Friday, June 16, 2017

Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer 1980 India Stamp

Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer  commonly known as Ulloor was a  Malayalam  poet and historian. He was one of the triumvirate poets of  Kerala in the first half of the 20th century, along with Kumaran Asan  and Vallathol Narayana Menon.

Ulloor was born Born 6 June 1877 at the Thamarassery Illam at Perunnai, Changanasseri (Kerala)  Since his ancestral home was at Ulloor, he came to be known as Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer. His father died when he was young and his mother raised him. He graduated with Honors in Philosophy from Maharajas College and joined the Travancore State Services. Later he took Degree in Law and  Master's  in Malayalam  and Tamil. He was later appointed as the income tax officer and then as the Chief Secretary.

Ulloor published his mahakavyam Umakeralamin 1914. Until then, only Pandalam Kerala Varma's  Rukmamgadacharitham was considered as a complete mahakavya in Malayalam.

Poet K. Ayyappa Panicked has noted that  Umakeralum is a "work of great devotion: devotion to the land, to the language, to a poetic tradition and to high moral values." Ulloor, like his contemporaries Kumaran Asan  and  Vallathol Narayana Menon, also wrote a number of short narratives or  khandakavyas,  of which the most famous are Karnabhooshanam  and Pingala. In the former he celebrates Karna's infinite generosity and dedication to principles. In the latter he tries to portray the transformation of  courtesan overnight into a pious and refined character - almost a saint. Some of his other best known works were Bhakthideepika, and Chithrasala. Uloor also wrote quite a large numberu of lyrics and shorter pieces, now available in various collections.

He  breathed his last on 15 June 1949, at  age 72,  after  his  death the University of Kerala published one of his most noted works Kerala Sahitya Charithram, which describes the history of Malayalam language, culture, and literature.He studied ancient literature and palm leaf manuscripts to bring out old literary works such as Rama Charitham  poem and Doothavakyam prose.

Department of Posts honoured him by releasing a commemorative postage stamp on

Issued Date : 06.06.1980
Denomination : 30 Paise

Thursday, June 15, 2017

N. M. Joshi 1980 India Stamp

N. M. Joshi : Narayan Malhar Joshi was born on 5 June 1879 at Goregaon in the Kolaba district of Maharashtra. The family originally belonged to Rayari village in Pune district but had migrated to Goregaon (Kolaba).

After his primary education in Goregaon and secondary education in Pune, Narayan Joshi graduated from the Deccan College, Pune in 1901. After his graduation, he worked as a teacher in the schools at Ahmednagar, Bombay, Pune and ratnagiri till about 1909.

His zeal for public work led him to join the Servants of India Society in 1909. In 1911, he started the Social Service League and was intimately associated with its working till 1955. Gradually he started taking interest in labour problems and started a number of welfare centres, night schools, medical centres and industrial classes in labour areas.

He started the All India Trade Union Congress in 1921 and worked as its Secretary till 1929. Disenchanted with the strikes in Bombay in 1928-29, promoted by the certain elements in AITUC, he left the organisation and started the Trade Union Federation.

From 1921 to 1947, he was an elected member of the Central Legislative Assembly. He was the prime mover behind several enactments on labour welfare: successive amendments of the Factory Act of 1881, Workmen's Compensation Act (1924), Indian Trade Union Act (1926), Payment of Wages Act (1938), etc.

He represented Indian Labour, at the behest of the Government of India, at the first International Labour Conference at Washington in 1919. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Indian Labour (1929-30). Between 1922 and 1948, he frequently represented Indian Labour at the International Labour Organisation Conferences. He was Chairman of the Labour Sub-Committee of the Indian National Palnning Commission (1937) headed by Jawaharlal Nehru.

He was the President of the Railwaymen's Federation in 1929. He was a prolific writer and journalist. He amnaged the Dnanaprakash, the Marathi daily of the Servants of India Society. In 1921 he started a Marathi weekly, the Kamgar Samachar.

The father of the Trade Union movement in India breathed his last on 30 May 1955.

Department of Posts honoured him by  releasing a commemorative postage stamp during  his  centenary  birthday celebrations

Issued  Date : 05.06.1980
Denomination : 30 Paise

Nutan Samarth 2011 India Stamp

Nutan Samarth was born on June 4 1936 to poet Kumarsen Samarth and his actress wife 'Shobhana' as the eldest of their four children (a younger sister is the actress Tanuja) in 1949 at 13-year-old Nutan made her debut in K. Asif's "Hamari Beti".

Nutan Samarth Bahl, better known as Nutan, was an Indian actress.  and was capable of expressing anything with her eyes and face. In Seema (1955) we can see the tempests raging and dying in her eyes as the bhajan ‘Manmohana bade jhoote’.

In 1959 at age  23 she married Lieutenant Commander Rajnish Bahl and eased out of films when her son, Mohnish was born. However, the actress in her couldn’t rest for long and the spotlights once again shone on her after her out standing performance in famous director Bimal Roy‘s award-winning film Bandini (1963). The film had Nutan at her acting best.

In 1960’s and 1970’s Nutan regularly picked up awards for diverse roles in films like Milan (1967),
Saraswati Chandra (1968), Saudagar (1973) and Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978). By that time she had become one of the most respected actress in Hindi Cinema. Renowned directors as distinct as Bimal Roy, Manmohan Desai, Raj Khosla and Basu Bhattacharya have named her as their favorite actress.

She maintained her pre-eminence through the 80s and retained her graceful style in the maternal roles that she was now being asked to do. She acted opposite Dilip Kumar for the first time in Subhash Ghai’s Karma (1986) and matched the performance of the great actor frame by frame.

Nutan was not only blessed with a graceful personality and great acting skills, her voice was also quite serene. In the 1960 film Chhabili (1960), Nutan sang ‘Aye Mere Humsafar’. In 1980s she sang Bhajans (devotional songs). Though her dairy farm, her antique laden home, her piloting of her son Mohnish’s career, her bhajan-singing and her search for spirituality took up most of her time in her later years, she, nevertheless, continued to act.

Nutan has won the highest number of Filmfare Awards. has won 6 Filmfare Awards. Other awards are innumerable. She won more awards than any other actress of Hindi Cinema.

Her simplicity of thought, word and deed and her devotion to work in any given situation is still remembered. Nutan could often be short and impatient with a lot of people but her winsome personality always brought them back to the fold. A woman of great ideals, she always maintained a sense of responsibility.

Her health took a turn for worse in 1989. She developed cancer of the liver and left for heavenly abode in 1991 at the age of 59. She breathed her last
but the Nutan memories lives on…

Department of Posts honoured her by releasing a commemorative postage stamp during  release  of  legendary heroines of  India 

Issued Date : 13.02.2011
Denomination : 500 Paise

G. Sankara Kurup 2003 India Stamp

G. Sankara Kurup, Popularly known as Mahakavi G or "G" was born on 3 June 1901. Nellikkappilli Sankara Warrier was his father and Vadakkani Lakshmikutty Amma was his mother. Both belonged to respectable but low-income Hindu families in Nayathode village near Kalady, in Central Kerala, the birth place of Sri Sankaracharya, the renowned philosopher and religious reformer. G's uncle was a good Sanskrit scholar and astrologer. In 1931 G married Subhadra Amma from Purathu Veedu in Thiruvanchikulam, capital of the old Chera empire.

Losing his father at an early age, the boy Sankaran was extremely anxious about his education. His uncle Govinda Kurup and mother were, however, able to give him both home and school education in Sanskrit and Malayalam only. Subsequenly, he passed the Malayalam Pundits' examination which brought him a teacher's post. Later in 1926, he passed simultaneously the Preliminary and Final Vidwan examinations of Madras University, winning a first class and the first rank.

By self study he mastered English, Bengali and Hindu and so got direct access to the literature in these languages.

*Tolstoy's 'What is Art?' was an eye-opener for him*. Among his poetical compositions, some will suggest the influence of Mahakavi Vallathol, some other of Tagore. Some will show acquaintance with English poets like Shelley and Wordsworth, and also with Persian poets. The writings of Tagore and Gandhi shaped his ideas of comprehensive humanism, and at the same time fired his spirit of nationalism. Nevertheless, in everything that G said and wrote his individuality was clearly evident. 

His career began in 1921 as a Government School teacher. In 1936 he entered Collegiate serviced and retired as a Professor in 1956. Then for two years he was Producer in the All India Radio Station, Trivandrum. From 1958 to 1960 he was 'Sahitya Salak' in the same station. A member of the Samasta Kerala Sahitya Parishad, he was also editor of its journal from 1944 to 1959. 

He was its President from 1956 to 1957 and of the Kerala Sahitya Academy from 1966 to 1957 and of the Kerala Sahitya Academy from 1966 to 1968. He was editor of the Kairali and was founder-editor of the Thilakam. He was an honorary member of the PEN and of the National Book Trust of India, and was President of the Bharatiya Sahitya Parishad. 

During all those years, poems, dreams and essays-mostly poems-poured abundantly from his pen. There are about forty publications to his credit. Four phases, somewhat mixed, may be observed in the course of his poetic evolution, namely romanticism, mysticism or symbolism, nationalism, internationalism or humanism. All these stages are seen in 'Odakkuzhal' (The Flute), a collection of poems which won the Bharatiya Gnanapeetha Award. 

His interpretation of nature which is unique in Malayalam literature, may be seen in 'Sandhya Taram' (Twilight Star) or 'Suryakanti' (Sunflower).

Tagore's influence is seen in poemslike 'Ente Veli' (My Marriage) and 'Pushpa Geethi' (Song of Flower). 'Azhimukham' (Harbour Mouth), 'Rakta Bindu' (Drop of Blood) and the like express G's intense nationalist spirit. 'Eka Lokam' (One World) and the drama 'Irittinu Mumpa' (Before Darkness) show his international interest.

In 'Pathikante Pattu' (Song of the Wayfarer) his universal humanism finds expression. In 'Nimisham' (Moment) and 'Viswa Darshan' (Vision of the Universe) G has very felicitously interwoven the explanations of cosmic phenomena according to ancient Indian culture and modern science. Many poems are lyrics, while 'Moonnaruviyum Oru Puzhayum' (Three Streams and a River), his longest poem, is a balled, a simple story of the poor, in one hundred and seventy-two quatrains.

Besides original compositions, he has translated into Malayalam, 'Meghadoot', 'Rubayyat' and 'Gitanjali'. His 'Muthum Chippiyum' (Pearl and Oyster) is a collection of essays on the Persian poets. In the midst of all these G has given to children also books of simple verses like 'Ilam Chundukal' (Young Lips) and 'Katte Va Kadale Va' (Come Wind, Come Sea). G's speeches are famous for their fluency, substance and rich imagery, like his poetry.

Honours came to him in recognition of his talents and achievements. The Samskrita Sadas and the Maharaja of the erstwhile Cochin State awarded him the titles of Sahitya Nipunan and Kavithilakan respectively. He got the Krishna Kalyani Award from the Kerala Writers' Co-operative Society, and in 1963 the Sahitya Academy Award from the President of India.

In 1965, for the first time, the Bharateeya Gnanapeetha Prize was given to G. The President confered on him the title of Padmabhushan and nominated him as a member of the Rajya Sabha. The Soviet Land Nehru Award came to him in 1967. In 1968 he was invited to Russia by the Award Committee and the Soviet Writers' Association and to Germany by German writers. His poems have been translated into other Indian languages, English and Russian.

He believes in socialism, but by evolution. His attitude towards religious and social conventions is Gandhian and unorthodox. But he is no atheist, as is shown by the name Guruvayoorappan Trust which he gave to his endowment for encouraging young writers. He thinks that while our educational system closed the doors on our old culture and talents, it did not open adequately the way for us for the new scientific and technical progress. He has very simple habits and pleasant social manners.

With his words and deeds he had inspired many promising writers, and brought home to the public the beauties of nature, the joy and pride of being an Indian. He sang of the glory of freedom, of the sanctity of the struggle for it. In Malayalam poetry he experimented boldly and successfully with new forms and gave the lead to the rising generations.

He  breathed his last on 2 February 1978  Vappalassery, Angamaly, Ernakulam district, Kerala.
In the history of Malayalam poetry these years will be known as the Age of G. 

Department of Posts honoured him by releasing a commemorative postage stamp on him

Issued Date : 03.10.2003
Denomination :500 Paise

Chhatrapati Shivaji 1974 India Stamp

Chhatrapati Shivaji was crowned on this day in 1674: Remembering the Maratha king

A fierce warrior, the unifier of the Hindus, and the Mughals' worst enemy, Chhatrapati Shivaji was a valiant king and a secular ruler who respected all religions equally. Shivaji was crowned on this day in 1674.

Shivaji Bhonsle, venerated in Maharashtra as the father of “the Maratha nation”, was born in 1627 into a family of Maratha bureaucrats. His father, Shahji, was the jagirdar of the Sultan of Ahmadnagar2 in Pune, but he shifted his allegiance to the Sultan of Bijapur; Shivaji’s mother, Jiji Bai, was devoted to her son, particularly after her husband took a second wife. This was not the only time that Shahji shifted his loyalties: when the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan decided to lead his forces into the Deccan, then rest all history 

Shivaji’s coronation in 1674 as Chhatrapati, or “Lord of the Universe”, constitutes the next pivotal chapter in his biography. It was in part to mark his independence from the Mughals, and to repudiate his formal relation to them of a feudatory, that Shivaji had himself crowned, but the very gesture of defiance points to the fact that he recognized the overwhelming power of the Mughals. Moreover, as a Shudra or low-caste person, Shivaji had perforce to enact some ceremony by means of which he could be raised to the status of a kshatriya or traditional ruler.

To this end, he enlisted the services of Gagga Bhatta, a famous Brahmin from Benares, who did the Brahminical thing in falsely certifying that Shivaji’s ancestors were kshatriyas descended from the solar dynasty of Mewar. 11,000 Brahmins are reported to have chanted the Vedas, and another 50,000 men are said to have been present at the investiture ceremony, which concluded with chants of, “Shivaji Maharaj-ki-jai!”

The greater majority of the historians of previous generations and other scholars who have written on Shivaji have supposed that his battles with Aurangzeb, as well as his coronation, cannot be read as other than clear signs of his unrelenting hatred for Muslims and his desire to be considered a great Hindu monarch. But it is not at all transparent, as some recent work suggests, that his conflicts with Aurangzeb should be read through the lens of a communalist-minded history, where all conflicts are construed as the inevitable battle between Islam and Hinduism.

It is precisely to thwart the communalist interpretations of Shivaji that Nehru made the pointed remark, in his Discovery of India, that “Shivaji, though he fought Aurangzeb, freely employed Muslims”. The first Pathan unit joined Shivaji’s forces in 1658, and one of his trusted commanders who was present at Shivaji’s encounter with Afzal Khan was a Muslim, Didi Ibrahim. There is nothing to suggest that the animosity between the Shia rulers of Bijapur and the Sunni Mughal Emperors was of a different order than the conflict between the Hindu Shivaji and Aurangzeb, who were locked in battle over political power and economic resources. It is also a telling fact that, after the coronation, Shivaji struck a military alliance with the Muslim leader Abul Hasan, the Qutb Shah Sultan, and together they waged a campaign against Shivaji’s own half-brother, Vyankoji Bhonsle.

Department of Posts released a commemorative postage stamp during the  celebrations of 300th Anniversary of Coronation

Issued Date : 02. 06.1974
Denomination : 25 Paise

Madras GPO 1986 India Stamp

The Madras G.P.O. started functioning from June 1, 1786 and the first Postmaster-General was Sir Archibald's secretary, A.M. Campbell. Robert Mitford was appointed the Deputy Postmaster-General. The G.P.O. was served by one Writer (clerk), five sorters, a head peon and ten postmen. They worked out of a building that was “at the beach in Fort St. George square.”

Madras GPO was from the  beginning a pioneer  post office in providing better facilities to the  public. The postage rates in Madras  Presidency were cheaper than at Calcutta upto 1837 when uniform postage was introduced all over India

In October 1837 the post office moved to “the old Bank” building inside the Fort, what is now the Fort Museum. And then in 1856 to Garden House, Popham's Broadway, near the Kothawal Chavadi market. Eventually, in 1884, it moved into its own building, the handsome one by Chisholm that it still occupies.

The Madras Post Office, as it was generally called, began expanding its services when it opened receiving offices (as opposed to full service offices that also delivered mail) in March 1834 at Hunter's Road in Vepery and what is now Westcott Road in Royapettah. In February 1845, four more receiving offices were opened, on Mount Road, in Triplicane, and two in Black Town (yet to become George Town). Receiving offices were added in San Thomé and in Teynampet, near St. George's Cathedral,

Madras GPO was  the  first to introduce window  delivery  of letter  on 1850 while  no such  facility was  available  at  Calcutta.  There  was  a boat  contractor  to bring  mails  from  streamer  to harbour.  No other  person  expect one postal  official  on duty  was allowed on the  boat.  The  mails were  carried  from  harbour to  G.P.O in bullock  cart  with  3 Coolies accompanied by a postal office in 1855. Not long afterwards, six more receiving offices were opened.

All this expansion warranted a large main post office for receipt of mail and distribution and the Madras Chamber of Commerce urged the Governments of India and Madras in 1868 to build a large General Post Office in a central place. Only Rs. 2,00,000 was sanctioned for this purpose by the two Governments in response to the proposal, construction of GPOs in Calcutta and Bombay being cited by the GoI for its inability to contribute more. Eventually, the present site — where the Abercrombie Battery had once been — was selected in 1873, but there was no money to proceed with the work till 1880. The Chamber then urged that both the Post and Telegraph Departments be housed in one building and that, as this would necessitate an even bigger building, the Abercrombie Battery site not be divided between the Bank of Madras and the Post Office as had been intended.

The three-storied building, 352 feet long, 162 feet broad, and with 125-foot tall towers, was inaugurated in 1884. Besides a high ceilinged central hall, the ground floor provided space for stores, kitchen, servants etc. The first floor was used for offices. And the second floor served as accommodation for officers. The Postmaster-General moved in on March 1, 1884 from space he was occupying in the Mercantile Bank building further down the road, and the Broadway staff moved in on April 26. The new building had cost Rs. 6,80,000 against an estimated Rs. 6,92,000. Those were the days when such things could happen

Department of Posts issued a commemorative postage stamp in memory of  Madras  GPO  completion of 200 years 

Issued  Date : 09 - 10 - 1986
Denomination : 500 Paise

Sunday, June 4, 2017

World Cup Football 1986 India Stamp

The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June 1986. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. With European nations not allowed to host after the previous World Cup in Spain, Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially resigned in 1982. Mexico was selected as the new host in May 1983. This was the third FIFA World Cup tournament in succession that was hosted by a Hispanophonic country; in addition to Spain hosting in 1982, Argentina hosted this prestigious tournament in 1978.

It was won by Argentina (their second title, after winning in 1978). Argentina was captained by the 25-year old Diego Maradona, who played a large part in his team's success. Maradona scored the "Hand of God" goal, as well as another voted "Goal of the Century", in the same quarter-final against England. These were two of the five goals that Maradona scored during the tournament, and he also created another five for his team-mates.Argentina beat West Germany 3–2 in the final at Mexico City's Estadio Azteca. Total attendance was 2,394,031, an average per match of 46,039. Canada, Denmark and Iraq made their first appearances at the final stage.

The 1986 World Cup saw the appearance of the phenomenon dubbed the Mexican wave, which was popularised worldwide after featuring during the tournament.

The format of the competition changed from 1982, with the second round being played on a knock-out basis rather than groups. The 24 teams qualified were divided into six groups of four (A to F). The top two teams and the four best third-place finishers from the six groups advanced to the knockout round of 16 teams.

The team INDIA, India have never participated in the FIFA World Cup, though the team did qualify for the World Cup in 1950 after all the other nations in their qualification group withdrew. However, India themselves withdrew prior to the tournament beginning.

The  Team which was once considered one of the best teams in Asia, had its golden era during the 1950s and early 1960s. During this period, under the coaching of Syed Abdul Rahim, India won gold during the 1951 and 1962Asian Games, while finishing fourth during the 1956 Summer Olympics.

Despite India not reaching the same heights since their golden era,  hopefully  in coming  days  will  reach  the  same heights

Department of Posts released a commemorative postage stamp during the opening  ceremony  of 13th World Cup Football, Mexico

Issued Date: 31.05.1986
Denomination : 500 Paise