This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: INR 56).



I. BOMBAY'S GENEROSITY IN A HUMANITARIAN CAUSE - A cheque is a dull-looking object, so Bombay's Red Cross Committee put this one in a silver casket. And well they might, for what Sir Homi Mehta is giving to the Governor represents fifty lakhs of rupees, collected by the Bombay province for the Red Cross. It was a magnificent effort, and a mere oblong slip of paper didn't seem good enough to symbolise all the selfless enthusiasm which had gone into collecting the money. The Committee arranged everything from street collections to ride on donkeys but Bombay didn't need much encouragement. She gave magnificently.


II. HMIS RAMPUR - the state of Rampur is many hundreds of miles from the sea, but its ruler's interest in India's naval defence is a very active one, and so this new ship was launched by her Highness the Begum, and it's been adopted by the state. Her Highness launched the ship with a bottle of rosewater, and now the ship went gracefully down the slips. An Indian ship built by Indian labour with Indian materials. She is one of the class of ships, many of which are already doing duty, and doing it sturdily and well.


III. SOLDIERS, SAILORS AND AIRMEN - There was an international note about the Viceroy's tour in Karachi. First with full naval ceremony a visit to units of the royal navy, then a visit to our own royal Indian Navy, to see some of our future sailors under training. Then another sort of march past - a short stroll with US Air Force officers to see some of the machines which are fighting with us in India. The decoration of one of them was pretty international too, and then a chat with a sergeant and some officers. The RAF came next, and His Excellency was able to compare American with British machines - units of two air forces which have provide themselves invincible wherever they've been challenged. Indian, American, and British forces combine to high light the Viceroy's tour of a great war base.


IV. GOOD MAINTENANCE PAYS HANDSOME DIVIDEND - It's a party - you can see that from the chairs in the foreground. Well, they invited the trains too. The trains were greeted by General Manager of the GIP, and, as guests, they were very much admired for their smart turn out. Then the General manager got a garland, and the real business of the party started, which was to give prizes to the crews of the locomotives. First prize went to this man - a cup - that's something else for him to keep clean. After that came the rest of the prizes, all of them going to men who had formed themselves into 'polish clubs' for the purpose of this competition, even buying their own polish. The railways ask us to travel less, in order to help them - here's the railway helping itself by first class maintenance and service.


V. ELEVEN YEARS OLD: THE INDIAN AIR FORCE - In tribute to the Indian air Force - eleven years old on April the first - we bring you action pictures of the planes that supported the fourteenth army in its recent Burma successes - Vultee Vengeance bombers preparing to hit the Japs. Bomb doors closed and the Vultee Vengeance is ready of take off when the signal comes through. Briefing must be through the accurate - ingle targets are among the world's most difficult to find. He relies on his skill, and good luck to see him through, and to make sure of the good luck, he takes aboard another passenger. A last check up, and the planes are away, may be to turn the scales in some vital action being fought out in an isolated part of the battle front - isolated except for the ubiquitous Vengeance Dive Bomber. Precise formation flying may look easy in pictures, but when you're doing it over heavy tropical country where the air is as full of bumps as the land beneath it needs all your skill all the time. The leading planes sights the target, one by one they peel off to show the Japs the stuff our eleven year old Air Force is made of.



At a meeting of the Publicity Advisory Council held on 11 March 1944, Sir Sultan Ahmed, the Government Minister for Information and Broadcasting, discussed the ‘steady improvement’ of Indian News Parade and emphasised, as he saw it, the difficulty in securing a variety of subjects to fill the newsreel each week. The Journal of the Film Industry considered Sir Sultan Ahmed’s comments in its May issue and ‘entirely disagree[d] with the remark that there is any difficulty in securing sufficient variety of subjects to choose from for the newsreel’. The journal published an extensive list with over forty news events – divided by ‘war’, ‘social’, ‘people’s welfare’, ‘historical’, ‘sport’, ‘political’, and ‘miscellaneous’ – that had occurred during the week ending 24 March and complained that ‘with such an abundance of variety’ only a couple made it in the Indian News Parade between 24 March (issue 54) and April 7 (56), ‘on which date the events must be said to have passed into the limbo of ancient history’ (The Journal of the Film Industry, May 1944, 5-10).

The journal was historically critical of Indian News Parade. A couple of months earlier it had described Information Films of India as a ‘department which has only served to make government more unpopular’ and would later refer to Indian News Parade as ‘an eyesore’, ‘a taxation and a worry’ (The Journal of the Film Industry, March 1944, 12 and July 1946, 5). In May 1944 the journal stressed the need for a skilled news editor to take charge of the newsreel and for better co-operation with cameramen, studios and amateur cinematographers throughout the country. ‘The excuse is not that of shortage of cameramen’, the article continued, ‘but of an inept appreciation of what constitutes news and of want of experience and imagination in its presentation’. ‘In short, what is needed is re-organisation’, the journal concluded. The article also compared Indian News Parade unfavourably to United News – ‘sponsored by the Government of the U.S.A just as the Indian News Parade is sponsored by the Government of India’  – which it described as an ‘object of admiration by all newsreel producers and jubilation by cinegoers everywhere in the world’ (The Journal of the Film Industry, May 1944, 5-6).



The criticisms levelled at Indian News Parade by The Journal of the Film Industry ostensibly concerned the lack of ‘variety’ within the newsreel and stressed the need for editorial re-organisation. Certainly items within this edition – most notably the awards presentation for the railway workers who had organised themselves into ‘Polish’ clubs – may appear particularly lacklustre news events, but the popular criticisms of the newsreel are motivated as much by the Governmental ideology attached to these items. In particular, the commentary serves to situate simple footage of pageants and ceremonies within a broader colonial rhetoric.

The five items within Indian News Parade 56 are united both in what they depict – the first four all show formal presentations or ceremonies, again indicating the ‘official’ line adopted by the newsreel – and in the broader messages that they promote. In particular, the newsreel emphasises Indian support for the war and continuing Indian and British co-operation. This is evident in the first item. While the footage here may offer little more than a staged shot of Bombay officials and members of the local Red Cross, the commentator presents this scene as an indication of popular support for the war effort, as he states ‘Bombay didn’t need much encouragement. She gave magnificently’. In the next item, the commentator describes an ‘Indian ship built by Indian labour with Indian materials’ which is ‘doing duty’, while the third item extends this message of Indian support for the war, by illustrating the ‘international’ co-operation at work, as ‘Indian, American and British forces combine to highlight the Viceroy’s tour of a great war base’. The fourth item shows Indian workers embraced and celebrated within a very British form of pageantry, as the workers receive cups and prizes from a European man with garlands (the General Manager of the G.I.P.) as a reward for their cleaning efforts. The final shot here prominently displays the Union Jack, further promoting this apparent continued support amongst Indian workers for the British.

The final item differs somewhat, both in showing some war footage – the lack of action footage was another criticism commonly levelled at the newsreel – and in effectively using existing footage and then relating it to a recent news event. The film does not show any celebrations from the eleventh anniversary of the Indian Air force – Indian Movietone News 16 had shown footage marking the tenth anniversary a year earlier – but rather uses compilation footage from the Public Relations Film Unit. The previous issue had concluded with footage that had featured in United News, the American newsreel praised by the Journal of the Film Industry. This may indicate the difficulties Indian News Parade faced in obtaining action footage, the apparent paucity of suitable footage produced by its own cameramen and the limited range of ‘news’ subjects from which the newsreel was selected.

Tom Rice (January 2009)


Works Cited

The Journal of the Film Industry, March 1944, 12.

‘Variety in Indian News Parade’, The Journal of the Film Industry, May 1944, 5-10.

‘Indian News Parade and D.I.R. – 44A’, The Journal of the Film Industry, July 1946, 5-6. 



Series Title:

Technical Data

Running Time:
6 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
545 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
GB, India
Department of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India
PR Film Unit
PR Film Unit
cameraman (Indian)
Khopkar, A M
cameraman (Indian)
Mani, T S
cameraman (PR)
Berko (Captain)
Moylan, William J (FRGS, FRSA)
Moylan, William J (FRGS, FRSA)





Production Organisations