Laurence Brander had many connections with India, working in the U.P. for two years in the 1930s, serving as B.B.C. Liaison Officer in Delhi in 1942 and acting as General Manager of the Oxford University Press in Bombay in the first part of 1946.
Donated by Mr Brander. Copyright reserved by Mr Brander.
Small Collections Box 5
- Election Bills relating to Lucknow University Students’ Union, 1929, 1937. 11 ff.
- 1942 Indian Diary. 2 May-24 August 1942. The diary covers Mr Brander’s period of duty in India when he was establishing a B.B.C. liaison office in Delhi which had, amongst its concerns, the question of adequate broadcasting for British forces stationed in the subcontinent. Although based at Delhi, Mr Brander made journeys to Bombay, Madras, Simla, Lucknow and Calcutta. Xerox of typescript. 78 ff.
Necessarily many of the entries are concerned with Mr Brander’s B.B.C. duties. Questions covered include suitable propaganda methods; reactions noted to the standard of B.B.C. broadcasts to India; and Mr Brander’s relations with All-India Radio and the Ministry of Information. However Mr Brander’s diary has a much broader canvas. Besides detailing some of the difficulties of war-time life in India, he is much concerned with the conditions of the rank and file British serviceman in India and his attitudes to the war. Brander did not feel that British Officers were aware of these problems.
The diary includes accounts of interviews with, amongst others, Sir M. Gwyer, Mr G. Wint, Dr B. R. Ambedkar, Mr V.D. Savarkar, Sir C. Siklavad, Mr M.A. Jinnah, Sir A. Hope, Sir R. Lumley, Raja Rao, Sir B. Glancy and Sir Chhotu Ram. Most of the interviews centre on Sir S. Cripps’ constitutional mission to India of March-April 1942 and the interviewee’s reactions to it.
- Bombay Diary, 24 January-22 April 1946. Mr Brander’s diary contains descriptions of the Royal Indian Navy mutiny in Bombay in late February 1946, of the resulting disturbances and of a meeting with Mahatma Gandhi on 14 March 1946. Of equal importance are Mr Brander’s more generalised reflections, somewhat pessimistic in tone, but not without humour. These cover such matters as: the position of India prior to independence; the decline of British power and reasons for the failure of the I.C.S.; everyday life in Bombay and elsewhere in India; background to famines; 1942 disturbances; Muslim-Hindu relations; activities of Congress and the League; and problems of running a commercial office in Bombay. Typed transcript. 92 ff.
- ‘The Congresswallah’. Draft of a ‘satirical’ novel in nine chapters evidently written in the late 1930s. Typescript. 45 ff.