Author Topic: British India: INDIAN TITLE BADGE (MYB # 327), RAI BAHADUR & RAI SAHIB MEDALS  (Read 3723 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mitresh

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1 380
British India, Honorific Titular Medals, Rai Bahadur and Rai Sahib, Silver, 41.80g and 42.12g

The title Rai Bahadur or Rai Sahib, accompanied by a Medal, was awarded by the British Government to Indians with distinguished service or for meritorius performance of duties on or behalf of the Govt. or as personal distinction. Bahadur means 'brave', Sahib means 'master' and not many Indians qualified for this honour that was much coveted, celebrated and considered as great recognition and matter of prestige by the family, district and state to which the individual belonged. Rai Bahadur ranked higher than Rai Sahib. The Medal recipients included government officials (railways, post, police, judiciary etc), civil servants, prominent businessmen and citizens. A few of these Medals were distributed by George V during the Delhi Darbar of 1911.

The title Rai Bahadur and Rai Sahib was mainly awarded to Hindus, sometimes to Christians. For Muslims, the corresponding title was "Khan Bahadur and Khan Sahib" and for Sikhs it was "Sardar Bahadur and Sardar Sahib". A variant of the term 'Rai' was 'Rao' used for honouring South Indians and those from Maharashtra.

Prominent Indian industrialist and businessmen who earned the Rai Bahadur title include Mohan Singh Oberoi and Gujar Mal Modi while Ram Nath Goenka was awarded the Rai Sahib title.

Both the Medals are identical featuring a loop for the ribbon, a British Crown with a laurel wreath below it, two circles with the right side facing portrait of George V within the inner circle and the title engraved within the two circles, all surmounted by a 5 pointed rayed star. The Rai Sahib Medal is engraved within a deep blue enamel while the Rai Bahadur Medal is blank.

Both the medals featured above was awarded to Puran Chandra Lahiri who worked in the Police Dept in Calcutta, West Bengal. The Rai Bahadur Medal is dated 1 Jan 1917 and mentions the previously earned 'Rai Sahib' title while the date of the Rai Sahib Medal is obliterated.

These titles, although discontinued post-independence, still evoke much respect in India to the family's descendants as a bygone relic from the days of the 'Raj'.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 03:11:57 PM by mitresh »

Offline Abhay

  • Honorary Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2 348
Re: British India: INDIAN TITLE BADGE (MYB # 327)
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 11:57:18 AM »
Nice medals, Mitresh.

However, they are known as "Indian Title Badge", and so, I have changed the subject accordingly.

More details:

Instituted:  12 Dec, 1911

Ribbon: Light Blue edged with dark Blue (1st Class), Red edged with dark red (2nd Class), or dark blue edged with light blue (3rd Class).

Metal:  Silver or Silver Gilt

Size:  Height: 58mm, Max. Width: 45mm

Description:  A radiate star topped by an imperial crown with a curved laurel wreath below the crown and cutting across the top of a central medallion surrounded by a collar inscribed with the appropriate title. The medallion bears the crowned profile of king George V or King George VI. From the first issue of King George V's Title badge on June 1, 1912 until 1933, his bust faced right. As from June 1, 1933, his bust faced left for the remainder of the reign. King George VI's Title Badge had his bust facing left. (Reverse) plain, but engraved with the name of the recipient.

Comments:  Introduced by the King George V on the occasion of the Delhi Durbar of 1911 and awarded in three classes to civilians and Viceroy's commissioned officers of the Indian army for faithful services or acts of public welfare. Recipients proceeded from the lowest grade to higher grades, each accompanied by a distinctive title. Each grade was  issued in Hindu and Muslim versions, differing in title: Diwan Bahadur (Muslim) or Sardar Bahadur (Hindu), Khan Bahadur (Muslim) or Rai or Rao Bahadur (Hindu) and Khan Sahib (Muslim) or Rai or Rao Sahib (Hindu), in descending order of grade. These title badges took precedence after all British and Indian orders and decorations, and before campaign medals.

Abhay

 

INVESTING IN YESTERDAY

Offline mitresh

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1 380
Re: British India: INDIAN TITLE BADGE (MYB # 327)
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 12:29:26 PM »
Gr8 stuff Abhay, thanks. But wasn't "Sardar Bahadur" awarded to Sikhs??

Offline mitresh

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1 380
Re: British India: INDIAN TITLE BADGE (MYB # 327)
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 12:31:14 PM »
PS: What is the MYB Reference you quote? Is it the name of a book? Can I have more details about this book?

Offline Abhay

  • Honorary Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2 348
Re: British India: INDIAN TITLE BADGE (MYB # 327)
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2013, 12:57:39 PM »
PS: What is the MYB Reference you quote? Is it the name of a book? Can I have more details about this book?

MYB refers to "MEDAL YEAR BOOK". This is a British Medal catalogue, published every year by Token Publishing Limited, UK.

This is a basic book, for British Medal Collectors.

http://www.amazon.com/Medal-Yearbook-2013-John-Mussell/dp/1908828005

The book is easily available at Amazon, or with most of the Coin/stamp dealers, who deals in Books also.

The information, which I have mentioned in the last reply, is from the Medal Year Book only, and it does not mention anything specifically about Sardar Bahadur badge being given to Sikhs.

Abhay
INVESTING IN YESTERDAY

Offline Pabitra

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 481
Re: British India: INDIAN TITLE BADGE (MYB # 327)
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2013, 01:14:14 PM »
Wonderful images.
Few queries.
1. The medals seem to be identical in weight. The lower title seems to be associated with slightly higher weight, perhaps due to weight of the blue enamel. Are you sure that both of them have same metal or alloy?

2. To the best of my knowledge, Rai Sahib was awarded by district collector whereas Rai Bahadur was awarded by Governor of the Presidency or state. The viceroy awarded "Sir" (knighthood) on behalf of the King. That was the progression.

3. Since Rai Sahib and Rai Bahadur ( including variations on grounds of religion/region  Khan, Sardar or Rao) were local affairs, the medals were common.

4. No comprehensive list appears to be available since the records were not kept. Only knighthood (and the title of "Lord") was approved from London and those lists are available. Is that true?

Offline rishiindiana

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: British India: INDIAN TITLE BADGE (MYB # 327)
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 10:37:51 AM »
But wasn't "Sardar Bahadur" awarded to Sikhs??

For awarding titles,  Sikhs were treated as Hindus and awarded them the “Hindu series” of titles.

1a- "Sardar Badadur" to Muslims (almost uniquely in Baluchistan and Sind) and to Sikhs (in the Punjab only) - Almost all "Sardar Bahadur" awards were to Sikhs or to individuals with significant military service. Great confusion accompanied the fact that the title "Sardar Bahadur" was also awarded with the OBI 1st class.

1b- "Diwan Bahadur" to Hindus (in practice, mostly in southern India)

2- As for the "1st class", but with the encircling band unenameled (the intent was for it to be red enamelled, but the mint could find no red enamel that would stick to the medal and green was not deemed appropriate due to to religions connotations regarding Islam). The ribbon is light red with narrow darker red edges.

2a- "Khan Bahadur" - to Muslims

2b- "Rai Bahadur" to Hindus in "north India"

2c- "Rao Bahadur" to Hindus in "south India"

3- As for the 1st and 2nd class, but all silver. The encircling band with the name of the title is enameled in dark blue. The ribbon is dark blue ("Order of the Indian Empire" blue) with narrow light blue ("Star of India" blue) edges.

3a- "Khan Sahib" - to Muslims

3b- "Sardar Sahib" - to Sikhs, usually in Punjab only (elsewhere, they were rewarded as Hindus)

3c- "Rai Sahibr" to Hindus in "north India"

3d- "Rao Sahib" to Hindus in "south India"

Offline rishiindiana

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: British India: INDIAN TITLE BADGE (MYB # 327)
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2013, 10:39:18 AM »
From 1913, the date of the award of the title (usually, but not always, either New Year's or Birthday Honours) was added to the naming engraved on the reverse.

A very interesting fact is that on 1 June 1933, the awareness seems to have dawned that the image of the King-Emperor on the title badges was facing in the “wrong” direction, and the king’s image was reversed to face, more properly, to the left.

Offline Pabitra

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 481
A book has been announced on the related subject

Offline malj1

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3 346
    • Mals Tokens
Re: British India: INDIAN TITLE BADGE (MYB # 327)
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2014, 12:00:38 PM »
MYB refers to "MEDAL YEAR BOOK". This is a British Medal catalogue, published every year by Token Publishing Limited, UK.
This is a basic book, for British Medal Collectors.
http://www.amazon.com/Medal-Yearbook-2013-John-Mussell/dp/1908828005
The book is easily available at Amazon, or with most of the Coin/stamp dealers, who deals in Books also.
The information, which I have mentioned in the last reply, is from the Medal Year Book only, and it does not mention anything specifically about Sardar Bahadur badge being given to Sikhs.
Abhay

"MEDAL YEAR BOOK" is also available directly from Token Publishing Ltd along with several other Medal books.

Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.