62. Mains Question- Nov 05, 2018
How was India involved in First World War? (150 words)
- Theme of the question: India and its involvement in first world war
- The New York Times wrote in 1918: “The world must pay India in whatever India wants, for without Indian products; there would be greater difficulty in winning the war.”
- India supplies men as soldiers, army nurses, ration and also a large loan
- On the onset of the conflict India had the largest standing volunteer force on the planet. India supplied nearly 10 lac troops to fight for the Union Jack. From these, nearly 60,000 troops martyred in battle or died due to disease and nearly the same number were wounded. Khudahad Khan became the first Indian to be awarded the VC.
Indian troops fought on all the fronts, in Mesopotamia, Arabia, China, Africa, Gallipoli and in the trenches of the western front.
- India provided materials needed for the war and cloth was the most important commodity exported. Industrial production in India expanded multi-fold to keep pace with the demand.
- When the war ended in triumph for Britain, India was denied its promised reward. Instead of self-government, the British imposed the repressive Rowlatt Act, which vested the Viceroy’s government with extraordinary powers to quell “sedition” against the Empire by silencing and censoring the press, detaining political activists without trial, and arresting without a warrant any individuals suspected of treason against the Empire
Note: Some important campaigns by Indian soldiers and factual data related to wars and Indian soldiers need to be noted down