Sunday, September 27, 2009

Governor of Sindh's message for war fund - Pamphlet

Today's item is an interesting piece of pamphlet dropped over Karachi in end of 1944 to encourage people to contribute whole heartily to war funds. During world war II, British government came up with National Saving Certificates or Saving Bonds to encourage general public to buy it. This was a great idea to offer public to put their savings in bonds. This allowed general public to get money back after 5/10 years of span with some interest and for government to fund any spending as needed.

British government in India used to come up with such schemes time to time during war days and set target for each province/presidency for collection. This pamphlet shows the need for people of Sind or Sindh to do their part to fulfill the obligation.

The pamphlet is dated 29th December, 1944 and carries a message from then Governor of Sind "Sir Hugh Dow" with his printed signature at last page. The pamphlet is of 4 page, printed in both English and Urdu.

Here is text from Page 1:

"ALREADY one week of the National Savings Fortnight has passed to hit our target in this province we shall have to subscribe still three crores of rupees within the next seven days. This gigantic task cannot be completed without YOUR cooperation and YOUR good sense. Read the messages from His Excellency the Governor and the Honourable Premier which are printed in this pamphlet and realize why it is necessary for you to help yourself and your countrymen in this way."

NOW is the time to Save ...
Save all you can ...
Invest all you Save.

Here is the message on page 4:

Governor's CAMP,

29th December, 1944.


"This is the first day of a Savings Fortnight which is being held all over India and I welcome this opportunity to appeal to the people of Sind to surpass the target of five crores which has been set for this Province. After a somewhat slow start, Sind has taken a high places among the Provinces, and I hope that everyone will take a pride in this and in improving on it. Victory is now insight and cannot be long delayed. We can do much to speed its coming by helping in the battle against inflation and investing in Victory Bonds and National Saving Certificates. I appeal today particularly to those who can only afford to put aside a small amount each month. National Saving Certificates are designed especially for them, so that they may share in the pride of victory and in its necessary sacrifices, and that they may have some reserves with which to face the vicissitudes of the future. Britain and the United States have met much of the vast cost of this war by means of the savings of quite poor people. There are few people in Sind so poor that they could not afford to save even four annas a month. Yet that is all that is required as an average for the whole Province. Remember that every anna will help your own countrymen and your allies in the fighting line, and that with your help they will be enabled more speedily to restore peace to this tortured world."

Finally shown above is same text written in Urdu in page 2 and 3. I have to admit that the message was quite touching :D We can argue both sides of it for hours. But at first instance it is a propaganda for sure.

"Britain and the United States have met much of the vast cost of this war by means of the savings of quite poor people. There are few people in Sind so poor that they could not afford to save even four annas a month. Yet that is all that is required as an average for the whole Province."

Statements like above seems outrageous to me. While I don't deny the contribution of any country but imagine asking four annas from poor fellow who can't even save that in whole of a month (which was known fact to British Empire).

Anyway, it is a great piece of history and I hope you will enjoy reading it without getting into merit/demerits of it. Even I understand importance of this message and such contribution only helps a cause but I got carried away by that statement, you know ;-) after all I am also human.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bikaner War Fund Lottery - WWI & WWII

This weekend happens to be another long weekend in India with Monday being holiday for "Dussehra" a Hindu festival. I didn't keep my promise last weekend of writing blogs on each holiday, just published 2 posts out of 3 days. Let's see if I can manage to do this weekend. It will indeed be an achievement for me :D

Today's post is about couple of war fund or loan lottery tickets issued by the princely state of Bikaner during WWI and WWII.

Shown above is the "Bikaner War Loan Lottery" ticket. The ticket was issued by the "War Loan Commitee" of Bikaner state. Though, the lottery doesn't mention the year of publication but my guess says it belongs to WWI. The reason is I have seen another similar lottery where 1918 is printed. Moreover, WWII tickets were called war fund or war fete. With that assumption in the mind, lets continue with this lottery.

The lottery ticket was priced 1 rupee each. It mentions that the total amount of lottery is 25,000 Indian rupees on front but reverse side mentions that winning amount can be increased or decreased as needed depending upon the sale of tickets. It also mentions that the tickets will be sold until 30th of september and results will be declared in 1st week of october, exact date to be announced later. The back side of ticket has details in both English and Hindi. The above ticket is issued to someone called Daluram Sarawagi of Rajgarh which was another small princely state in India.

Here is my first ticket of WWII series. The ticket is called "Bikaner State War Fund Lottery" and carries Bikaner state's official seal on it in center. This ticket was issued sometime in 1942 by the state government; it bears the name of then revenue minister of state "Prem Singh" on it. It mentions the closing date of 23rd Feb, 1942 and drawing date of 10th March 1942. The ticket was priced 1 rupee each same as earlier one. The ticket also carries 'V' symbol. The ticket has text only in English even on back side of it. This ticket also carries name of person to whom it was issued: Bhanwari Lal Surana and his wife Santi Nath.

Last in the series is ticket shown above. The ticket is issued on the occassion of "Bikaner State II War Fete". As it mentions, the drawing date was 24th October 1942. The price of this ticket was rupees 25! That's huge money in those times.

Again, the purpose of issuing all of these was to raise fund for war contribution & relief programs. Bikaner being one of the loyal princely state to British Empire was very active in these activities (perhaps second only to Hyderabad) and helped significantly by organising these programs /activities to serve the cause.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Banganapally State - Madras War Fund Seal

It's long time since I showed some war fund stamps. Today's item is not an ordinary war fund stamp but a rare item nowadays. I have to admit the fact that I was so fascinated with this item when I saw first time on eBay for sale that I decided to buy it. And I won eventually, of course spending a huge amount.

It is one of the costliest item I have purchased ever on ebay :-) But I still think I got a good deal given rarity of this item. It is a true gem. I know how I pursued behind dealers to get even one stamp of this nature only to be asked is there really such stamp in existence? To prove all those dealers wrong, I bought a complete booklet of this stamp :D

Banganapalli or Banganapally or Banganapalle became a princely state of British India in the early 1800s. The British governor of the Madras Presidency twice took over the administration of the state for financial mismanagement, the first time from 1832 to 1848, and the second time for a few months in 1905. On the eve of bankruptcy more than 50% of the revenue was being expended for the maintenance of the Nawab and the family!

The princely state of Banganapally, 275 square miles in size, with a population of 44,631 (1941 census), the majority being Hindus was the only Muslim soverign state down south in British India, ruled by the Nawab of the Shia sect. Urdu was the court language until 1939, when it was replaced by English, Telugu being used at the village level.

In 1948, the ruler of Banganapally acceded to newly-independent India, and Banganapally was incorporated into Kurnool district of the then Madras Presidency. In 1953, the northern districts of Madras state, including Kurnool district, became the new state of Andhra Pradesh.

Shown above is front cover of complete booklet of 64 Banganapally State revenue stamps with Madras War Fund Seals. The stamps were issued between 1939 - 42, size of 27 x 33 mm with perforation of 12 on wove paper in demonitaion of 3 pies. The color of stamp is Green with Madras War Fund Seal printed in black sans-serif caps in upper half of oval portrait. As usual, the reason of issuing this stamp was to raise fund during World War II for fighting troops.

Strangely, this stamp is not listed in K&M (Koeppel - Raymond D. Manners "The Court Fee and Revenue Stamps of the Princely States of India" catalogue) though the same stamp with overprint in dark blue in rectangular box in sans-serif caps with "ONE ANNA" is listed as Type 11. That's the reason above stamp is called Type 10 by some philatelists.

It's no wonder that used example of this stamp is extremely rare given the fact that mint stamp itself is difficult to get.

Last but the least, Banganapally is famous in current southern India for its famous Mangoes named after it "Banganapally Mangoes"!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Greetings Postcard from Bombay Presidency - WWI

Coming Monday happens to be holiday here in India to be celebrated as Ramzan, an important Muslim festival. Thus, I will try to post 3 articles if possible enjoying my holidays at home.

Today's article is about British Indian Army or more popularly known as Indian Expeditionary Force's participation in World War I in Mesopotamian and Persian campaign.

The Middle Eastern theatre of World War I was the scene of action between 2 November, 1914, and 29 October, 1918. This theatre encompassed the largest territory of all the theatres of the war. There were five main campaigns: the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, the Mesopotamian Campaign, the Caucasus Campaign, the Persian Campaign and the Gallipoli Campaign. Indian army participated in all of campaigns but today's focus is only two of them based on articles that I am going to produce here.

Mesopotamia Campaign

Shown below is a postcard printed and published by Times of India press, Bombay for the Women branch of the Bombay Presidency War & Relief Fund headed by Lady Willingdon. It was Xmas and New Year greetings card for troops. The postcard depicts British Indian Army soldier trying to host British Flag on left side while right side shows an ancient bridge destroyed by the Turks in Mesopotamia.

The largest Indian Army force to serve abroad was Indian Expeditionary Force D in Mesopotamia, under the command of Lieutenant-General Sir John Nixon. The first unit sent in November 1914, was the 6th (Poona) Division they were tasked with guarding British oil installations in and around Basra. Firstly under the command of Major General Barrett and then Major General Townshend, the Mesopotamian campaign after a string of early successes, was delivered a setback at the Battle of Ctesiphon in November 1915 due to Logistical constraints. Following this engagement, the Poona Division withdrew back to Kut, where Townshend made the decision to hold the city and the Siege of Kut began.

Between January and March 1916, both Townshend launched several attacks in an attempt to lift the siege. In sequence, the attacks took place at the Battle of Sheikh Sa'ad, the Battle of the Wadi, the Battle of Hanna, and the Battle of Dujaila Redoubt.

These series of attempts to break through the encirclement did not succeed and the cost was heavy with both sides suffering high casualties. In February food and hopes were running out for Townshend in Kut-al-Amara. Disease were spreading rapidly and could not be cured and Townshend surrendered in April 1916. In December 1916, the 3rd and 7th Divisions arrived from the Western Front.

In 1917, the British force, under Frederick Stanley Maude, which now included one cavalry and seven infantry divisions from the Indian Army, in the III Corps (India) advanced towards Bagdhad which was captured in March. The advance continued in 1918, and after the Battle of Sharqat in October the Turkish forces surrendered and the Armistice of Mudros was signed. The Mesopotamian campaign was largely an Indian Army campaign the only British formations involved were the 13th (Western) Division and British battalions assigned to Indian brigades. The casualties for the campaign were 11,012 killed, 3,985 died of wounds, 12,678 died of sickness, 13,492 missing and prisoners which includes the 9,000 prisoners from Kut and 51,836 wounded.

Persian Campaign

Shown below is another such postcard printed and published by Times of India press, Bombay for the Women branch of the Bombay Presidency War & Relief Fund headed by Lady Willingdon. It was again part of same series of Xmas and New Year greetings card for troops. The postcard depicts British Indian Army soldier trying to host British Flag on left side while right side shows troop movement on Persian frontier.

In 1914, Britain had British Indian Army units located in the southern influence zone of Persia. Indian Expeditionary Force F's 33rd Brigade participated in this Campaign. The 33rd Brigade was sent to Bushire in Persia in August 1915, and then disbanded in December 1915. The aim of brigade was to protect the Anglo–Persian oil installations in south Persia and the Persian Gulf. In 1916, the British formed the South Persian Rifles after disbanding Indian units to protect their interests in Persia.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

World War II - Pamphlets on India

Well, I learnt today couple of essential features of blogging :-) As a lazy blogger, I never checked advanced features offered by Google. I used to write my blog hard way ;) by making all changes myself as required in "Edit HTML" tab (yeah, I still have some element of programming left in me!!) I plan to explore more to make blog more user friendly and presentable slowly so you may observe some changes (including blackouts!!) over period of time.

I never asked for feedback from my readers (again because of my laziness) but I would like to know if you would like certain features to be enabled/disabled or want change in layout etc. Feel free to comment or drop me an email.

Now, lets return to original post. Today's item is about two pamphlets produced by the Directorate of Army Education, India meant for British soldiers arriving in India during war period.

The first pamphlet is on India itself titled "This India". There were some 15000 copies of this pamphlet printed in April, 1945.
The pamphlet talks about the first impression soldiers get when they land versus what they learn through movies and books. For most of them, it is disappointing end of an illusion that they had. Then in next couple of pages it goes on explaining what is India all about - starting from its thousands year old civilization (giving a short lecture on history) to its current state.

Of course the pamphlet is kind of propaganda showing East India Company and British Crown in positive manner and what all they have done for Indian subcontinent dismissing all allegations of wrong doing or not doing enough to improve the living standard of Indians despite exploiting them for hundred of years.

And the uniqueness about this pamphlet is that it is not brain cleansing program for Indians but for British soldiers so that they don't get discouraged observing current situation of India and return to England at this need of hour.

For benefit of readers, I have scanned the pamphlet completely so one can read it here on my picasa link This India. It's a small but very interesting pamphlet.

Once the pamphlets succeeds brain washing soldiers then comes the next step of introducing them to Indian soldiers. Here the second pamphlet comes into picture. This pamphlet is also produced by the Directorate of Army Education, India titled "The Indian Army". Similar copies of this pamphlet were printed in same time.
This pamphlet introduces British soldiers to Indian army and its various regiments. The pamphlet describes the valor and bravery of Indian soldiers in current and previous war. This one is rather fact than any propaganda. It encourages soldiers to get accoustomed to Indian traditions and befriend their Indian counterparts. That's the key to success in this war as both British and Indian soldiers have to fight together in all fronts.

This is another interesting read and for those of you who would like to read it completely, here's link The Indian Army.

Finally, the pamphlets shown here are reprinted version from original pamphlets but these are original reprints during war days not the usual modern reprint. It's just like the way "Indian Information" - periodical of British India goverment were reprinted in US during war timer to save the paper and transportation cost.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

British India Propaganda Leaflet Aganist Japan

Yesterday, I bid on Ebay for two of Japanese leaflets against British India. I missed one of them in last seconds as usual (didn't learn from my past mistakes!). Both of them were really eye catching as I hadn't seen them earlier. It was long time since I saw some India related propaganda leaflet on eBay for sale. Usually, such leaflets are sold only in specialized auctions.

The loss of one such leaflet and win for other prompted me to show some leaflet on my blog :-) Not only that it has been long time since I showed one but I also noticed that 1 out of every 10 visitor at my blog looks leaflet posts :D (encouraging for me to burn my hard earned money on these!!) As one of my friend said, "I would become Jyotirmay Kachrawala/Raddiwala (one who is trader of old/waste paper) soon if I continue doing like this."

Anyway, let's start. Today's leaflet was issued by British India targeting soldiers of Indian National Army who were fighting against Allied forces in South East Asia front with Japanese assistance. It's coded 2MPS/H2. As per Herbert Friedman's article, 2MPS/H stands for 2nd Mobile Printing Shop written in Hindustani. These were very short series and produced right at the end of war. Only seven leaflets are known to have been disseminated.

The translated version of above leaflet is as follows:

Soldiers of Indian Army

You are very much aware how Japanese treat you. You had to walk all the way from Malaya while Japanese used railways and motors for their transportation. This is how they treat you. And when you reach here then you are denied rest instead ordered to fight in front line.

You have been in such a bad situation for last three years roaming outside India. We were aware of the fact that you were in such a pathetic condition. If you cross over (switch) to our side then you can meet your old friends and return safely to India in couple of days.

Decide quickly and act immediately! If you don't act now then as Japanese retreat they will force you also to retreat and do humiliating work/action. If you remember when you were taken as prisoner of war first time then you were forced to stay hungry and do humiliating work. These are same Japanese.

This is an opportunity for you; don't let it go waste - switch side now. This is right opportunity for you to take revenge from your real enemies. Stop befriending them, put their ammunition on fire, destroy their weapons and join us. We promise you that you will return to India in couple of days.

Reverse side of the leaflet has text written in Urdu language carrying same propaganda.
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