Saturday, July 3, 2010

Indian Independence League - Gandhi WW2 Propaganda Leaflet

Well, I missed some weekends posting items here. It was not that I was not available but I was more of tired and busy :-) I happen to travel to Shanghai last week. I also visited World Expo in Shanghai. I felt Shanghai is definitely one of the best modern city in the world with amazing infrastructure and public transportation. I also happen to get ride in World's fastest magnetic train called Maglev which travels at 431 Km/hr!!! It was thrilling ride and sight outside. I don't regret missing a weekend for that trip ;-)

Coming back to our usual stuff, I was planning to share a set of WWII propaganda labels today but again my laziness has come in between. Thus, I have decided to settle on an easy but rare item. I am sure that 99.99% you would not have seen this.

It is a WWII propaganda leaflet issued by Indian Independence League. Indian Independence League was founded in 1928 by Indian nationalists Rash Bihari Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru. It was located in various parts of South-East Asia and included Indian expatriates, and later, Indian nationalists in-exile under Japanese occupation following Japan's successful Malayan Campaign during the first part of the Second World War.

Established primarily to foster Indian Nationalism and to obtain Japanese support for the Indian Independence Movement, the League came to interact and command the first Indian National Army under Mohan Singh before it was dissolved. Later, after the arrival of Subhas Chandra Bose in South East Asia and the revival of the INA, the League came under his leadership, before giving way to Azad Hind. You can read more on Wikipedia or do Google.

It was Subhas Chandra Bose under whose leadership these organization (Indian Independence League, Indian National Army and Azad Hind) were reborn/revived. Since this was more of political arm of INA/Azad Hind thus they prepared lots of propaganda materials for use in war at all fronts of South East Asia where British Forces (having Indian soldiers) were fighting against Japanese Forces/INA (having Indian soldiers).

I have recently acquired one of the finest collection of Indian Independence League (INA/Azad Hind) war propaganda leaflets from a well known collector. Without naming him, I would like to thank him for offering his collection to me. Of course, it cost me a fortune but every time I see them I just get overwhelmed :-)

This is first of such leaflet I am showing. Most of them have only text but a few have pictures or drawings. The one shown below is unique in sense it uses Mahatma Gandhi to spread the message (propaganda).

The leaflet has drawing only on one side. It shows Indian soldiers on both side of fighting forces (Allies and Axis) ready to attack each other. Then, there is Mahatma Gandhi trying to stop Indian soldier on Allies side (see British Flag on left side) from attacking soldier on right side (see Indian National Movement flag there which was used by Indian National Congress and had become symbol of Indian Independence Movement).

It shows a message written in five different languages: Hindi, English, Urdu, Tamil and Bengali. The text reads (it is pictured as if it is Mahatma Gandhi's message):


At right hand side below Indian soldier, Indian Independence League In East Asia is written which had designed and spread this propaganda leaflet.

It was a delightful moment for me when I received a letter along with this leaflet which mentioned that the leaflet was picked up by none other than a serving British soldier in 1943 at Arakan, coast of Burma during war.

The above letter is from Norman V. Starling who was serving then at the coast of Burma when British and American (allies) forces were fighting against Japanese and INA. It mentions that Japanese had dropped this leaflet in 1943 there.

In philatelic world, anything mentioning Mahatma Gandhi is eye catching thus I hope my readers would feel the same here :-) Hope, you like it.

Please feel free to comments/share your thoughts on this leaflet.


amjadbutt said...

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Far de la Banya said...

Thanks for your information. This post it's really interesting :-)

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