January 15, 1948. Before the first Gandhi stamps were issued by India, these were propaganda slogans used by the Delhi and Calcutta post offices during the last of Gandhi's many "fasts". Over five months had passed since the partition of the south Asian subcontinent into India and Pakistan and the two nations were still embroiled in gruesome and bitter civil wars. In an effort to influence the frenzied masses, 79-year old Gandhi started fasting on January 13th.
The Indian postal administration used this as a propaganda tool, stamping all incoming mail to Delhi with pleas for communal harmony. Two commercially used covers with such markings, both addressed to the Director General of Posts & Telegraphs, are presented here. Pieces shown are covers mailed from Calcutta and Roorkee during Gandhi's last fast, arriving in Delhi the day the fast ended.