While this battle must be studied as part of the military history of India and even commemorated as an example of bravery and the successful execution of a military mission, the idea of seeing the episode as a victory for liberty against the illiberal forces of the day, as is rendered in popular Indian discourse, is a poor reading of history. It should also not be lost on the Indian people that our heroic soldiers were not defending their country, but fighting a war that enabled the British colonizers to keep the land and sea route to the “Golden Bird” free from challengers. However, the Indians had little recourse to their agency, captive as they were under the coercion and cruelty of their colonial masters.
India and Israel’s celebration of the 1918 ‘liberation’ of the city from the Ottomans as a victory for liberty against the illiberal forces of the day is a poor reading of history.
Dr. Sujata Ashwarya