The Indian Contingent by Ghee Bowman – Review

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 Dunkirk is a term that brings to might marching soldiers and flying shells. The historical event depicted over the years has a fictional and real representation of the injustice against the soldiers. But little has been written about the forgotten folks from India. The Muslim soldiers were key to the war. The picture that comes to us is etched by the Dunkirk movie but the reality is deeper than we see on the periphery. 

The Indian Contingent by Ghee Bowman - Review

The Backstory of Dunkirk

Ghee Bowman, through this groundbreaking piece of literature, The Indian Contingent, goes deep into the backstory of each soldier. The book is endearing at different levels. It tells about an unimaginable time when there was no Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Bangladesh. All were Indians who ventured to fight for the colonial power that smothered their freedom. As contradictory as it sounds, the far-fetched impact of these men in our freedom struggle is also unheard of.

The real-life witnesses

If we try to draw a parallel to the Dunkirk movie through this book we would realize that the contribution of the Indian soldiers is unaccounted for. It is a relief to know that some of the family members received a reprieve when they finally found out about the graves of their loved ones. On the other hand, it is heartbreaking to see that some of the members were not even accounted among the dead bodies that are buried. 

The warriors that spread love

It is a proud moment for us to see how our warriors spread positivity amongst the despair with their indigenous music. Another endearing fact is how our men surprised the Britishers by breaking their prejudice about caste fanaticism in India. The tale is also about perseverance, how they survived the gravest circumstances and extreme weather. Right from their ways of contacting the family to finding means of food, the author has explained everything. This is indeed a textbook on Indian soldiers in Dunkirk
The book is a riveting tribute to these unsung heroes. It is frustrating to learn that they were not even provided the burial that they deserve. What did they go through during the war? How were their basic necessities met? So many questions! The author has the answer to all. 
An impeccably researched milestone in the historical literature genre.

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