Sunday, January 22, 2023
HomeSoftCoverNew book explores role played by Indian soldiers in expansion & also...

New book explores role played by Indian soldiers in expansion & also downfall of British empire

An online book discussion on Ravindra Rathee's book ‘True to Their Salt', published by HarperCollins, will be take place on 7 October on ThePrint's Softcover.

Text Size:

New Delhi: A new book by author Ravindra Rathee examines the contributions made by Indian soldiers in the expansion as well as downfall of the British empire. It looks at the world of Indian soldiers who enlisted in the armies under British rule.

Published by HarperCollins, Rathee’s book ‘True to Their Salt: The British Indian Army and an Alternative History of Decolonization’ will be released on 7 October on Softcover, ThePrint’s online venue to launch non-fiction books.

Rathee started his career as a journalist with the Times of India in Delhi, where he wrote on human rights and conflict resolution. After graduating from St Stephen’s College, he did an MA in Politics at the University of Hull as a British Chevening Scholar. For the past two decades, he has worked as a banker.

This is his first book, and it stems from extensive research on the military life of his grandfather during World War II.

Not much has been written on the Indian Army’s history, its experiences in international and national wars. Rathee said his book aims to “fill this literary lacuna”.

‘True to Their Salt’ also details how the pre-Partition military ran — from recruitment to salary structure, how Indian soldiers preserved their faith, and to how they dealt with their frustration at the racism they encountered.

Rathee said, “As I uncovered layers of narrative surrounding soldiers of the pre-partition Army, it was clear to me that there was a bigger story to tell.”

He added, “Colonisation of India, and her liberation, are best understood by delving deep into the instrument that achieved these contradictory objectives — the Colonial Army and the soldiers who marched in its ranks. I am delighted to be able to tell this story on India’s 75th Independence anniversary, which also coincides with the centenary of my grandfather’s birth.”

Udayan Mitra, executive publisher at HarperCollins, also mentioned the different layers that this book unpacks, especially race and decolonisation.

“The story of Indian soldiers combating not just seemingly insurmountable odds but also inequality and racism as they fought in the British Indian army comes alive in ‘True to Their Salt’, as the narrative moves beyond battlegrounds and acts of bravery to reveal a larger picture—the beginnings of decolonisation,” Mitra said.

Also read: ‘Social change is a process’: New book traces 75 years of grassroots interventions in India


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular