Salt of the Sarkar

A New Image of the First World War

In 2020, Salt of the Sarkar marks the 80th anniversary
of Mulk Raj Anand’s classic novel

What We Do

Through Across the Black Waters by Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004),
we invite you to explore Lalu’s journey from rural Panjab, India to battle in France
on the Western Front  – during World War One. 

Review and develop a Department for Education plan to teach about the history of the UK and its relationship to the rest of the world – including Britain’s colonial history and the history of migration.
NEU teaching union

In solidarity with Black Lives Matter Movement during the COVID-19 pandemic, as we move toward a new reality in 2021, we are even more committed to our work with Mulk Raj Anand’s novel and continuing to develop a vital education resource.

Our Story

Read the story of our journey in the development of the Salt of the Sarkar project.

Across the Black Waters

Mulk Raj Anand, the son of a soldier, is the author of ‘Across the Black Waters’, one of the most powerful and perceptive war novels ever written. – Alastair Niven, Man Booker Prize Judge 1994 and 2014

Salt of the Sarkar

Powerful Fiction – Historical Facts and Photos

The Meaning of “Salt of the Sarkar”

“Salt of the Sarkar” is a term used by the Indian soldiers in their letters home, and in the classic World War One novel Across the Black Waters by Mulk Raj Anand (1940). “Sarkar” means the ruling authority. “Eating the salt” refers to the oath that binds one to a political superior through obligations of protection and loyalty.

A key strand of our work is to broaden young people’s knowledge of the First World War and the contribution of Undivided Indian soldiers – Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and others. Mulk Raj Anand’s novel and writing is also celebrated as a foundation stone of modern and post colonial writing.

Our Story In Photos

As we celebrate the 80th Anniversary of Across the Black Waters we showcase a few photos reflecting our progress over the years discovering and sharing the story of over a million Indian soldiers who fought in World War One.

The Salt of the Sarkar Blog

Salt of the Sarkar’s Hidden History

Salt of the Sarkar’s Hidden History

Salt of the Sarkar brings Hidden History to LifeThis post was written by Dominic Rai. Dominic is co-director, with Caroline Goffin, of Salt of the Sarkar. Salt of the Sarkar brings Hidden History to life with: A Pop-up Exhibition, Public events and Mulk Raj Anand’s...

Cardiff: Creative Collaboration

Cardiff: Creative Collaboration

CARDIFF: CREATIVE COLLABORATION This post was written by Caroline Goffin. Caroline is co-director, with Dominic Rai, of Salt of the Sarkar. TITLE: Salt of the Sarkar: Indian Army on the Western Front 1914 - Fact, Fiction & Ffotograffaeth Introducing a new image of...

Get In Touch

Find out more about the work of Salt of the Sarkar and the 80th anniversary of the publication of  the first Edition of  Mulk Raj Anand's renowned novel Across the Black Waters