To commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War, MPs Brett Hudson and Chris Bishop hosted the New Zealand premiere of the film ‘Farewell My Indian Soldier’ as a tribute to the Indian soldiers of the war.
The film was also made in memory of the two Indian ANZACs of New Zealand, Ratan Chand Mehra who was killed in Europe in 1915 and Jagt Singh who was injured in Gallipoli. Joining the movie event were MPs Kanwaljit Singh and Dr Parmjeet Parmar. Ekta NZ Inc. co-hosted the screening.
The documentary has been made by Parisian film maker, Vijay Singh, who traced India's involvement in the Great War through a French girl's desire to get information of Indian great grandfather who was stationed in France during the war.
It is the first time such a tribute has been screened in New Zealand Parliament for Indian soldiers.
"If only the dead Indian and Anzac soldiers could peep through a hole in the sky and see for themselves the loving memory they have left behind for the posterity. In flesh and blood, they might have been mortals, but their memory shall forever remain immortal,” Mr Vijay Singh said.
Expressing gratitude to WW100, the sposnor for the screening, Mr Singh said "WW100's support has also, in a manner so symbolic and dignified, brought together Indian and Anzac soldiers, just as they were in real life on the battlefields of the Western front.”
Several members of the diplomatic corps, civic and community leaders attended the screening along with members of the Indian community. Speaking at the event, the French Ambassador Ms Sylvaine Carta-Levert said that France could not forget the very important and significant role the Indian soldiers played in the War and in particular with regards to France.
Sir Anand Satyanand who made closing remarks at the event in thanking the organisers noted that it was very important that with diversity, the rich history that the new migrants bring with them like in this case of the Indian soldiers of the Great War should continue to be brought to the fore and highlighted.