Tanveer Kalo, the senior student of St. Lawrence University, has done comprehensive research on the subject of Indians fighting under the American flag during the First World War. His research shed light on the lives of such obscure veterans. His hard work has brought him to the academic limelight not only in the US but also from scholars living and working outside America. His studies concentrated on Indians coming to the US and then getting enlisted in the US armed forces.
Glory for the US
Kalo has until now identified about 50 veterans who served America during the First World War. He surmises that about 29 more Indians have played combat roles in the American military during those times. Since not much data is to come by, his research has become progressively difficult on the mentioned veterans.
Kalo, who majors in government and minors in history, discovered these Indian Americans by accident. The Queens resident said he wanted to know more about Indian Americans during those years. A superficial Internet search brought the name Dr. Bhagat Singh Thind. Wikipedia has an entry about him. It stated that Thind enlisted in the American army in 1917. He was, in fact, the first Sikh with a turban to be in the American military. He reached the level of acting sergeant in 1918. He was discharged with full honors the same year.
US laws and research
Thind tried to take US citizenship but failed in his quest as the laws during that time forbade non-whites to be American. He even filed a court case- Bhagat Singh versus the United States to be a full-fledged American, but failed. The law during those times stated that Indians Americans cannot be naturalized US citizens as they were not regarded as white people.
Kalo's supervisor encouraged the student to find more. His research led him to find digital copies of an Indian-American publication titled “Young India” which was last published in print in 1918. The publication mentioned a total of 10 Indian Americans who had served in the American military. The reports were subsequently published on Centennial website. Kalo, however, did not stop his work after being published. He utilized the research as the basis of the senior research paper. Doing this involved a travel to Washington and perusing about 1,000 index files gleaned from Immigration and Naturalization Service. He went through census data, draft cards, and passenger lists to form complete life stories of people who lived during those times.