1887

n Historia - The Indian war memorial : national memory and selective forgetting : connecting public histories

USD

 

Abstract

The article uncovers the neglected history of the War Memorial commemorating thousands of Indian Army soldiers involved as non-combatants in the Anglo-Boer War. Erected in 1902, the monument in Observatory, Johannesburg, overlooks the site of a large remount camp staffed by Indians. Excluded from official accounts of the time which viewed the conflict as a "white man's war", the Indian auxiliaries have likewise been overlooked in more recent historiography aimed at creating a more inclusive view of the War. Revisionist scholarship focused on African involvement in the conflict, while the role of the Indian auxiliaries remains largely forgotten. By comparison, the role of Gandhi's Stretcher-Bearer Corps in the War is well known. Commemorations to mark the centenary of the War, although intended as an inclusive anniversary, failed to recover the public memory of these auxiliaries. Reviving their memory may not fit into a narrow nation-building concept, but is important to acknowledge the varied, transnational elements which have shaped South Africa's past. After the War, most of the Indian soldiers returned to India. Only a few of these veterans remained in South Africa, notably including Captain Nawab Khan who joined Gandhi's Satyagraha movement.


Hierdie artikel openbaar die vergete geskiedenis van die oorlogsgedenkteken wat hulde bring aan duisende soldate van die Indiese Weermag wat as nie-strydendes aan die Anglo-Boereoorlog deelgeneem het. Dit is opgerig in 1902, in Observatory, Johannesburg, met 'n uitsig oor die terrein waar 'n groot perdevoorsieningskamp beman deur Indiërs eens was. Nie alleen is die Indiese hulptroepe uitgesluit uit offisiële tydgenootlike verslae wat die konflik as 'n "witman se oorlog" beskou het nie, maar hulle is ook op soortgelyke wyse in meer onlangse historiografieë wat gepoog het om 'n meer inklusiewe beeld van die oorlog weer te gee, behandel. Revisionistiese navorsers het op swart betrokkenheid by die oorlog gefokus, en steeds het die rol van die Indiese hulptroepe grotendeels vergete gebly. In vergelyking hiermee is die rol van Gandhi se Ambulanskorps in die oorlog deeglik bekend. Die eeufeesviering van die Anglo-Boereoorlog was bedoel om 'n inklusiewe herdenking te wees, maar het insgelyks nie daarin geslaag om die openbare geheue aan hierdie troepe te herinner nie. Om op hulle bydrae te wys, mag miskien nie pas in 'n enggedefinieerde nasieboukonsep nie, maar dit is tog belangrik om erkenning te gee aan die uiteenlopende transnasionale elemente wat Suid-Afrika se verlede help skep het. Na die oorlog het die meeste van dié soldate na Indië teruggekeer. Slegs enkele van die veterane het in die land aangebly, waaronder kaptein Nawab Khan, wat by Gandhi se satyagraha-beweging aangesluit het.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/hist/54/1/EJC38348
2009-05-01
2016-12-05
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error