New Delhi, July 4: The Second day of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit will turn around some history pages as the Indian Prime Minister along with Israeli counterpart will be visiting the historically significant place of Haifa.
PM Modi will pay homage to Indian soldiers, which includes the Mysore Imperial Service Lancers (Mysore Lancers), State of Jodhpur and Hyderabad. During the devastating World War I Indian army troupes had played a big role in the liberation of Haifa on September 23, 1918, from Ottoman Turks and Germans.
One of the fiercest battles in the West Asian region, the brave soldiers of Mysore army fought with audacity, liberating the city of Haifa from Turks and Germans. A special recruitment drive was conducted in the princely State and 5,000 men deputed for the war. The then Mysore Maharaja Nalwudi Krishnaraja Wadiyar sent his troops to defend the empire and even gave nearly 50 lakh to the India War Fund.
It is said that the Indian soldiers were armed only with lances and swords while the Turks were armed with artillery and machine guns. Even with inadequate resources, the brave hearts from Mysore portrayed extraordinary courage and conviction in order to reinstate the sovereignty of Haifa. The triumph by Indian forces put an end the 400-year rule of Ottoman over the region.
According to Researcher Echanur Kumar some men from the Mysore Lancers were martyred in the famous war and many came back victorious in 1920 once the war got over. He also mentioned that Lancers who came back after fighting the bloody war got many letters of appreciation from the British Empire. Various sessions were held for honoring the Mysore troupe at the Palace and in public places.
Israel today is a flourishing technology capital, a distinction it shares with Bengaluru, the IT capital of India. Haifa is considered the IT capital, like Bengaluru. The great contribution Indian force will further strengthen the relationship between two countries for a better future.
Terming the great battle of Haifa as a masterstroke by the Indian soldiers, Raja Chandra son-in-law of the last Maharaja of Mysore, Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, mentions that very few in India are aware of the significance of the Mysore connection to Haifa. Even now ‘Haifa Day’ is observed on September 23 at three places — in Israel, Teen Murti Bhavan circle in Delhi and in Bengaluru, home of Mysore Lancers, he added.
Ravi Kumar, an RSS activist, wrote a book on ‘Indian Heroism in Israel’ which was released on September 23, 2016, by the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Israel Ambassador in New Delhi David Carman.