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India’s Silver Bullets: War Loans and War Propaganda, 1917–18

  • Radhika Singha
Chapter

Abstract

The intensification of war demands in 1917 introduced many firsts in India's financial history. That year the government announced the ‘gift’ of a 100 million pounds towards Britain’s war expenses and launched the first of two Indian War Loans to meet this sum. This cast the colonial regime in the role of debtor to a subject population over which it had to reproduce its standing and authority. War loan propaganda could never be too strident, lest Indians conclude that Britain was bankrupt and losing the war. Social responses varied. Peasants viewed the war loan as just another oppressive exaction. However, in appealing to the figure of the ‘small investor’, war loan propaganda opened up a space for dialogue with the Indian middle classes. In the process it added fuel to the demand for home rule.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Radhika Singha
    • 1
  1. 1.Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityDelhiIndia

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