Admiring the courage and sacrifice of 1.5 million Indian soldiers during the World War 1, President Pranab Mukherjee today said Indian armed forces today is capable tackling the “pernicious designs” of terror outfits.
Inaugurating the commemorative exhibition on the theme “India and World War-I”, here Mukherjee said Indian soldiers etched their name in world history through their bravery and valour.
The war saw at least 74,187 Indian soldiers martyred and over 67,000 injured.
Mukherjee said Indian soldiers carved a niche for themselves by their outstanding loyalty, courage and selfless service and played a significant role in influencing the outcome of the World War I.
Allied Forces were in a position to sign an armistice because of the support of the Indian soldiers, he said.
The President said Indian soldiers not only won the pickets and trenches but also the hearts of the local population.
“The humble upbringing of these soldiers in their villages, the teachings of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata infused in the Indian soldier’s conscience a strong set of values” he said.
The President said these were the value of being “just” in their dealings with those whom they have vanquished and of “resolute stance” against the adversary when under siege.
These values made them a formidable fighting force, he said.
The first Indian soldier to win the Victoria Cross in World War 1, the highest British gallantry award, was Sepoy Khudadad Khan.
The President said a hundred years ago, the youth of many a nation were wasted on account of human greed and misguided notions.
“Today, conflicts arising out of pernicious designs of some terror outfits are claiming thousands of valuable lives in many parts of the world.