruin India, to starve India, to make India poor and to kill Indians. I would rather prefer a Pakistani soldier who is serving his own country.

    You know British PM Winston Churchill planed to use chemical gas on Indian tribes? You know British wrote "Dogs and Indians are not allowed" in their specific areas? You know British called us "Nigger" "Kala admi", "bloody Beggers" why the fack should we take care of those people who helped such rulers? You know Churchill said Indians "A beastly people with beastly religion"?
     
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  8. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well whats new in it .Our congress lead GoI would like to every Indian to remember that only nehru_gandhi made sacrifices while other did just their duty.

    Our spinless polticans can go to shrilanka but cannot vist to ipkf memorial in sri lanka.

    And it is applicable to all political parties
     
  9. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Evidently, some Indians on DFI believe no India war dead prior to 1947 should be remembered. I am astounded by their ignorance, and I am sure none who believe that have ever worn a uniform.

    And the fool who writes this has Hitler as his avatar; his screen name is directly linked to nazis:

    The posts of such maniacs pollute DFI and stain the memory of India's war dead.

    Yet they are tolerated here. Unbelievable.
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    There are those who do not understand valour, even though valour and prowess has been idolised in Indian history.

    People mistake that valour is equated with nationalism alone!
     
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  11. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    The Republic of India has no business promoting or celebrating in any way the "valour" of soldiers who were the instruments by which the Republic was prevented into coming into existence in the first place. Privately, people can celebrate whatever they want-but I would prefer to celebrate the valour of the Waffen SS over the valour of the dogs of the British empire. At least the Waffen SS wasn't directly involved in crimes against Indians.
     
  12. Waffen SS

    Waffen SS New Member

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    You are an American, stick to your own idealism who is forcing you? Ignorance? What do you know about ignorance? Yes in WW2 Indians were dying to protect British Government in Africa and South East Asia and Britain was paying back that back by 1942 Bengal Famine. Can you imaging to protect which Government you are fighting, same government is killing your countrymen making man made famine simultaneously?:mad2: If British cared about our people, stopped famine, made over all development, no Jalianwalabagh there would be none to criticize British.

    And who wrote this he has an avatar of US's Founding Fathers as per now. Nazis were defeated. European Colonials won so their brutal history destroying an entire civilization(Native American civilization) is forgiven. That said History is written by victor and Might is right.

    It is not unbelievable. Can you respect Waffen SS soldiers from WW2? NKVD troops of Russia? German Gestapo or Japanese soldiers who used to use sex slave and behead enemy?

    Dead does not mean nor indicate you are forgiven completely. That's why Asoka the Great is still remembered, Akbar is still praised for his religious tolerance, Shahjahan is still remembered for Tajmahal, where as Hitler is hated for Holocaust, Atilla the Hun is hated for cruelty. Even though all are dead. Do you respect dead Talibans who shoot women and children just because they are dead? :tsk:

    We neither forgive those soldiers not praise for what they did in WW2, we ignore.

    May be they were brave in pure militaristic sense, but for me they were helping British, and helping British means helping those foreigners who was ruing our county, and they were paid mercenary who killed their own countrymen for few bucks or money.

    W.G.Ewald what will be your position if you see any Any American pilot defects to Russia with F 35, hand over them technology? How US dealt US's Nazi Collaborators after Pearl Harbour? How US dealt with Loyalists?

    Loyalist (American Revolution)

    Julius and Ethel Rosenberg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Look at your own country then comment.

    Indian Military is highly influenced by British. The so called Gurkha Regiment caused Jalianwalabagh. To stop revolutionary attitude government prohibited ex-Indian national Army soldiers to join Indian army, why? They even prohibited to show Netaji's photo in military camp. Brave Sikhs helped British to put down 1857's revolt.

    You talking about valor? Then please respect Osama Bin Laden for his new techniques to kill people:troll: or 9/11 when common passenger planes were turned into missile caused extensive damage and fatality. No you will not, cause Laden fought against you and these soldiers fought for you.:truestory:
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I wonder why the valour of those who failed us and allowed us to get subjugated by the hordes from Central Asia to plunder, pillage and then rule us as subject of their Empire is so glorified in our history. For the sake of tranquillity on the forum, I refrain from naming the Maharajas,Hindu Generals and Administrators, who assisted these hordes from Central Asia to make India their Empire.

    Likewise, history honours the valour of those who should have fought the British more resolutely and not allow them into India and colonise us in the first place.

    Or for that matter, the honouring of the valour of those who failed us against the British in 1857 and allowed us to remain enslaved, having raised hope, only to get defeated in detail and even flee to leave us a defeated people.

    Yet, notwithstanding the negativity of the outcome, they were men and women of valour and honourable people with honourable intentions, even if they did not succeed.

    So, in short, we appreciate valour and not the circumstances.

    Actually, it is not the the "valour" of soldiers who were the instruments by which the Republic was prevented into coming into existence in the first place

    It is the pathetic supineness and even cowardly outlook of the people of India who allowed the Mugals and the British to lord over us for centuries and assisting them in ensuring so by entering their Administration, enforcing agencies, and tilling the land to feed them and clothe them.

    In fact, it is the supineness that even rules India today, where every nation appears to be dictating terms to us and we are acquiescing!

    Now, if you are that much of a nationalist, why are you not standing up to be counted beyond the internet!

    Be a Kejriwal!

    In actuality, you are a status quo person, stepped in nationalism that you do not wish to translate into action or you are not equipped to do so.

    You are therefore an equal partner to the manner in which we are today being buffeted by all and sundry, domestic and international, and can do nothing about it.

    The soldiers of the past that you so decry with such venom were in the same state as you are in today. Helpless!

    So, if you think it over, you too are allowing us to be victims of neocolonialism and being weak to respond to insults still being heaped on us by our neighbours and powers that be

    You are equally culpable as the soldiers who you sting with such venom, thinking that you alone are a 'nationalist'.

    To you I say - "let him who is without sin, cast the first stone"!

    And yet their valour and your nationalism cannot be questioned since the circumstances do not permit otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
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  14. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Wrong. Indians celebrate those who fought against or actively resisted foreign invaders, whether it be Alexander, the Mughals or the British. King Porus is as much a hero as is Prithviraj Chauhan and the Rani of Jhansi. On the other hand, those who collaborated with the foreigners are universally hated, such as Mir Jafar or the sepoys of the British Indian Army.

    Whether those who resisted lost or won is has no bearing on whether they should be honoured. What matters is whether they fought for the right cause. Hence, William Wallace is considered to be a Scottish hero even though he was executed by the English, and so is Bhagat Singh or Chandrasekhar Azad. On the other hand, the British Indian troops may have won the war for Britain, but they were traitors to the cause of Indian nationhood, hence they do not deserve to be celebrated.

    You are trying to be philosophical here and confusing the issue. The soldiers that fought for Britain were the sword arm of the British empire. They actively colluded with a foreign occupying power. Yes, they may have had their reasons, they may have been desperate, poor, and perhaps saw the Army as the only source of employment. We need to take that into consideration and not actively malign or dehumanize them. However at the same time, there is no way one should celebrate their actions either. They were paid mercenaries, nothing more. They got their due in the form of Victoria Crosses and their paycheques. If they have any additional needs, they should appeal to their masters and former employer, the British government.
     
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  15. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Known_Unknown, just trying to understand your stand here. As the Marathas were in alliance with the British in subjugating Indian kingdom/s, we should not celebrate any of the achievements of the Marathas. I disagree with this statement. How about you, do you agree or disagree?
     
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  16. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Obviously disagree. The Marathas collaborated with the British against Tipu because they were overconfident-they thought they could use the British to get rid of an upstart rival and then deal with them on their own if required. When they saw the British had their own plans, they fought several wars against them, but eventually lost.

    Why do we also venerate Tipu Sultan? Didn't he use the French against his rivals-the Marathas and the Nizam?
     
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  17. angeldude13

    angeldude13 Lestat De Lioncourt Senior Member

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    There were marathas like Tatya tope who fought for the freedom of india.
    I would never ever respect a person who fought for the britishers.
    British scums looted and massacred our people and these thugs help them do so.
     
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  18. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    So to sum up your thoughts, you do not agree with celebrating any of the deeds of the "foot soldiers" who sided with the British (whatever may be the compulsion) but you believe that the "kings/rulers" who sided with the British need to be given leeway (with obvious disclaimers)?
     
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  19. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    But @angeldude13, the soldiers who fought for the British were not traitors for sure! They did not pick arms to kill their own people. They were mercenaries who enrolled with the British army to fight with other people, as far as they knew then! Is it their fault that what they thought as foreign people then, happen to be all part of the Indian Union now? My point to you, @Known_Unknown and others is that, its really unfair of you to criticize the deeds of yesterday based on current times. The soldier from the 19th century from Awadh was not fighting against Indians. He was fighting against a foreign country then, say the Marathas for example. As @Ray pointed out, you are letting the concept of nationalism of today, to affect your judgement of the deeds of the soldiers of yesterday!
     
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  20. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    The likes of Waffen SS and Known_Unknown are not Indian nationalists; they adhere to German nationalism and culture. Maybe it's that "Aryan" thing. They love Hitler and Nietzsche because they apparently can not find an Indian figure to admire, only Germanic mass murderers and mentally deficient syphilitics. They are a disgrace to India and to DFI.

    That DFI allows those two cowards to continue to slander the memory of Indian war dead is unbelievable to be. I'd like to see them go to any Indian Army regimental HQ and spout their hate and despicable words.

    This is not just a philosophical discussion. DFI simply is allowing slander and it must stop.

    Again, the two cowards I speak of have never served India in uniform, which makes their words even more galling.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
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  21. Waffen SS

    Waffen SS New Member

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    So then may be should not criticize widow burning system, cast system as they were common in those days? We criticize them from present perspective, in yesterday's perspective they were right and Brahmin priests absolute power was right.

    Like you said it is unfair to treat deeds of yesterday based on current times?:fu::troll:

    May be those soldiers were brave, but their bravery came for nothing good for India, hence we should ignore.

    Just like English cricket Montie Panessar's success came for nothing good for India's cricket team?
     
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