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Illingworth Cartoons on India Daily Mail UK 1942, 1946

A selection of cartoons published in the Daily Mail, UK, in 1942 and during 1946-1947 period, by Leslie Gilbert Illingworth (1902-1979)

It is very interesting to see, through the eyes of a contemporary observer such as Illingworth, various events in the run-up to India’s independence.  From the clarity and detail displayed in framing the issues of the day, it appears that he followed events closely.Jinnah as a cricketer defending a tiger labelled ‘Pakistan’. A cow labelled ‘Hindu Intransigence’ is crushing a man labelled ‘Untouchables’, and ‘Nehru’ and others are arguing in the background.

Historical context: India’s Constituent Assembly, which is due to hold its first meeting on December 9,  Mr Jinnah, the Moslem League leader, said he would boycott the Assembly and described it as “one more blunder”. “It is quite obvious”, he said “that the Viceroy is blind to the present serious situation and is playing into the hands of Congress”. At the same time the Congress leader, Pandit Nehru, was telling his followers that the only good thing about the Assembly was that “Britain will not be directly represented on it”.

New policy for India, March 13, 1942

Women are standing in doorways of a row of houses marked “Ceylon” and “India”. The row is on fire, and the the fire has reached the house marked “Burma”. A man marked “Cripps” is running along the street holding a document marked “New policy for India”.

Move over, Marmaduke, this brute needs bringing to its senses, August 12, 1942

An aristocrat and a soldier are riding an elephant called ‘Congress’ which is out of control. The aristocrat with the words ‘ Velvet Glove Govt’ on his clothing is struggling to control the beast while the soldier is climbing out of the box on the elephant’s back and is saying to the aristocrat ‘ Move over, Marmaduke, this brute needs bringing to its senses’. A tiger with Japanese features is hiding in the grass nearby.

Historical context: August 9, 1942 – Gandhi and other Indian leaders were arrested following pro-independence riots.

Civil war and famine are heading towards India, March 19, 1946

 Two lines of travelers are waiting at an airport. One line is marked “UNO” and contains people representing world famine and world war. The other line is marked “Passengers for India” and contains Victor Alexander, Stafford Cripps and Frederick Pethick-Lawrence.

Storm in Bihar, December 10, 1946

A map of Indian provinces. Thunder and lightning cover ‘Bihar’.

Free India, May 20, 1947

Gandhi, and a group of protesters, including a US sympathiser, are holding placards demanding that the British get out of India. All around them are the bodies of those who have died of hunger or civil war.

Historical context: On May 23 1947, the British cabinet took the step of agreeing to Lord Louis Mountabatten’s proposal for the partition of India into two states, one Moslem and the other Hindu.


Race hatred, August 28, 1947

A man, marked “Race hatred” with a sword has caught hold of a woman, marked “Minorities” who has run away from the riots in the streets to an office where there is a paper marked “Renunication of British sovereignty”.


  1. Dependentfreak says:

    i love you pakistan…. and i solute u qauid-e-azam <3

  2. Ganesh Prajapat says:

    Worst or Best…………………. Partition creat problems for the Poor. The Actual section which was facing the problem in the British India. Still that is facing………………………….. The Answer is not in the hand on Indian Not in the hand of Pakistani………….. This is the bitter truth.

  3. Farhanhbk says:

    Partitioned never created a problem , the problem came when landlord came and taken the charge after the sincere leaders. Muhammed Ali Jinnah the Qauide Azam was the person who never let his peoples down on any case… the making of Pakistan was a miracle , but unfortunate after him no one understand the Mukaam of Khud of Allama Iqbal… But still Pakistani hope the future will be the one that was seen by Allama Iqbal.

  4. Zeeshannaeem80 says:

    hw many had left willingly b4 14-08-47 or after that……..No 1…..(.05 %)…….ajeeb o ghareeb assumptions he just made r d others like Nawab Mamdot or Shaukat hayat ( Mr. Khattar) d true beginner of d atrocities in March 1947….

  5. Ehtesham says:

    it is very true that partition never created a problem but we created problems for our selves which provided opportunities to our enemies to create hurdles..