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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I should digg your article therefore other folks can see it, really useful, I had a tough time finding the results searching on the web, thanks.

- Murk

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