Opinion Poll in Pittsburgh Courier

October 10, 1942, Pittsburgh Courier opinion poll

“Do you believe that India should contend for her rights and her liberty now?”

Out of 10,000 responses from black Americans:

  • 87.8% said “yes”
  • 10.7% said “no”
  • 1.5% had no opinion

(No significant difference between those polled in the North and those in the South)

“Courier Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for India’s Fight,” Pittsburgh Courier, October 10, 1942, pg. 1.

Emanuel Celler Papers

Papers: ca. 1924-1973. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

The following is a list of the documents that I felt were relevant to my project. I’ve included either excerpts or paraphrased the documents or noted that I made a copy of the document itself. Anything in bold indicates it is particularly significant.

Box 48: Subject File: J.J. Singh, correspondence, August 1951-December 1956

Speech of Sirdar J.J. Singh, President, India League of America, delivered at the evening Plenary Session of the Colgate University Conference on American Foreign Policy, Hamilton, NY, on Sunday, July 22, 1951.

  • “The topic was ‘the Role of the United Nations in Asia.’ The other participant was Senator Leverett Satonstall.” [JJ’s status as an expert, speaking opposite a senator]
  • “I was in San Francisco at the time of the United Nations Conference on International Organization.  I covered this conference as a special correspondent for several Indian newspapers.  I cabled hundreds of words every day to my papers.  I was there from the day it opened until the day it closed.  I watched the trials and tribulations of the organizers and the participants, and the reactions of the general public to the activities of the conference. Those of us who were at the San Francisco conference—the birthplace of the United Nations—will never forget the exciting and stimulating time we had. (1)”

J.J. Singh to Emanuel Celler, April 18, 1952 [copy]

Emanuel Celler to J.J. Singh, January 29, 1953

  • “Dear J.J.: Whatever happened to the Gandhi Memorial and the India League? The State Department has been asking me this question. With kindest personal regards, I am, Sincerely yours, Emanuel Celler”

Business Card reads “J.J. Singh” in a stylized font, with “New York City” in the lower right-hand corner. [copy]

  • On the card, J.J. wrote: “Mannie: I thought you might like to have this. JJ” [JJ’s signature is two loopy j’s]

The following resolution was adopted by the Executive Committee of the India League of America on Tuesday, April 10, 1956:

  • The ILA is dedicated to “creating understanding and friendship between the people of India and the people of the United States”
  • However, “government to government aid has unfortunately created misunderstanding and resentment both in India and the United States,” and so the ILA recommends that the US send aid through international agencies, like the UN, to improve the relationship between the 2 countries

Box 497: Subject File: India-correspondence, 1944-1947

J.J. Singh to Emanuel Celler, April 11, 1945 [copy]

  • “Dear Mr. Celler”—more formal?

For immediate release Wednesday, March 21, 1945, “India and San Francisco Conference,” from the India League of America

  • “Direct words from India of intense resentment at the appointment of three ‘collaborationists’ to repred[s]ent India at the San Francisco Conference was received here yesterday by Sirdar J.J. Singh, president of the India League of America. Mr. Singh made public the text of a statement he received from C. Rajagopalachari (C.R.) famous India moderate leader, and former Premier of Madras called for a reconsideration of the appointments. … Commenting on C.R.’s statement and the appointments, Mr. Singh said: ‘we know that the future of the world peace depends of effective international cooperation, but the San Francisco Conference will be building on a foundation of sand if it accepts the Viceroy’s appointees as representatives of India’s 390 million people.  These three titled collaborationists have no following whatsoever anywhere in India.  They represent nobody but the Governor General who appointed them and by whose grace they will be permitted to come here.  At San Francisco they can accept no obligations for the people of India.  An Indian government with popular support, which is bound to come in the near future, may very well repudiate them. These men are persona non grata with Indians’” (1-2).

Emanuel Celler to Pearl S. Buck, February 26, 1946, Western Union

  • “gladly” accepts invitation to put name on cable to Prime Minister Atlee as well as placing the cable and names of signatories in the Congressional Record
  • The cable, signed by Buck, Louis Fischer, and J.J. Singh, urges the British to help instate an interim Indian government

*Emanuel Celler to Pearl S. Buck, J.J. Singh, Richard J. Walsh, January 18, 1945

  • “Dear Friends: In reply to your letter of January 12th, I herewith give you a message for the celebration of India Independence Day of January 26th. The World cannot exist half free and half slave.  India is now enslaved.  Its shackles must be removed.  Only then can she politically and economically breathe freely.  We in America deeply sympathize with India’s plight. But sympathy is not enough.  There must be developed here such a militant public opinion that England cannot resist. The coming of Mrs. Pandit is helpful. We welcome her as a sister.  Even so we welcome her brother. Yours very sincerely,”

Emanuel Celler to Henry Buck, New York, June 3, 1947

  • “there is the need for the consummation of a trea[t]y of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between India and the United States. Knowing your interest in India, I thought you might use one or more of your publications to present this matter to the public.”
  • “My interest in India is unflagging and I want to present in concrete from my desire to aid India and thereby aid the United States. There is very little known about India in the United States and vice versa.  You might be the medium through which both countries would get to know each other better.”

Dr. Anup Singh to Emanuel Celler, Washington, July 11, 1947

  • “Many thanks for your kind sentiments about my new appointment in the Embassy of India.  I shall be very happy to drop in to see you one of these days.  I am counting upon the cooperation of good friends of India like yourself in my new responsibility.”

Emanuel Celler to Jawaharlal Nehru, New Delhi, July 14, 1947, telegram [copy]

Emanuel Celler to Honorable William L. Clayton, Under Secretary of the State, Washington, 1947?

  • K.A.D. Naoroji= “president of Tata, Inc, 90 Broad Street, New York, is the direct representative of the famous group of Tata industries in India.”

Box 498: Subject File: India League of America

Excerpts from speeches made on the occasion of the Farewell-Public Meeting of the India League of America, held on Wednesday, February 11, 1959, at the Community Church of New York, 40 East 35th Street, New York [copy]

Excerpts from remarks made, on messages received, on the occasion of a Farewell Dinner by the India League of America in honor of Sirdar J.J. Singh, President of the India League, on Monday. February 23, 1959 at Ceylon India Inn, 148 West 49th Street, New York [copy]

Messages received for Farewell-Public Meeting [copy]

  • Includes messages from Emanuel Celler, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, former Postmaster General of the United States James. A Farley, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator J.W. Fulbright, Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Representative James G. Fulton, U.N. Representative in India and Pakistan Dr. Frank P. Graham, Minister Emeritus of The Community Church Dr. John Haynes Holmes, Publisher of Time, Life, Fortune Henry R. Luce, Senator Karl E. Mundt, Assistant Secretary of State William M. Rountree

Congressional Record, Appendix, February 9 [copy]

Invitation to ILA Farewell Meeting [copy]

J.J. Singh to Emanuel Celler, Washington, January 26, 1959 [copy]

J.J. Singh to Emanuel Celler, Washington, May 24, 1951 [copy]

Box 500: Subject File: India-J.J. Singh, 1946-69

“India-America Relations” by J.J. Singh [copy]

Messages of Greetings on the 70th birthday of J.J. Singh

  • 22 pages of magazine-quality and size that tncludes messages from President Zakir Husain, Pearl S. Buck, Asstt. Sec, U.N. Ralph J. Bunche, President of India International Centre Dr. C.D. Deshmukh, Chief Minister of the Punjab State S. Gurnam Singh, journalist Shiva Rao, Minister for Food & Agriculture Jagjivan Ram, John A. Roosevelt, Chairman, Cowles Communications Inc. and Publisher “LOOK” Magazine, Mike Cowles, John D. Rockefeller III, Social Leader of America Norman Thomans, Senator Karl E. Mundt, Kashmir Leader Mirza Afzal BEG, Congressman Emanuel Celler, Dr. Anup Singh, many Indian leaders, Editor-in-chief of the Hindustan Times S. Mulgaokar, U.S. Ambassador to India Chester Bowles, former U.S. Ambassador to India John Kenneth Galbraith, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Vice President Hubert H. Humphery, Sec. General of the United Nations U. Thant

Jawaharlal Nehru to J.J. Singh, February 18, 1959 [copy]

  • about end of the ILA

Indira Gandhi to J.J. Singh, February 19, 1959 [copy]

J.J. Singh to Emanuel Celler, April 10, 1946 [copy]

  • about Immigration Bill

1917 Espionage Act

Chapter 30, Title 1, 40, Stat. 217

  • Since the 1798 Sedition Act expired, the United States had no federal legislative that address seditious activity.
  • The act primarily focused towards protection of military secrets
  • 1918 amendment, “Sedition Act”
  • Upheld in three Supreme Court Cases: Schenek v. United States (1919), Frohwerk v. United States (1919), Debs v. United States (1919)
  • Charles Warren, primary author
  • Submitted to Congress in April, passed in June; months of debate focused on meaning of the first amendment

Title 1, Section 3:

“Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies and whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or of the United States, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $ 10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both”

Rabban, David M. “The Emergence of Modern First Amendment Doctrine.” University of Chicago Law Review 50 (fall) 1983.

Stone, Geoffrey R. “Judge Learned Hand and the Espionage Act of 1917: A Mystery Unraveled.” University of Chicago Law Review 70 (winter) 2003.

United States, Statutes at Large, Washington, D.C., 1918, Vol. XL, pp 553 ff.
A portion of the amendment to Section 3 of the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917.

Sedition Act, 1918
From The United States Statutes at Large, V. 40. (April 1917-March 1919). Washington: Government Printing Office, 1919. 553-554.

NB: Both the Espionage Act and the Sedition Act (passed, 1918) were repealed in 1921, but major portions of the Espionage Act remain part of U.S. law (18 USC 793, 794) and form the legal basis for law concerning most classified information.. The “Espionage Act” and the “Sedition Act” however as named, no longer exist.

The U.S. Sedition Act

Immigration Data

From Sanjeev Khagram, "Seen, Rich, but Unheard?" in Asian American and Politics: Perspectives, Experiences, and Prospects, Gordon Chang, ed., (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2000): 267


From Sanjeev Khagram, "Seen, Rich, but Unheard?" in Asian American and Politics: Perspectives, Experiences, and Prospects, Gordon Chang, ed., (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2000): 269

America’s Contributions to India’s Freedom

Muzumdar, Haridas. America’s Contributions to India’s Freedom. Allahabad, India: Vanguard Press, 1962.

  • The recollections of Dr. Haridas T. Muzumdar, a close associate of Gandhi and an Indian-American who worked to gain American support for India’s freedom.
  • “Hossain, Anup and I looked upon ourselves as crusaders for India’s freedom first and as professional lecturers or writers second” (28).

India League of America

  • “While Syud Hossain, Anup Singh, Shridharani and I had been doing significant work on behalf of India in our individual capacities, it seemed to me in the mid-thirties that an organized effort to promote India’s cause might be in order” (42)= founding of the India League of America with Mr. N. R. Checker as president and Muzumdar as secretary.
  • “The team of J.J. and Anup Singh, with Mr. Hemendra K. Rakhit, made the India League a beehive of activities” (43)
  • “Through his business contacts and with businesslike methods, Mr. J.J. Singh brought new blood into the organization. American citizens were invited to become members and were elected to serve on the Executive Board.  This lent prestige to the organization and made it more effective” (43).
  • After Anup Singh left the League to help found the National Committee for India’s Independence in Washington, DC, William D. Allen replaced him as editor of India Today: “I [Muzumdar] know of no American who has made greater sacrifices…for India’s cause that William D. Allen” (44).

The National Committee for India’s Independence

  • Members of India Lobby felt a need to have an organization based in Washington, DC and so founded the National Committee at the end of 1943 with Dr. Syud Hossain as president, Muzumdar as V.P., K. Shridharani as the second V.P., and Anup Singh as secretary (44).
  • *Membership restricted to Indians (Hess, 122)
  • “The Voice of India, the monthly published by the National Committee under Dr. Anup Singh’s competent editorship, immediately made India’s freedom on the the issues of the war” (45)

U.N. San Francisco Conference

  • “The most significant job of public relations on behalf of India was performed by the charming Madam Vijayalakshmi Pandit….She pretty nearly played the role of the unofficial representative of India to the U.N.” (46)

Clark Getts (1893– )

  • owner of Clark H. Getts, Inc., a “lecture and radio production bureau” who organized a lecture series for Mme. Pandit in 1945 as she made her way from New York City to San Francisco
  • In her memoir, Pandit describes Getts as “an amazing little man” who expected her to be bedazzled in colorful saris and jewels (The Scope of Happiness, 192)
  • “Clark was intelligent, sophisticated, and creative. His many interests included art, literature, current events, and history. Although his company was a small one, her was highly respected in the field” (Imperato, They Married Adventure: The Wandering Lives of Martin & Osa Johnson, 194).

Primary Sources

Papers, 1932-1980. American Heritage Center, The University of Wyoming.

Getts' introduction to Pandit lecture series


Pandit lecture tour program