January 18, 2021

When UK planted anti-Soviet propaganda in Indian media – india information

‘Animal Farm’, George Orwell’s acclaimed political satire, has been broadly learn throughout the globe, however much less recognized is how a UK division set as much as counter Soviet propaganda turned it into cartoon strips and planted them in newspapers in India and elsewhere within the early 1950s.

Revealed on August 17, 1945, the e book displays occasions linked to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Stalinist period of the Soviet Union. It describes a gang of animals who take over their farm, overthrowing the merciless Farmer Jones, solely to finish up in an much more brutal state of slavery below the brand new regime.

Declassified recordsdata on the Nationwide Archives present that the Info Analysis Division (IRD) within the International Workplace purchased strip cartoon rights of the e book in 1950, intending to make use of it as a part of the cut-and-thrust of the then Chilly Battle.

“(This) work has been translated into many languages, and has proved to be not solely a greatest vendor, but additionally a simplest propaganda weapon, due to its skilful mixture of simplicity, subtlety and humour”, says a December 1950 round of IRD.

The recordsdata embody detailed correspondence between Lt. Col. Leslie Sheridan of the IRD, Don Freeman, an artist who supplied the ‘roughs’ of the drawings, and the cartoonist Norman Pett, who produced the ultimate variations of the cartoons.


Mark Dunton, data specialist at Nationwide Archives, writes that by April 1951, with the cartoon strips accomplished, the IRD contacted its community of knowledge officers internationally, from Asmara (Eritrea) to Tokyo, encouraging them to do all they may to safe publication in a newspaper of their territory.

“This endeavour met with a superb measure of success, judging from stories in FO 1110/392 (file)”, he writes.

A report within the file quotes one Joan Sanders as stating {that a} outstanding newspaper (not Hindustan Occasions) printed from New Delhi “are publishing three strips weekly. Wonderful copy”, based mostly on a telegram from New Delhi of April 28, 1951.

The IRD’s plan, in accordance with the recordsdata, was to inform the ‘Animal Farm’ story “in roughly 78 cartoons, every cartoon containing three or 4 panels. Thus, if the characteristic had been run by a every day paper, it might take about 13 weeks to inform the entire story”.

Preparations had been additionally made for native diversifications and translations in numerous international locations.

The International Workplace knowledgeable the British embassy in Cairo in August 1951: “We may have the cartoons drawn in London and despatched to you within the hope that you may get a neighborhood artist to transform oak bushes into palm bushes, bowler hats into fezzes, skirts into sarongs, and so on”.

The recordsdata report that the cartoon strips had been effectively obtained in Asmara ‘giving meals for thought and dialogue to the native inhabitants’, and it had led to elevated gross sales of the ‘El Heraldo’ newspaper in Caracas.