Azad Hind stamps
The Azad Hind Stamps are a set of Cinderella stamps in six different designs produced in 1943 in Nazi Germany for Subhas Chandra Bose's Azad Hind (Indian National Army). The Indian Postal Department includes these six unused Azad Hind Stamps in its commemorative book India's Freedom Struggle through India Postage Stamps.
A concept of Subhas Chandra Bose, the stamps were designed by Werner and Maria von Axster-Heudtlass who created many German issues between 1925 and 1949, and show themes depicted on ten denominations.
The designs are
- 1+1 Anna design depicting an Indian Sikh soldier firing a German MG34 machine gun.
- 1/2 Anna, 1 Anna and 2+2 Annas design, which shows a plough and a peasant plowing a field in the background.
- 2½, and 2½ + 2½ Annas design, which shows an Indian woman spinning cloth on a charkha.
- 3+3 Anna design depicting a nurse comforting a wounded soldier.
- 8+12 and 12 Anna + 1 Rupee design depicting breaking chains on a map of India.
- 1+2 Rupee, which show three INA soldiers—one clearly a Sikh, the other two presumably a Hindu and a Moslem—with the flag of Azad Hind.
All stamps were printed by photogravure in sheets of 100 at the Reichsdruckerei, the Government Printing Bureau in Berlin. A million copies of the lower denominations were produced, with a further half million of the higher values, except for the 1 + 2 Rupee stamp, of which only 13,500 were printed in three color varieties. Specimens in mint-quality are rare. A lot of the preserved stamps don't have any glue, especially those of variety 2 and 3 (see below).
Each value was printed in a different color. The 1 + 2 Rupee stamp was designed as a multi-color design.
A complete set includes three color varieties of the Mi. VII 1 Rupee + 2 Rupee design. There are some preserved sample prints of variety 2 on orange-colored paper.
The German Michel catalog lists the seven semipostals first (Mi. I-VII); the surcharge was for the administration of Andaman and Nicobar Islands then under Japanese control. Next come the three regular postal issues with no surcharge (Mi. VIII-X). A set of 21 stamps currently exist, both perforated (10×12) and unperforated. Mi. VII a,b,c (1R + 2R) only unperforated.
- Freeston, Andrew. The Azad Hind and Chalo Delhi Stamps of the Indian Legion and Indian National Army of Subhas Chandra Bose 1941–1945. Waikawa Beach, New Zealand: 1999, p.9.
- "Footprints of history" by S. Theodore Baskaran in The Hindu, 16 December 2000. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- Freidman, Herbert A. "Azad Hind" and "Chalo Delhi" Stamps. Bombay: Jal Cooper, 1972, p.12.