Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dasehra Week - War Fund Ticket (India)

Before I present today's item, let me tell you that I was feeling low initially showing these because I could hardly gather information on it like earlier post. But, then I started searching with other keywords and found very interesting piece of information surrounding the war fund tickets that I am gonna show.

So, let me reveal the suspense and come straight on topic. It is two different tickets/raffles for sports activities which were organized in aid of war fund during WW2 days. The tickets were issued by the Princely State of Jaipur. The first of such ticket is shown below.

The ticket was issued for "Hockey Match" in aid of war fund which was organized at Bhagwant Dass Barracks on the 8th Oct, 1940. The ticket was priced Rupees 2 and it was part of Dasehra Week celebration.

Shown above is similar ticket but this time issued for "Cricket Match" which was organized on next day i.e. on 9th Oct, 1940 at the college ground.

There is significance behind these tickets being issued during Dashera Week for War Fund. One can read more details on Dasehra or Dussehra or Vijaydashami. Typically, Dasehra falls every year in end of September or 1st to 2nd week of October as per Indian Hindu Calendar.

This festival has been the most celebrated one by the fighting castes since centuries. All Hindus try to make a beginning of their most cherished work on this auspicious day. According to the Hindu tradition, on this day Lord (God) Ram set out on his conquest of Lanka, and therefore it can be easily imagined the supreme importance of Dasehra in the eyes of the princes of Mewar and Amber who claimed direct descent from Lord (God) Ram. Its essence was the combination of worship and military display: all the arms, accoutrement and paraphernalia of the royalty and the state forces were inspected, and divine blessing sought on them by the Maharaja as the supreme commander of the troops and the chieftain of the clan.

There was century old tradition of holding such ceremony in Udaipur where a change was introduced in the details by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh of Jaipur in 1913, when all the State forces were assembled together at the Fatah-Tiba or Mount of Victory outside the capital. There, after offering worship to the gods, the colors were taken down and re-hosted, and a salute fired by the entire artillery.

This collective celebration was discontinued in 1924. Since then every unit of the army used to perform the Dasehra rites at its headquarters, conducting the puja (rituals), changing the colors and firing the salvo on the local scale. At Jaipur, the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh used to ride at the head of Sawai Man Guards to Amber, and offer adoration to the flag of this corps d'elite of his army before the Shila Mata, the goddess enshrined in that ancient capital. Later, there used to be day long ceremonies to celebrate the festival.

This tradition was also changed later by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II in 1939 when the inspection parade were held at the Bhagwant Dass Barracks, the headquarter of the Sawai Man Guards.

Now, you can understand why such war fund tickets were issued on occasion of Dasehra and one of the match was held at Bhagwant Dass Barracks which was the headquarter of the Sawai Man Guards. The other ground in question is Maharaja College Ground where Cricket match was organized. The ground is still one of the popular venue for hosting cricket matches.

After Independence , when Jaipur State was merged to complete the formation of the present state of Rajasthan, Jaipur City became its capital, and then these Bhagwant Dass Barracks were turned into the Secretariat of the Rajasthan Government.

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