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0170 Neelima Jeychandran, Representing and Reconstructing Memories of the World Wars in India

RIHA Journal 0170 | 27 June 2017

Representing and Reconstructing Memories of the World Wars in India

Neelima Jeychandran

Abstract

This paper examines the material memorialization of the World Wars in India by looking at the India Gate, the archway located at the center of the Indian national capital, New Delhi. Although dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives in World War I, the India Gate has become a symbolic commemorative monument that represents the sacrifices of all the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the battles fought by the modern Indian state. Focusing on the multi-textured renderings of history, this paper illustrates how old memories and histories are repurposed and refashioned at the India Gate.

Introduction

[1] After World War I, the colonial British government in India constructed various memorials in order to pay tribute to fallen Indian soldiers. Several modest monuments and memorial plaques still stand in Indian cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, and New Delhi to commemorate the sacrifices of Indian soldiers in the World Wars. While most of these memorials are small and austere, the India Gate, formerly known as the All-India War Memorial, in the national capital of New Delhi is an imposing structure and a symbolic monument of public importance (Fig. 1).

1 The view of the India Gate as seen from the Rajpath (photo by author, 2015)

[2] Other than the World War memorials, there are also cemeteries maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission that preserve the memory of the dead. These include the cemetery in the cantonment area of Delhi and the war cemetery in the city of Kohima in the northeastern state of Nagaland, the latter specifically designated for soldiers who fought for the British Empire against the invading Japanese forces in World War II. The histories of the World Wars are also featured in the Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum at Ludhiana in the northern Indian state of Punjab, since a sizeable number of combat and noncombat recruits of the British Indian Army were from the state of Punjab. Besides the occasional commemoration ceremony performed during national festivals at some of these sites, memories of the World Wars are often disregarded in contemporary India and most of these memorials are neglected and overlooked. Although military and political historians have analyzed the participation of Indians in the two World Wars, there is very little study on the experiences and memories of Indian soldiers and the process of memorialization in India.

[3] The India Gate is one notable exception, a World War I memorial that is also New Delhi's most prominent landmark and a symbol of modern India. While built to commemorate the lives of soldiers killed in various theaters of war during World War I, today it exists as a palimpsest memorial where memories of past wars are conflated with more recent wars fought by the Indian state. The monument and its surroundings have become a significant site for the Indian state to perform national rituals and spectacles of the state. Moreover, the precincts of the India Gate are also an important space for disenfranchised publics to stage resistance against the government and for citizens' movements to showcase concerns about various issues. By mobilizing arguments put forth by Memory Studies scholars, I discuss how an archway that was constructed to monumentalize the lives of Indian soldiers who died in World War I has over the years been transformed into a site of remembrance for various social and political battles fought within India as well as on international soil, and how it survives as a place of superimposed and multi-textured memories.

[4] To begin, I briefly examine Indians' roles in the World Wars and outline how the British government monumentalized India's contributions by constructing a memorial arch in their newly planned imperial capital of New Delhi. I then discuss how memories about India's complex participation in World War I have become enmeshed with the memories of the wars that the Indian state has fought over subsequent years with its neighbors. In the second half of the chapter, I draw on arguments of memory theorists to frame the India Gate as a site of memory and discuss the potency and emblematic valence of the India Gate and its surrounding landscape. Finally, I demonstrate the ways in which histories of war(s) are often resuscitated and remembered through choreographed state performances and counter movements by populations.

A Memorial for Indian Soldiers

[5] Although soldiers from undivided India constituted one of the largest volunteer forces in the World Wars, the participation of Indians does not feature in mainstream historical discourses, either in India or elsewhere.1 Santanu Das argues that the voices of the Indian soldiers have been muffled. Das notes that "[c]oming largely from the semiliterate, peasant-warrior classes of northern India, these men and their stories have been doubly marginalized: they have mostly been ignored in Indian nationalist-elitist historiography as well as in the modern European memory of the First World War."2 Indian soldiers fought in an alien land in adverse weather and hostile conditions, yet despite their exploits in Europe and their courage and determination, their contributions have been prominently represented in neither memorials and museums nor mainstream institutional discourses and literary works.

[6] In World War I, a total of 800,000 Indian soldiers fought in all theaters of the war including Gallipoli and North and East Africa.3 After the outbreak of war in Europe, the colonial British Empire urged assistance and support from Indian political parties and rulers of princely states. Support in the form of finance and manpower came from different fronts in the hope that the British would consider and grant self-government in India. Amongst the countries under the British Empire, India made the largest contribution in terms of manpower with a total number of 877,068 combatants and 563,369 noncombatants, in addition to 239,561 men who served in various capacities in the British Indian Army in 1914.4 Besides, in 1917 about 48,000 laborers were also dispatched forming an Indian Labor Corps with recruits largely from the northeastern part of India.5 The total causalities of war were 121,598, with about 53,486 dead, 64,350 injured, and 3,762 declared either missing or imprisoned.6

[7] In World War II again, India supported the British with about 2.5 million soldiers who fought in different fronts of war and the princely states funded a great deal of war expenses.7 Kaushik Roy states that "the Indian units fought in Egypt and South-East Asia against Axis powers. From 1943 onwards, the war in Burma was mostly conducted by the Indian Army."8 Unlike World War I, Indian soldiers' participation in the World War II was complicated as the Indian National Army (INA) revived by Subhas Chandra Bose collaborated with the Axis powers and fought mostly in the eastern theaters of war. Bose, a popular, yet controversial leader of the Indian nationalist movement, felt that militaristic strength and strategic external alliances were the path to oust the British from India and establish self-governance. Soldiers of the INA fought alongside the offensive Japanese forces at the Arakan Mountains along the India-Burma border and also in Imphal and Kohima in northeastern states of India, where they suffered heavy losses and were forced to retreat.9 The fraught situation of Indian soldiers aligning with the Japanese to fight against the British Indian Army generated contesting memories of World War II in the subcontinent. After the war, while European writers of popular literature ignored the Indian soldiers' tactical approach and adeptness on foreign soil in favor of racial appearance and ethnic getups, on the home front, the bravery and fortitude of Indian soldiers were soon forgotten as the nationalist movement gained impetus with the struggle for an independent India. Although memories of Indian participation in the World Wars soon lapsed as fluid cultural memories, they became nonetheless crystallized through commemorative monuments.

[8] It was a practice of the colonial British government to build monuments to honor the role of native soldiers who fought under their banner during World Wars I and II. The All-India War Memorial was planned for the new imperial capital of Delhi and was an initiative of the Imperial War Graves Commission. The monumental gateway was intended to publically acknowledge the contributions and valor of Indian soldiers, as well as to assuage the worsening relationship between the leaders of the Indian freedom movement and the imperial regime. In 1921, the foundation stone of the monument was laid by the Duke of Connaught in a public ceremony and a miniature model of the memorial archway was placed on display for the public to view. The construction of the monument was fully completed in 1931 and was unveiled when the new imperial capital was inaugurated by the then viceroy of India, Lord Irwin, who dedicated the monument to the public of India.

[9] The monument was designed by the English architect Edwin Lutyens, who had constructed several war memorials and cenotaphs, while the construction of the memorial was undertaken by the Punjabi contractor Sobha Singh, who also built several other significant buildings in Delhi such as the South Block and The National Museum. Lutyens designed the monument as part of the architectural plan of Delhi and he made a conscious effort to avoid any Hindu or Islamic architectural features and stylistic elements in order to render it a secular memorial to represent various cultural and religious groups. Although Lutyens was commemorating the sacrifices of Indian soldiers, his conception of the memorial was rooted in ideas of British imperial paternalism.10

[10] The monument is about 139 feet tall (42,3 meter) with its main structure resting on a base of Bharatpur stone, a common feature of all the significant buildings in Lutyens' Delhi. From the red color stone base rises a coffered arch with stylized imperial suns at the top and a dentilled cornice above them. Inscribed at the top on the massive molding on both faces is "India", bordered by the Roman numeral MCMXIV (i.e. 1914) on the left and MCMXIX (i.e. 1919) on the right. In describing the stylistic characteristics of the monument, art historian Monica Juneja notes: "The massive, austere façade is punctuated by sculpted panels of stonework relief and a dentilled cornice separating the huge central arch from the heavy masonry of the attic above."11 Surmounted on top of the structure is a shallow vessel intended to be filled with oil and lit on anniversaries, although this tradition is no longer followed. Within the side arches, large stone pine cones are set on top of urns to symbolize renewal and perpetuity.

[11] As is true for the design and iconographic symbolisms of most commemorative structures, Lutyens was attempting to illustrate how the sacrifices of the dead shall not be forgotten in the historical memory of the subcontinent. The names of 60,000 Indian soldiers who died overseas in World War I, as well as about 13,516 British and Indian officers who lost their lives in the Afghan wars, are engraved on the brick surface. As a later addition to this memoryscape, names of soldiers who lost their lives on wars fought by the Indian state were inserted. Monica Juneja has argued that like other war memorials, the India Gate "partakes of the elegiac qualities of war memorials across the globe."12 As Juneja points out, this elegiac tone is set by the inscription on the top of the arch, which states:

To the dead of the Indian armies who fell and are honoured in France and Flanders Mesopotamia and Persia East Africa Gallipoli and elsewhere in the near and the far east and in sacred memory also of those whose names are here recorded and who fell in India on the north west frontier and during the Third Afghan War.

[12] In the design of the All-India War Memorial, Lutyens borrowed stylistic and architectural elements of monuments he previously executed in South Africa and Britain, yet it was not until the All-India War Memorial that he achieved the scale he wanted and was able to elaborate on the classical form of the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile.13 Although he was designing a memorial to commemorate the sacrifices of Indian soldiers and suit the architectural characteristics of a new imperial city, Lutyens design of the memorial owes most to the Neoclassical Parisian landmark. Moreover, the All-India War Memorial was positioned by Lutyens at the end of the ceremonial axis on the King's Way, similar to the placement of the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Élysées. In addition, a memorial to the Immortal Soldier lies under the vault of the India Gate, again mirroring the Arc de Triomphe under which lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

[13] The All-India War Memorial was designed as the focal point of Lutyens' architectural layout of New Delhi. The memorial lies at one end of the long axis known as Rajpath, which was formerly called the King's Way. At the other end of this processional axis is the magnificent Rashtrapati Bhavan or Presidential House, which was the Viceroy's residence during the British Raj. At the shoulder of the long axis are official buildings and along this processional road are manicured lawns and fountains. The long processional axis of the Rajpath is the venue for the spectacular Indian Republic Day parade and other cultural events.

[14] Visible through the archway of the India Gate is a tall canopy or chattri designed by Lutyens to house the statue of George V, although the statue was removed along with other such relics of the British Raj following independence in 1947. While there were plans to place a statue of Mahatma Gandhi under the canopy, they were never carried out and today the chattri stands empty. The land beyond the India Gate and the chattri was allocated to rulers from the princely states to build their palaces. The empty chattri represents just one of many transformations that have taken place at the site since its construction. Following India's independence from the British rule, the All-India War Memorial was renamed as the India Gate and repurposed by the state as a national heritage symbol.

[15] In 1971, a war memorial was commissioned to be erected under the vault of the India Gate to honor the memories of Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the Bangladesh Liberation War fought against Pakistan. Many lives were lost as India and Pakistan employed massive ground and air attacks mostly on the western border. The war ended on December 17, 1971, as Pakistani forces in East Pakistan surrendered spurring to the formulation of a new state called the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The then Prime Minster of India, Indira Gandhi, rushed to build a memorial that would be inaugurated on the Indian Republic Day ceremony on January 26, 1972. The solemn memorial called the Amar Jawan Jyoti ("the flame of the immortal soldier") is a modest cenotaph-like structure in black marble on which an inverted rifle is surmounted, crested by a soldier's helmet. Etched in gold are the words amar jawan ("immortal soldier") on the four faces of the cenotaph in Hindi. The structure of the amar jawan stands on a plain rectangular edifice (Fig. 2). An eternal flame called amar jawan jyoti ("the flame of the immortal soldier") placed on the four corners on the edifice burns perennially day and night. The memorial is guarded around the clock by officers hailing from the three services of the Indian Armed Forces.

2 The Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial under the vault of the India Gate (photo by author, 2015)

[16] Currently a National War Memorial is planned for the lawns right behind the India Gate to honor the soldiers who dedicated their lives for India, as well as to showcase the military history of ancient and modern India. Although first proposed in 1960, the project was shelved and only reconsidered in 2012. In 2015, the government approved the proposal to build a national war memorial and a museum, and has then launched a global architectural competition to seek designs that will "combine architectural aesthetics and public sentiments" to pay tribute to the brave soldiers.14

[17] Today on the façade of the India Gate, alongside the names of the martyrs of the World Wars, the names of soldiers who died in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War and Kargil War are engraved. Moreover, names of soldiers who are honored with the highest gallantry award, the Param Vir Chakra are also inscribed alongside the names of soldiers of World War I. On this architectural structure, old and new memories are continuously re-inscribed as the Indian state battles with new enemies and external threats. The façade of the India Gate has become a palimpsest memoryscape as reminiscences of old and new wars are etched alongside the surface of the memorial to collectively articulate a grand narrative on Indian nationalism that is so often politically scripted. Old memories and histories of the monument were once again rekindled and reinvented when on March 10, 2015, the President of India Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Centenary Commemoration of the First World War to be observed from 2014 to 2018. The Prime Minster of India Narendra Modi, the Union Defense Minister, chiefs of three wings of the armed forces and also foreign dignitaries have visited the Amar Jawan Jyoti to pay their homage. The centenary commemorative ceremony began on March 10 to remember the day the Battle of Neuve Chapelle started in France in which the Garhwal Brigade and the Meerut Division of the Indian Corps fought for the British Indian Army.15 Time and again, at the India Gate memories of the great wars as well as new wars fought by India are collectively remembered and also constantly reinterpreted and repurposed to serve the occasion.

Remembering the Wars

[18] We have seen that war memorials and monuments operate as sites that preserve the memories of traumatic episodes of the past. These sites are created by the state to facilitate the remembrance of specific events and the narration of histories. Like other war memorials, the India Gate is also a public space freely accessible to the people and plays an emblematic role in the articulation of institutional and social memory of the many wars.

[19] Memory studies have seen a renewed discussion about the remembering of fraught historical events, as scholars attempt to unpack how new memories displace old ones and how at times different memories are conflated to create new patterns of recall. To further understand how different memories of the World Wars and other wars coalesce at the India Gate memorial, it will be useful to explore the theoretical concept of multidirectional memory proposed by Michael Rothberg. According to Rothberg, memory has no one format of approach, since it is as an ongoing negotiation subjected to change and external mediation. Thus its forms of rendition can be diverse, in turn prompting multiple forms of remembrances.16 Exemplifying Rothberg's arguments, the India Gate hosts a multidirectional recollection of the past, one that simultaneously makes reference to colonial history, memorialization of the dead soldiers of World War I, conflicted remembrance of World War II, a decolonized historical narrative of the Indian state, and a celebration of the modern India that includes commemoration of martyrs of India's many wars.

[20] The phrase "urban palimpsest" is an apt reference for the India Gate and the Amar Jawan Jyoti, the former memorial built to articulate India's colonial history of war and the latter to represent India's fraught post-independence history and cross-border political conflicts. I borrow the term "urban palimpsest" from Andreas Huyssen to illustrate the multiple additional operations of these two memorials. As Huyssen suggests, an urban palimpsest "implies voids, illegibilities, and erasures, but it also offers a richness of traces and memories, restorations and new constructions that will mark the city as a lived space."17 Material traces from the colonial era become enmeshed with nationalistic display, thereby demonstrating how colonial monuments are repurposed and re-presented in the postcolonial phase. At the India Gate, the visible material traces of the past also signal the absent narratives of the collaboration of the Indian National Army with the Japanese forces during World War II. The rearticulation of the past at the India Gate is thus filled with obscurities as fraught histories of colonial British government imprisoning and even persecuting Indian soldiers who fought alongside the Japanese forces remain largely untold in the grand narrative of commemoration of Indian soldiers. The various place-making moves have transformed the India Gate into a palimpsest memorial that metonymically signifies a geography of death, a war memoryscape, and a symbol of Indian nationalism.

[21] Places of memory are often venues for performing cultural and national rituals, and the India Gate is no exception. Through mnemonic practices and commemorative performances orchestrated by the state, the sacrifices of Indian soldiers are celebrated at both the India Gate and the Amar Jawan Jyoti, especially during the celebrations of Indian Republic Day and Independence Day. During the Republic Day celebration on January 26, the day that marks the establishment of the Constitution of India, all Indian soldiers who have fought and sacrificed their lives for the country are remembered. On this occasion, the Prime Minister of India along with the chiefs of the three service forces pay homage to the martyred soldiers by laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti. Amongst the highlights of the Republic Day celebrations are the conferring of bravery awards to soldiers by the President of India followed by a grand parade on the Rajpath. It is an occasion to display India's militaristic strength through the showcase of military technology and aircrafts, as well as to present the vibrant culture through floats and folk performances. Since this ceremony has become an avenue to showcase the history and development of the Indian state, the complex colonial history of the venue and the sacrifices of Indian soldiers during the World Wars have become buried under a grand narrative celebrating the progression of the Indian state. Although all rituals and festivities of the Republic Day celebration are extensively televised with detailed commentary, there is hardly any mention of the association of the India Gate with the two World Wars. When the Prime Minister of India participates in state rituals at the India Gate, the narrative is more nationalistic in tone and one hears that the ceremony is performed to honor the sacrifices of soldiers who died protecting the nation during the India-Pakistan wars.

[22] Other than two important national celebrations, the Republic Day and Independence Day, the sacrifices of Indian soldiers are also remembered on two other occasions. Vijay Diwas, or Victory Day, on December 16, marks India's victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war. India's victory over Pakistan on July 26, 1999, when Indian troupes ousted Pakistani infiltrators, is celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas, Kargil Victory Day. On both occasions, ceremonial placing of the wreath is performed by the Defense Minister of India and the chiefs of the three service forces.

[23] Places of memory such as war cemeteries and monuments are often used to make statements and illustrate cultural and political histories. In analyzing the different formats through which memory is mapped, scholar of memory Aleida Assmann distinguishes four different frames or dimensions of memory and she states that while individual and social memory is embodied and subjective, the political and cultural formats of memory are mediated by histories and power structures.18 In the case of the India Gate, political agendas of the ruling governments have played a major role in defining and redesigning the commemoratives practices of war(s), martyrdom, and sacrifice. After India's independence, the newly formed nation faced the challenge of connecting and establishing solidarity amongst a population that was diverse, dispersed, and disparate. The imagery of secular monuments and heritage sites such as the India Gate were used to construct a national identity that enunciated the secular and non-partisan ideals of a new nation. Thus the image of the India Gate is now featured on postal stamps, various government pamphlets, and in advertisements promoting the brand "India".

[24] Today, the India Gate is packaged and endorsed as a heritage site by the tourism industry and is a popular tourist attraction in New Delhi visited both by domestic and international tourists. In examining the touristic value of memory places such as the India Gate, authors Carole Blair, Greg Dickinson, and Brian L. Ott have noted, memory places are destinations and they require visitors to travel to them to understand the past.19 Despite being a war memorial, during the day the site bustles with tourists and vendors selling inexpensive jewelry, postcards, Indian flags, toys, balloons, sodas, ice-creams, cotton candy, popcorn, and a variety of Indian savories (Fig. 3).

3 Street vendors selling toys, sweets, and savories near the India Gate (photo by author, 2015)

[25] While access to the India Gate and the Amar Jawan Jyoti are cordoned off by the police, tourists still have a photo opportunity in front of the archway. In the night, the lush green lawns and parks in the environs of the monument attract a lot of local residents. It is also a favorite picnic spot and the locals throng the place during weekends to enjoy fresh air and rest on the lush green grounds with families and friends in a city which is otherwise congested and busy.

[26] As well as a site for state-organized ceremonies, public celebrations, picnics, India Gate is now a site for protest. The India Gate and the perpendicular road in front of it have witnessed several public marches, candle light vigils, and silent demonstrations calling for civil action and justice. Such calls became popularized after the blockbuster Bollywood movie Rang De Basanti (2006), in which the young heroes protest against a corrupt Defense Minister and the government in order to seek justice for the death of their friend, a pilot in the Indian Air Force who was killed as a result of faulty aircraft machinery. The movie shows a crowd of people led by the heroes marching with candles on the Rajpath towards the India Gate to alert the public of India about the rampant corruption in the Defense Ministry. For students, hungry farmers, women empowerment groups, and disenfranchised communities seeking justice, the India Gate has become a site to publicly appeal for and seek action on issues against the government and lawmakers. With the surroundings of the India Gate now an important setting for the civil protestors who want to make their cause more visible it has become an avenue for staging social protest theater, thereby adding yet another layer of meaning to the palimpsest memoryscape of the India Gate.

Conclusion

[27] As a public space, the India Gate and the lawns around the monument have come to serve many different purposes for different people. Although designed as a World War memorial, the India Gate has become in the present day a symbolic commemorative monument to honor the sacrifices of all the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in battles fought by the Indian state. At this site, not only is a multi-textured narrative of the wars knit together and disseminated as public discourse, but also other old memories and histories are repurposed and refashioned through commemoration rituals organized by the state. The symbolic significance of the sight is further enhanced during the Indian Republic Day parade, which is a theatrical spectacle through which militaristic power, patriotism, and cultural heritage are all showcased on the Rajpath. Choreographed acts by the state thus play an important role in redefining official histories to their own benefit in order to generate a discourse premised on Indian nationalism. For a majority of the Indian citizens, the India Gate is a monument that marks the emergence of India as an independent nation and a site that also honors the soldiers who lost their lives during the Indo-Pakistan war(s). Purposeful histories of Indian participation in World War I and poignant memories of India's bloody wars with neighboring state Pakistan become enmeshed at the India Gate to produce knowledge of the past – however conflicting – that is discursive and dynamic.

Guest Editors of Special Issue

Christian Fuhrmeister and Kai Kappel (eds.), War Graves, War Cemeteries, and Memorial Shrines as a Building Task, 1914-1989. Die Bauaufgabe Soldatenfriedhof/Kriegsgräberstätte zwischen 1914 und 1989, in: RIHA Journal 0150-0176

Recommended Citation

Neelima Jeychandran, Representing and Reconstructing Memories of the World Wars in India, RIHA Journal 0170, 27 June 2017, URL: http://www.riha-journal.org/articles/2017/0150-0176-special-issue-war-graves/0170-jeychandran, URN: [see metadata].

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The text of this article is provided under the terms of the Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

1 Kaushik Roy, "Introduction: Warfare, Society, and the Indian Army during the Two World wars", in: The Indian Army in the Two World Wars, ed. Kaushik Roy, Leiden/Boston 2012, 1-30, here 1-2.

2 Santanu Das, Race, Empire and First World War Writing, Cambridge 2011, 70.

3 The exact number of Indian soldiers who fought for the British Army in World War I is a contested topic with several historians giving a different number.

4 Das, Race, Empire and First World War Writing, 70.

5 Claude Markovits, "Indian Soldiers Experience in France During World War I: Seeing Europe From the Rear of the Front", in: The World in World Wars: Experiences, Perceptions and Perspectives from Africa and Asia, eds. Heike Liebau et al., Leiden 2010, 29-44, here 34.

6 Budheswar Pati, India and the First World War 1914-1918, New Delhi 1996, 38.

7 Thomas M. Leonard, ed., Encyclopedia of the Developing World, New York 2006, 361.

8 Roy, "Introduction", 1.

9 Kaushik Roy, India and World War II: War, Armed Forces, and Society, 1939-45, New Delhi 2016, 106.

10 David A. Johnson, New Delhi: The Last Imperial City, New York 2015, 192.

11 Monica Juneja, "The Making of New Delhi", in: Modernity's Classics, eds. Sarah C. Humphreys and Rudolf G. Wagner, Berlin/Heidelberg 2013, 23-54, here 42.

12 Juneja, "The Making of New Delhi", 42.

13 Jeroen Geurst, Cemeteries of the Great War by Sir Edwin Lutyens, Rotterdam 2010, 415.

14 https://www.mygov.in/task/global-design-competition-national-war-memorial/ (accessed April 8, 2017).

15 Dinaker Peri, "Pranab Mukherjee Inaugurates WW-I Centenary Commemoration", 2015, http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pranab-mukherjee-inaugurates-wwi-centenary-commemoration/article6975218.ece (accessed April 8, 2017).

16 Michael Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization, Stanford 2009, 2-3.

17 Andreas Huyssen, Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory, Stanford 2003, 84.

18 Aleida Assmann, "Re-framing Memory: Between Individual and Collective Forms of Constructing the Past", in: Performing the Past: Memory, and Identity in Modern Europe, eds. Karin Tilmans, Frank Van Vree, and Jay Winter, Amsterdam 2010, 35-50, here 40, 42.

19 Carole Blair, Greg Dickinson, and Brian L. Ott, "Introduction: Rhetoric/Memory/Place", in: Places of Public Memory: The Rhetoric of Museums and Memorials, eds. Greg Dickinson, Carole Blair, and Brian L. Ott, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 2010, 1-54, here 26.



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0170
Representing and Reconstructing Memories of the World Wars in India
This paper examines the material memorialization of the World Wars in India by looking at the India Gate, the archway located at the center of the Indian national capital, New Delhi. Although dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives in World War I, the India Gate has become a symbolic commemorative monument that represents the sacrifices of all the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the battles fought by the modern Indian state. Focusing on the multi-textured renderings of history, this paper illustrates how old memories and histories are repurposed and refashioned at the India Gate.
Munich, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (ZI)
Lermer, Andrea
CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0
English
India Gate, New Delhi, memoryscape, war memorials, palimpsest memorial
20th Century, Visual Studies, Other Art Forms
ODT document RIHA_Journal_0170_Jeychandran.odt — ODT document, 966 KB
PDF document RIHA_Journal_0170_Jeychandran.odt.pdf — PDF document, 494 KB
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2de87769e7cc7fbf3000abbcfe29d2f6
Fig. 01 Fig. 01 The view of the India Gate as seen from the Rajpath (photo by author, 2015)
Fig. 02 Fig. 02 The Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial under the vault of the India Gate (photo by author, 2015)
Fig. 03 Fig. 03 Street vendors selling toys, sweets, and savories near the India Gate (photo by author, 2015)
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