Actor and Old Harrovian Laurence Fox insists the appearance of a Sikh soldier in Sam Medes’s film 1917 is “forcing diversity” on viewers, which is, in his opinion, “institutionally racist”.
All that expensive education has been wasted on Fox, who clearly does not know that one soldier in every six in the British Army during the First World War was from the Indian sub-continent, with Sikh soldiers comprising one-fifth of Indian servicemen.
It’s been estimated that 74,187 Indian soldiers died fighting for the British between 1914 and 1918. Indians thought their service would be rewarded with self-governing dominion status within the British Empire after the war.
Instead, Britain “rewarded” the service of Indian soldiers with the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar on 13 April 1919, in which 400 innocent people were killed. The British ruling class forgot what they owed the Indian people just a year after the Great War finished, so it’s no surprise that over 100 years later, posh boy Fox doesn’t believe Sikh soldiers fought and died for Britain on the western front.