Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Sikhs & the Great War

Sikhs@War - short film from from dot hyphen productions on Vimeo.

'Sikhs@War' is a free educational film being released online to raise awareness about the forgotten part of British history - that thousands of Indians fought to help liberate Europe during the Great War. It is from the first-person perspective of a teenage Sikh boy, J Singh-Sohal, whose Great Grandfather's heroics during the War have inspired him to maintain his religious identity.

It makes for some fascinating viewing.


rob's uncle said...

The Great War was not a war to 'liberate' Europe (except for Belgium) - are you perhaps confusing it with the more recent World War II?

Anonymous said...

Not just Sikhs, several battalions of the Indian Army fought on the western front.

7000 were killed.

850,000 served in all theatres overseas.

arvindsingh said...

Thank you for highlighting the contributions of the Sikhs during the wars of the worlds. These honest soldiers died on the line of duty. It's about time the British recognize their contributions.

I just want to mention that Sikhs were only 2% of Indian population but theie participation was about 20% in the Indian Army. The Sikhs were recruited and replaced native Indians in many non-Punjabi regiments such as Deccan Horses, Bengal Lancers, and others. Guess, the British trusted them more on the battlefield.

The Indians chose to reduce their representation after independence and abolished many sikh regiments or converted them into mixed "Rashtriya Rifles". My guess is that Indian Army is not as effective as it used to be. They have suffered heavy casualties in Srilanka, Blue star Operation at the Golden Temple, and in Kargill where only a few hundred Pakistanis were able to hold the Indian army for months.

The British should raise a Sikh regiment in British Army as about 6% of the British poupation is Sikh and they would be keen to serve the country they are born in or have now adopted.