Like Another Mahabharata: Indian Soldiers in the Great War

 

lam“This is not a war. It is the ending of the world. This is just such a war as was related in the Mahabharata about our forefathers.” – an Indian soldier’s letter from the Western Front

On Remembrance Day Mukti Jain Campion pays tribute to the contribution of over a million men from the Indian subcontinent who volunteered to fight for the British in the First World War. A fascinating insight into the soldiers’ experiences on and off the battlefields of the Western Front comes from the poetic and poignant letters they wrote home. (1 x 28′)

First broadcast November 1999 BBC Radio 4 & November 2000 BBC World Service

 

The message powerfully and feelingly conveyed in Mukti Jain Campion’s documentary is that First World War historians have signally failed to acknowledge the part played by those Indian volunteers who fought on Britain’s side.  -Peter Davalle, The Times

 

Contributors include: Dr David Omissi, Professor Linda Colley, Dominic Rai, and Dominiek Dendooven

Letter readings by Vincent Ebrahim, Rez Kempton and Dev Sagoo.

Soldiers’ songs performed by Baluji Shrivastav and the Man Mela Theatre Company.

Producer  Mukti Jain Campion

Radio Choice: The Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, Daily Mail, The Scotsman, The Observer, Evening Standard, Time Out, Radio Times

Radio 4 Pick of the Week

Photograph: IWM photos Q53887

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