Organized Panel Session
Focusing on the disabled Indian sepoy/veteran during and after the First World War, this paper examines how the Great War became a transformative event in the relationship between the colonial state and the sepoy. Focusing exclusively on the pensions provided to disabled and invalided sepoys, this paper argues that WWI resulted in dramatic changes in the scales for pensions as well as the ways in which pensions were disbursed. The figure of the wounded/disabled sepoy also became the center of publicly articulated anxieties about the pension system and the obligations of the colonial state to veterans who were fighting on multiple fronts for the British Empire. The paper also examines how the disabled soldier invigorated nationalist critiques of the colonial state, and how the colonial state responded to these criticisms.