Historical Figures

34. Following Vallabhbhai's advice, Indian youths joined the British Army.

The British Empire Lipsa divided the world into two parts. In one part there were those countries of the world which were under the British and in the other part were those countries which had become enemies of the British. The First World War started in AD 1914 due to the British Empire Lipsa. In this war there were countries like England, France, Russia, Italy, Japan and America etc.

And on the other side there were countries like Germany, Austria, Hungary, Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria etc. By the beginning of the year 1918, the British had lost such a large number of soldiers on the front of the World War that now it had to send the youth of its enslaved countries to the war fronts by force recruiting them into the army. In April 1918, the Viceroy organized a war council in Delhi in which Gandhiji was also called.

In this war council, the Viceroy proposed to Gandhiji that the Congress should inspire Indian youth to join the British Army. In return India will be given independence after the end of the war.

Gandhiji accepted this proposal of the British. He appointed Vallabhbhai as his recruiting sergeant and gave him the responsibility of going from village to village and motivating the youth to join the army. The common man in India did not agree with Gandhiji's opinion that Indian youth should join the army and go to the front of the world war. Common Indian believed

That if the British were defeated on the front of the First World War, they would automatically leave India and run away. Therefore, the Congress did not get much success in this campaign. At the behest of Gandhiji, Vallabhbhai went to the villages of Gujarat and called upon the youth to join the Indian Army and go to the fronts of the World War. This will give them an opportunity to know the world and understand India's position in the world.

The youth readily believed in Sardar Patel and he joined the Indian Army in large numbers. Germany was defeated in November 1918 and the world war ended. Due to this the recruitment of Indian youth was stopped.

Sardar Patel's guess turned out to be correct. The Indian youth who returned from the front of the First World War compared the condition of India with that of other countries of the world. Those soldiers were convinced that India too has the ability to stand upright in front of the world.

These soldiers spread the feeling of nationalism in their villages. These youths had full faith that if all the Indians unite and drive out the British, then India can be made independent easily. Due to this the Congress movement became more widespread.