Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sangli War Gift's Fund Label

Earlier, I was thinking to post a blog on another set of Army booklets which would have served to renew the booklet series but then I thought perhaps it will be too much of literature stuff. As, last couple of blogs have been covering leaflets already.

So for a change, lets go back to miniature creative items :D i.e. stamps/labels. Today's item is focused on labels issued by another princely state: Sangli.

Sangli, was one of the 11-gun salute princely state of British India, under the Kolhapur-Deccan Residency in the Bombay Presidency, and later the Deccan States Agency. It was one of the southern Maratha Jagirs. Its territory was widely scattered among other native states and British districts. Prior to coming into British fold, Sangli was part of Maratha Empire.

Capt. HH Shrimant Raja Saheb Sir Chintamanrao II Dhundirajrao Appsaheb Patwardhan, 3rd Rao of Sangli (later Raja), [what a name, phew!! no offence meant to Raja ji] born 14th February 1890 and succeeded 1901, on attaining his majority in or about 1909, was given full ruling powers by Captain Birk (who was appointed by the Sangli Durbaar as the administrator during the Ruler's adolesence). The Raja ji ruled during WWI & WWII and later led the state in Dominion of India on March 8, 1948.

Sangli is now part of Maharashtra state and is largest trading centre for turmeric; Raisin (Kishmish) in Asia. The green city is also called 'Sugar Belt' of Maharashtra.

Enough of history!! ;-) Let's go back to part which we are really interested in. As we all know, none of princely states used to get 11/21 or even single gun of salute under British Empire unless they had done some service for the Empire. Sangli was no different.

The Raja ji was granted a permanent salute of 9-guns in recognition of war services 1st January 1918 during WWI. Later, he was upgraded to a personal salute of 11-guns together with the style of His Highness 3rd June 1927, and the hereditary title of Raja 1st June 1932.

Sangli continued to support British Empire in all the causes including WWII. Sangli helped in raising funds for RAF sqaudrons by issuing different colorful labels during WWII period.

Shown above is one of such label issued during WWII to encourage people to buy such lables and help the R.A.F. It shows God Ganesha on right hand side while left side of same label depicts Planes circling Sangli palace. Exact date/year of issue is unknown.

This is another of such label. Good part of this label is that atleast it mentions year of publication 1941 on it. Besides that, the pattern of label is more or less same though there are variations such as palace is replaced by some industrial factories.

I have this label affixed on one of court paper along with other Sangli Revenue stamps. The court paper also mentions year 1941. The best part I like about these labels are that they are so colorful and there are varities in it. Even though, very little is known about these. I have not found so far any book/catalogues which list Sangli war fund labels.

I'll really appreciate if someone can provide me details if s/he has any on these. In fact, I am willing to buy more of such labels if some collector has spare to offer :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

German Propaganda Leaflet - Milap

It's almost a month. Hmmm!!! We needed a meeting to sort this out and continue blogging. So here is a leaflet called "Milap" meaning "meeting" or "being together". Ok, no puzzles :-) Let's start.

First of all, I would like to acknowledge the fact that I have taken text from Axis Propaganda site by Herbert Friedman. I could not have translated or expressed it better than what Friedman writes in his article. It's just beautifully expressed. Thus, most of writing below is taken directly from website with some minor addition by me.

Today's leaflet was issued by Germany, numbered LwP 100F and entitled "Milap".

This German leaflet depicts an Indian family thinking of their husband far away fighting the war. The title “Milap” can be translated as “union,” “meeting,” or “being together.”

The text on the front is:


After bidding farewell to you, we kept on looking for you on the horizon. We even looked for you in the direction where we were not supposed to.

The message is a poetic couplet and it is in the “gazal” form. Urdu is famous for this form of poetry which it borrowed from the Persian. It abundantly uses similes, exaggeration and sharp contrasts for expression. The second line “looked for you in the direction where we were not supposed to” ...sounds strange in English, but can be explained as: We have been so desperate that we know where you have gone and watch the way you are supposed to return home. But, not only in that direction; we look all around hoping that you might return from any direction.

The text on the back is:

Indian Brothers!

If you have a look at your situation, you will notice that your reunion (with your dear ones) is not just very difficult, but impossible. Thousands die everyday on the battlefield. Is it necessary that you also be one of them?

No, certainly not!

Why not to cross over to the German side whenever the opportunity arises? Thousands of your Indian brothers are leading a comfortable life in prisoner-of-war camps. The war is over for them. At the end of the war, they will certainly return to their relatives and be happy.


Don't waste your precious life for nothing.

At the end there is note section:

Note: You can cross over safely to German side showing this paper.
Here is correct translation of German text in English based on feedback from one of the readers. Thanks to indympm!

Indian soldiers who appeared to German lines and show the leaflet will be accepted as defectors and will be treated with decency, provided meals and guarded.
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