Written by a Delhi-based journalist Mandakini Gahlot, the documentary film takes us back into the time of World War 1 and explores into the struggles and contribution of the Indian Army in the war on grounds of France and Belgium. The premiere of the film was screened by the French Embassy in India as a symbol of playing tribute to the brave men who fought for their freedom.
Sparked up from Europe, the World War 1 started on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918, and although India was not directly involved in the Great War, about 1.3 million Indian Army soldiers contributed to fight for allies in Europe, Africa and Middle East – mostly in France and Belgium. The Indian soldiers coming from all parts of India and fought in all places across Europe and it historic records are proof that nearly 75,000 of them lost their lives in the war on foreign lands. Yet, the Indian Army is often forgotten for its freedom fights and sacrifices in the greatest war that humanity has ever seen.
Based on this theme, a Delhi based journalist Mandakini Gahlot wrote a documentary titled as “The Forgotten Army” that tributes the valiant Indian soldiers and glorifies the sacrifice of the forgotten army. Gahlot wrote this story after being inspired from her great grandfather Risaldar Major Hari Singh, who was one of the 1.3 million Indian soldiers who served in the war. The documentary film is led by military historian Rana Chhina of the United Service Institution of India and explores India’s unsung support to its allies in World War 1 and re-enlightens the unsaid stories of brave ancestors long gone to fight on the lands of France and Belgium.
Premiere of The Forgotten Army hosted by the French Embassy in India. This movie by @MandakiniGahlot &Julien Dufau witness Indian soldiers valour during WWI. Must be watched! Full movie soon on @ChannelNewsAsia trailer https://t.co/kRvrXhxIUH – Prod @babelpress @ecpa_d pic.twitter.com/fb7Lz8AzYs
— Clément Gargoullaud (@cgargoullaud) November 13, 2018
In a bid to tribute India’s support in past years, French Embassy in India hosted the premiere screening of “The Forgotten Army” on the 100th anniversary of WW1 on November 11 and envoys from a number of countries joined to participate. French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler said on the screening event that, ” In this year marking the centenary of the Armistice of World War I, we all pay tribute to these valiant men who came from all parts of India to fight for our freedom”. By the peak of the war, Indians served one third of the entire British Army line and it is to wonder what were to happen if the forgotten army wasn’t there.