Less than a week after it was unveiled, a statue of a Sikh soldier in Smethwick, England, has been vandalised. The words ‘Sepoys no more’, ‘1 Jarnail’ covered the actual lines which read ‘Lions of the Great War’. It is reported that the graffiti has now been removed.
As of part of the British Indian Army, several million soldiers from India and other colonies of the British sacrificed their lives fighting a battle that was not theirs. To pay tribute to the lost lives, Guru Nanak Gurudwara, Smethwick, commissioned the memorial.
A 10ft statue of a #Sikh soldier unveiled last week outside Smethwick Sikh gurdwara to commemorate the First World War was vandalised last night and had graffiti written over it - it’s been taken off now but this is what was written. Sepoy is how the British referred to soldiers pic.twitter.com/YdYI8WPlwz— Amardeep Bassey (@ambassey) November 9, 2018
The police are investigating the case and are going through the CCTV footage to identify the perpetrators. The statue, made of bronze, had been unveiled a week ago to mark the 100th end of World War I. In order to get it done, the Gurudwara had contributed 20,000 pounds. The inaugural event was attended by Preet Kaur Gill who is United Kingdom’s first female Sikh MP.
The Tribune reported that as many as 74,000 soldiers from India sacrificed their lives to help the British seal the World War I between 1914 and 1918. One out of every six soldiers in the Army back then was an Indian.