Comment on the colonial background of India and its importance in the poem “The Gift of India” by Sarojini Naidu.
India came under the rule of European colonial forces in the Age of Discovery. Duch, Portuguese and French forces conquered it before the British forces who colonialised India for almost two centuries starting from 1757.
The poem “The Gift of India” by Sarojini Naidu has reference to this colonial background when the country was exploited for its riches and resources. The poem is an appeal to the foreign forces, mainly to the British, to acknowledge the contribution of India to their prosperity and a tribute to the contribution of the Indian soldiers in World War I.
Over one million Indian soldiers from the British Indian Empire served in the Allied forces in the First World War. A vast number of them sacrificed their lives. Indian troops fought in different locations of significance to the allied stronghold and had an important share in many of the battles throughout the course of the war. However, the contribution of the Indian soldiers is overlooked in the vast expanse of the War’s history. These selfless sacrifices of the Indian soldiers for the western agitation are captured in Naidu’s poem ‘The Gift of India’.