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!

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