Mangaluru, Jan 5: St Aloysius College (autonomous) hosted an international seminar on 'The First World War: Indian Context', sponsored by Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi on January 5 and 6 at the LCRI Auditorium in the campus.
The seminar aims at bringing together international delegates from Europe, USA, Australia and South Asia to deliberate and document literature on the Great War. The inaugural function was held on January 5.
The chief guest for the day was retired Air Marshal K C Cariappa and the guest of honour was Dr S K Aruni, member-secretary of the ICHR. Air commodore C K Kumar, Air Officer commanding of Air Force Station, Begumpet and recipient of the Vayu Sena medal was the guest of honour. The president of the function was Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ, rector, St Aloysius Institution.
Air Marshal K C Cariappa in his address commented on the futility and horrors of war and the pertinence of documentation of war efforts. "1 in 6 soldiers of the British army was an Indian. This should be impetus enough to remember and acknowledge the efforts of Indians in the wars of the Raj."
Air Commodore C K Kumar implored the students to serve the nation by enlisting in the armed forces in their own small way. "If it is true that history repeats itself, we should make it a point to not repeat the same mistakes."
Fr Dr Praveen Martis SJ, principal, quoted two anecdotes of brave encounters of Indian soldiers in the war, stressing on the importance of maintaining peace in the world.
Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ, in his presidential address, opined that one ought to take the resources of war and use them in today's context. "The globalization of indifference has taken away from us the ability to weep."
The keynote address was delivered by Prof Kaushik Roy, Guru Nanak chair professor, Department Of History, Jadavpur University, Kolkata and Global Fellow, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway. He systematically listed the reasons for the lack of data about the Great War. "There must be a fusion and collaboration between civilian historians and retired officers to critically analyze the history to warfare."
Also present on the dais were Dr A M Narahari, registrar, St Aloysius College, Dr Alwyn D'Sa, vice principal, Dr Vishanz Pinto, dean of the Artsfaculty and chief coordinator, Dr Denis Fernandes from the Department of History and assistant coordinator and Vidyashree Patil, student coordinator.