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On the left, Farrukh Mirza and on the right; myself.

I have known Farrukh since we were both 5 years old. We went to school together. He is now a Doctor in California. Not bad for 2; 56 year old Asian Uncles from the East. This picture was taken in South London when we met up after many years.

Both our fathers spent their entire working lives as Radio Operators after the Second World War ended, in which they fought as part of the Indian 8th Army; (at a time when their own homeland was under British Occupation) in a war that had nothing to do with them and pitted them against the Working Class of Europe and North Africa. My father was assigned to the Palestinian Mandate after Benghazi and Sirte. Farrukh’s father went on to the final assault at Monte Cassino; where eventually the War basically ended.

The Indian 8th Army fought heroically and her combatants were awarded 28 Victoria Crosses during the Great War Against Fascism; yet today their achievements remain un-celebrated and forgotten by the very same Imperialists who initiated that conflict and had to then resort to 4 Million Volunteer Servicemen/women from Occupied India to bail them out. Their children, the two guys above amongst them, spent their youth being referred to as Pakis and the homeland they left behind to slug it out 5000 miles away for an Imperialist OverLord; went on to be referenced in those same lands; as a Third World Country full of tea-boys, curry-munchers and cyber-coolies.
After the traumatic and cataclysmic partition of British India; Farrukh’s grandfather chose Karachi over their home of Jaipur and my grandfather had to leave North Bengal; which subsequently became East Pakistan. Both Farrukh’s father and mine opposed The Partition. The evidence is in the picture above. Our fathers fought together in a totally unnecessary conflict and their children, even as we both approach our 60s, remain buddies.

There is no division between people. Spend your Life with a laser-like focus to eradicate the disease of BullShit from Society; and to Live As One, United In The Common Struggle. There is No Other Way.

Supratim Barman, MSc – Queen Mary – University of London. Kolkata, The Republic of India. I live between the two extreme edges of what was the British Empire, in the vast and important cities of Kolkata and London; with the midpoint being where I was born and where I grew up, Bahrain: observing and experiencing events in a time of great change.


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2 Comments

  1. Farooque Chowdhury says:

    “and to Live As One, United In The Common Struggle. There is No Other Way.” Thanks for the spirit and the urge. Thanks for the interesting and inspiring article.

    • Many Thanks for your Kind Words. After the War, our Fathers, (having engaged in Direct Combat vs Europeans on Europe’s own soil), understood the weak measure of the British Occupying Forces and knew that upon their return was the time for the British to leave and that they be allowed to live with Dignity in their own Homeland (having liberated the European Lands from an Occupying Force), in an Independent India based on the principles of the Unity of the Working Man.

      The Imperialists sensing this then immediately disbanded the 8th Army after the War. They remained helpless (in the face of OxBridge educated collaborators and their disease of political machination), when just 2 years later they were both uprooted from their ancestral homes never to see them again. Both our fathers knew there is no difference between people. They were 18 years old in 1944 and had engaged in a conflict that (at that time); seemed like the End of the World.