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Rohit Deshpande asked: Most of the literature on the two world wars gives a Western perspective. Is there a relatively neutral account available on the subject?

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  • Namrata Goswami replies: The world wars were started by European countries and hence it is rather natural that the perspectives that would dominate - in regard to the causes, the operations per se and the end of the wars - would flow from a Western point of view. Since the wars were fought among European colonial powers, it was bound to spill over into their colonies including China, Japan, India and Africa. Indian soldiers had fought for the British Raj in these wars. Commemorative ceremonies are also regularly held in various countries in remembrance of various battles fought during the world wars, for instance the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during the First World War is celebrated as the Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand.

    For an Asian perspective on world wars, please refer to the following:

    Memories of War: The Second World War and Japanese Historical Memory in Comparative Perspective”, edited by Takashi Inoguchi and Lyn Jackson, United Nations University, Tokyo, 1998.

    Evan Ramstad, “An Asian Perspective on World War II”, Scene Asia, The Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2012.

    Please also refer to my following article on why World War I may not repeat again in Asia as some Western analysts would want to predict:

    Namrata Goswami, “Analysts reckless in claiming similarities to WWI scenario”, Global Times, February 06, 2014.

    Posted on April 08, 2015