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The British Raj: Finally Afraid Of Beggars

September 16, 2012 3 comments

By 1945, British imperial leadership had taken on air of defeatism and resignation – going by cartoons and documents of the era..

British politicians 'protesting' against the 'dominance' of the Indian negotiators during the Independence negotiations. People depicted - Musso; (David Low's dog); Low; David (1891-1963); Pethick-Lawrence; Frederick William (1871-1961); Attlee; C. R. (Clement Richard) (1883-1967); Jinnah; Mahomed Ali (1876-1948); Gandhi; Mahatma (1869-1948)| Artist: David Low (1891-1963) Published: Evening Standard, 26 Sep 1945

British politicians ‘protesting’ against the ‘dominance’ of the Indian negotiators during the Independence negotiations. People depicted – Musso; (David Low’s dog); Low; David (1891-1963); Pethick-Lawrence; Frederick William (1871-1961); Attlee; C. R. (Clement Richard) (1883-1967); Jinnah; Mahomed Ali (1876-1948); Gandhi; Mahatma (1869-1948)| Artist: David Low (1891-1963) Published: Evening Standard, 26 Sep 1945

As Indian Independence struggle resonated across the world, the Raj found itself isolated. An embattled British Raj, saw ghosts under every bed – and an enemy in every Indian.

More than 5,000 documents and files dated from 1930 to 1991 have been declassified and made accessible as part of a public archive inaugurated last week at Raj Bhavan.

These documents include a treasure of historical oddities, such as a 1943 note from the general administration department to the governor’s secretary, outlining the menace of beggary and emphasising increased punishment for beggars.

“As soon as the beggar profession know that we mean business, it will melt away from Bombay,” the document states.

There are letters from an Indian Mauritian requesting some part of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi after his death, so that “the Indians of Mauritius may also pay their homage”.

via From the archives: Paranoia of beggars and much more – Hindustan Times.


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