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Wednesday, Sep 29, 2021
Outlook.com

Exported Martyrdom

More Indians than Belgians died warding off German forces at Ypres

Exported Martyrdom
Exported Martyrdom
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
They weren't the coalition of the willing but they did join, often unwillingly, in tens of thousands to serve the British Imperial Army in all its arrogant stretch across continents. They came from an undivided India, from its baking northern plains only to land in freezing trenches, often without proper clothing. It was the Great War of European tribes, not their war. Yet, they died in huge numbers—65,000 of them in the four years. Who was counting? Not the Englishmen.

Sepoy Teja Singh of the 34th Sikh Pioneers and Bugler Zaman Ali or for that matter Mal Singh and Buta Singh—all of the 40th Pathans—enlisted for a regular pay cheque. Hari Singh of the 11th Rajputs, Hasan Gul and Mahtaba of the 129th Balochis and thousands of others died for their colonial masters. The names of hundreds of Indian sepoys, subedars, buglers and naiks are etched in the cold, white stone of Menin Gate but thousands more are not. They are still missing. Lost somewhere out there in the Flemish mud.

Standing under Menin Gate in Ypres, also known as...
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