As I stand against the backdrop of the Big Ben exactly a hundred years after the First World War, I think of my countries long association with this part of land on the globe.
I come from India as a student to extend my country’s love and friendship to this land of world renowned universities. However, some scholars of history believe that India’s military contribution to the British war effort in the world wars had been long kept hidden because of Winston Churchill’s dislike for my country and her people. India is a country where every god and goddess has his or her favorite animal companion; but Mr. Churchill may have misunderstood this love and companionship between man and beast and is noted to have once said that he hated Indians because they were a beastly people with a beastly religion.
However today as I study, work and walk on this English soil, I feel good that my Indian Army’s significant role has satisfactorily been acknowledged and commemorated in the House of Commons right under the angry man’s bust in the event held on the eve of Armistice Day. A day I feel proud about that the country I have chosen to study in has acknowledged the work and lives of my country’s soldiers.
The 15th Ludhiana Sikh Regiment was one of the first Indian Army troops to set its foot on European soil in 1914. People over here came together in remembrance of the Sikhs and the wider Indian Army for their crucial role in the British war effort in the World War.
What makes me so comfortable in London today is how this part of the world is working towards creating a change in the collective memory of the British to celebrate, immortalize and memorialize the role of my country in the World War.
What an apt time and year to be in London!
My Tour with the London Universities International Partnership (LUIP)
Trip sponsored by London Universities International Partnership #LUIP