The-Indian-Fighter

3

The First Indian Fighter Pilot: Hardit Malik

In 1917 Hardit Singh Malik became not only the first Sikh but also the first Indian to fly with the Royal Flying Corps. Born in Punjab in 1894 to Indian nobility he was sent to England at the age of 14 for school attending prep school before enrolling at Oxford. He was a keen sportsman during his time at university proving to be an accomplished golfer and cricket player. 

In 1915, following his graduation from Oxford he applied to join the Royal Flying Corps but was denied, no doubt on racial grounds. Instead he volunteered for the French Red Cross before being offered a commission in the French Aéronautique Militaire. While on leave in England he told one of his former Oxford tutors about being turned down by the Royal Flying Corps and his tutor appealed to General David Henderson, commander of the Royal Flying Corps, on his behalf.

A Sopwith Camel fighter plane (source)

In early 1917, he was commissioned as 2nd Lt. Hardit Singh Malik and began training in April. In the summer of 1917 he  No. 26 Squadron and began flying Sopwith Camels. As an observing Sikh Malik continued to wear his turban while flying sorties, his superiors ordered him to wear a flying helmet and he had one which would fit over his turban made by a hatter in Piccadilly, London.

While with Major George Baker VC’s No. 28 Squadron Malik flew in an engagement with Manfred von Richthofen’s Jagdgeschwader 1 Malik suffered two bullet wounds in the right leg when he was hit by machine gun fire. Having shot down two enemy fighters his Sopwith Camel was unable to effectively climb and Malik was forced to run for home, flying at treetop level while being pursued by German fighters. He reached allied lines and was forced to crash land, upon inspection his plane was found to have ~400 bullet holes in the fuselage. After months of recuperation with shrapnel from the machine gun fire which had hit him still in his leg Malik joined a fighter squadron defending London from possible Zeppelin attacks.

Newsreel of Malik in Manchester accepting a new fighter plane (source)

In 1918, he was sent to Manchester to accept the gift of a new Sopwith Camel given by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce in honour of India’s contributions to the war (see image #1). 

Malik remained with the Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force until April 1919 when he returned home to India. He went on to become an accomplished civil servant later becoming a trade commissioner and was later first India’s High Commissioner to Canada and Ambassador to France. He died in 1985 at the age of 91. Malik holds the distinction of being the first Sikh and the first Indian to become a commissioned pilot with the Royal Flying Corps and sadly he was the only Indian fighter pilot to survive the war.

Sources:

Image One Source

Image Two Source

Image Three Source

Lt. Hardit Singh Malik (source)

A Camel for India: Hardit Singh Malik (source)

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Halk arasında “Komutan Lakshmi” olarak bilinen Lakshmi Sehgal, Hint bağımsızlık hareketi devrimcilerinden biri olup, Hindistan Ulusal Ordusu’nda askerlik yapmış ve daha sonra Azad Hind hükümetinde Kadın Bakanlığı görevini yürütmüştü. 1940’lı yıllarda sömürge Hindistanı’nda İngiliz Yönetimi’ni devirmek için savaşan ve tamamı kadınlardan oluşan “Jhansi Kraliçesi” Alayının komutanıydı. Jhansi Kraliçesi Alayı, İkinci Dünya Savaşı’na katılan ordular içinde yalnızca kadınlardan oluşan az sayıdaki askeri birlikten biridir ve adını da Hint tarihindeki bir diğer ünlü kadın devrimci olan, 1857 Hint İsyanı’nın önde gelen ismi Rani Lakshmibai’den almıştır.

5

The Indian Fighter (1956)

Dir. André de Toth

For the most part, this is a very average Western. But it does contain some shockingly beautiful mid-50s CinemaScope cinematography.

This scene in particular was very striking. It takes place right as a wagon train stops for the night while traveling through Sioux territory. De Toth and cinematographer Wilfred M. Cline (who had been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Color for his work in 1941’s Aloma of the South Seas) present us with an extended tracking shot moving from right to left. The camera travels along a single horizontal axis much like the infamous traffic jam scene in Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend (1967). But unlike Godard’s camera which traveled nonstop, De Toth and Cline’s camera pauses occasionally to present the audience with a series of tableaux. All of this is done without any editing.

This is a marvelous demonstration of Hollywood exploring the limits and capabilities of widescreen cinematography in an era when the American public was abandoning movie theaters for home television sets at an astonishing rate. Since television sets couldn’t provide audiences with color or widescreen images, Hollywood made these primary selling points for their films. But not all filmmakers and cinematographers were able to easily adapt to the new technological and aesthetic demands of widescreen cinematography. Many CinemaScope films from this era suffered because their filmmakers literally didn’t know what to do with so much onscreen space that needed to be filled. So, again, this sequence represents an incredible experiment in cinematic form and format.

(I wish my copy of the film wasn’t so blurry…)

10

Recent Recap

For once it hasn’t been too long since the last recap, roughly a month, but a lot of ground has been covered from more early breechloaders through to experimental squeezebore ammunition. Other posts include a look at the Colt Model 1971, the Norwegian Krag rifles made for the Nazis during World War Two and a look at the Schwarzlose Model 1898, a pistol years ahead of its time.

Other non-firearms posts have looked at the history and origins of the Victoria Cross, Hardit Malik - the first Indian fighter pilot and lots of quotes of the day.

The Historical Firearms Book Club will be returning this month. With reviews of some of the books I’ve been reading lately and also hopefully reviews from you guys too. I’m hoping to post around 26th February so if you’d like to submit a short review of a book you’ve read recently please do.  More info about that here. 

In other news the Patreon page now has some physical rewards outside of the monthly hi-res desktop backgrounds. There are now bookmarks and keyrings available. More on that here.

Thanks again for following and reading the blog. Thanks for your support, much more to come and some new projects in the offing! if you have any questions, suggestions feel free to send me a message here.  


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Full The Indian Fighter Movie Downloads

The Indian Fighter movie download

External image

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External image

Actors:

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9

India’s aircraft carriers, INS Vikramditya and INS Viraat  participating in the International Fleet Review (IFR) 2016.

This is the last offical occasion where these two will be seen together, INS Viraat, formerly HMS Hermes, is to be decommissioned by the middle of 2016 after having served the Indian navy for almost 29 years.

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SAHARA NEWS – International Kickboxing Event (MUMBAI)

SAHARA NEWS - International Kickboxing Competition organised by Ziauddin Khatib (MUMBAI) Ziauddin Khatibs Profile: Ziauddin Khatib, the President of our …

Krishnaji Gopal Karve

Krishnāji Gopāl Karve (Marathi: कृष्णाजी गोपाळ कर्वे) (1887 – April 19, 1910) was an Indian freedom fighter, a revolutionary. He had completed his B.A.(Hons) and had taken admission to LLB in Mumbai University. He was a member of the Abhinav Bharat Society in Nashik. On 21 December 1909, he along with Anant Laxman Kanhere shot Jackson, the Collector of Nashik. He was sentenced to death in the…

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                              World Leprosy Day

Many of us might have lost the thought of the word ‘Leprosy’, thinking the disease eradicated long back. Unfortunately, suffering still remains. For over more than 60 years, last Sunday of January is observed as World Leprosy day across the world to increase public awareness of the disease.

French writer & humanitarian, Raoul Follereau, initiated this great thought with a vision to spread global awareness about the disease & ways to prevent & cure it. 

It may also interest you to know that this day coincides with the assassination day of Indian freedom fighter, Mahatma Gandhi. He once said, “Eliminating leprosy is the only work I have not been able to complete in my lifetime.”

Leprosy is a disease caused by a bacillus, M. Leprae (Mycobacterium leprae, a relative of tuberculosis germ). It is chronic, affecting the skin & nerves – especially those going to the legs, arms & face.

Leprosy is curable still we have millions suffering from this diseases. If detected early, disabilities can be prevented. It is curable with multi-drug therapy (MDT) which was developed in the early 1980s. MDT consists of 3 drugs: rifampicin, clofazimine & dapsone. Treatment takes from 6 months to 2 years depending on the severity of the case.

Some interesting facts about leprosy

1.  Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s disease, named after a physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen. He was the first to view the bacillus under a microscope in 1873.

2.  Leprosy was known in the ancient civilization of China, Egypt & India. The first written mention is dated 600 BC.

3.  Leprosy was actually common in Europe until it died out leaving behind no significant reason of extinction.

4.  India has the largest prevalence of leprosy in the world, followed by Brazil, Nigeria, Myanmar & Indonesia.

5.  There are approximately 200,000 – 300,000 new cases world-wide, annually.

6.  Approximately 150 people are diagnosed with leprosy in the United States.

7.  Leprosy is one of the world’s largest causes of preventable blindness.

8.  The nerve damage causes loss of sensation & also weakness & paralysis of muscles.

9.  Leprosy doesn’t damage the deeper organs & tissues of the body to any extent.

10. It is a disease of the skin & superficial nerves.

11. The first sign of leprosy are often pale patches which appear on the skin and/or loss of sensation on the hands & feet.

12. Leprosy is not hereditary or cannot be transmitted by physical touch.

13. It is not infectious or contagious. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose & mouth, during close & frequent contact with affected individuals.

14. Early diagnosis can prevent disabilities & help in eliminating the disease.

15. Everyday 52 children around the world are diagnosed with leprosy. Maximum would attain permanent disability due to lack of sufficient knowledge & medical exposure.

16. Men are twice as likely to contract leprosy as women.

17. It is curable with multi-drug therapy which was developed in the early 1980s.

18. Within one day of starting the therapy, there is no risk of spreading the disease to anyone else.

19. World Health Assembly, a governing body of the World Health Organization (WHO), was designed to eliminate Leprosy. Disease elimination was defined as a reduction of prevalence to less than 1 case per 10,000 persons.

20. 122 countries were targeted out of which 119 have achieved this goal & are free from this disease.

Nehru, Gandhi were ‘focused on amassing power’: Bihar Governor

Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said that prominent leaders and freedom fighters of Indian independence like Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi were “focused on amassing power” in comparison to BR Ambedkar who worked as a social crusader without wanting any political gains.

Comparing a social reformer (Samaj Sudharak) and a political leader (Rajnetik Neta), Kovind said, “Whenever any social reformer challenges the society and social evil that harm people, then no one will say that he is correct and welcome that person’s views, BabaSaheb (Ambedkar) did this throughout his life. But when a political leader speaks out against the government of his own country, then he is appreciated and honoured as a champion who sets things right.”

Kovind also added, “I am speaking about this because on the one hand we had Nehru and Gandhi for whom amassing political power was the sole objective. However, Ambedkar never craved to amass political power. His belief was if the ills in the society were removed, only then development will follow.”(Yeh Baat maine keval isliye ki ke hum tulna karein ke ek taraf Nehru aur Gandhi the, jinke liye satta matra laksha raha hai. Unko ek taraf khada kariye, aur dusri taraf Dr Ambedkar hain. Dr Ambedkar ka satta kabhi laksha nahi rahi hai. Unka maanna tha ke samaaj ki kunitiya hain, inko yadi duur ki jayengi toh samaaj ka vikaas apne aap hoga)

The Bihar governor was speaking while inaugurating a two-day national seminar on ‘The influence of ideology of Dr BR Ambedkar on marginal literature’ held at Gujarat National Law University(GNLU) in Gandhinagar. Organised by the state social justice and empowerment department, Gujarat Sahitya Akadami- Gandhinagar and GNLU, the event is part of the many events celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar conducted in the state.

Speaking on Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism, Kovind said that Ambedkar had very clear views on why he did not choose Islam or Christianity for conversion. He said that 'Ghar Wapsi’ was happening because people were converting for worldly or immediate gains.

Sharing Ambedkar’s views on farmers, the Bihar governor said, “Ambedkar had said that the agricultural land in this country is dwindling. Small holdings will not contribute to the country’s economic development. The only solution to the problems of villages and of farmers in his view was industrialisation. Back in 1920, Ambedkar said that industrialisation of India is the soundest remedy for the agricultural problems of India.”

The Bihar Governor exhorted scholars gathered at the event to deliberate upon the different facets of Ambedkar’s personality rather than focussing on his popular image of the father of the Indian constitution and his work as a torchbearer for the backward and marginalised classes of the society.

Kovind, who had been a two-time Rajya Sabha member has also been former chief of BJP Scheduled Caste Morcha and former President of All India Koli Samaj. At the event, he also lauded Gujarat Government’s efforts to allocate funds in the state budget in order to hold BR Ambedkar’s 125th anniversary celebrations across the state.

Speaking on the sidelines of the seminar to the media, BJP spokesman and Dalit leader Vijay Sonkar Shastri criticised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for joining the agitating student protestors in a mass hunger strike at Hyderabad due to Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide.

Shastri said, “Even now, Rohith Vemula is being referred to as Dalit. I feel that even today people are having the same mindset. This is an unfortunate event that a student committed suicide and sad, but to give the incident a Dalit angle is more dangerous than that. Do not consider Dalits as a plaything. One should stop politicising the Dalit community. Rohith Vemula was a student and he took this unfortunate extreme step owing to extreme situations, we should show sympathy to such an incident and hope such events don’t happen; one should not connect this to the Dalit angle as this is a dangerous trend.”