New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said the First World War was not a European affair alone as India also played a "significant" role by lending it logistical and monetary support.
"Many regard the Great War as a European Affair - a product of battle for supremacy among imperial powers of Europe. However, as this exhibition will tell you, this is not entirely true," Sushma Swaraj said at the Centenary Commemorative Exhibition of First World War here.
"Even though we (India) were not a free country then, we made a very significant contribution by way of men, material and finance to this war effort. No less a leader than Mahatma Gandhi, who had then just returned to India from South Africa, supported the war effort and actively sought to build support among the Indian public to contribute to this endeavour," she added.
Sushma Swaraj said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also visited the exhibition earlier, was impressed with the "graphic and poignant exposition" and called for extending the duration of the show to let more people "see and learn" from the display of the sacrifices each soldier made during the First World War from 1914-1818.
She said the centenary commemoration of the "great war" across the globe has awaken the world to India's contribution that must now be passed to "our younger generations - not only to learn of the great sacrifices made by our forefathers, but equally to understand and appreciate the sheer futility of war, its horrific consequences and the value of peace".