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“The time has come to make India free. Wake up! Get up and break free from the shackles of the British”, Japanese poster distributed in the British Raj, 1942

“The time has come to make India free. Wake up! Get up and break free from the shackles of the British”, Japanese poster distributed in the British Raj, 1942

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7 Comments


  1. Zzyzwicz_

    July 19, 2017 at 6:56 am

    The top two lines are in Hindi while the bottom two are in Bengali though I’m told the Bengali is a particularly poor translation. Perhaps there’s someone here who speaks the language and can comment on it.

    This piece was printed and distributed by Japanese and Japanese-aligned agitators (e.g. Azad Hind) to stir the steadily-growing Indian independence movement into armed revolt which would likely have spelt the end of the British Raj or at the very least weakened her to the point that a Japanese invasion may have been successful. It was also distributed near the frontlines during the Burma Campaign (1942-45) in hopes of influencing the Indian forces opposing the Japanese.
    It plays heavily on the themes already used by Indian independence campaigners of the time, notably the bag of gold held by Churchill being an obvious allusion to the claim that India and her people were being ruthlessly exploited and robbed blind by their British rulers.

  2. JManRomania

    July 19, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Why was it so hard to draw Churchill in WWII?

    Even the British artists had a time of it.

  3. AttalusPius

    July 19, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Okay, this is gonna sound stupid. But… was there a Japanese presence in India in WWII? In fact, was there even any fighting in India in WWII?

  4. ciderczar

    July 19, 2017 at 6:56 am

    The Spiderverse gets weirder every day.

  5. RosalRoja

    July 19, 2017 at 6:56 am

    I love the design of this poster. And I never would of considered the Japanese encouraging Indian independance from Britain. So interesting how countries link together!

  6. Kiwi_Force

    July 19, 2017 at 6:56 am

    I’m not saying the British were great colonial rulers. But they did grant independence less than 10 years after this propoganda was spread. You certainly would never have gotten that with the Japanese who literally used captured Indian soldiers for **live** bayonet training and human experimentation. The Japanese thought less of Indians than they thought of even the British.

  7. Kryptospuridium137

    July 19, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Churchill was a bastard. It’s appropriate he looks like a clown.

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