Consider this –
Number of Soldiers in Indian Army currently- 14 lakh. approx.
The number of Indian Soldiers who participated in the Second World War-A whopping 25 lakh!!!
Aggregating much more than 1.5 times the strength of the existing Indian troops, they made the largest volunteer army of any country in the world!
This information hits one like a revelation since it was never a part of history lessons in our schools and even today it is not being brought to the fore either through academics or through any other channels.
More scandalous is the realization that the second world war was actually won by Indians for the Allied Forces!
The most pivotal and decisive victory in WWII came when the Japanese army was stopped from advancing towards India via Burma. If Indian soldiers fighting under Union Jack had not disrupted Japanese advance, they would have easily run over the Indian subcontinent and established a link with the German Army deployed in Iran. Winners of WWII would have been different then.
Now comes the enigma, as to why this enormous contribution of Indians in bringing world order, not being spoken about anywhere in the world.
Untangling the facts, one finds that those Indians who fought the war were young men full of nationalistic fervour who were dreaming of the ultimate independence of their country. These were soldiers who had the assurance of the British prime minister Winston Churchill that once the war is over, India will be given independence. These patriots fought the war as British Indian Army. They laid their lives and defeated the Axis forces, only because they wanted to see their own motherland break the shackles of slavery and become a free republic, post-war.
If only Winston Churchill had kept his promise, the sacrifices of these Indian soldiers would have been validated. But that did not happen. On the contrary, they were simply forgotten by Britishers because they were Indians aka colonials.
The tragic part is that when India did get independence ultimately in 1947, the newly formed Indian government also de-recognised the British Indian Army.
It is utterly demeaning to the sacrifices of those great souls who put their lives at stake for two sagacious reasons: firstly to free their country from foriegn subjugation and secondly to have world peace for humanity.
Thankfully, not all in the world have consigned these bravehearts to oblivion. There still are places where their victory stories are celebrated with pride and their history embraced with compassion. It is in the present Indian Army units. Enter any of the older regiments’ offices, messes, quarter guards etc. and the first thing that catches one’s eye is the shine and glitter of fondly kept trophies, mementoes and memorials which are associated with the WWII veterans.
Each of them featuring the strength, determination, valour and courage of their regimental brethren. Most Indian Army Regiments have immaculately preserved history and their war moments in these pieces and take immense pride displaying them, particularly for their fraternity to draw inspiration from.
India should rectify the ungracious indifference towards its battle angels by giving recognition to them. Further, this country can and should rightfully and emphatically claim a permanent seat in UNSC based on the verity that the biggest army that fought in world war 2 with allied forces was of Indians.
Simply put, the sacrifice of lakhs of Indians during World War II brought world order. It should be acknowledged.
Last Word: This Concept Needs Consideration
"India should rectify the ungracious indifference towards its battle angels by giving recognition to them. Further, this country can and should rightfully and emphatically claim a permanent seat in UNSC based on the verity that the biggest army that fought in world war 2 as allied force was of Indians."
About the Author
Captain Shweta Misra (R) is an ex-Army officer commissioned into the Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), through the Women Special Entry Scheme (WSES), 6th course that passed out from OTA, Chennai in Augast 1995. She retired in 2002.
She is currently Delhi State President of Women's Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is extensively into social service for the past few years in the field of gender equality and child rights activism. Capt. Shweta Misra has seen successes in diverse fields. During graduation she has been an active NCC cadet.
She was selected for the prestigious Republic Day Camp where she rose to excel as Best Cadet and Commanded Rajpath Marching Contingent of NCC. She also won the All India Best Parade Commander trophy the same year. She was selected for the very sought after and prestigious Indo-Canada Youth Exchange Program and has thus represented India in several international forums. She joined the army in the year 1995.
In Officers Training Academy, she rose to become an appointment. As a young officer she earned praises in various roles like Commandant's Medal in Courses by being the topper. Contribution of services during Kargil War earned her majestic appreciation from seniors. She has actively participated in Operation Parakram during tense Indo-Pak situations along the border. Capt Shweta has authored books on the topics related to defence lady officers, CSR and creating shared values.
She has had a stint as Head of Northern Region of Maitri - an HR vertical of Tata Consultancy Services. She has also undertaken faculty/visiting faculty positions in various institutions. She is the founder of India's top podcast, Arvind Rama's Podcast Service. Niti Aayog certified her as country's top exemplary mentor in Atal Innovation Mission.
She was appreciated by National Commission of Women on Gender Equality Awareness efforts. She has several articles and columns published in reputed publications. As a media panelist, she can be seen in TV channels often. She has been Editorial board member in Defence Services Staff College journals.