Int’l Seminar on ‘Centenary of First World War’ Inaugurated at St Aloysius College
Mangaluru: St Aloysius College which has a history of 138 years of existence, has made yet another HISTORY by organizing the FIRST Seminar on “World War I”. St Aloysius College brought back the Reminiscence of 1st World War during the 2-Day International Seminar on “(The First World War: Indian Context) The Centenary year of the First World War (1914-18)”, which was inaugurated today, on 5th January 2018 at the SAC auditorium. The Seminar is sponsored by Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi.
The objectives of the Seminar are: To bring all scholars who study the First World War together and deliberate on the topic for the benefit of students and scholars of the region; The trauma, the lessons of the war should not be forgotten and be remembered as important in the history of a country. Accordingly, this is an effort to create literature on the role played by India in the Great War; Since there have been various studies on many facets of the Indian participation in the War and its impact on the society, economy, culture, politics and so on, this is an effort to bring all these scholars in one platform; and An effort to bring international scholars to the region.
Indian soldiers who died in WWI gave their “today’s” for someone else’s “Yesterdays”. They left behind orphans, but history has orphaned them as well. Their stories and heroism have long been omitted from popular histories of the war. Today during this Seminar the delegates will take a moment to remember these unsung heroes during the two-day deliberations. During the War “The Indian Empire had overwhelmed the British by the completeness and unanimity of its enthusiastic aid. And today during this inaugural on 5 January 2108 of the seminar, there were a few enthusiastic people as dignitaries.
The programme would be inaugurated by chief guest of the occasion-Air Marshall K C Cariappa at 9.30 am, along with Prof. Kaushik Roy of Jadavpur University who delivered key-note address, and graced by scholars like Peter Stanley of Defence Studies from Australia; Allan Jaffreys, a scholar from United Kingdom and Scott Moranda from United States would be delivering special lectures. Prof. Girish Bhat, Professor in History and Politics, State University of New York, Cortland, New York, USA. Praveen K. Chaudhry, Ph.D. Professor of Political Science, Liberal Arts / Graduate Studies, State University of New York / FIT, USA are also chairing the sessions. The lighting of the lamp was also joined by other dignitaries on the dais namely- Fr Dionysius Vaz Sj-Rector of St Aloysius Institutions; Fr Praveen Martis Sj-Principal, St Aloysius College; Dr Alwyn D’sa-Vice Principal; Air Commodore C K Kumar ; Dr Vishanz Pinto-Chief Coordinator of Seminar; Dr Denis Fernandes- asst Coordinator; Dr AM Narahari-Registrar; and Ms Vidyashree Patil-Student coordinator.
Following the invocation prayer by the students, the welcome address and introduction of the guests was done by Dr Vishanz Pinto. The book of abstracts was released by chief guest Air Marshall Cariappa. Addressing the gathering Air Marshal Cariappa said, ” In the WWI India’s contribution should remind us about the horror and casualties. Near 1 1/2 million Indian troops fought in the War, of which nearly 72,000 perished, while nearly 67,000 were wounded. These soldiers fought the war under treacherous weather conditions very boldly and courageously. This Seminar is indeed a great tribute and honor towards these fallen heroes of WWI, and I thank the organizers for this Seminar which brings back the reminiscences of this War”.
Fr Praveen Martis Sj speaking said he was proud of the seminar which pays tribute to the heroes of WWI. ” The world is on the verge of a War, as North Korea is threatening the world with their nuclear missiles. The President of North Korea is boasting about that he can destroy the neighboring countries by the clock of the button. Such kind of mindset by these leaders are ruining the world. But do we really need a War? We should come up with solutions in order to prevent a war from happening. I am glad to see a number of participants from different parts of the world. Let’s learn and take a message from this seminar and let’s spread peace around the world, and not to start another War” added Fr Praveen Martis Sj.
Fr Dionysius Vaz Sj addressing the gathering said, ” Since Wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defence of peace must be constructed. May this seminar highlight the beautiful values of human dignity, equality and mutual respect of all peoples. may eliminate ignorance and prejudice. may it promote culture and educate us for justice, liberty and peace”. Air Commodore C K Kumar in his speech called upon the youth to join the Indian armed Forces and serve the nation and be proud of themselves. “India needs young and brave youngsters like you-so step forward and commit yourself and sacrifice for your nation by joining the Indian Armed Forces” said C K Kumar.
The Programme was compared by Ms Jenice Govas, Lecturer in Department of Chemestry. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr Vishanz Pinto, followed by key-note address by Dr Kaushik Roy. The canons roar like thunder, the bullets fall like rain-and the only the hurt, the maimed and blind will ever see home again, said a soldier. The understanding of the WWI makes ristish realize that they owe to Indians. We Indians realize that we are part of Britain’s history and that we bond in a society of shared memories and of mutual gratitude. Since seminar will go a long way and the delegates will cherish the memories of the FIRST of a kind seminar to mark the Centenary of WWI.
The New York Times in 1918 wrote: “The World must pay India in whatever India wants, for without Indian products, there would be greater difficulty in winning the war. There is of course a lot to be deliberated in these 2-days seminar. Captain Ganesh Karnik will chair one of the sessions. Also Scholars from Bangladesh and all over India are presenting their research. Prof. B Surendra Rao, Former Chairman of Department of History, Mangalore University would be the chief guest at the Valedictory Function on 6th at January 2018 at 3.30pm