Finding a firm place for our armed forces in people’s hearts and minds!
From Flanders Fields to Mesopotamia, from North Africa and Italy to Burma, nearly four million soldiers of the Indian Army fought overseas during the two World Wars and one-hundred-and- fifty thousand of them perished.
The origin of that Army, which constituted the largest voluntary force in each of those wars, dates back to the 1700s when the English East India Company (EIC) began recruiting sepoy levies in the Carnatic and Gangetic plains and later in West and Northwest India. Initially raised as three Presidency Armies, Madras, Bengal and Bombay, they were later amalgamated to form a single one, that, through years of constant battling, moulded itself into a magnificent fighting force with few equals in the world. Following the trend, a sea arm took shape which was eventually to form the Indian Navy, its genesis marked by the induction of Indian sailors into the Bombay Marine, a force created by the EIC in the early 1600s to protect its coastal interests. Then, over the years, as aerial combat evolved, Indian flyers also took to the skies, the fledgling Indian Air Force cutting its teeth in the bloody frontier wars of the Northwest in which were once engaged the Royal Flying Corps.
The gallant traditions of unflinching courage under fire these intrepid soldiers, sailors and airmen wove in blood continue to inspire their worthy descendants in India’s armed forces, who have risen to the occasion time and time again since Independence to write their own chapters of valour and sacrifice while defending the nation’s integrity.Yet the country at large remains barely conscious of its prowess in arms and glorious military heritage. Even the many glorious Indian feats of arms after Independence, from Zojila to Bomdi La and Phillora to Bogra and Basantar and Tiger Hill have already faded into obscurity in the country’s collective consciousness
‘Colours of Glory’ seeks to fill this gap by promoting awareness of India’s proud military heritage, while popularising literature and art forms with a military theme, opening vistas of military tourism, and memorialising battles and war heroes.
About Colours of Glory
Founded by Capt D P Ramachandran, a war veteran and a military history enthusiast, in July 2016; we expect a groundswell of support from and active participation of veterans all over the country in our enterprise. The Foundation will indeed seek the co-operation of military units and establishments in whatever manner possible and will be open to contributions from serving members of the armed forces and general public; besides seeking sponsorship and donations by corporate organizations to propel forward this unique initiative, which is the first of its kind in the country.
The founder, who served in the army for ten years and later worked in the corporate sector for more than thirty, has authored two war books, Legion of the Brave [EastWest Books (Madras) Pvt. Ltd., Chennai, 2001],a narrative based on his experiences during the 1971 Bangladesh War and Empire’s First Soldiers [Lancer Publishers, New Delhi, 2008], a battlefield history of the South Indian Soldiery during the last two and a half centuries, besides authoring the essay on Military History for the prestigious compendium, Madras – Chennai – A 400-year record of the First City of Modern India [Palaniappa Brothers, Chennai, 2008] edited by S. Muthiah and championed by the Association of British Scholars,Chennai. He contributes articles on Military History to The Hindu occasionally.