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On Armistice Day, 11/11/2023, Githa U Badikillaya, the founder and trustee of Destination Heritage, delivers an enlightening talk titled Bangalore’s Lost Voice in World War I. She delves into historical archives to shed light on the forgotten military presence in Bangalore during World War I. During the Great War of 1914-18, the British minimized India’s significant military contribution, and post-independence, India often disregarded these contributions in its pursuit of shedding colonial remnants.
Military units were stationed in the cantonment area, such as Munireddy Palya/ Gangenahalli, housing the Mysore Lancers, Mysore Infantry, and Mysore Transport Corps, while Ulsoor hosted the Madras Sappers, and Domlur accommodated the Army Service Corps and AGRAM. The city boasts four memorials, including the ASC Centre, Brigade Road/Residency Road intersection, Mysore Lancers memorial at JC Road, and St. Joseph’s School. These living reminders of a century-old history are intertwined with Bangalore’s connection to the Great War.
This chapter of history also resonates with notable figures like Mysore Maharaja Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, WWI’s commanding Officer Col. J. Desaraja Urs, Risaldar A. Lingaraj Urs, Turab Ali, Bahadur Chamaraj Urs, and even animals. Furthermore, there are intriguing connections to the Government Soap Factory and the Major General SL Bhatia Museum for the History of Medicine. Notably, the city produced two remarkable leaders who later became the Prime Minister of Britain and the President of Israel.
After the talk, Githa U Badikillaya will be in conversation with Siddharth Raja. Major General Ravi Murugan AVSM, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Karnataka and Kerala will also present his views as a Defence expert. A Q&A with the audience will follow.
Githa U Badikillaya
Githa U Badikillaya is an independent researcher, passionate about heritage activities. She is the Founder-Trustee of Destination Heritage and holds a Ph.D. in Jaina folklore, a Master’s in Botany, and two postgraduate diplomas in Indology and Journalism. With 21 years in the corporate banking sector, she has taught Hinduism and Indian Art, chaired sessions in national seminars, judged international tourism competitions, and published numerous articles. She served on the Central Advisory Board-Child Labour Ministry of Labour and Employment, GOI and is a member of various academic organizations.
Githa Badikillaya is also involved in cultural foundations and editorial roles. She is the President of a performing Arts foundation – Shresta Heritage Foundation. Her accomplishments include a Limca Book of Records entry. She curates and mentors students, conducts workshops and webinars on heritage topics, and aims to promote awareness of India’s rich heritage. She is a food blogger, a contributor to cultural heritage websites, an avid traveler, classical instrumentalist, and artist.
Major General Ravi Murugan, AVSM
Major General Ravi Murugan, AVSM has been General Officer Commanding Karnataka and Kerala Sub Area since 01 August 2022. The General Officer joined the National Defence Academy in June 1983 and was later commissioned in the 8th Battalion, Brigade of Guards on 13 June 1987. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Tamil Nadu and the Higher Air Command Course, Carlege of Air Warfare, Secunderabad.
In his 35 years of service, the General Officer has tenanted multiple challenging appointments across diverse operational Areas, to include command of an Independent Armoured Brigade on the Western Borders and General-Officer Commanding of a Counter Insurgency Force in J&K. He has also held various important staff, Instructional and Diplomatic appointments during his service, including Captain Instructor at Commando Wing Belgaum, Major Instructor at the Military Intelligence Training School, Pune and Colonel Instructor at the School of Armoured Warfare, Ahmednagar. Most recently, he was the Additional Director General of Military Operations at Army Headquarters. Abroad, the General Officer has been a Military Observer in the United Nations’ Mission at Angola and more recently, the Defence and Military Attache at Embassy of India in Washington DC, USA. He has been awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and the Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card, twice, for his distinguished service.
A seasoned corporate lawyer, Siddharth focuses on private equity and venture capital transactions; foreign-exchange law and enforcement; and on cross-border and domestic mergers and acquisitions. A Gold Medalist with a B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) law degree from National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Siddharth also holds a Masters in Law from the University of Warwick Law School. Siddharth has been a Visiting Professor at his alma mater, NLSIU, where he has taught several courses; Jindal Global Law School; Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science; and the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. His love for history has led him to run a successful historical walking tour company – along with his wife, Priya – Nandi Valley Walks. In his spare time, Siddharth pursues historical research on the Princely State of Mysore.