Saturday, October 31, 2009

Taj Mahal India War Fund or War Loan Label

Last week was another very hectic week on personal front. It was also a very emotional one . There were some problems in family which needed to be sorted out very delicately. Things are now getting normal as usual. It was one of very important and most learning week of my life. As they say, life is full of turns and twists. One shall observe, feel, be part of it, learn, and then move on for new things ahead.

Thus, moving on to new things :-) Today's post is about a war fund or war loan label issued during world war 2 in India. Every time I see this label in my collection I get excited because I had never seen this before earlier neither in Internet nor on any Dealer's possession. This is one of a rare label and very beautifully crafted one.

Don't go on the crude nature of printing but appreciate the way Taj Mahal has been captured on a label. Mind you that it was not a regular stamp where a state machinery would have been used to come out with proper design and printing. These were very low cost production. Still it has been very aesthetically presented in those times.

Compare it against commemorative Indian stamps issued depicting Taj Mahal shown below and you will appreciate the way this war fund label has been designed.

A 1935 Taj Mahal Stamp under British India

A 1949 Taj Mahal Stamp after Indian Independence

A 1967 Taj Mahal Stamp

A 2004
Taj Mahal Stamp

I have this particular war fund or rather war loan label on one of Maihar state revenue paper affixed shown below. This label has Taj Mahal depicted with V (Victory) sign on top of it. This was printed in denomination of 2 Annas. I couldn't read the text in Urdu written on top portion of label but as soon as I got it translated, I will add to the post.

The reason I have confusion if it is war loan than war fund label is because revenue paper mentions "War Loan" in Hindi below this label but the purpose was more or less same so it hardly matters.

This label is also not listed in first edition of "Patriotic and Propaganda of the British Commonwealth" catalogue by Clive Edwards. Perhaps, it was listed in later revisions. As there are many more such labels which are not covered by first edition of the catalogue.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Victory Amusement Park Ticket - WW2 India

Today's post will be a very short one as I failed to gather any information on it. See if any of you can come up with some information. It is about ticket issued for "Victory Amusement Park" in India after allied victory over axis powers.

I am not sure if the ticket issued was part of Victory Week celebration which happened in April 1946 in Delhi or it was for some separate event in 1945/46. I not only tried as usual searching on internet but browsing some magazines/books I have which talk about Victory week celebration in Delhi. But there was no mention of Victory Amusement Park at all.

I even don't know whether these were entry tickets or related to some performance etc. The ticket carries crown and Union Jack. It also mentions "SKILL PRICE" on it with different denomination such as 1, 2, 4, and 8 annas.

I have a set of 19 different (colorful) such tickets. I was told that this is one of biggest such set available in market. Most of the time people get couple of such tickets but not more than ten. Looking into these tickets, I wonder how many such colorful tickets would have been issued. Like I have some 12 tickets of 4 annas denomination, 5 tickets of 2 annas denomination and 1 each for 1 anna and 8 annas. At least, similar colorful shades must be available in all denomination which makes it really difficult for any collector to have a complete set.

But basically, what I am really interested is knowing history behind them. What was the purpose behind these tickets and when were they issued along with what "SKILL PRICE" means. Please share any information you have on these.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

WW2 Cash Coupon - Sayla State

The week was very hectic for me as I spent 3.5 days traveling out of 5 days - a sudden personal trip to Delhi happened. There were personal gains too out of the trip but I lost opportunity to bid on some items on eBay as well ;-) but they are materialistic loss. I can get them later anyway. Family and life always comes first. It's just that I have become too much addicted to eBay. It's time to get married :D so that I will have a better company to spend my quality time with!

I will try to refrain myself from typing "anyway" and "I think" as much as possible as I read it recently that they figure in top 10 most annoying words/sentences all over the world. Did you mean it! errr... anyway (one last time :-) !@#$%## Let's start today's topic.

Today's topic is based on cash coupons issued by Sayla state. As discussed in last post of cash coupons that there was need during WW2 for princely states of India to issue cash coupons to compensate shortage of precious metals used for coins. Just like others Sayla state also issued cash coupons.

Just to give a brief introduction about Sayla state, it was more of a Royal province, formerly in Western India States Agency (Kathiawar), which merged into Saurashtra; now in Gujarat state of Modern India.

Sayla was a 575 km² princely state ruled by the Jhala Rajputs, a clan that came to Saurashtra from Sindh and established their reign at Patdi in the 12th century. After the Islamic invasions, the Jhalas moved their capital to Halwad and made it their capital. Over the centuries, the Jhalas established Dhrangadhra near Halwad, Wankaner, Limbdi, Wadhwan, Sayla, Chuda and other princely states. Sayla accessed to India on 15th February 1948.

Show above are three known cash coupons issued by Sayla state numbered D, E and F. All three of them were of denomination of 1 Paisa. They have been mentioned in "Indian Paper Money Catalogue" by Kishore Jhunjhunwala.

These coupons are more like old railway platform tickets which Indian railway replaced by small paper tickets. The coupons give nostalgic feeling of those platform tickets which used to be made of thick cardboard paper. Even the printing of these coupons are similar to what most Indians are used to seeing it on railway platform tickets which are also part of history now!

Perhaps just like these cash coupons, those old Indian Railway Journey/Platform Tickets will also become a collectors paradise soon.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

War Advertisement India

Today's article is one of different type. It's an advertisement published during war days. This is unlike advertisements printed in newspaper or magazines but rather a pamphlet/leaflet. I love collecting such original leaflets/pamphlets. While, one can easily see and get War posters, advertisement of US, UK or other allied countries. I have found it extremely difficult to get an Indian one.

None of the websites or dealers (with whom I have interacted) claim to have one to offer. Though, I have seen war advertisements in princely states gazettes or Indian Information periodicals and they also serve as more original than private advertisements printed in private magazines. But, there is nothing comparable to original pamphlet/leaflet.

The above advertisement was printed by the Eagle Lithographing Co., Ltd, Calcutta, and published by Provincial & State Committees for War Savings. The advertisement talks about importance of savings and how can one contribute by doing so. It definitely has immediate visual impact because it shows how each saving however small it is helps India defend its people and territory in war.

The text on advertisement reads:


Here are a few war weapons - from Bullet to Battleship - with the approximate cost of each of them.

So when you have contributed Rs. 100 - possibly by buying DEFENCE SAVINGS CERTIFICATES - you have provided the cost of a Rifle, or two Pistols or a hundredth part of a Barrage Balloon.

Money for the war, whether by the purchase of DEFENCE SAVINGS CERTIFICATES or otherwise, means help to India's Fighting Troops. The money will pay for the Bullets they shoot from Pistol, Rifle and Machine Gun; or the Barrage Balloon and Anti-Aircraft Gun that may protect them. It helps to provide the Aeroplanes that Indian Pilots fly; and the Destroyers, Cruisers and Battleships that are protecting India, its Troops and its Trade.

YOU can also SERVE by SAVING.


If any of my readers have such original Indian war advertisements or posters in terms of pamphlets/leaflets and willing to sell then please contact me. I am more that willing to buy those.

WW2 Japanese Propaganda Leaflet against British India

First of all I would like to give my best wishes for Happy and Safe Deepawali to all of my readers. For those of you who don't know about it here is brief intro on it.

Diwali is a festival which is celebrated in India and Nepal. While it is particularly sacred to Hindus, practitioners of other Indian religions also celebrate Diwali, and Jainist, Hindu, and Sikh communities all over the world commemorate Diwali with smaller festivals of their own. The timing of this holiday varies, since it is based on the Hindu lunar calendar, but it is generally celebrated in the fall. Diwali festivities in India involve everyone, not just the religious faithful, and the holiday is a major event in the Indian year.

On this auspicious occasion, I decided to show Japanese world war two propaganda leaflets. I have very few of them in my collection. They are generally rare and very costly to acquire. But each of Japanese leaflets are gem on its own due to colorful delight and propaganda it offers.

Shown above is one of such propaganda leaflet. Again, I am going to take the text directly from Herbert Friedman's article (Axis Propaganda Aganist India) as he has described it very clearly.

This leaflet depicts the British piling onto the back of a truck in an attempt to escape the victorious Japanese military forces. A Japanese bomber is in the background. Some Indian colonial troops try to get into the truck along with the British, but they are kicked aside and knocked to the ground. One lies dead beneath the rear wheels. This clearly shows the regard the British have for their Indian colonial troops.

The leaflet has text in Hindi and Bengali. The translated version in English is:

The Englishmen are just not bothered about you.
You will see this scene wherever you look.

I am sure you would like the leaflet because of its message and colorful representation.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Envelopes with printed war slogans

Today's item is double bonanza :D I am showing four different envelops which not only have war related slogans printed on it but some of them also carry postmark in different shape with slogans on it.

The first envelope is shown below, posted to A.R.P. (Air Raid Protection) Controller in Bombay. The envelope was posted on 7th May 1943. It carries printed slogan of "Make India Strong - Buy Defence Saving Certificates" at bottom left corner. On right hand side top it also carries cancellation slogan in waves format "Buy Post Office Cash Certificates".

As we all know during war days British Government had number of saving schemes running to allow public to put their savings which was utilised by Govt. for war and relief funds.

Here is second such envelope with same printed slogan. Shown below is an envelope with rather crude printing but carrying the same slogan of "Make India Strong - Buy Defence Saving Certificates" in different pattern. The envelope was posted on Dec 1942. Even though it is crude printing but I hope you will like it.

The third in series carry a slightly different printed slogan but it is loosely based on similar pattern. Shown below is an envelope posted on 21st Feb 1945 from Warli, Bombay. It carries a printed slogan of "Save For Safety With ... Defence Saving Certificates". In fact this letter is VPP not an ordinary letter. Though, that doesn't matter. I like the slogan and its design. Again it is different from all of above.

Now, last one in this series is again with very crude printing. This is a telegram posted on 9th Feb 1944 from Gujarat. The cancellation is on back side of the cover. Also it appears from front that right hand side is diagonally cut which is not the case :-) The telegram is wrapped diagonally (it's strange) and intact from reverse side. Anyway, as you can see the letters are barely visible. It has a printed slogan of "Safety - Buy Defence Saving Certificates". Not sure if the slogan was printed incomplete or this was intended slogan :D This is another strange but interesting variety.

I really love to collect such envelopes which carry printed war slogans and if possible with some war slogan cancellation postmarks. I hope, there will be more varieties of such envelopes issued in India. I will be glad if someone has spare to offer.

I still have some more covers with or without printed slogans in my collection. There are some with only war slogans cancellation postmark. I will show remaining in future post to keep up excitment among my readers ;-) Hope you will continue to come to my blog.

I am not really sure if I will be updating blog coming weekend as there are some family gatherings planned at my home. I most likely be busy. But if I could get some relaxing time then you will get posts!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Jodhpur Government Gazette - August 10, 1940

Last two days were very frustrating for me. My internet service provider BSNL's local exchange had some outage and all the broadband services got disrupted. October 2nd happens to be National Holiday in India commemorated as Mahatma Gandhi's birthday so they could fix the problem by later afternoon today only. You can take it as excuse for me not posting any item on blog :D I felt as if life was all of sudden dull and boring ;-) It's good to be back.

Anyway, let's focus on today's item. This is another post on Princely States Gazettes. This Gazette was issued by Jodhpur state on August 10, 1940. The unqiueness about this Gazette is that it was first edition when Jodhpur state started reporting war news to general public. Since it was slightly late attempt thus this edition carries WW2 news in brief (as summary) from the start of war until the date of publication. It's an interesting two page brief reporting on advent of war till this date.

Princely state gazettes used to be printed both in English and Hindi but the one I have in my possession is in Hindi. I treat it as an opportunity and a TOEFL test. Let's see how do I score today :D

Here is the translated text in English (this time I will try to translate it in informal manner) :

War News

Britain is fighting for the freedom and if she could not defeat Germany then we should assume that World would loose all the goodness. For years, it was being tried to resolve all the conflicting issues of each country with other but all this has gone in vain now. England started disarming herself thinking all the other nations would follow it and there would no longer be war in this world. But, Germany was in control of Hitler that time and he had other plans. He formed an unrelenting army and powerful air force. His aim was to control whole of Europe under his power and world acknowledge the power of mighty Germany.

Finally, when he attacked Poland in September, 1939 then world war two started. Since this is first edition of war news, we are providing some of main events which has happend so far.

Hitler was elected as Vice Chancellor of German Parliament called Reichtang in 1932. He crushed and as needed got murdered all of his opponents to take control of power by 1933. Then he started building a powerful army and arms/ammunitions for its need. With the help of Gestapo (German Secret Police) and his staunch supporters like Goering, Goebbles and Ribbentrop, he literally brought whole Germany under him. Now, german newspapers publish only those kind of news or articles which suits Nazi Government. Jewish people are murdered and Government seize all of their property and belongings. People have lost freedom and opportunity to express their views openly. Gestapo arrests people and confine them to jails without any proved crime or court order.

By 1938 Austria become part of Germany and just after couple of months Czechosolvakia followed suite. Czech people resisted but since France and England were not ready for war thus Mr. Chamberlain submissivley agreed on the proposal in Munich Agreement. This cleared the way for Germany to capture Czechoslovakia.

Hitler attacked Poland in 1939. Despite all the brave effort of Poles, Germany won the war using her bigger and powerful mechnaised army (which consisted of war machines and motors) which spread all over Poland like ants and captured it. After couple of months German Army entred in Denmark and then attacked Norway. Even though Hitler lost half of its naval force still he was successful in capturing strategic part of Norway. Then he attacked Holand, Belgium and France in succession.

Again, French, Dutch and Belgians fought very hard but neither they were match for German Army nor they had matching arms, ammunition, tanks or fighter planes. Besides that they were also betrayed by some of their own people in each country. In the meantime, Britain took complete control of sea and maritime boundary. It also sent some regiments to France and started air raids over Germany. Despite British help, France lost the war sometime in May/June 1940 because of lack of able military leadership. Britain managed somehow to rescue its forces and retreated. All these victories have caused Germany more than 1 million people and now it is in bad shape lacking both people to fight and arms/ammunition for it. Italy has come in favor of Germany. But it could not cause any significant damage because of British powerful navy. Thus, almost complete Europe is being terrorized by Hitler at this moment.

The countries won over by Hitler even lack basic human rights. Poles are especially ill treated under Nazi occupation. Germans are served first in all of Polish shops and restaurants. Poles are forced to clear the road for Germans. They are also obliged to do Nazi salute. If anyone is found to have any kind of relation with German women then they are doomed to death sentence. There is such a strict control of Germans on food and beverages in Holland that Dutch people are dying due to hunger. All sort of milk products such as butter, cheese and other food items are being diverted to Germany which is lacking it big time. Hitler has even given orders not to take out potatoes from field in Belgium until they are ripen completely. Those who disobey the order are given severe punishment. These are some of fruits of Nazi occupation and this is the kind of world Hitler wants to establish.

British air force is getting strong day by day. While the army which also consists of people of Canada, India, Australia, and New Zealand are well equipped with arms/ammunition and at the same time British navy has complete control over sea and naval routes. Now most of the war will be fought over air and sea only. And, Britain is certainly gaining grounds on air also. Hitler wants to attack England but so far all of his efforts have gone in vain.

Britain is fully prepared to defend herself and it seems almost impossible that Germany can attack or land its army in Britain. Meanwhile, British air force is destroying German oil depots, railway tracks, canals and camps. While, Navy is preventing any ammunition or help reaching Germany by sea routes. In fact, British navy is so powerful that there is not even a single opportunity for Italy or Germany to exercise over sea routes. Even though, USA is not fighting still it is helping Britain in terms of arms and ammunition. We hope that British air force and navy will come out victorious with their bravery at the end.


Oh boy! this was such a big translation. Even though we know that allies came out victorious out of war but I am not sure if I scored well or not. Since this was my first attempt to translate it in informal way rather than just do exact word by word translation, I hope I will get at least B grade :-)

Jokes apart, the news gazette offers is mix of truth and propaganda. As you read it, you can feel it. Those who can read Hindi will be delighted to read it. The article is full of adjectives and at the same time written in colloquial way. I think the idea was to have immediate and significant impact on reader. That's why the language is so different than formal newspapers.

Though, its years since I have read proper Hindi newspapers so I could be wrong here as well. I have lost touch and the command I used to posses on Hindi being born and brought in hardcore north Indian Hindi region. Sometimes, I regret losing touch of my mother language and just limited to very few words of it as we speak now days. It is really soothing experience reading such articles. And I enjoyed it and I hope you will also like whether in Hindi or English!
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