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

Karpoori Thakur 1991 India Stamp

Karpoori Thakur was an Indian politician from the Bihar state. He was popularly known as Jan Nayak (Hindi for "the people's leader"). He served as the11th Chief Minister of Bihar from December 1970 to June 1971 (Socialist Party/Bharatiya Kranti Dal), and from December 1977 to April 1979 (Janata Party).

Karpoori Thakur, son of Gokul Thakur & Ramdulari Devi, was born in Pitaunjhia (now renamed to Karpuri Gram) village of the Samastipur District of British India. As a student activist, he left his graduate college to join the Quit India Movement. For his participation in the Indian independence movement, he spent 26 months in prison.

After India gained independence, Thakur worked as a teacher in his village's school. He became a member of the Bihar Vidhan Sabha in 1952. He was arrested for leading P & T employees during the general strike of the Central Government employees in 1960. In 1970, he undertook a fast unto death for 28 days to promote the cause of Telco labourers.

Thakur was a votary of Hindi language, and as the education minister of Bihar, he removed English as the compulsory subject for the  matriculation  curriculum. It is alleged that the Bihari students suffered due to the resulting low standards of English-medium education in the state. 

Thakur served as a minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, before becoming the first non-Congress socialist Chief Minister of Bihar in 1970.He also enforced total prohibition of alcohol in Bihar. During his reign, many schools and colleges were established in his name in the backward areas of Bihar.

A socialist leader, Karpoori Thakur was close to Jaya Prakash Narayan. During the emergency in India (1975–77), he and other prominent leaders of Janata Party led the "Total Revolution" movement aimed at non-violent transformation of the Indian society. After the Janata Party came to power, he won the chief minister ship battle from the then Bihar Janata Party President Satyendra Narayan Sinha to become the Bihar Chief Minister for a second term in 1977.

However he could not last his full term because he lost the leadership battle in 1979 from Ram Sundar Das  whom his adversaries placed against him and was replaced as chief minister. In 1979, Premlata Rai, a 35-year-old schoolteacher from Kathmandu, accused Thakur of raping her while he was hiding in Nepal during the Emergency.She also complained that she was wrongfully confined when she visited Patna.

Thakur was known as the champion of the cause of the Dalits and the poor. He introduced reservation for the backward classes in the Government jobs, in 1978.

Thakur served as the President of Samyukta Socialist Party. He is called a mentor to the prominent Bihari leaders such as Lalu Prasad Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan, and Nitish Kumar. Karpoori Thakur's birthplace, Pitaunjhia, was renamed to Karpuri Gram (Hindi for "Karpuri village")
He  breathed his last on17 February 1988

The Jan Nayak Karpuri Thakur VidhiMahavidyalaya (Law College) in Buxar is also named after him. in his memory.The government has taken immense commemorative measures that includes naming several stadiums after Jan Nayak Karpuri Thakur in the state, establishment of scores of colleges and statues in most of the districts, Karpuri Thakur Museum,Jan Nayak Karpuri Thakur hospitals in Samastipur and Darbhanga, publication of Karpuri Thakur's speeches in legislative and documentary formation on Karpuri Thakur.

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

Issued  Date : 30.08.1991
Denomination : 100 Paise

Kurinji flower 2006 India Stamp

Gregarious Kurniji is the famous flower which makes the Neelgirihills blue. Kurinji is a bright blue bell-shaped flower found on the hill slopes of the Western Ghats at an altiltude between 6000 to 7000 feet.

The unique feature of this flower is that it blooms once in 12 years! The species name kunthiana  has been derived from the River Kunthi which flows through the rich expanse of the renowned Silent Valley National Park in Kerala. Kurinji flower normally grows on the hill slopes where there is little or no tree forest. It is a tall, bushy, shrub which sometimes may grow to a height of eight to ten feet.

when it blooms, which is once in 12 years, the entire bush is covered with bright blue flowers. Robinson (1935) recorded a twelve year flowering cycle for this species from the Nilgiri Hills between 1826 and 1934, based on the diaries of one of the earliest European families to settle in the Hills.

Kurinji once used to cover the Nilgiri Hills and Palani Hills like a carpet during its flowering season. Now plantations and dwellings occupy much of their habitat. Besides the Western Ghats, Neelakurinji is also seen in the Shevroys in the Eastern Ghats, some parts of Idukki and sandur hills of Bellary district in Karnataka. In 2006, Neelakurunji flowered again in Kerala and Tamil Nadu after a gap of 12 years. Thereafter, the Strobilanthes cuspidatus species of Kurinji flowers were found blooming in 2016 in Udhagamandalam near a major road.

In August 2008, a group of plants at Thalakkulam, about 35 km from Munnar, flowered on a hill by the side of the Kochi-Madurai National Highway. The next flowering here will be in 2020 if the seedlings survive the onslaught of human interference.

Stray flowerings of kurinji do occur annually towards the end of the 12-year flowering cycle. A few plants here and there may throw up an inflorescence while the other plants remain without flowers. What triggers the massive flowering every 12 years is not known. However, here is an explanation for why they flower only once in 12 years. 

kurinji has been documented for 180 years. The first records of ten consecutive flowerings from 1826 to 1934 were published in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History (Vol. 38) by Mrs. Morrison.However, references in the Tamil Sangham literature (200 B. C.-300 A. D.) suggest that kurinji used to flower for hundreds of years.

Department of Posts Honoured Gregarious flower Kurinji  by  releasing  a commemorative postage stamp

Issued Date : 29. 05.2006
Denomination: 15.00 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

N. T. Rama Rao 2000 India Stamp

Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, more popular in India as N. T. Rama Rao, and often referred to as N T R back home in the south, was one of the most popular actors that has ever graced the South Indian film industry. N. T. Rama Rao had been a part of mostly Telugu films, but he has also starred in some popular Tamil and Kannada ventures during the second half of his film career. later shifted his attention to producing and directing films for the Telugu film industry.  N. T. Rama Rao remained equally popular among the masses even after he retired from films and became a politician. 

N. T. Rama Rao was born on May 28, 1923 in the Nimmakuru village of Andhra Pradesh. Although his father was a farmer, the family was quite well-to-do and led a fairly lavish lifestyle. N. T. Rama Rao completed his primary years of schooling in Nimmakuru, later shifting to Vijayawada where he lived with an uncle who had adopted him.

He attended a school in Vijayawada from his sixth standard. However, the tables of fortune soon turned and N. T. Rama Rao's family could no longer be classified as rich. It was at this time that he took up his first job as a milk delivery boy in Vijayawada. He also became the clerk of a local provisional store. N. T. Rama Rao continued with his studies until he reached his twenties and was then a student of the Andhra University. It is said that N. T. Rama Rao possessed a lovely voice and was often found singing to himself during his youth. But destiny had some other plans for the actor who quit his first job in the civil services of India to enter as an actor in the Telugu film industry. 

Acting always interested N. T. Rama Rao and he actively became a member of college plays and other stage shows while still in college. According to reports, the first role that was offered to N T R in a college play was that of a female. Though he agreed to portray the role, he was reluctant to part with his moustache! Most of the plays organised by him during this point of time were done to generate funds to serve the poor and ailing in the society. A young man in his twenties, his journey to stardom had just begun. What followed thereafter made N. T. Rama Rao a legend, making a place for him on the pages of Andhra Pradesh history.

The year 1947 marked N. T. Rama Rao's entry into the world of Telugu cinema. It was B. A. Subba Rao, a very well known producer of films made in South India, who first noticed the legend in the making N. T. Rama Rao. B A Subba Rao was so taken by the photograph of N. T. Rama Rao that he did not think twice before signing him as the hero for his upcoming film 'Palleturi Pilla'.

N. T. Rama Rao did not have to go through the routine of a screen test and make up test for his debut performance on the big screen. Though he was signed for B A Subba Rao's film first, N. T. Rama Rao's first onscreen venture was a tiny part of a policeman in the 1949 L V Prasad film 'Mana Desam'. 'Palleturi Pilla', a film inspired from the English play 'Pizaro' went on to become a huge commercial hit in theaters across South India and won this talented actor much recognition.

N. T. Rama Rao had shifted base to Madras and taken up a rented space there to live close to his workplace, it became difficult for him to make end's meet with the money that he received as remuneration from films. N. T. Rama Rao also had to go without food for many days to save money. 

The year 1949 was good for N. T. Rama Rao, year 1951 was even better because it saw the release of K. V. Reddy's film 'Paathala Bhairavi' and B. N. Reddy's production 'Malleeswari'.

The former was a raging hit all over India and it was from here that the common man sat up and took notice of N. T. Rama Rao who was gradually making a place for himself in Tollywood and in the hearts of his fans.

The popularity of N. T. Rama Rao gradually increased and more producers were eager to work with him. In the year 1958, N. T. Rama Rao bagged the role of Ravana Brahma in the film 'Bhoo Kailas'. The actor was more than happy to play the character because in the word of N. T. Rama Rao, Ravana was the best historical mythological character that he had read or heard about. In 1960 was released the first mythological film starring N. T. Rama Rao in the lead. 'Sri Madvirata Parvam' was based on the story of Lord Venkateswara who is a much loved deity in South India. The common man did not flinch from lining up outside theaters playing the film in odd hours of the day to watch their favorite actor N. T. Rama Rao. 

Just like the popularity of N. T. Rama Rao as an actor increased, his remuneration also went up. His films 'Lava Kusa' and 'Maya Bazar' were record hits at the box office, breaking all previous records. N. T. Rama Rao remained an actor for more than 40 years of his life, giving his audience more than 300 films during the length of his illustrious career. He has been a part of more than 200 Telugu films, 15 Tamil films and also some Hindi and Kannada movies. N. T. Rama Rao was bestowed with numerous awards during his term as an actor. While Filmfare felicitated him ten times with the Best Actor Award (Telugu), his film 'Varakatnam' won National Award in 1968. Apart from that, he was also conferred with Padmashri Award and an Honorary Doctorate from Andhra University.

It was during the 1980s that N. T. Rama Rao retired from films to take up politics actively. Even when he was a part of the film industry, he always strived hard to convince the government to set up theaters in rural regions of Andhra Pradesh. He was one of the proponents of a governing system that would provide large sums of money for the proper production and distribution of movies. Therefore, it wouldn't be unfair to say that a politician was always hidden within N. T. Rama Rao. He set up the Telugu Desam Party in the year 1982, following which N. T. Rama Rao was elected the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh three times between the years 1983 to 1994. In between, N. T. Rama Rao became the leader of the Telugu Dasam Legislature Party in 1983. N. T. Rama Rao believed that politicians should develop direct contacts with the common man and therefore, he made extensive journeys across the state of Andhra Pradesh to promote his Telugu Desam Party. The journey was made on a personal van named 'Chaitanya Ratham'. 

N. T. Rama Rao was unanimously elected the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1994 in spite of the fact that he could not contest the elections owing to bad health.

N. T. Rama Rao breathed  his  last on January 18, 1996 at 72 years of age. He was a resident of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh at the time of his death. He is still missed not only in Tollywood, but also in Andhra Pradesh politics. 

Department of Posts honoured him by releasing a commemorative postage stamp of his  remembering

 Issued Date: 28.05.2000
Denomination, : 300 Paisa

Dr. Indra Chandra Shastri 2004 India Stamp

Dr. Indra Chandra Shastri was a philosopher, an exceptional author, and an authority on poetics, philosophy, religion, culture, Indology, linguistics, grammar, epistemology etc. His pioneering contributions are evident in the field of Pali, Prakrit, Philosophy (eastern and western), History of  India, European  Language etc. He was an indefatigable and prolific thinker who combined abstract thought with a rare imagination. A  pursuer  of individual spiritualism and inspired by Jain Anekanta, he was a man of courage and dedication and  remained  a  fervent champion  of rationalism.

Born on 27 May, 1912, at Dabwali Mandi, now in Sirsa district of Haryana, Dr. Indra Chandra Shastri came to Bikaner for education where he studied Sanskrit and Prakrit. Later he received a Masters' degree in Sanskrit from Agra University and was bestowed the 'Shastracharya' in Vedanta from the Banaras Hindu  University.

He did his 'Shastri' from Punjab University and 'Nyayatirtha' from Calcutta. He obtained a Ph.D. under the tutelage of Pandit Bat Krishna Mishra. The doctoral dessertation in 'Epistemology of Jain Agamas' was highly commended.

Influenced     by     Mahatma     Gandhi,     Shastriji    actively participated  in  the  freedom  movement.  In  1942 campaigned against  Bat  Diksha,  a  practice  of  forcible  adoption  of  poor children  by  Jain  ascetics  in  Rajasthan,  prevalent  those  days. This resulted in the tabling of a bill in the assembly of Bikaner.

He also organised relief camps during partition. He was involved in organisational  activities,   he was Secretary Akhil Bharatiya Sanskrit Sahitya Sammelan in 1954-58. In 1957 he organised the Delhi session of All India Oriental  Conference.

He was Chief Speaker at World  Religious  Conference  in  Ujjain,  Rajgir  and Delhi. In 1959 he was appointed the first Head of the Department of  Sanskrit  in  the  Institute  of  Post  Graduate  Studies  in  the University of Delhi. In 1961, due to loss of eyesight caused by glaucoma,  he resigned  from the  post.  Subsequently  appointed Professor   emeritus   under   a  University   Grants  Commission scheme, he pursued  research  on 'Religion  and Modem  Man' in 1967-69. He remained  associated  with  various  departments  as a  guest  speaker.

His writings are marked with high scholasticism. He wrote about 70 books and more than  600 research papers  where he distilled the wisdom of ancient classical texts and applied it to modern times. His 'Pali Bhasa Aur Sahitya' has a series of three forewords followed by the Hindi translation of Wilhelm Geiger's introduction to his German classic entitled 'Pali literatur und sprache'.

Dr. Shastri made dispassionate analysis of thought currents which had prevailed over the centuries. He considered reason and logic as essential tools to dismantle the dead yet inherited thought structure of the past. He had the restless zeal of an explorer and reformer, evident in his works 'Religious Shops' and 'Ghosts of Culture'. His other important works are Sanskrit Kavya Shastra Ka Itihas, Mahabharat Ke Sukti Ratna, Alok Aur Unmad, Hamari Prampara, Jainism and Democracy, Dharma Aur Rashtra Nirman, Bharatiya Arya Bhasaen etc.

As a recognition of his pioneering efforts and  creative talent, he was awarded the 'Sahitya Seva Samman', by the Hindi Academy. He was also conferred the 'Sahitya Ratna Alankaran' by the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University. The President of India awarded him a 'Certificate of Honour' on 15 August 1986.

In his 'Epistemology of Jain Agamas', a comparative study, according to Dr. Satkari Mookerjee, "the maturity of judgement and sober appraisal of the lived and  orthodox  positions  and their points of  agreements and diversion by the author will ensure him the reputation of being one of the pioneer exponents of Jainology in English. It shows a healthy outlook and freedom from domestic bias".

He went on with his voluminous outpourings even after losing his eyesight and dictated his thoughts and ideas to create masterpieces.

Such a profile of courage and dedication Breathed his last on 3 November 1986. Dr. Indra Chandra Shastri advocated a spiritual journey for the individual from the personal to the  universal and the humane. His  life journey was a pilgrimage for truth which we all remember and cherish.

The Department of Posts  honoured him  by releasing a commemorative postage stamp in his memory.

Issued Date : 27. 05.2004
Denomination : 500 Paise

Dr. Benjamin Peary Pal 2008 India Stamp

Dr. Benjamin Peary Pal / Dr. B.P. Pal was born at Mukandpur in Punjab on 26 May 1906. He had his early education in Maymyo and Rangoon and got a Ph.D degree in Plant Genetics and Agriculture from the University of Cambridge, UK in 1933. He joined the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (then known as the Imperial Agricultural Research Institute), located at Pusa in Bihar in October 1933 as Economic Botanist. In 1937, he became the Head of Division of Botany of IARI. He served as Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). After retirement from ICAR, he served the nation in different capacities, including as Chairman of the National Committee on Environmental Planning and Coordination. Dr.  Pal expired on 14 September 1989 after guiding with great dedication and distinction agricultural research  and education in the country for nearly 60 years.

Dr. Pal's contributions to the' agricultural renaissance of India are many and varied. As a geneticist and plant breeder, he spearheaded the breeding of wheat varieties resistant to the rusts and other diseases. The wheat variety NP809 which he helped to breed is the first variety in the world with concurrent resistance to stem, leaf and stripe rusts. He also bred numerous beautiful varieties of roses and bougainvilleas. Even in his Ph.D work in Cambridge, he showed that the exploitation of hybrid vigour is possible in a self-pollinated crop like wheat. His findings paved the way for the commercial exploitation of hybrid vigour in self-pollinated cereals like rice and wheat.

Dr. Pal's contributions to the  promotion of agricultural research and education have been truly monumental. He was the prime architect of the All-India coordinated Research Projects involving inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration. He established a Post-graduate School at IARI in 1958 which helped to meet the human resource requirements of the Agricultural Universities of India. He fostered the growth of Agricultural Universities in all parts of the country in order to promote integrated attention to research, education and extension. He was the principal author of the chapter on "Education for Agriculture" in the report of the National Education Commission headed by Dr D S Kothari. The symphony approach he promoted in agricultural research and development helped to launch the green revolution in the country in the mid-sixties.

Dr. Pal has been a scientists' scientist, admired universally by both scientists and artists for his unique gifts of wit and wisdom. His research contributions have received national and global recognition through numerous honours and awards, including Padma Vibhusan by the President of India, Fellowship of the Royal Society of London, Japan Science Academy and all the major Science Academies of India. His plea made 70 years ago for launching "a research for new genes" led to a global movement  in the area of genetic resources conservation and enhancement. Through his efforts to mainstream ecological principles in technology development and dissemination he led the country into an era of sustainable agriculture and food security.

Love of  the beauty and diversity of nature and achieving the goal of food for all and for ever have been his abiding passions. He donated all his worldly belongings including two houses in New Delhi and Simla to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute. His life and work will continue to inspire generations of agricultural scientists and scholars.

Department of Posts honoured him by releasing a commemorative postage stamp during  Birth Centenary of Dr. Benjamin Peary Pal

Issued Date :05. 01.2008
Denomination : 500 Paise

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Rasbehari Basu 1967 India Stamp

I was a fighter, "One fight more, the last and The Best". The above aphorism of Shri Rasbehari Basu sums up the philosophy of his struggle. Rasbehari Basu was the first Indian revolutionary since 1857 who had planned and acted to overthrow the British rule from India by armed insurrection.

He was born on the 25th may, 1886 at Palara Bighati village in the District of Hoogly, West Bengal. His father Shri Benode Behari Basu was an employee of the then Government of India. He received his early education at Chandernagore and Calcutta. According to his own statement, he began his revolutionary career when he was only fifteen. Inspired with the spirit of militant nationalism, he first tried to enter the army but later on got a job in the Forest Research Institute at Dehra Dun. It was from here that he commenced his revolutionary activities. He was so adapt in the art of secret organisation that even expert officers of the British Intelligence Police failed in their attempts to arrest him. It was he, who managed the throwing of the bomb on Lord Hardinge on the occasion of his State entry in Delhi on The 23rd December, 1912.

Rasbehari Basu left India for Japan in disguise in May, 1915. The British Police pursued him in Japan for nearly eight years to apprehend him dead or alive but he escaped until he eventually secured Japanese citizenship in 1923. In Japan, he learnt the Japanese language and wrote 16 voluminous books in that language on various subjects.

It was Rasbehari Basu who founded the Pan Asian League. He also founded the Indian Independence League in 1924 to carry on India's freedom movement from the East. This organisation, during the World War II was a parent body of the historic Indian National Army. Rasbehari Basu became the President of the Indian Independence League and the Indian National Army till Subhash Chandra Bose who saved the lives, properties and honour of millions of Indians in South-East Asia from the Japanese Occupation Army by arrangements with the Japanese military headquarters during the World War II. He passed away in Japan on the 21st January, 1945 at the age of 60 years.

The life and achievements of Rasbehari Basu can best be summed up in the following tribute paid to him by our late Prime Minister, Shri Lal Bahadur Shashtri: "Shri Rasbehari Basu is one of those famous names which was on the lips of those of the younger generation during the early part of the 20th century, who were fired with deep patriotic urges and emotions. Shri Basu was dedicated to the freedom and Independence of India and he considered no sacrifice small for the attainment of his objective." "He was gifted with a rare organising ability and during the First World War, he and his other comrades had planned an armed revolt of which he was the spearhead, he had to escape to Japan and undergo much suffering." "A man of great faith and courage, he lived up to the traditions of the renowned leaders and patriots of Bengal who have left behind a deep and lasting impression on our countrymen."

It was on the 26th December, 1941 that Shri Rasbehari Basu, as the President of the Indian Independence League had declared war against the British from Tokyo and this was a turning point in the struggle for India's Independence, as from that date the Indian National Army developed and expanded with great vigour.

The Department of Posts released a commemorative postage stamp in honour of Rasbehari Basu

Issued Date :26-12-1967.
Denomination : 15 Paise

Ramacharitamanas 1975 India Stamp

The first epic to appear in Hindi was Tulsidas' (1543–1623) Ramacharitamanas, also based on the Ramayana. It is considered a great classic of Hindi epic poetry and literature, and shows the author Tulsidas in complete command over all the important styles of composition — narrative, epic, lyrical and dialectic. He has given a divine character to Rama, the Hindu Avatar of Vishnu, portraying him as an ideal son, husband, brother and king,

Few  years back The original  (manuscript) along with few precious articles of its writer, Goswami Tulsidas, were stolen from the Hanuman temple in the Akhara Goswami Tulsidas on Tulsi Ghat,

It led to massive search operations by the Varanasi police, which was ‘informally’ aided by the CBI and the intelligence agencies as it was feared that these rare articles could be smuggled abroad. It took seven months before the police recovered all the articles — the rare pandulipi of Sri Ramcharitmanas, the piece of Goswami Tulsidas’

“But this manuscript  were so far available for public viewing were safely locked only to be taken out once every year to celebrate the Tulsi Jayanti,”

During recovering the original manuscript dwindled with each passing day,  V.N. Mishra, son of Professor Veer Bhadra Mishra, who  was the ‘Mahant’ decided to collect as many manuscripts of Goswami Tulsidas works as possible, including Sri Ramcharitmanas, from whatever source he could,” today  Dr. Vijay Nath Mishra, a leading neurologist and younger son of Professor Veer Bhadra Mishra.

Today he had collected more than 170 handwritten manuscripts from all over India. *The  unique in his  collection is Sri Ramcharitmanas in Urdu that was printed in a Lahore press 90 years ago*

At  present  the collection  are  with  Mishra family at Varanasi

The  above  stamp  shows the manuscript: Ramacharitamanas ( Epic poem by Goswami Tulsidas ) - 4th Centenary

Department of Posts released a commemorative postage on manuscript: Ramacharitamanas

Issued Date 24.04.1975
Denomination : 25 Paise

Delhi Development Authority 1995 India Stamp

Delhi became the focus of government activity in 1911 when the British shifted the capital from Kolkata (Calcutta) to Delhi. The initial location proposed for the capital was to the north of the Northern Ridge. It was later changed to the present location around Raisina Hills. Renowned town planners Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker planned the city of New Delhi in the year 1912. In 1922 a tiny Nazul Office, consisting of 10 to 12 officials, was set up in the Collectorate of Delhi, the first authority to regulate the planned development of the city. In 1937, the Nazul office was upgraded to an Improvement Trust, constituted under the provisions of the United Provinces Improvement Act, 1911, to control building operations and regulate land usage.

India's independence in 1947 and resultant migration increased Delhi's population from 0.7 million people to 1.7 million by 1951. Open spaces were occupied by migrants and civic services virtually collapsed. The two local bodies at that time, Delhi Improvement Trust and Municipal Body, were not adequately equipped to cope up with the changing scenario. In order to plan Delhi and to check its rapid and haphazard growth, the Central Government appointed a Committee under the chairmanship of G. D. Birla in 1950. This Committee recommended a Single Planning & Controlling Authority for all the urban areas of Delhi. Consequently, the Delhi Development (Provisional) Authority - DDPA - was constituted by promulgating the Delhi (Control of Building Operations) Ordinance, 1955 (replaced by the Delhi Development Act, 1957) with the primary objective of ensuring the development of Delhi in accordance with a plan.

On 30 December 1957, Delhi Development Authority acquired its present name and its role as the 9th builder of the city of Delhi.

DDA - Delhi Development Authority instigated operations in 1957 under the Delhi Development Act for a well-planned, orderly and swift development of Delhi into a capital city in its true sense. The biggest challenge in front of the Ministry of Urban Development Delhi has always been to provide adequate residential and commercial infrastructure facilities to over 11 million people in the city.

This metro and capital of India has been attracting large number of immigrants from the neighbouring cities and states and provided an accommodating atmosphere to all. The credit of this largely goes to the Housing Development Authority or DDA. Starting from the basic plan of Delhi by the legendary Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, DDA Regional Housing Authority had the challenge to develop a pre-painted canvas into a beautiful artefact that New Delhi surely is with plenty home for all and more to come.

The Department of Posts brought out a commemorative postage stamp on Delhi Development Authority which has  been in the forefront of planning and building of the  capital of India

Issued Date 23.05.1995
Denomination :500 Paise

Monday, May 22, 2017

Raja Ram Mohan Roy 1964 India Stamp

Atmiya Sabha and Brahma Samaj founder,  Played a key role in abolition and Sati. Fought for the rights of women. 

Raja Ram Mohan Roy is known as the 'Maker of Modern India'. He was the founder of the Brahmo Samaj, one of the first Indian socio-religious reform movements. He played a major role in abolishing the role of Sati. Raja Rammohan Roy was a great scholar and an independent thinker. He advocated the study of English, Science, Western Medicine and Technology. He was given the title 'Raja' by the Mughal Emperor. 

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was born on May 22, 1772 in village Radhanagar in the District of Hooghly in Bengal. His father Ramkanto Roy, was a Vaishnavite, while his mother, Tarini, was from a Shakta background. Raja Ram Mohun Roy was sent to Patna for higher studies. By the age of fifteen, Raja Rammohun Roy had learnt Bangla, Persian, Arabic and Sanskrit.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was against idol worship and orthodox Hindu rituals. He stood firmly against all sort of social bigotry, conservatism and superstitions. But his father was an orthodox Hindu Brahmin. This led to differences between Raja Ram Mohan Roy and his father. Following differences he left the house . He wandered around Himalayas and went to Tibet. He traveled widely before returning home.

After his return Raja Ram Mohan Roy's family married him in the hope that he would change. But this did not have any effect on him. Raja Ram Mohan Roy went to Varanasi and studied the Vedas, the Upanishads and Hindu philosophy deeply. When his father died in 1803 he returned to Murshidabad. He then worked as a moneylender in Calcutta, and from 1809 to 1814, he served in the Revenue Department of the East India Company. 

In 1814, Raja Ram Mohan Roy formed Atmiya Sabha. Atmiya Sabha tried to initiate social and religious reforms in the society. Raja Ram Mohan Roy campaigned for rights for women, including the right for widows to remarry, and the right for women to hold property. He actively opposed Sati system and the practice of polygamy.

He also supported education, particularly education of women. He believed that English-language education was superior to the traditional Indian education system, and he opposed the use of government funds to support schools teaching Sanskrit. In 1822, he founded a school based on English education.

In 1828, Raja Ram Mohan Roy founded the 'Brahma Samaj'. Through 'Brahma Samaj, he wanted to expose the religious hypocrisies and check the growing influence of Christianity on the Hindu society. Raja Ram Mohan Roy's efforts bore fruit when in 1829, the Sati system was abolished.

In November 1830 Ram Mohan Roy traveled to the United Kingdom as an ambassador of the Mughal emperor to plead for his pension and allowances. Raja Ram Mohan Roy Breathed his last on September 27, 1833 at Stapleton near Bristol due to meningitis.

Department of Posts honoured him by releasing a commemorative postage stamp on Raja Ram Mohan Roy

Issued Date : 27.09.1964
Denomination :15 Paise

Swami Chidananda 2016 India Stamp

Sridhar Rao, as Swami Chidananda was known before taking Sannyasa (embracing a life of renunciation), was born to Srinivasa Rao and Sarojini, on the 24th September, 1916, the second of five children and the eldest son. Sri Srinivasa Rao was a prosperous Zamindar (a rich landlord) owning several villages, extensive lands and palatial buildings in South India. Sarojini was an ideal Indian mother, noted for her saintliness.

At the age of eight, Sridhar Rao's life was influenced by one Sri Anantayya, a friend of his grandfather, who used to relate to him stories from the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Doing Tapas (austerities), becoming a Rishi (sage), and having a vision of the Lord became ideals which he cherished.

His uncle, Krishna Rao, shielded him against the evil influences of the materialistic world around him, and sowed in him the seeds of the Nivritti life (life of renunciation) which he joyously nurtured until, as latter events proved, it blossomed into sainthood.

His elementary education began at Mangalore. In 1932, he joined the Muthiah Chetty School in Madras where he distinguished himself as a brilliant student. His cheerful personality, exemplary conduct and extraordinary traits earned for him a distinct place in the hearts of all teachers and students with whom he came into contact.

In 1936, he was admitted to Loyola College, whose portals admit only the most brilliant of students. In 1938, he emerged with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. This period of studentship at a predominantly Christian College was significant. The glorious ideals of Lord Jesus, the Apostles and the other Christian saints had found in his heart a synthesis of all that is best and noble in the Hindu culture. To him, study of the Bible was no mere routine; it was the living word of God, just as living and real as the words of the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad-Gita. His innate breadth of vision enabled him to see Jesusin Krishna, not Jesus instead of Krishna. He was as much an adorer of Jesus Christ as he was of Lord Vishnu.

In June 1936, he disappeared from home. After a vigorous search by his parents, he was found in the secluded Ashram of a holy sage some miles from the sacred mountain shrine Tirupati. He returned home after some persuasion. This temporary separation was but a preparation for the final parting from the world of attachments to family and friends. While at home his heart dwelt in the silent forests of spiritual thoughts, beating in tune with eternal Pranava-Nada (mystic sound of the Eternal) of the Jnana Ganga (river of Knowledge) within himself. The seven years at home following his return from Tirupati were marked by seclusion, service, intense study of spiritual literature, self-restraint, control of the senses, simplicity in food and dress, abandonment of all comforts and practice of austerities which augmented his inner spiritual power.

The final decision came in 1943. He was already in correspondence with Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj of Rishikesh. He obtained Swamiji's permission to join the Ashram.

On arriving at the Ashram, he naturally took charge of the dispensary. He became the man with the healing hand. The growing reputation of his divine healing hand attracted a rush of patients to the Sivananda Charitable Dispensary.

It was also in the first year of his stay at the Ashram that he wrote his magnum opus 'Light Fountain', an immortal biography of Sri Gurudev. Sri Gurudev himself once remarked: "Sivananda will pass away, but 'Light Fountain' will live".

In spite of his multifarious activities and intense Sadhana, he founded, under the guidance of Gurudev, the Yoga Museum in 1947, in which the entire philosophy of Vedanta and all the processes of Yoga Sadhana are depicted in the form of pictures and illustrations.

Towards the end of 1948, Gurudev nominated him as the General Secretary of The Divine Life Society. The great responsibility of the organization fell on his shoulders. From that very moment he spiritualized all his activities by his presence, counsel and wise leadership. He exhorted all to raise their consciousness to the level of the Divine.

On Guru Purnima day, the 10th of July, 1949, he was initiated into the holy order of Sannyasa by Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. He now became known as Swami Chidananda, a name which connotes : "one who is in the highest consciousness and bliss".

In August 1963, after the Mahasamadhi of the Master, he was elected as President of the Divine Life Society. After election, he strove to hold aloft the banner of renunciation, dedicated service, love and spiritual idealism, not only within the set-up of the widespread organization of the Society, but in the hearts of countless seekers throughout the world, who were all too eager to seek his advice, help and guidance.

Sri Swami Chidanandaji undertook the Global Tour at the kind request of numerous to serve the devotees of the Society.

On the 28th of August 2008, Most Worshipful Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj entered Mahasamadhi (departure of a Self-realized saint from his mortal coil)

Department of Posts honoured him by releasing a commemorative postage stamp

Issued Date :21.05.2016
Denomination : 500 Paise

Kabir Das 1952 India Stamp

Kabir Das, a mystical poet and great Saint of India, 
He was very spiritual person and became a great Sadhu. He got fame all over the world because of his influential traditions and culture.

It is considered that he got all his spiritual training from his Guru named, Ramananda, in his early childhood. One day, he became a well known disciple of the Guru Ramananda.

There is no clue of the birth parent of the Kabir Das but it is considered that he was cared by a Muslim family. He was founded in Lehartara, a small town in Varanasi by the Niru and Nima (his care taker parents). His parents were extremely poor and uneducated but they very heartily adopted the little baby and trained him about their own business. He lived the balanced life of a simple house holder and a mystic.

It is considered that he got his spiritual training came from the Ramananda, guru of the Sant Kabir. In the starting Ramananda was not agreeing to accept Kabir Das as his disciple. Once upon a time, Sant Kabir Das had lie down on the ladders of the pond and reading the mantra of Rama-Rama, in the early morning Ramananda was going for taking bath and Kabir come down below his feet. Ramananda felt guilty for that activity and then Ramananda was forced to accept him as his disciple.

Later Neeru teela was the house of his parents  Neeru and Neema. Now it has become the accommodation for students and scholars who study Kabir’s work.

Sant Kabir was prejudiced by the existing religious mood of that time like Hinduism, Tantrism as well as the personal devotionalism mixed with the imageless God of Islam. Kabir Das is the first Indian saint who has coordinated the Hinduism and Islam by giving a universal path which could be followed by both Hindus and Muslims.

According to him every life has relationship with two spiritual principles (Jivatma and Paramatma). His view about the moksha that, it is the process of uniting these two divine principles.

His great writing Bijak has huge a collection of poems which makes clear the Kabir’s general view of the spirituality. Kabir’s Hindi was a dialect, simple like his philosophies. He simply followed the oneness in the God. He has always rejected the murti pujan in Hinduism and shown the clear confidence in bhakti and Sufi ideas.

All the poems and songs credited to the Sant Kabir are existing in the several languages. Kabir and his followers are named according to his poetic response such as banis and utterances. The poems are called variously as dohe, saloka and sakhi. Sakhi means to be memorizes and to remind the highest Truth.

The used things of the Kabir as well as other saints of his tradition are still kept safe and secure in the Kabir Math. The weaving machine, khadau, rudraksh garland (got from his Guru Swami Ramanand), rust free trident and all the other thing used by the Kabir someday are available at the Kabir Math.

A historical well is here at the Kabir Math, the water of which is considered as mixed with the Amrit Ras of his Sadhana. It was first guessed by the great Pandit Sarvanand from the south India. He came here for arguing with the Kabir and felt thirsty. He drunk water and ask for address of Kabir from the kamali. Kamali told him the address but in but in the form of dohe of Kabir Das.

Kabir ka ghar sikher par, jahan silhili gal.

Pav na tikai pipil ka, pandit lade bal.

He went to the Kabir for arguing but Kabir never accepted to argue and given Sarvanand a written of accepting defeat. Sarvanand returned his home and showed that paper of defeat to his mother and suddenly he saw that the statement was opposite. He was greatly influenced by that truth and again returned to the Kashi to the Kabir Math and became the disciple of the Kabir das. He was influenced by such a great level that he never touched any book in his rest life.

Later, Sarvanand became famous as Acharya Surtigopal Sahab. He became the head of the Kabir Math after Kabir.
Siddhapeeth  Kabirchaura Math Mumbai  is located in the famous cultural city of the India known as the Varanasi.

Kabir has breathed his last in the year 1518, but even  today Siddhapeeth Kabirchaura Math is followed  in same path by  his followers

Department of Posts honoured him by releasing a commemorative postage stamp

Issued Date : 01.10.1952
Denomination: 0.09 Paise

C.V.Raman Pillai 2010 India Stamp

Cannankara Velayudhan Raman Pillai (C.V.Raman Pillai) (CV) was one of the great Indian  novelists and  playwrights and pioneering playwright and journalist in Malayalam.

Born in (Trivandrum), capital city of the erstwhile native State of Travancore, on 8 November 1858 to Neelakanta Pillai, a Sanskrit scholar and Parvathy Pillai, who were both from middle-class families and were employees at the Palace of the Maharaja of Travancore. C. V.'s mother, Parvathi Pillai, was a scion of an ancient matriarchal family. Her matriarchal ancestral family abode, was called Cannankara, the "C" in C.V. Named Raman and fondly called Ramu by near and dear ones, the boy had a traditional Sanskritized education, early in life, under his father's tutelage which included lessons in Ayurveda and even magic and Tantra.

When he was 12 years old, under the patronage of Sri Kesavan Thampi, great grandson of Raja Kesava Das, a former great Dewan of Travancore, and Kaaaryakkaar (Manager) of Bhajanappura Madhom Palace, residence of the heir-apparent to the throne of the then Travancore State, Raman entered the first English school in Thiruvananthapuram and later graduated from H. H. Maharaja's College in Thiruvananthapuram, the first-ever College in Travancore, and at the end of a brilliant academic career under European Professors, Principal John Ross of Scotland and Dr. Robert Harvey of England, whose favourite disciple C.V. was, and took his B. A. Degree from the Madras University in 1881, securing the 7th rank in the Madras Presidency.

His foray into journalism was pioneering. Gifted alike in English and Malayalam, he was an early builder of Kerala's Fourth Estate. His sharp and incisive pen brought forth first, The Kerala Patriot, then the ' 'Malayali and finally the Mitabhashi.

C.V. Raman Pillai, popularly known as C.V., is classed with the greats in Indian literature like Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in Bengali and Hari Narayan Apte in Marathi. In the grand epic sweep of his great classics, Marthandavarma, Dharmaraja and Ramarajabahadur, he is in the class of the great Vyasa. In world literature, he ranks with Dostoevsky and Shakespeare.

Modern Malayalam drama traces its origins to C.V.'s works. His very first attempt at literary creation, was the first original play in Malayalam. Candramukheevilasam was written in 1884 and was staged for four days successively in 1887 at His Highness Maharaja's College, Trivandrum. This was also the first staging of a play in Malayalam by educated amateur actors. In fact, original Malayalam drama in prose began with his eleven farces, nine of which were published. They set the tone and paved the way for the Kerala theatre that it is now.

Kerala's folklore and Kathakali became an integral part of his literary metier. He drew out myriad forgotten episodes from his country's history and the genius in him wove them into unforgettable epics. Marthandavarma, his first novel, called by him a "historical romance, which was also the first historical novel in Malayalam, was written by him in 1885 but could not be published owing to lack of finance. It was published by Addison & Co., in Madras in 1891 only after "Indulekha" by Chandu Menon was brought out in 1889 and became the first-ever original novel in Malayalam. Marthanda Varma, however, was an instant hit and editorially hailed by The Hindu of Madras, on 21 December 1891. It continues to be a popular classic even today and has gone through more than 125 editions.

For nearly twenty years from 1891, C.V. did not produce any major literary work. 1909 saw the production of his major comedy, Kurupillakalari. It was in 1913, a year after he resigned from the post of Superintendent of the Government Press, in protest against the State Government's anti-people policies that he wrote his second novel, Dharmaraja, the first of a trilogy, that he conceived on an epic scale. The novel marked him out as a master craftsman in fiction. In 1915 he wrote a social novel, Premamritam which is the first satirical fiction in Malayalam. C.V.'s masterpiece, however, is Ramarajabahadur, published in 1918 and hailed by outstanding critics as the greatest novel in Malayalam.

Pillai was relatively old, by Indian standards of that era, when he first married. He was thirty years of age when he was married to Bhageerathi Amma, who was sixteen years younger than him. The marriage was arranged by their parents in the usual Indian way, and was harmonious and respectable. Six children were born of the marriage before Bhageerthi Amma died, aged 31, in 1905. Hardly one year later, Pillai married Bhageerathi Amma's elder sister, 34-year-old Janaki Amma. This was Janaki Amma's fourth and last marriage; she had been widowed twice and divorced once before finally marrying her sister's widower. The latest (third) of her previous husbands had been the well known painter, C. Raja Raja Varma. Varma, who was the younger brother of the celebrated Raja Ravi Varma, had also died in 1905. Janaki Amma, who had no children by any of her four marriages, helped Pillai raise his children (her nephews and nieces), and survived him.

C.V. Raman Pillai breathed  his last on 21 March 1922. Janaki Amma, who did not marry again, who breathed her last in 1933.

In 1970, the  Panchayat (local authority area) of Chenkal, which includes his native village of Arayoor, was renamed C.V.R.Puram in his honour. This was done due to the heartily expressed feelings of the people living there.

Department of Posts released a commemorative postage stamp on him

Issued Date 19-05-2010
Denomination : 500paise

Bertrand Russell 1972 India Stamp

Bertrand Russell An Philosopher & Mathematician

As a dreamer of world peace, Bertrand Russell could say " I see in my mind's eye a great wave of happiness seeping over the human race, as the old night of hate and fear become dispersed.

I see a new Golden Age the like of which has never been seen since history began . All this is possible . It needs only that man should choose to live rather than to die.

The philosopher and mathematician, Bertrand Russell, was born on May 18, 1872. He studied Mathematics and Moral Sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge and was appointed as Lecturer in the same College. In 1908 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. He as a pacifist and during the First World War he suffered for his views.

As a Member of the Labour Party Bertrand Russell visited Russia and wrote a book on his impressions of the U.S.S.R.- "The Practices and Theory of Bolshevism."

He then visited China, studied Chinese life and thought. On his return he wrote a book "The Problem of China". Bertrand Russell was author of more than fifty books, many of them on Mathematics, philosophy and other academic subjects, bur many also deal with sociological problems.

He was active in many directions. A stimulating speaker and lecturer, he frequently took part in the BBC's "Brain Trust" programmes and was invited by it to deliver the inaugural series of Reith Lectures in 1947.

Temperamentally sympathetic to the India struggle for liberty, Russell became Chairman of the Indian League formed in Britain to help the Indians and their claim for self-government. During his later years, Russell was a moving spirit in the formation of various bodies working for world peace.

He was a founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and founded in 1963 the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and the Atlantic Peace Foundation with the object of developing international resistance to the threat of nuclear war.

Bertrand Russell as married four times and had three children. He lived latterly at Plas Penrhyn in North Wales, where he breathed his last on February 2, 1970 in his 98th year.

Department of Posts brought out a commemorative postage stamp on Birth Centenary of Bertrand Russell

Issued Date : 16.10. 1972
Denomination : 145 paise

Sunday, May 21, 2017

M.B. Kadadi 2012 India Stamp

Karmayogi M. B. Appasaheb Kadadi fondly known as M.B. Kadadi / Appasaheb was born on 15th September, 1909.  He drew inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi  and took an active part in the Swadeshi and Quit lndia Movements.

Appasaheb was also a founder member and chairman of ‘Sanchar‘, a daily newspaper in Marathi language which became famous for its impartial news and articles without any political bias. He took a leading part in founding the Solapur Chamber of Commerce and Industries which became the premiere organization of trade and commerce in Solapur district.

Appasaheb’s belief that ‘Life is Duty‘ won him the love of masses. He breathed his last on 27. 02.1992.

Department of Posts released commemorative postage stamp during the  Birth Centenary celebrations of  M.B. Kadadi 

Issued Date :17.05.2012
Denomination : 500 Paise

Karpoor Chandra 'Kulish' 2012 India Stamp

Karpoor Chandra 'Kulish', started Rajasthan Patrika as an evening newspaper and took it to the heights of glory, was a visionary par excellence, who had lived the ideal as embodied in the oft-quoted Puranic aphorism ‘charaiveti-charaiveti’ (move on and on and rest not), and above all, a man of extraordinary versatility as reflected in his ability to convert a small newspaper into an unmatched daily of Rajasthan.

He was a brilliant journalist, a scholar of Vedas, a thinker, a philosopher and a poet. When he was in his early twenties, much before he had achieved anything worthy of mention, he had awarded himself the appellation of 'Kulish' – the Invincible One.

Karpoor Chandra was born on March 20, 1926 in a relatively unknown village called Soda, which was a part of the erstwhile state of Diggi and Lawa of Tonk district in Rajasthan. He is best remembered for his fearless journalism and was a voracious reader and versatile writer. His famous compilation of all existing 11 Samhitas of four Vedas, titled as ‘Shabd Vedas’, has been a rare work.

He gave talks at the Universities of Bonn and Hamburg, the Institute of Indology in Frankfurt and the International Forum for a Better World, Cologne.His talks had also been serialized by the BBC, Voice of America and Voice of Germany.

Today, Patrika Group is the second largest Hindi newspaper group of India (as per ABC July-December 2011). Rajasthan Patrika reaches more than 19 million readers every day through its over 2.3 million circulated copies all over India. The Group has its presence in seven states with 30 editions covering a major portion of the India’s heartland.

He received “Haldi Ghati award” in 1983, “B.D Goenka award” in 1987, All India Editor's Guild Award” in 1999, “ Dr. Headgevar Pragya award” in 1993. He was also conferred with “Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi award”  He also composed 11 Vedas in a single volume which is considered as the largest and most bulky in terms of weight in the world. 

He Breathed his last  on 17. 01.2006

Department of Post brought out a commemorative stamp in memory of shri Karpoor Chandra 'Kulish'

Issued Date 16.05. 2012.
Denomination : 500 Paise

Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi 1966 India Stamp

Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi  was a noted Indian Hindi writer. Adhunikkaal, or the Modern period of the Hindi literature, is divided into four phases, and he represents the second phase, known as the Dwivedi Yug (1893–1918) after him, which was preceded by the BharatenduYug  (1868–1893), followed by the ChhayavadYug (1918–1937) and the Contemporary Period (1937–present).

He was born in Daulatapur village in present-day Raebareli District of Uttar Pradesh. His father Ramsahay Dwivedi was in British Indian Army.

During his Indian Railways service in Jhansiin the 1880s, Dwivedi earned wide fame as a writer and litterateur. He published his translations and the critical works including Sahitya Sandarbh and Vichar Vimarsh.

In 1903, Dwivedi joined the Hindi monthly,  Saraswati and  was able to edit the journal with a knowledge of both classical and contemporary literature gained from his writing experiences. During his tenure as the editor (1903–20), Saraswati became most popular Hindi magazine.

He was considered as the mentor of Maithili Sharan Gupt, another noted Hindi poet and writer.

Though Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi  is well known as a Hindi writer, he has to his credit three translations of Sanskrit classics --

*The Kumara-sambhava of Kalidasa*

*The Raghu-vamsa of Kalidasa*  

*The Mahabharata*

He Breathed his last on 29 December 1938 at age of 74

Department of Posts Brought out a commemorative postage stamp on May15, 1966, to honour the memory of Acharya Mahavir Prsad Dvivedi, one of the outstanding men of letters of modern India.

Issued Date :15-05-1966
Denomination : 15 Paise

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

All India Radio 1961 India Stamp

All India Radio renamed as 'Akashwani' but it's Urdu service yet announces that it's All India Radio.

All India Radio (AIR), officially known since 1982 as Akashwani  ("Voice from the Sky"), is the national public radio broadcaster of India and a division of Prasar Bharati. Established in 1930, it is the sister service of Prasar Bharati's Doordarshan, the national public television broadcaster. AIR has covered more than 99% of the Indian population as per the latest information given by Minister of Information and Broadcast. All India Radio is the largest radio network in the world. Its headquarters is at the Akashvani Bhavan in New Delhi. Akashvani Bhavan houses the Drama Section, the FM Section and the National Service. Akashvani Bhavan hosts  Doordarshan  Kendra (Delhi).

Akashwani is a Sanskrit  word meaning "celestial announcement," or "voice from the sky/heaven". In Hindu, Jain and Buddhist holy traditions, Akashvanis often featured in stories as a medium of communication  from the heavens to mankind.

"Akashvani" was first used in the context of radio by M. V. Gopalaswamy after setting up the nation’s first private radio station in his residence, "Vittal Vihar" (about 200 yards from AIR’s current location in Mysore) in 1936. Akashvani seemed to be an appropriate name for a radio broadcaster and was later adopted as All India Radio's on-air name in 1956.

During the British Raj, broadcasting began in July 1923 with programmes by the Bombay Presidency Radio Club and other radio clubs. According to an agreement of 23 July 1927, the private Indian Broadcasting Company LTD (IBC) was authorized to operate two radio stations; the Bombay station began on 23 July 1927, and the Calcutta station followed on 26 August 1927. However, on 1 March 1930, the company went into liquidation. The government took over the broadcasting facilities, beginning the Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS) on 1 April 1930 on an experimental basis for two years, and then permanently in May 1932. On 8 June 1936, the ISBS was renamed All India Radio.

On 1 October 1939, the External Service began with a broadcast in Pushtu; it was intended to counter radio propaganda from Germany directed to Afghanistan, Iran and the Arab nations. When India became independent in 1947, the AIR network had only six stations (in Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Lucknow, and Tiruchirappalli); three radio stations at Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi fell in the share of Pakistan. The total number of radio sets at that time was about 275,000 in India. On 3 October 1957, the Vividh Bharati Service was launched, to compete with Radio Ceylon. Television broadcasting began in Delhi in 1959 as part of AIR, but was split off from the radio network as Doordarshan on 1 April 1976. FM broadcasting began on 23 July 1977 in Chennai, and was expanded during the 1970s .

Today, The External Services Division of All India Radio ranks high amongst the External Radio networks of the world, both in reach and range, daily in 55 transmissions with almost 72 hours covering over 100 countries in 27 languages, out of which 16 are foreign and 11 are Indian.

Department of Posts honoured  All India  Radio services to  the  nation during  its Silver Jubilee celebration

Issued Date : 08.06.1961
Denomination : 15 Naya Paise

Ronald Ross 1997 India Stamp

Ronald Ross was a multifaceted personality. He was a novelist, musician, scientist and reluctant Physician. He was awarded Nobel Prize in medicine in 1902 for his contribution to the pathogenesis of malaria, which was the climax of his professional career, wavering between literature, music and science.

Ross was born in Almora, India. He was an obedient son of the Commander of British Forces on NW Frontier. He reluctantly enrolled for medical studies at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London and took his medical degree in 1879. After returning to India, he entered Madras Medical Service as a Surgeon. Ronald Ross was a man of letters and his first few years in India were richly productive of verses and prose, but idle medically. However the scourge of malaria was ever apparent to Ross. He writes

"The painful faces ask, can we not cure? We answer, No, not yet; we seek the laws

O God, reveal thro' all this thing obscure; the unseen, small, but million mudering cause"

In the year 1892, malaria became to him the object of scientific interest and all absorbing except for precious time allocated to music and poetry. Alphonso Laveran had already discovered malarial parasite in 1880. With the guiding hands of Patrick Manson, Ross succeeded in working out the life cycle of the malarial parasite in birds (sparrow). He discovered the object of his search, the zygotes (the sexual forms) in the stomach of the anopheles mosquito. The sporoblasts (progency) were later identified in its salivary glands. The parasites were present only in insects that had dined on the blood of infected sparrow. These critical observations were carried out at the makeshift laboratory in Secunderabad and thus the parasite-mosquito-host cycle of malaria was established after 5 years of relentless toil, on 20th August 1897.

In 1899, he retired from the IMS and in 1902 was appointed Professor of Tropical Medicine at the University of Liverpool, holding this post for 12 years. He was knighted in 1911. Sir Ronald Ross was reluctant to enter medicine, but having done so, made notable contribution to the greatest morbid hazard of mankind.

He  Breathed his last on 16.09.1932 in memory  of his work  Department of Posts released a commemorative postage stamp on him.

Issued Date:  20 Aug 1997 
Denomination: 200 Paise