Advertisement

Mirrors of Violence: Inter-racial Sex, Colonial Anxieties and Disciplining the Body of the Indian Soldier During the First World War

  • Gajendra SinghEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)

Abstract

This chapter will explore the war letters of Indian soldiers during the First World War. It will argue that the letters that survive are simultaneously artefacts of colonial surveillance and soldiering polysemy—sites of alterity as soldiers became aware they were being surveilled. Soldiers’ letters reveal that the violences of military service in the colonial Indian Army were twinned and mirrored in the violences soldiers began to perform upon their own bodies. The inter-racial sexual encounter both threatened imperial hierarchies and enflamed markers of ethnicity and religion for soldiers trapped in the trenches of France. It led to extraordinary efforts to police and prevent its occurrence first by the Indian Army and then by its soldiers alone.

Keywords

Sexual Encounter Andaman Island European Woman British Library Assistant Surgeon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

Unpublished Primary Sources

  1. Reports of the Censor of Indian Mails in France, 1914-1915 [CIM 1914-1915], Military Department Papers, Asia and Africa Collection, British Library, L/MIL/5/825.Google Scholar
  2. Reports of the Censor of Indian Mails in France, 1915-1916 [CIM 1915-1916], Military Department Papers, Asia and Africa Collection, British Library L/MIL/5/826.Google Scholar
  3. Reports of the Censor of Indian Mails in France, 1917-1918 [CIM 1917-1918], Military Department Papers, Asia and Africa Collection, British Library, L/MIL/5/827.Google Scholar
  4. Reports of the Censor of Indian Mails in France, 1917-1918 [CIM 1917-1918], Military Department Papers, Asia and Africa Collection, British Library, L/MIL/5/828.Google Scholar

Secondary Sources

  1. Anand, Mulk Raj. 2011. Across the Black Waters. Delhi: Orient Paperbacks.Google Scholar
  2. Anon. (Katherine Lourd),Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front, 1914-1915, E(Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1915)Google Scholar
  3. Bouchareb, Rachid. 2006. Indigènes. TF1 Vido.Google Scholar
  4. Cohen, Stephen Philip. 1971. The Indian Army: Its Contribution to the Development of a Nation. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  5. Dawson, H. Danvers. 1918. Who Are the Gurkhas? In The Empire Annual for Boys, edited by A.R. Buckland, 119–21. London.Google Scholar
  6. Downing, Walter Hubert, and J.M. Arthur. 1990. W.H. Downing’s Digger Dialects. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Fanon, Frantz. 1987. Black Skin, White Masks. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  8. Jenkinson, Jacqueline. 2009. Black 1919: Riots, Racism and Resistance in Imperial Britain. Vol. 5. Postcolonialism across the Disciplines. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Kaushik Roy, Brown Warriors of the Raj: Recruitment and the Mechanics of Command in the Sepoy Army, 1859–1913, (New Delhi: Manohar, 2008).Google Scholar
  10. Kimber, Hugh. 1927. San Fairy Ann. London.Google Scholar
  11. Kimloan Hill, ‘Sacrifices, Sex, Race: Vietnamese Experiences in the First World War’, Santanu Das (ed.),Race, Empire and First World War Writing, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)Google Scholar
  12. Kipling, Rudyard. 1999. The Letters of Rudyard Kipling, Volume 4: 1911–1919. Edited by Thomas Pinney. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.Google Scholar
  13. Levine, Philippa. 1998. Battle Colors: Race, Sex, and Colonial Soldiery in World War I. Journal of Women’s History 9(4): 104–30.Google Scholar
  14. Omissi, David. 1999. Indian Voices of the Great War: Soldiers’ Letters, 1914–18. Basingstoke: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  15. Ondaatje, Michael. 1992. The English Patient. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  16. Oram, Gerard, and Clive Emsley. 1998. Worthless Men: Race, Eugenics and the Death Penalty in the British Army during the First World War. London: Francis Boutle.Google Scholar
  17. Singh, Gajendra. 2014. The Testimonies of Indian Soldiers and the Two World Wars: Between Self and Sepoy. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  18. Smith, Graham. 1987. When Jim Crow Met John Bull: Black American Soldiers in World War II Britain. New York: St Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  19. Smith, Richard. 2005. Jamaican Volunteers in the First World War: Race, Masculinity and the Development of National Consciousness. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Stoler, Ann Laura. 1992. Sexual Affronts and Racial Frontiers: European Identities and the Cultural Politics of Exclusion in Colonialist Southeast Asia. Comparative Studies in Society and History 34 pp. 514-551.Google Scholar
  21. Tan, Taiyong. 2005. The Garrison State: The Military, Government and Society in Colonial Punjab, 1849–1947. Vol. 8. Sage Series in Modern Indian History. New Delhi: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of ExeterExterUK

Personalised recommendations