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Title: A necessary weapon of war : state policies towards propaganda and information in eastern India, 1939-45.
Author: Bhattachary, Sanjoy.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3463 2362
Awarding Body: School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis studies official policies of propaganda at different levels of the colonial administration in Assam, Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and the eastern United Provinces during the Second World War. By contrast to the available research, it treats 'propaganda' as a complex political strategy, whereby information and a variety of material benefits were disseminated, always biased towards a particular viewpoint, with the purpose of mobilising support for specific ideological campaigns, for example the publicity launched against the Indian National Congress between 1942 and 1944. Attention is given to the objectives of policy, the structures used to disseminate official propaganda, the limitations imposed on these efforts by the available technology, the audiences targeted, the themes advertised, and the impact of these activities on wartime and post-war politics. Contrary to earlier work on the topic, this thesis argues that colonial policy aimed not merely to suppress information inimical to that released by the state, but also to collect intelligence about the morale of specific audiences, their responses to the various nationalisms being articulated at the time, and the themes which needed to be addressed at particular junctures of the conflict. The thesis concludes that evidence of propaganda policies permiL<; generalisations about the nature of the colonial state in the 1940s. It suggests that the authorities failed to mobilise support for unpopular wartime policies amongst the civilian population and thus increasingly depended on the use of force; and that this failure contributed, in large measure, to the dissolution of the Indian Empire in 1947.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History