The Kaiser-i-Hind was a medal awarded by the British monarch between 1900 and 1947, to civilians of any nationality who rendered distinguished service in the advancement of the interests of the British Raj.


The medal was instituted by Queen Victoria on April 10, 1900. The name translates as "Emperor of India", a name also used for a rare Indian butterfly Teinopalpus imperialis. The Royal Warrant for the Kaiser-i-Hind was amended in 1901, 1912, 1933 and 1939. While never officially rescinded, the Kaiser-i-Hind ceased to be awarded following the passage of the Indian Independence Act 1947.

Medal grades and design

The medal had three grades. The Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medal for Public Service in India was awarded directly by the monarch on the recommendation of the Secretary of State for India. Silver and Bronze medals were awarded by the Viceroy.

The medal consisted of an oval-shaped badge or decoration in Gold, Silver or Bronze with the Royal Cipher and Monarchy on one side, and the words "Kaiser-i-Hind for Public Service in India" on the other. It was to be worn suspended from the left breast by a dark blue ribbon. The medal has no post-nominal initials.

Its most famous recipient is Mohandas Gandhi, who was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind in 1915 for his contribution to ambulance services in South Africa. Gandhi returned the medal in 1920 as part of the national campaign protesting the massacre at JallianWalla Bagh.



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