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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Delhi brings alive WWI memory - Indian Army exhibition


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There is in fact already an Indian National Army museum. It's at Moirang near Imphal but dedicated to WW2 INA activities as they joined forces with the Japanese. The loyal (to the Crown) Indian troops called them the "traitor army" but as we all know one mans traitor/terrorist is another mans patriot/freedom fighter.

No doubt the Indian Army of the Great War were loyal and were immensly brave.

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I visited the Moirang Museum last year, and as a military museum it is totally pathetic. I expected and wanted to see presentations of the few tactical successes that the INA achieved - reconnaissance, mine laying, subversion and the like, as well as its successful defence of a stretch of the Irrawady.

Instead you just get Subas Chandra Bose rammed down your throat.

This is a great pity as I have sympathy with the young jawans at Singapore who saw the British-dominated world that they knew crumble into dust under the feet of fellow Asiatic soldiers. I can understand why they were attracted to the INA, particularly the first INA under Mohan Singh, before Bose played around with it.

However all is not lost. Just up the road at Kohima the new museum there has some good visual presentations of the INA, its weapons and equipment - exactly what Moirang should have, but probably never will have.


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I haven't been to the new Kohima museum but last year I had the honour of officially opening the Imphal War Museum. It's early days for the WW2 Imphal Campaign Foundation that put it together and run it but it has impressed many people so much so that the Manipur government are willing to put money into the project to develop it further. Not only will this educate the Manipuri people of the heritage that surrounds them but will also encourage tourism which is vital to a poor state like Manipur.


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