Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Rememberance: The Sikh Story

Last night I caught a BBC documentary Remembrance: The Sikh Story which was about the input of Sikhs in both World War I and II. They were marked by the British as a "Martial Race", as were the Gurkhas, and actively recruited to the conflicts.
The documentary was fascinating in briefly explaining how the Sikh religion did not start off as a warrior one... which was news to me as I had always thought they were the warrior class that got disenchanted with Hinduism. But I learnt that they only become warrior saints in their recent history.
The Royal Pavillion in Brighton was used as an Indian Military Hospital which must have been bizarre.
History is seldom a straight report of the facts - propaganda can determine what story we are told. According to the documentary this was true as after the Wars the contribution of many Commonwealth soldiers was "forgotten" as it was deemed important for the English to think they had won the Wars on their own. I can understand that, and there were millions of soldiers from the UK who bravely stood up to the ultimate evil, but it was good to see that, in this week of Remembrance, the people from other nations who fought are now being remembered.
The documentary is available on iPlayer so if you get a mo, have a look if only to hear about the dashing young WW2 Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji who must have made quite an impact wherever he went.


Raven said...

Snap, I've just mentioned this too on my blog (though I've got to go and watch it all properly). I've seen some features before on the Indian, and esp. Sikh contribution, to the world wars but this looked good.

Dave Williams said...

I have just watched the program and am truly amazed and also a little sad. I have served in the British army and yet have never heard of the Sikh contribution in the 2 world wars. I knew that Indian was involved as part of the 'Empire' but not to the extent it obviously was. I think that the powers that be (Military and Political) should be ashamed of the way we have neglected to give credit to these brave men and women.

Anonymous said...

I too show the programme and must say was taken back, all thoses brave people that fought and was never heard of.

Plummy Mummy said...

Thank you for your comments. It is indeed sad that history has not marked the contributions of all those who fought but at least, in some small way, that's been addressed now.