The Testimonies of Indian Soldiers and the Two World Wars: Between Self and Sepoy by Gajendra SinghThe Testimonies of Indian Soldiers and the Two World Wars: Between Self and Sepoy by Gajendra Singh

The Testimonies of Indian Soldiers and the Two World Wars: Between Self and Sepoy

byGajendra Singh

Paperback | July 30, 2015

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In the two World Wars, hundreds of thousands of Indian sepoys were mobilized, recruited and shipped overseas to fight for the British Crown. The Indian Army was the chief Imperial reserve for an empire under threat. But how did those sepoys understand and explain their own war experiences and indeed themselves through that experience? How much did their testimonies realise and reflect their own fragmented identities as both colonial subjects and imperial policemen? The Testimonies of Indian Soldiers and the Two World Wars draws upon the accounts of Indian combatants to explore how they came to terms with the conflicts. In thematic chapters, Gajendra Singh traces the evolution of military identities under the British Raj and considers how those identities became embattled in the praxis of soldiers' war testimonies - chiefly letters, depositions and interrogations. It becomes a story of mutiny and obedience; of horror, loss and silence. This book tells that story and is an important contribution to histories of the British Empire, South Asia and the two World Wars.
Gajendra Singh is AHRC Early Career Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK, and Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Defence Studies at King's College London, UK.
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Title:The Testimonies of Indian Soldiers and the Two World Wars: Between Self and SepoyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 9.25 × 6 × 0.75 inPublished:July 30, 2015Publisher:BloomsburyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1474247873

ISBN - 13:9781474247870

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Reviews

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. In Search of Colonial Negatives: Martial Race Theories, Recruiting Handbooks, and the Indian Army 2. 'More Like Brothers and Fathers to the Sepoys': Welfare, Discipline and Censorship in the Army 3. The Perils of 'Oriental Correspondence': Living the Space of Conditioned Testimony 4. Throwing Snowballs in France: (Re-) Writing a Letter and (Re-) Appraising Islam, 1915-1918 5. Mutiny, Fabricating Court Testimony and Hiding in the Latrine: The 5th Light Infantry in Singapore 6. 'Breaking the Chains with Which We Were Bound': The Interrogation Chamber, The Indian National Army and the Negation of Military Identities, 1941-1947 Conclusion: Reading Rebels, Writing Ghosts Bibliography Index

Editorial Reviews

The book is a breakthrough in the historiography of Indian armed forces, for its tone, approach, methodology and contents are unique. The author deserves praise for his innovative reading of the sources, and with this book he has successfully filled a long-standing gap in the historiography of the Indian armed forces.