Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) 2016
Literary Heritage Walk organized by Streets of Calcutta (SOC)
The 7th edition of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Fest (AKLF) kicked off with a Literary Heritage Walk of College Street area on 10 Jan. 2016.
The walk was organized by the Streets of Calcutta (SOC) and I was privileged enough to lead this walk.
Bengali War Memorial
College Square, Calcutta (Kolkata)
Bengalis have never been a warrior race, and a Bengali fighting a war would be one of the last thing one can imagine. Bengalis are rather dubbed as book worms showing their excellence in academic fields.
But in the very heart of Kolkata’s academic hub stands a memorial dedicated to the Bengali warriors killed during World War I.
Located just at the entrance of East gate of College Square this monument is rarely visible as its is likely to be surrounded by posters or wet clothings left to dry. Top of the pillar, like memorial, is marked with the inscription “49 Bengalis.” 49 stood for the 49th Bengali Regiment.
The base contains the following inscriptions “In memory of members of The 49th Bengalee Regiment who died in the Great War, 1914-1918, To the Glory of God, King and Country.”
It is to be noted that 1,300,000 Indian troups fought by the side of British Armyin the First World War (1914 – 18) in far of countries like Egypt, Mesopotamia, France, etc. Although Indian soldiers were not allowed to rise as commissioned officers, but £115 million was paid from the Indian exchequer.
The other three sides of the memorial base contains the names of the 49 Bengalis killed in the Great War of 1914 – 1918. It also contains the following information of Reg. No., Rank, Date of Death, District from which come.
The districts are Midnapore, Mymensinh, Murshidabad, Nadia, Calcutta, Jessore, Burdwan, Pabna, Chittagong, Khulna, Barisal, Faridpore, Pabna, 24-Parganas and Tripura (Tipperah).
Sadly the cultural active Bengali’s have forgotten the heroic deeds of their forefathers and the Bengali War memorial lies in utter neglect – forgotten & neglected.
Tears for subaltern by Soumitra Das
List of my Blog entries on Calcutta (Kolkata)