Jun 29, 2008

Stand at East

In June 2005, BBC Radio 4 ran a three-part series on the contribution of the British Indian Army during the Second World War, titled “Stand at East“. It was hosted by the famous Indophile Sir Mark Tully, former BBC correspondent and author. It has three episodes of around 30 minutes duration each [in Real media streaming format] and provides some enriching and entertaining fare.

In Part 1 [Listen to episode 1 here], Tully begins with the transformation of the Indian Army, changing horses for tanks, and small arms for artillery, into a force that became the world’s largest volunteer army.

In Part 2 [Listen to episode 2 here], survivors of the gruelling Burma campaign recall the horrors of battle and veterans of the Indian National Army reflect on the provocations which drove them into fighting against the British.

In Part 3 [Listen to episode 3 here], veterans of what is called the forgotten army demand recognition for their achievement in inflicting the biggest defeat on land the Japanese ever suffered.

Ever wondered why this nation, 60 years after independence, has not been able to produce a similar chronicle of independent India’s military history.

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