Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bundi State Cash Coupon - WW2 India

I know it's bad time for economy in most of the places. We are in recession; people are loosing jobs and life is tough! The pay check or take home is shrinking. Oops! did I say that, oh ya you are right. My salary has drastically reduced. So much that I have decided to show it to you all. Pity on me! Presenting salary of the month -- Princely State of Bundi Cash Coupon! What else you can expect after I spent all of what was supposed to be my October month salary on bunch of WWI Indian labels on eBay. Hence, this is only what I am left with :-) I realize now that we are in recession :D

Jokes apart, let's focus on today's item. I was planning to show this cash coupon for long but I had only one of *this* with me. I was looking for long time to buy another such cash coupon to make it at least pair. Hey, it is still not complete set :( There is one more cash coupon left though, I have rarely seen it on offering. So, I thought I now deserve to celebrate with this post :-)

Princely state of Bundi was formerly part of Eastern Rajputana States Agency which is now part of modern state of Rajasthan in India. It bordered on the north by the princely state of Jaipur and Tonk state; on the west by Mewar, and on the south and east by Kotah state.

The state was granted 17 gun salute. It accessed to India on 7th April 1949. Even though, I couldn't find much information on Bundi state contribution on WWI and WWII on internet but based on postal items issued by Bundi state one can easily guess that it contributed a lot to British Empire not only in WWI but also in WWII.

It is said that Bundi state issued below stamp during WWI. Pay special attention to left side one. The stamp is recorded in Stanley Gibbons catalogue.

It states: "A special printing of the (1 Anna) took place in late 1917 in connection with the "OUR DAY" Red Cross Society Fund. This had the "RAJ BUNDI" inscription in the bottom tablet with the face value below it. The top tablet carried four Devanagari characters for "OUR DAY". No evidence has been found to suggest that this 1a. stamp was used for postal purposes."

So you can see that Bundi even issued stamp for Red Cross charity during WWI. It was similar to actual postage stamp. Well, I don't have it in my collection but I would like to have it for sure. (Any readers having it spare for selling let me know please.) While searching for Bundi state, I happen to see an article in Stampboard forum. I duly acknowledge it and appreciate the member who shared this fantastic item with us. I decided to loan it here for reference.

Now moving on to their WW2 contribution, all I have is cash coupons. Shown below is two of cash coupons issued by Bundi state during WWII. All the cash coupons have same pattern where they show two cows (well, I see cow mentioned every where but I have a doubt that they are perhaps bull. We will touch that part later.) and the portrait of perhaps one of the ruler (Colonel HH Maharao Raja Shri Sir Raghubir Singh Sahib Bahadur (1889-1927) ??) in center. Wikipedia says that Raghubir Singh supported the British during the World War I (though citations are missing). Well, I think the above stamp is enough proof for that.

First one (on left) was issued with denomination of 1 anna. It has been recorded as number 8.2 in Indian Paper Money Catalogue by Kishore Jhunjhunwalla. It carries a rectangular block pattern around stamp overprinted along with "CASH COUPON BUNDI STATE" in black. This was issued in red color.

Other one (on right) was issued with denomination of 3 Pies (=1 paisa). It has been recorded as number 8.1 in Indian Paper Money Catalogue by Kishore Jhunjhunwalla. It also carries overprint but without outside border. This was issued in light blue color.

Actually, these were postage and fiscal stamps printed on pressboard but later overprinted to be used as Cash Coupons as you can see the pattern of stamps shown earlier are same as cash coupon ones. All the cash coupons carry serial number on reverse.

The catalogue mentions another cash coupon which is missing in my collection. It was issued with denomination of 4 Annas and recorded as 8.3.

It is said that Col. HH Maharao Raja Shri Bahadur Singh Bahadur (1945-77) supported the British and served in the Burma campaign where he earned the Military Cross for his gallantry before succeeding to the throne. I am sure, there will be much more than it in terms of contribution. But as usual, I have no information on Bundi's contribution on WWII front i.e. what kind of assistance it extended to British Empire during those days. Thus, any information in this regard will be highly appreciated.

Before I end this post, lets revisit that cow part. Shown below is Coats of Arms of Princely state of Bundi.

It is said that Bundi’s coat of arms was a shield depicting Garuda, the mount of Vishnu, flanked by winged griffins. The shield was flanked by *bulls* representing dharma or righteousness; it was crowned by a warrior emerging from flames, signifying the creation-legend of the ruling Chauhan clan, which was supposedly created from fire.

Now, see all the stamps once again and solve the puzzle yourself while I help myself with Sudoku!

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