Saturday, December 26, 2009

British India War Propaganda Leaflet Against Japanese (Indian) Forces

Here comes another war propaganda leaflet :-) This is one of the British India propaganda leaflet targeting Indian troops which were part of Japanese army. These were codes "SH/(numerical)". It is believed that no more that 33 of the "SH" leaflets were produced.

Shown above is leaflet SH/19 targeting Indian soldiers part of Japanese Army (Indian National Army led by Subhas Chandra Bose) in Arakan region.

Arakan (now known as Rakhine state of Burma) was situated on the western coast, bordering with other Burmese states, the Bay of Bengal to the west, and the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh (formerly part of British India) to the northwest. It was one of the strategic point to enter India.

Arakan Campaign was one of the famous battle campaigns in South East Asia region though some people doubt how much it contributed to defeat of Japan overall. I feel, it was one of decisive battle which ensured British India didn't get overrun by Japanese Forces (including INA). One can read the impressive details in brief here:

Now, coming back to leaflet. The leaflet as usual is printed in Hindustani language using English alphabets.

| Indian Brothers of Arakan! |

In the beginning of this year, many Indian soldiers (following footsteps of Subhas Chandra Bose) as a part of Japanese army had come to Manipur. They were close to their fellow country-men and brothers who serve in British Indian Army in Manipur. In fact, most of those joined their brothers in British Indian Army as they saw an opportunity. They are fortunate because they are living happily and safely in their respective home/native places. Some of their other brothers could not decide in time and as a result they had to retreat towards Chindwin and Tiddim along with Japanese forces who were defeated very badly. Most of those unfortunate died because of starvation while rest are trying to hide and escape from allied bombing.

| They have lost the opportunity now it's you turn! |

Indian brothers of Arakan! You are close to our forces. Gather your strength and grab the opportunity in your hand! If you join your fellow brothers in British Indian Army then you can easily and safely return to your home/native place.

If you continued to serve for or assist Japanese forces then you would never see your home again.

Which way would you like to choose? You have to decide now! Remember, your other friends who could not take decision fast in Manipur and now at the mercy of their fate.


Of course it is sheer propaganda where on the one hand it encourages INA soldiers to surrender and switch their side while on the other hand it reminds them of cruel fate of those who didn't act on time. I guess, these leaflets would have been more effective if they would have carried some visual images like Japanese colored leaflets which depicts blood (red color) and a peaceful image of home.

Nevertheless, I think these were very effective because of difficult terrain and unhealthy weather of Burma which caused thousands of casualties on both the sides.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Jodhpur Government Gazette - August 10, 1940 (War News)

This year December has been unusually hectic for me. I was thinking it to be relaxed period but surprisingly it has been more busy month than October-November. Well, don't take it as excuse for not updating the blog. I am not complaining :-) I hope I can work like this even after marriage ;-)

I am planning to go to my native place Patna after more than 3 years. There are couple of reasons for it. Of course it has been a very long time since I visited there so there are nostalgic reasons as expected. Nostalgia has different meaning for different people. Like I want to feel the chillness and cold weather of North India, indulge into the great food of winter like Sweet Carrot Halwa, Sweets made out of Til (I need to find English word for it) and Kachori/Paratha (Indian Fried Breads) made out of fresh green Gram flour. Winter is the season when one shall visit North India. It's bad weather but an unique experience!

Last but the least, I also want to go to Gangaes Ghats and roam around old and new Patna to refresh my childhood memories. This time, I also plan to carry camera to capture some moments. Even though, I have been born and brought up there still I know Patna always gives you an experience every time one visits. So let's see this time what I will have to share with my friends here when I return.

So, there will not be any more updates after this weekend until 16th Jan! I will be back in Bangalore on 10th Jan but will post 1st entry of Jan only on 16th-17th. I will try to see how much I can update this holiday weekend to compensate for December-January.

I have lots of literature items coming in next months. To start with, today's post is based on "The Jodhpur Government Gazette" dated August 10, 1940. Sometimes back, I had shared 2 pages of same Gazette. This post covers remaining 2 pages of same Gazette on War News.

The scan above shows the first page I am going to translate. The headline says "News" and it covers some statements by Allied leaders on war followed by small commentary on WWII through a character. Next page then covers weekly war news from around the world. I will skip the statements part and directly jump on commentary on war.

----------------------------Page 1-----------------------------------

The Voice of your Uncle -

Dear children, though I have grown old still I am very much familiar with places like Palestine, Egypt, France, Belgium, Holland, England etc. You would have started hearing name of these places now days very often but I have seen them in the last world war itself. I was a serving soldier that time, and even now I am mentally.

You are sons and daughters of a great country. (Here country refers to the place where the princely state of Jodhpur used to belong i.e. Marwar region.) Marwar has also been the birth place of great warriors. Our land is famous for brave Rathors. Very recently in 1897-98, our ruler Maharaja Shri Sardar Singhji had provided assistance to British Army in Frontier War. Maharaja Shri Sumer Singhji fought in France in last European war. Our army secured/won Haifa in Palestine. We captured some 700 prisoners of war and a number of machine guns. They are now decorated in Jodhpur Fort. You have seen them already, now wait for more! Our officers and soldiers were awarded total of 88 medals/citations.

We stil have our army in Risalpur. Shri Darbar Saheb is getting trained in air warfare under the command of Indian Air Force. We are natives of a brave and glorious country. I wish, I was serving in army even now.


If you read you can make out that the article tries to raise partiotism in general public. It expresses a soldier's desire to fight for his country even though he is now retired. He still wants to serve. He recites examples set by Maharaja of the state and other dignitaries. It is like modeling the young minds of kids (or in crude way brain washing them so they grow up as loyal citizens of princely state and British Empire).

-----------------------------------Page 2------------------------------------------

Weekly News:-

Around the World:-

Air raids (German) continued on England. Sometimes, even Wales got hit. There was hardly any damage to England. Though, Germany had to suffer huge loss. (Seems clear propaganda !!)

Some Incidents:-

1. Only 6 of the British airplanes were enough for 80 German airplanes. The air raid consisted of 80 German fighter planes which were chased out of Britain by 6 of Royal Air Force fighters assisted by anti-aircraft guns. Whole battle lasted only 30 minutes, where Germans lost 15 of their planes while British only one. The damage caused to Britain was 1/5 of what Germany suffered. Germany has already lost some 318 of their fighter planes trying to capture Great Britain. In fact, they have lost 244 planes beginning 10th June. As an average they are losing almost 6 fighters daily.

2. Italian air force dropped some 280 bombs on a British naval warship near Mediterranean sea but not a single bomb hit the target. Actually, because of high tides and waves, warship was almost covered causing zero visibility to enemy thus they could not target it properly. We didn't suffer any damage. In between, one of Royal air force fighter chased enemy planes out of the area.

In India:-

Preparations are on full swing. Indian air force is expanding and similarly army and naval forces are also increasing. We are manufacturing ammunition and other war equipment rapidly.

People from every caste and society are collecting funds for war assistance.

Organizations like civic guards are performing their duty impressively for the defense of the country.

In Jodhpur:-

A message to general public of Marwar by Chief Minister Saheb Shri Lt. Col. D. M. Field:

"Shri Jodhpur Darbar Saheb has offered all the state resources to His Highness the Emperor and adviced the general public of state to face the difficult situation with confidence in unity and peace.

Shri Darbar Saheb advice general public to beware of rumors, warn of those people who spread fear and panic in society by word or their deeds.

Shri Darbar Saheb has firm belief that his fellow men will go beyond their ancestors loyalty and follow him."


Monday, December 14, 2009

Special Junagadh War Number - WWII Publication

Today's post is getting published on weekdays, breaking the old tradition of posting only on weekends. Well, there are couple of reasons for that: I was bit busy in some apartment meetings/inspection work, there was some laziness on my part as usual and last but the least, I watched 3 movies over weekends :-) It was long time since I decided to watch movies.

Coming back to today's item, there is little known about it other than that the publication itself provides some very useful information on war preparations and activities in Junagadh and other princely states during WWII. Yes, today's item is about a publication called "Naresh" published by some Mr. Makhan Singh.

The gentleman used to publish this magazine which used to cover news and stories from princely states of India. The edition I have is mainly dedicated to Junagadh called "Special Junagadh War Number".

The main magazine

This edition is dated June 10, 1942 and seems published from Kot Radha Kishen, a place in (now) Pakistan near Lahore. The publication itself is of unusual size, paper greater than an A4 Legal size. It has a main magazine and a supplement magazine and couple of pictorial posters. The main magazine is of some 12 pages excluding 2 posters attached to it. There are 2 more posters which are not attached to magazine and a supplement, a rather small booklet of 10 pages (shown below).

The supplement magazine

Since the edition was concentrating on Junagadh state, it has Captain His Highness Nawab Sir Mahabathkhanji Rasulkhanji Bahadur, C.C.I.E., K.C.S.I. (Knight Commander), Nawab of Junagadh state on front cover of both main magazine and the supplement magazine.

You can find tons of article on web about Junagadh. Junagadh is mainly famous for two reasons: the history behind accession of Junagadh state to India and one of popular tourist destination (do Lions ring bell ;-)

The main magazine talks about the war efforts of Junagadh state, loyalty of its Nawab and heir apparent to throne the princes and the Diwan of state towards British Empire. I must say that the magazine is one of the best example of flattery of Nawabs. This is how people used to worship rulers of princely states those times. It used to be like a break neck competition among people to show their loyalty to rulers by showing their devotion in such form of art and win some accolades in return in any manner.

The main magazine starts with that on 1st page. Let's skip all those glorification part and concentrate on war efforts. The magazine mentions that as soon as war was declared, the Nawab made his first contribution of 2.5 Lakh Rupees, followed by donating money for 3 spitfires to be named after "Junagadh" , "Lady Linlithgow" and "Dilawar".

It also mentions that the servants of the State, in order to show their loyalty towards the Empire voluntarily came forward to contribute in one month's salary and in another month 5% of their salaries to aid the War efforts.

The state also organised a Lucky Bag Scheme twice and tickets worth thousands of rupees were sold amongst the subjects of the State exclusively. After deducting the amount of prizes, the balance was subscribed towards the War Gifts Fund.

And then it goes on elaborating how Begum Sahiba had organized Ladies meet to raise funds and the two prince son of Nawab show their keen interest in war related activities. It also praises the effort of Diwan of state for his able administration during war period.

Finally, there are other pages covering news about National War Front activities from other princely states and other general news of those times like marriage and food situation etc. Finally at the end there are 4 pages written in Urdu.

Then the supplement magazine (booklet) starts with ID greetings to Captain His Highness Nawab Sir Mahabathkhanji Rasulkhanji Bahadur, C.C.I.E., K.C.S.I. (Knight Commander), Nawab of Junagadh state as shown above.

I have uploaded the complete scans of both the magazines here for leisure reading: Special Junagadh War Number. You can read them on your own. I tried but I can't keep off my hands from the text of these booklets. Here are some more samples of flattery:

Services in the Present War

As soon as the British Power declared War against the aggressive forces of Hitlerism, His Highness at once came forward and offered his personal services, the services of his troops and the entire resources of his state to His Majesty the King Emperor. The British Government has accepted His Highness' offer most gratefully.

Not to speak of this His Highness has contributed Rs 2.5 lakhs for War purposes. It is his first installment and if the War remains in the force, His Highness will certainly grudge no sacrifice for the British Government and will help it with men, money and material as best as he can.

All the resources of help are being mustered and it is hoped that state would beat the record of that help which it rendered during the Great War of 1914-1918.

The British Government can safely feel proud on the help of such loyal and faithful friends.

The people of the state are giving encouraging response to the appeal of their master the ruler. According to their means they have begun to contribute their help to the British Government.

To be brief Junagadh is very progressive state in Western India. --- I think this might be a fact.


Read it completely and enjoy the contents. I liked the magazine in first glance itself despite its flattering articles which was obvious of those time, isn't it? The magazine is also very colorful with so many portraits. I wish I could get hold of some more editions!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mysore State War Fund Label/Stamp

Today's items is about War Fund stamps/labels issued by Mysore State during WWI. Well, the name of Mysore brings image of the Palace and Brindavan Gardens in memory. Most of the people who visits India will be familiar with Mysore. It is one of the most friendly and popular city among tourists all over the world.

In fact, because of its proximity to Bangalore, we ensure that our colleagues who visit us from our office in US and China do make a trip to Mysore and surrounding places before returning. You can say we run an "Incredible India!" campaign free of cost for the benefit of Government of India. They shall list us in their website at least as one of partners in promoting tourism :-)

Anyway, let's get back to actual item. In short, the princely state of Mysore was a 21 gun salute state and one of the largest under British India. It was founded in 1399 and finally acceded to India in 1947. You can read more about the Mysore at Wikipedia. There are tons of article available on Mysore on Internet.

Kingdom of Mysore
Princely States of India

I will concentrate more on the war efforts part of Mysore state in this post. During WWI, state of Mysore was ruled by His Highness the Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV. The Maharaja offered to His Majesty's Government the military and other resources of his state for the Imperial purposes. He offered the Imperial Services Lancers which under the command of Urs Bahadur, left Bangalore on October 13, 1914 and took part in three engagements with the enemy in the Suez Canal zone. The state contributed 1355 combatants to the Imperial Service Troops and supplied over 6500 recruits to Regular Indian Army.

The Mysore Lancers played a leading role in pursuing Turkish forces after their unsuccessful attack on the Suez Canal in February 1915. They were responsible for the defense of the breach in the British line at Gaza in September 1917. The Lancers distinguished themselves in the capture of Gaza and were acclaimed far and wide for their daring charges against the enemy across the Jordan in July 1918. In the final defeat of the Turkish army in September 1918 the Mysore Lancers were once again conspicuous notably in the capture of Haifa, Homs, Alleppo and Maritan.

After the first world war the Mysore Lancers were again recognized to form part of the Indian State Forces with which they remained till the integration of the country after Independence and the amalgamation of the State Forces with the Indian Army.

The Maharaja also supplied ambulance carts and trained horses. Besides he contributed 50 Lakhs of rupees towards the cost of the Indian Expeditionary Forces in Europe, 10 Lakhs as free gifts, 14 Lakhs to Relief Fund, 65 Lakhs to War Loans, 21 Lakhs in British and 19.5 Lakhs as Indian Treasury Bills.

Mysore was second only to Hyderabad state in terms of contribution towards War purpose accounting all sort of war relief, loan and other funds. Naturally for the Maharaja's great effort he was awarded GCSI (Knight Grand Commander) by the British Empire. The award was created in 1861 and was the senior order of chivalry associated with the Empire of India.

Shown above is a special cover issued by Bangalore G.P.O. on 15th October 2008 on the occasion of Philatelic Exhibition on Post Office in Bangalore. The special cover carries pictorial presentation of picture postcard issued by British India showing His Highness the Maharaja of Mysore riding a horse and it mentions the reason for issuing such postcard as benefit of M.I.S.L. War Fund (Mysore Imperial Services Lancers War Fund).

The special cover also carries a special postmark of "War Fund Mysore State" with Mysore Palace shown. The design of postmark was borrowed from actual War Fund stamp/label issued during WWI by Mysore State as shown below.

Well, the general people of Mysore were never behind the Maharaja. They contributed nearly 45 Lakhs of rupees to different War funds and the war loans. Some 19,000 army blankets were supplied by the state, along with the 1,50,000 feet of rose wood to the Gun carriage factory at Jabbalpore (now Jabalpur) and 30,000 teak metre gauge sleepers for railway construction in Mesopotamia. The pecuinary assistance rendered by His Highness, his state and his people amounted to over 2 Crore of rupees.

Shown above is 2 different kinds of War Fund stamps/labels issued during WWI by Mysore State. Both of stamps/labels are of denomination of 1/2 anna each but in different color carmine red and violet. The stamp/label show the Mysore Palace in centre. Well, I have no catalogue to quote here how many such varieties or different denominations exist. In fact, getting a Mysore state War Fund stamps/labels are now very very difficult.

To conclude the War saga of Mysore state, let me post some of other information I could gather from Internet after WWI ended. At the end of WWI, a peace celebration was held in the city for 4 days from December 13, 1919, on which Rs. 10,000 was spent. The programmes included feeding and distribution of clothers to the poor, religious services in all places of worship, organising Bhajans and Harikathas in select locatlities, march past by the troops, music, distribution of sweets to school children and organising of sports events for them, along with exhibitions and public meetings. Public buildings were illuminated and crackers were burst (obviously!!!).

Even though, WWI ended in 1918-19 and WWII ended in 1945-46, Mysore Palace continues to be illuminated every night. In fact, watching the Palace illuminated at night has become one of major tourist attraction of state.

And talking about bursting crackers, well Indians are never enough of it. We look for excuse to burst crackers whether it is a festival, a marriage or a cricket match!
Related Posts with Thumbnails