Call for new memorial for fallen Indian soldiers

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Senior Conservative MP Bob Blackman among several prominent British personalities seek a new memorial to honour the fallen Indian soldiers during the World War 1 and World War 2….reports Asian Lite News

Bob Blackman with Brig Rajesh Jha, Defence Adviser High Commission of India
Bob Blackman with Brig Rajesh Jha, Defence Adviser High Commission of India
Meet the Minds reception at House of Parliament
Meet the Minds reception at House of Parliament

India’s contribution in World War 1 was the focus of a unique conference held at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton The inaugural ‘Meeting of the Minds’ Symposium brought together experts from across all sectors who share a common passion for building a shared understanding of the contribution of Indian soldiers in World War 1. The symposium further hypothesised forthcoming work and commemorations for World War 2.

Baroness Shreela Flather, Baroness Sandip Verma, Virendra Sharma MP, Dr Kusum Vadgama, Lakshmi Kaul were present.

The Brighton venue was an ideal location due to its strong links to the Great War and attracted 54 delegates and 28 speakers. The keynote speaker being the world renowned historian Professor Sir Hew Strachan who is one of the leading authorities on the Great War.

The symposium was sponsored and organised by the Golden Tours Foundation (GTF) which is a committed to projects related to integration, heritage and education. The symposium was co-hosted by the United Services Institution of India, Brighton and Hove Museums and Imperial War Museum, London.

The Chairman of GTF Nitin Palan said: “It is important that the shared experiences of the Indian soldiers together with his British counterpart is understood by today’s generation. As one of our speakers poignantly said ‘there is no difference in the colour of blood spilt by the soldiers who fought in the war.’”

The two day “Meeting of the Minds” symposium concluded with a reception at the Houses of Parliament hosted by Bob Blackman MP.

Speaking to the distinguished guests, Mr. Blackman highlighted the need for greater education on the role of Indian soldiers in the World War 1 and World War 2. He added, “I commend the GTF team for having highlighted the importance of collective recognition of the Indian soldiers during the World War 1 and World War 2. We must not forget the valuable contribution made by the Indian soldiers and must ensure the members of public, especially young people, are educated on the same. I urge you to think of building a physical, permanent place of remembrance that focusses around the contribution of the Indian soldiers.”

Brigadier Rajesh Jha with Baroness Verma, Ashok Chavan and armed forces officers
Brigadier Rajesh Jha with Baroness Verma, Ashok Chavan and armed forces officers

The Defence Adviser of the High Commission of India, Brigadier Rajesh Jha said: “I would like to commend Nitin Palan and Golden Tours Foundation for having brought experts and historians together under one roof to share and their experience and expertise to facilitate a collective remembrance of the Indian soldiers during the Great Wars.”

He added, “I would like to say that recognition of Indian contribution is a very welcome step and extremely relevant as it acts as a catalyst to deepening the India-UK relationship. It provides yet another opportunity for a close interaction between the UK and India.”

Over the two day event eleven historians, representatives from seven leading museums and nine expert practitioners were able to share their work and discuss the challenge of how to make World War history appealing, particularly to the younger generation. It became clear that regardless of whether you were an academic or a practitioner the goal was the same to ensure remembrance, engagement and relevance.

 

 

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