The Coolie’s Great War: Indian Labour in a Global Conflict 1914-1921

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Author: Radhika Singha

9789353579852 | HB | pp. 396 | 2020 | HarperCollins Publishers

The Coolie’s Great War is a spectacular history of the lakhs of unacknowledged Indian labourers who kept the Allied supply lines flowing in the First World War.

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9789353579852 | Hardback | 396 | 2020 | HarperCollins Publishers

The Coolie's Great War is a spectacular history of the lakhs of unacknowledged Indian labourers who kept the Allied supply lines flowing in the First World War.

Delivery: Ships in 2-4 days

Though largely invisible in histories of the First World War, over 5,50,000 men in the ranks of the Indian army were non-combatants. From the porters, stevedores and construction workers in the Coolie Corps to those who maintained supply lines and removed the wounded from the battlefield, the author recovers the story of this unacknowledged service.

The labour regimes built on the backs of these ‘coolies’ sustained the military infrastructure of empire; their deployment in interregional arenas bent to the demands of global war. Viewed as racially subordinate and subject to ‘non-martial’ caste designations, they fought back against their status, using the warring powers’ need for manpower as leverage to challenge traditional service hierarchies and wage differentials.

The Coolie’s Great War views that global conflict through the lens of Indian labour, constructing a distinct geography of the war-from tribal settlements and colonial jails, beyond India’s frontiers, to the battlefronts of France and Mesopotamia.

Author:

Radhika Singha

ISBN:

9789353579852

Binding:

Hardback

Pages:

396

Year of Publication:

2020

Publisher:

HarperCollins Publishers

Edition:

First

Condition:

New

Country of Origin:

India

About the Author

The author is Professor of Modern Indian History at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her research interests focus on the social history of crime and criminal law, identification practices, governmentality, borders and border-crossing.

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