India Today‘s editorial column ran in every issue (with the exception of Vol. 2, No. 7) from January 1941 (Vol. 1, No. 10) to September 1944 (Vol. 5, No. 6). Being in the October 1944 issue, the journal alternated between a “League Activities” column and a column entitled “In Brief.”
- Use of first person plural
- Column length varies from a half-page to a full page
- Last sentence of column is short, to the point, hard-hitting
- Use of phrase “freedom of India” more often than “Indian independence”
- Though Gould claims the India League of America focused on the issue of citizenship for Indians in America, only several of the editorial columns mention citizenship, while the majority of the columns are devoted to independence.
- While columns published in 1941 and 1942 draw connections between the war and American interest in Indian affairs, by the end of 1943, the focus seems to shift to the American and Indian positions in a post-war world order. The editors also write about U.N. and American responsibilities in the same sentence.
Table 1: column subjects and closing statements
“British Move to Solve India Deadlock” (full first three pages)
- Reports on release of political prisoners (including Nehru), the Wavell Plan, the Simla Conference, and India’s reaction to the British actions.
“The League and the Wavell Offer”
- Cites Richard J. Walsh, the Chairman of the Executive Committee, and J.J. Singh’s reactions to the Wavell plan. Both welcome the Nehru’s release, but categorize the new plan as regressive and analogous to the failed 1942 Cripps plan.
“India at San Francisco” (full front-page, continued on inside)
India Today, Vol. 6, No. 2, May 1945
“Franklin D. Roosevelt”
India Today, Vol. 6, No. 1, April 1945
Full page on “India and San Francisco Conference,” denouncing the appointment Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar, Sir Firoz Khan Noon and Sir V.T. Krisnamachari as the Indian delegates to the conference.
- The India League sent the Secretary of State a resolution expressing this sentiment, stating: “we share in the protests already voiced in India against the choice of three delegates from India who in no sense represent the people of the country but are merely appointed by the foreign power which rules them.”
Full page on “Indian Newspaper Correspondents and San Francisco,” reporting on how the British Government rescinded their original ban on the attendance of Indian correspondents due to “the pressure of public opinion both in this country and in India.”
- On April 16, J.J. Singh sent a telegram to the Secretary of State, which read: “As an American organization, believing in freedom of the press, we are greatly disturbed to learn…that the Indian Government has required the three Indian newspaper correspondents who were selected by the All India Newspaper Editors’ Conference, to abandon their plans of going to San Francisco.”
“Mrs. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit”
- Documents Pandit’s engagements from her attendance of the Conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations at Hot Springs, VA from January 6-16, to her reception in New York City Hall by Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia on January 18, to a January 27 White House lunch with Eleanor Roosevelt.
(February commitments in following issue)
“India Leader Arrives in New York”
- Full, front-page article on Mme. Pandit’s arrival on December 8
- Quotes extensively from a December 10 press conference held by Mme. Pandit in New York.
- Pandit believed that “thousands of American lives would be saved” if the Indian political situation were resolved, because, Pandit argued, Indian soldiers could not be fully committed to a government that did not consist of Indians and therefore did not fight to their fullest capacity against the Japanese in Burma.
“India Leader to Visit U.S.”
- Reports that Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit was about to embark on a 3 month trip to the United States to visit her daughters at Wellesley College and attend the January conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations in January. Describes Pandit’s many political accomplishments.
- In a footnote, notes that “Pandit” is “both a title and a surname.”
“Ambassador William Phillips”
- Documents the Drew Pearson’s leak of the report William Phillips wrote for President Roosevelt at the end of his mission to India from July 25 (the original publication) to September 9 (a Pearson column reflecting the views of Far East Expert for the State Department, John P. Davis, Jr.).
- Analysis: “Anglo-American relations with respect to the Indian political deadlock seemed to be approaching a climax during the last few weeks. A swift succession of charges and counter-charges in the Press and in Congress culminated in the report that President Roosevelt would confront Prime Minister Churchill at Quebec with a demand for an immediate settlement in India.”
League’s National Advisory Board
July 1944, vol. 5, no. 4