WW1 Armistice Exhibition - India
From Armistice to Lausanne – India
- Contrary to British fears of a revolt in India, the outbreak of the war saw an unprecedented outpouring of loyalty and goodwill towards Britain.
- Indian political leaders from the Indian National Congress and other groups were eager to support the British war effort, since they believed that strong support for the war effort would further the cause of Indian Home Rule.
- The Indian Army in fact outnumbered the British Army at the beginning of the war; about 1.3 million Indian soldiers and labourers served in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, while both the central government and the princely states sent large supplies of food, money, and ammunition.
- In all, 140,000 men served on the Western Front and nearly 700,000 in the Middle East. Casualties of Indian soldiers totalled 47,746 killed and 65,126 wounded during World War I, mainly on the Western Front against Germany).
- The suffering engendered by the war, as well as the failure of the British government to grant self-government to India after the end of hostilities, bred disillusionment and fuelled the campaign for full independence that would be led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and others.
- The Hindu–German Independence Conspiracy was a series of plans formulated between 1914 and 1917 to initiate a Pan-Indian rebellion against the British Raj during World War I considering that, Britain's difficulty was India's 'opportunity‘.
- They brought new attitudes and their newly found prestige, and the ex-soldiers became significant agents for change.
- The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, was a seminal event in the British rule of India. On 13 April 1919, a crowd of non-violent protesters, along with Baishakhi pilgrims, had gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh garden in Amritsar,Punjab to protest the arrest of two leaders despite a curfew which had been recently declared.
- On the orders of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, the army fired on the crowd for ten minutes, directing their bullets largely towards the few open gates through which people were trying to run out. The dead numbered 1,000, or possibly more.
- This "brutality stunned the entire nation", resulting in a "wrenching loss of faith" of the general public in the intentions of Britain. The ineffective inquiry and the initial accolades for Dyer by the House of Lords fuelled widespread anger, leading to the Non-cooperation Movement of 1920–22.