Monday, February 27, 2017

Kusumagraj 2003 India Stamp

Shirwadkar’s original name was Gajanan Ranganath Shirwadkar. After he was adopted, his name changed to Vishnu Waman Shirwadkar.

He is born in Pune on 27th February 1912 . His primary education was in Pimpalgaon and high school education was in New English School, Nashik, which is now called as J.S. Rungtha High School of Nashik. He passed matriculation from Bombay University.

His poems and articles were published in "Balbodhmewa " magazine edited by the famous poet of Maharashtra D.N. Tilak way back in 1929, when he was hardly 17 years old. .

He joined H.P.T. College in 1930 and his poems were then published in "Ratnakar" magazine. In 1932, he participated in the "Satyagraha" for allowing untouchables to enter Kala Ram Temple. Since then the budding poet in him started soaring up in the sky of literature - by writing not only poems, but stories, plays, writing for the news papers like Weekly Prabha, Daily Prabhat, Sarathi, Dhanurdhari, Navyug etc.

In 1942 his collection of poems "Vishakha" was published and is till date being cherished by Marathi speaking people. Likewise his collections of poems named "Marathi Mati", "Swagat", "Himraesha", "Yayati Ani Devayani", "Veej Mhanali Dhartila" were published in 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966 and 1967 respectively .They all received Maharashtra State Awards. His first novel "Vaishnav" and his first drama "Doorche Dive" were published in 1946. His play "Natsamrat" is one of the mile stones in not only play writing, but also for the staging of the play.

Natsamrat is welcomed by the Marathi speaking population like anything. The theme of this play is very touching and an eye-opener for many old people. Many old people are said to have changed their will, after seeing this drama.

A detailed list of his awards will be very long. However, without a mention of the following awards, one would not appreciate why he is considered such a great poet and writer. His play "Natsamrat" received Sahitya Academy Award in 1974. He received Ram Ganesh Gadkari Award of All India Natya Parishad in 1985. Poona University conferred on him the honourable degree of D.Lit. in 1986. In 1988 he received Sangeet Natya Lekhan Award. Topping the list is the "Dnyanpeeth Award", which he received in 1988. Considering his great contribution to Marathi literature, he was selected for this award. Earlier his senior friend, well-known Marathi Writer - Mr V.S. Khandekar had received this award. He was the first Marathi person to receive it and the second one is Kusumagraj.

*Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar aka Kusumagraj birthday is celebrated today as World Marathi Day ...*

However when it comes to any celebration for him, he prefers to take a back seat. His favourite writer is P.G. Wodehouse and the favourite actor is Charli Chaplin.

Nashik city respects him as a "Rishi", because of his knowledge, his simple living,his deep understanding of humanity and his unparalleled urge to help the society. For Nashikites, he is the living God. His polite demeanour makes everybody comfortable to be with him. In nutshell one can say that "Kusumagraj is Nashik and Nashik is Kusumagraj".

Department of India Post issued commemorative postage Stamp on  Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar,

Issued Date: 14.03. 2003
Denomination: 500 Paise

B. N. Rau 1988 India Stamp

Sir Benegal Narsing Rau, shortly called B. N. Rau was an Indian civil servant, jurist, diplomat and statesman from Bangalore who was active in the pre-independent India. One of the foremost Indian jurists in the 20th century,

he played a key role in drafting the Constitution of India and also the Constitution of Myanmar (then known by the name Burma). For a brief period he served as the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir state (1944-1945).

This diplomat also served as the country’s representative to the United Nations Security Council from 1950 to 1952. After that he served as a judge of the Permanent Court of International Justice, The Hague till his death in 1953. Regarded as a strong contestant for secretary-general of the United Nations,

Shiva Rao was born into a distinguished family of Mangalore on 26 February 1887. He was born into an intellectual family of doctors and diplomats. 

His father, Benegal Raghavendra Rau was one of the earliest Indian doctors educated in western medicine. His brother B. Shiva Rao was a noted journalist, writer and politician who served as a member of India’s first Lok Sabha. Second brother Sir Benegal Rama Rau was the fourth Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

Padma Bhushan winner and the founder president of Family Planning Association of India - Dhanvanthi Rama Rau was his sister-in-law. Thus noted journalist and author of ‘A Princess Remembers: the memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur’, Santha Rama Rau was his niece.

An excellent student in academics, he was the University first rank holder of F.A. (Intermediate) examination. He took his Tripos in 1909 from Trinity College, Cambridge. Rau passed the Indian Civil Service Examination in 1909 and returned to India.

He was posted in undivided Bengal. After retirement, he was appointed as the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir state in the year 1944. He was appointed as the Constitutional Adviser to the Constituent Assembly for formulating Indian

Constitution. It’s regarded as his best achievement in the diplomatic career, at last is life career came to end when he last is breath in Zurich, Switzerland on 30 November 1953, aged 66.

Issued Date: 26.02.1988
Denomination: 60 Paise

Ravishankar Maharaj 1985 India Stamp

Ravishankar Vyas, better known as Ravishankar Maharaj, was an Indian independence activist, social worker and Gandhian from Gujarat.

Ravishankar Vyas was born on 25 February 1884,  Mahashivaratri, in Radhu village (now in Kheda district, Gujarat, India) to Pitambar Sivram Vyas and Nathiba, a Vadara Brahmin peasant family. His family was native of Sarsavani village near Mahemdavad. He dropped out after the sixth standard to help his parents in agriculture work. He married Surajba. His father died when he was 19 and his mother died when he was 22.

He was influenced by Arya Samajphilosophy. He met Mahatma Gandhi in 1915 and joined his independence and social activism. He was one of the earliest and closest associates of Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and along with Darbar Gopaldas Desai, Narhari Parikh and Mohanlal Pandya, the chief organizer of nationalist revolts in Gujarat in the 1920s and 1930s. He worked for years for rehabilitation of Baraiya and Patanvadiya castes of coastal central Gujarat. 

He founded Rashtriya Shala (National School) in Sunav village in 1920. He left his rights on ancestral property against wish of wife and joined Indian Independence Movement in 1921. He participated in Borsad Satyagraha in 1923 and protested against Haidiya Tax. He also participated in Bardoli Satyagraha in 1926 and was imprisoned by British authority for six months. He participated in relief work of flood in 1927 which earned him recognition. He joined Gandhi in Salt March in 1930 and was imprisoned for two years. In 1942, he also participated in Quit India Movement in 1942 and also tried to pacify communal violence in Ahmedabad.

After independence of India in 1947, he devoted himself to social work. He joined Vinoba Bhave in Bhoodan Movement and travelled 6000 kilometres between 1955 and 1958. In 1960s, he organised and supported Sarvodaya Movement.

Ravishankar Maharaj inaugurated Gujarat state when it was created on 1 May 1960. He also opposed the Emergency in 1975. Until his death, it was a tradition that every newly appointed Chief Minister of Gujarat visit him for blessings after taking oath of office. He died on 1 July 1984 in Borsad, Gujarat The memorial dedicated to him is located at Adhyapan Mandir, Vallabh Vidyalaya, Bochasan.

Department of posts Issued commemorative portage Stamp on Ravishankar Maharaj

Issued Date: 24 .12.1985
Denomination: 50 Paise

Sunday, February 26, 2017

St. Andrew's Church 1997 India Stamp

St. Andrew's Church in Egmore, Chennai was built to serve the Scottish community in Chennai. Its design was modelled on St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Building started 6 April 1818 and the church was consecrated fully and Completed on 25th feb 1821

The church shows prominent features of Neo-Classical architecture, it is inspired by St Martin in the fields in London. It was designed and executed by Major Thomas de Havilland and Colonel James Caldwell of the Madras Engineers. The body of the church is a circle, with rectangular compartments to the east and west. The circular part 24.5 m in diameter, is crowned by a shallow masonry dome colored a deep blue. This is painted with golden starsand supported by 16 fluted pillars with Corinthian capitals Dome

An architectural marvel, the dome has a framework of brick supported by an annular arch and is filled in by pottery cones. Its blue interior is formed by crushed sea shells mixed with lapis lazuli.

The stained-glass windows above the big altar, in warm, rich colors, are among the glories of the church. It is said that with in the stain glass is a hidden message that contains the birthplace of god.[citation needed

Dominating the altar is the pipe organ in dull green and burnished gold. Built in New Yorkshire, England, this instrument was installed in 1883.

St. Andrew's Church (The Kirk) is of the Scottish  Presbyterian tradition and continues to belong to it. Its form of worship and system of governance continue to be truly Presbyterian. However, it is free to follow and does include other orders of service used by any other Church with which it is doctrinally like-minded.

Issued Date: 25 - 02 - 1997
Denomination : 800 Paise

Lord Shiva and Shiva temples India Stamps

Mahashivaratri , a  popular festival of India and celebrated all around the world  On this day, in all Shiva temples, the most auspicious way.
We with great fervor, Greetings to all on this occasion.
Here we share some beautiful stamps issued on Lord Shiva and  Shiva temples a round the world

Maha Shivaratri is the main Hindu festival among the Shaiva Hindu diaspora from Nepal and India. In Indo Caribbean communities,

Mandi (Himachal Pradesh): The festival of Mahashivratri  is marked in a unique way in this town, popularly known as Chhoti Kashi, as it sees a congregation as deities comes from hundreds of village. A week-long International Mandi Shivratri Fair held.

Lingodbhava puja is performed during this time. In Nepal, Pashupatinath Temple is very famous for celebration of Shivratri.

Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated every year in reverence of Lord Shiva. . Shivaratri literally means the great night of Shiva or the night of Shiva.It falls on a moonless February night, and Hindus offer special prayer to the mighty Lord of Moksha. Shivratri is the night when Shiva is said to have performed the Tandava Nach or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction.

According to Jones and Ryan, the festival may have originated around the 5th century CE.

Maha Shivaratri is mentioned in several Puranas, particularly the Skanda Purana, Linga Purana and Padma Purana. These medieval era Shaiva texts present different mythologies associated with this festival, but all mention fasting and reverence for icons of Shiva such as the Lingam.

It is celebrated every year on the 13th night /14th day of the Maagha or Phalguna month of the Hindu calendar.

 Shiva is one of the most complex gods in Hinduism, embodying seemingly contradictory qualities. He is the destroyer and the restorer, the great ascetic and the symbol of sensuality, the benevolent herdsman of souls and the wrathful avenger. Nandi, a white bull is the bull vahana of Shiva. Nandi means ‘causing gladness’ and its idol is found in almost all Shiva temples seated and watching over the main shrine quite and benign facing the Linga or the image of Shiva. In this position, Nandi is acting not only as Shiva's guardian, but also as a constant devotee.

Nandi’s idol is found. in almost all Shiva temples

He is also the chief of Shiva’s Ganas (attendants) and Nandishvara is another name of Lord Shiva. The disciplined bull, which is calm and docile, symbolizes Dharma, an image of controlled power. Lord Shiva rides the Nandi bull, which stands for the brute and blind power, as well as the unbridled sexual energy in man - the qualities only he can help us control.

There are few larger Nandi statue's the largest Nandi statues in India is found in the Halebid Shiva Temple in Karnataka. One of the famous Nandi Statues in India is at Chamundi hills in Mysore, again in Karnataka and one in Basavangudi bull Temple Bangalore.

Blessings of Lord Shiva be with us


Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose 1964 India Stamp

The All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) was established by the legendary freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose* and emerged as a regional political party with a revolutionary ideology. Bose formed the party after he resigned from the Indian National Congress in 1939 to take on British colonialism and imperialism. It was founded as an independent party in a Kolkata-based rally to revive every left-wing section within the INC and build up a parallel protest group within the party itself. In West Bengal the party has a very strong structure and organisational hierarchy. Its inception was in the Forward Bloc Conference in Mumbai, where the party's ideology and vision were formalised. In Nagpur, at the All India Conference of Forward Bloc, the party was given an official status and Bose became the President whereas Cavesheer was given the charge of being the Vice President, with several other prominent personalities joining the party, like Laal Shankarlal as the General Secretary.

The All India Forward Bloc was formed to take on the British rule. It has always believed in and preached the concept of a classless society where every individual is treated the same. The party highlighted revolution, scientific and social, as the way to free the country. The party worked to attain complete independence or Purna Swaraj, with national unity as the main weapon against the British. Panchayat or small groups of heads were formed at the village levels for the rights of the poor and the underprivileged.

Bose was arrested in July 1939 by the British for anti-government activities but a year he escaped and visited different parts of the world to seek help for his party. In the meantime, the government tortured the members and activists of the party all across the nation, and declared the party as illegal. It was to be banned until further notice. The party played a significant role in the 1942's Quit India movement.

The All India Forward Bloc appointed P.K. Mookiah Thevar as the new Chairman, Thevar was born in a small village of Madurai district and started leading from the front while he was in college. Before joining the Forward Bloc, he was the founder of the Kallar Caste Association and did a lot for the Thevar community of Tamil Nadu. He was selected as candidate for the FB from the Periyakulam Assembly and remained an MLA for four terms in Usilmpatti. He was a very popular leader and quickly rose to power.

In 1964, the party joined hands with the Samyukta Socialist Party for an anti-Nehru campaign. Prior to Mookiah, his political guru U.M. Thevar was the chairman of the party. Due to his premature death, there was a need to fulfill the position. His two disciples, Sasiviana Thevar and Mookiah Thevar, were competing for the post with equal potential. But Mookiah was popular enough to win and  in1964 he was elected to be the new chairperson of the party. *On 24 February 1971, he became the president of the All India Forward Bloc* and thus reached the pinnacle of his political career. He died on 6 September 1979 but is remembered as a key figure till date.

Department released commemorative postage Stamp dispute of Subhas Chandra Bose  addressing the grading

Issued Date: 24.01.1964
Denomination: 55 Paise

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

P C Sorcar 2010 India Stamp

P C Sorcar (Senior) was known worldwide as `Jadusamrat` or emperor of magic for his achievements in the art of magic . He was an internationally active magician throughout the 1950s and 1960s, performing his "Indrajal" show before live audiences and on television.

P C Sorcar (Senior) was born on 23rd February 1913 in the small village of Ashekpur in Tangail district presently in Bangladesh. He was attracted to magic at very early age. Ganapati Chakravarti had been the Guru for him. His education began at the local Shibnath High School. While still at school, he started performing in magic shows. However, this did not interfere with his education. In 1929, he passed the Entrance examination in the first division. In 1933 he graduated with honors in Mathematics. After completing his education, he took up magic as a profession. At the age of 58, Sorcar died of a heart attack in Ashaikawa, Hokkaido, Japan,

on January 6, 1971. He went to perform there. P C Sorcar (Senior) has been succeded by three sons animator, director, and laserist Manick Sorcar and magicians P.C. Sorcar, Jr. and P.C. Sorcar, Young.

In 1934 P C Sorcar (Senior) first went abroad. He subsequently toured about 70 countries, including the United States and the USSR. P C Sorcar (Senior) won many prizes for his magic at home and abroad. For best stage magic he twice earned the `Phoenix Award` in the United States. He also won the `German Goldbar` and the `Golden Laurel Garland` awards and the `Dutch Tricks Prize`. In 1964 the Indian government honored him with the "Padmashri". In 1937, P C Sorcar (Senior) donated all the money he had earned in Japan to the cause of the Indian freedom movement.

P C Sorcar (Senior) was a member of the societies of magicians in France, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and Japan. He was a member of the International Rotary Club and life member of the Royal Asiatic Society in London. The Calcutta branch of the International Society of Magicians of USA was named after him. A number of well-known writers of Europe have written books on him, the most famous being "Sorcar: Maharaja of Magic".

A Technicolor motion picture has been produced on his magic. The All India Magic Conference published a photographic album on him on his 50th birthday in 1963. A long-playing record on him was released by `His Master`s Voice`. For his achievements in the art of magic he was known worldwide as "Jadusamrat" or emperor of magic.

On this auspicious 98th birth anniversary of P. C. Sorcar (Pratul Chandra Sorcar), the Father of Indian magic, the Department of Posts of India released a commemorative stamp in the honor of the great man who took the magic of India to the rest of the world and captivated audience internationally.

Issued Date: 23.02. 2010
Denomination: 500 paise

World Philatelic Exhibition DLO and RMS Early Cancellation 1988 India stamps

As a prelude to India-89, World Philatelic Exhibition, the Department of Posts issued a series of stamps. The fourth set issued, carries two cancellations, one of the RMS (Railway Mail Service) and the other of the DLO (Dead Letter Office). The Indian Postal System is one of the largest in the world. In the nineteenth century, the geographical area covered by the system was very much larger. It included undivided India and Burma and also certain out-post of the British Empire like Aden, Singapore and Shangai where Indian Stamps were used. This, along with the multifarious activities undertaken by the system itself, made a study of the Indian postal history interesting as well as instructive for a philatelist specializing in postal history collections. Postal history is the study of routes, rates and markings. The markings are by far the most colorful aspect of such collections. It was, therefore, appropriate that postal cancellations were chosen as the subject for these set of stamps. The first stamp depicts one of the earliest hand stamps of the traveling post office in the 'Allahabad-Cawnpore' railway sector and this postmark was in use from December 1864 to 1869. The traveling sorting offices between these two places used it. The first Traveling Post Office was established on 1st May 1864 under a Superintendent at Allahabad. The TPO operated on the 'Allahabad-Crownpore' and 'Calcutta-Delhi' railway sector. The circular postmark shown on the stamp has a diameter of 25 to 26 ms with 'TRAVELLING' along the upper rim of the circumference and 'POST OFFICE' along the lower rim, with No. 1 of the set, date and 'AC' in three horizontal lines in the space within the circle. This cancellation was used by the 1st set of the experimental TPO on 21st August 1864. The second stamp depicts the type of cancellation used by the Dead Letter Offices in 1886.

Date of Issue: 20.12.1988 
Denomination: 200 Paisa

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Kasturba Trust 1996 India Stamp

The KASTURBA GANDHI NATIONAL MEMORIAL TRUST was established in 1945 as a result of the national endeavour, led by Mahatma Gandhi, to address the issues of women in rural India.

The unique history of the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust is set against the backdrop of the history of India's freedom struggle.

Eminent people from all walks of life as well as the anonymous masses, mobilised their resources to set up this Trust with its headquarters in Kasturbagram (Indore) and 22 state branches all over the country. Smt. Sarojini Naidu, a stalwart of the freedom movement dedicated her time and full energy for the establishment of the Trust.

Mahatma Gandhi, Shri Vallabh Bhai Patel, Shri Thakkar Bapa, dada Saheb Mavlankar, Smt. Prem Leela Thakarasi, Smt. Laxmi N. Menon, Sushree Maniben Patel and Dr. Sushila Nayar have been the Chairpersons of this Trust.

At the beginning of the new century, the role of Kasturba Trust is as powerful and relevant as it was at its inception. The trust has remained true to it's ideals for over 50 years of constructive work among women and children in rural India - in the fields of healthcare, education, literacy vocational training, relief work and employment generation.

Mahatma Gandhi's universal and timeless vision SARVODAYA finds its best practical expression in the Kasturba Trust as SARVODAYA is reawakening of the spirit in harmony with nature and environment for all forms of life. Reconstruction of the social order is also part of SARVODAYA.

Women and children are the backbone of our society. Constructive work among women and children is a primary and essential requirement for the process of nation building as envisaged in SARVODAYA. To continue with this Gandhian vision, Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust needs the full support and involvement of the people.

Department of posts Issued a commemorative portage Stamp on Kasturba Trust on its  50 years of service,

Issued Date: 22.02.1996
Denomination:100 paise

The Mother Pondichery 1978 India Stamp

The Mother was born Mirra Alfassa in Paris on 21 February 1878. A pupil at the Academie Julian, she became an accomplished artist, and also excelled as a pianist and writer. Interested in occultism, she visited Tlemcen, Algeria, in 1905 and 1906 to study with the adept Max Theon and his wife.

Her primary interest, however, was spiritual development. In Paris she founded a group of spiritual seekers and gave talks to various groups.

In 1914 the Mother voyaged to Pondicherry to meet Sri Aurobindo, whom she at once recognised as the one who for many years had inwardly guided her spiritual development.

After a stay of eleven months she was obliged to return to France due to the outbreak of the First World War. A year later she went to Japan for a period of four years.

In April 1920 the Mother rejoined Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry. When the Sri Aurobindo Ashram was formed in November 1926, Sri Aurobindo entrusted its full material and spiritual charge to the Mother. Under her guidance, which continued for nearly fifty years, the Ashram grew into a large, many-faceted spiritual community.

In 1952 she established Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, and in 1968 an international township, Auroville.

The Mother last her breath  on17 November 1973.

Department of posts brought out commemorative portage stamp on her Birth Centenary of the Mother, Pondicherry 

Issued Date: 21.02.1978
Denomination: 25 Paise

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Punjab Regiment 1979 India Stamp

The name “Punjab” means “land of five rivers” and derives from the Persian words ‘punj’ meaning five, and ‘ab’ meaning water. The rivers, tributaries of the Indus River, are the Jhelum, Chenab Ravi, Sutlej and Beas. The five rivers, now divided between India and Pakistan, merge to form the Panjnad, which joins the Indus. Beas River joins with the Sutlej near the Harike Barrage in Indian Punjab.

The Punjab Regiment of  India  was formed from the 2nd Punjab Regiment of the British Indian Army in 1947. It is one of the oldest regiments still in service in the Indian Armyand has taken part in various battles and wars winning numerous honours for the same. It is one of the most acclaimed regiments of the Indian Army.

Prior to independence and partition there were a number of "Punjab regiments" in the British India. These were amalgamated to form six regiments: the 1st Punjab Regiment, the 2nd Punjab Regiment, the 8th Punjab Regiment, the 14th Punjab Regiment, the 15th Punjab Regiment and the 16th Punjab Regiment.

At the onset of independence in 1947, the 1st, 8th, 14th, 15th and 16th Punjab Regiment went over to the newly raised Pakistan army, while the 2nd Punjab Regiment was retained in the Indian Army. Troops were transferred between regiments based on whether the soldiers would be a part of Pakistan or India.

The Punjab Regiment is one of the oldest in the Indian Army. The first battalion which today constitutes this regiment was raised in 1805. This was done by the then Maharaja of Patiala

The first four British-raised battalions of what later became the 2nd Punjab Regiment and finally the Punjab Regiment, were raised during the hostilities in the Carnatic in South India between 1761 and 1776. The numbers and titles of the battalions changed during the successive reorganisations of the Madras Presidency  Army,

The British Indian Army and the Indian Army during the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries. The names changed from Coast Sepoys to Carnatic Infantry, Madras Native Infantry, Punjabis and finally to the Punjab Regiment. After 1857, the British applied the Martial Races theory and north Indian troops replaced the South Indians, the regiment eventually being renamed as The Punjab Regiment.

Through nearly two hundred years of exciting and arduous journey the battalions of the Punjab Regiment saw the birth, growth and fulfillment of the British rule. They took part in many wars that affected the destiny of millions and survived many changes of organization and destination. 

One thing above all a tradition of gallantry and loyalty remained a guiding light to the officers and men of the Regiment and shortly before partition as a token of recognition of the Regiment’s meritorious services and faithfulness and being senior in service of all the Corps and units Punjab Regiment Group This hackle, much prized by all ranks, further cemented the bond between them  is unmatchable  to  describe.

Today Stamp  despite  of Uniforms of 1799, 1901 & 1979 and badge: Punjab Regiment Department  of  Posts issued Commemorative  postage stamps on Punjab Regiment on its Fourth Reunion

Issued  Date:  20. 02.1979
Denomination: 25 Paise

Dr.U.V.Swaminatha Iyer 2006 India Stamp

Uttamadhanapuram Venkatasubbaiyer Swaminatha a Tamil scholar and researcher who was instrumental in bringing many long-forgotten works of classical Tamil literature to light. His singular effort over five decades brought to light major literary works in Tamil and contributed vastly to the enrichment of its literary heritage. Iyer published over 91 books in his lifetime, on a variety of matters connected to classical Tamil literature, and collected 3,067 paper manuscripts, palm-leaf manuscripts and notes of various kinds. He is affectionately called Tamil Thatha (Grandfather of Tamil).

Utthamadhanapuram Venkatasubramanian Swaminathan was born on 19 February 1855 C.E. in the village of Suriaymoolai in the house of his maternal grandfather near Kumbakonam in present-day Tamil Nadu. He belonged to the Ashtasahasram sub-sect of Iyers.

Swaminatha Iyer learned Tamil literature and grammar for five years as a devoted student to Mahavidwan Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, a great poet and scholar. He was also a beneficiary of the reputed Saiva Mutt at Thiruvavaduthurai. Tyagaraja Chettiar was the head of the Tamil Department at the Government Arts College, Kumbakonam. A student of Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, he was a man of great erudition and was held in high esteem alike by his pupils and by the public. When Chettiar retired, he recommended that Swaminatha Iyer be invited to take his place. Swaminatha Iyer was duly appointed to that post on 16 February 1880. During his tenure at the College, Swaminatha Iyer met Salem Ramaswami Mudaliar, a civil munsif who had been recently transferred to Kumbakonam. The friendship between them proved to be a turning point in Swaminatha Iyer's life. Mudaliar was responsible for persuading Iyer to edit and publish the ancient Tamil classics. Swaminatha Iyer had till then confined his enjoyment of Tamil literature to medieval works. Mudaliar also gave him a handwritten copy of Seevaga Sindhamani for publication.

As the Civaka Cintamani was a Jain classic, Swaminatha Iyer went to the homes of learned member of the Jain community in Kumbakonam to get some doubts cleared. He also read the Jain epics and collated several manuscript versions and arrived at a correct conclusion. It was due to his efforts that the Cevaka Cintamani was published in 1887. From that time onwards, he began to search for Sangam classics with a view to editing and publishing them. After the Cevaka Cintamani, the Pattupattu was published.

Thus began Swaminatha Iyer's long search for the original texts of ancient literary works during which he regularly worked with S. V. Damodaram Pillai. It was a search that lasted until his death. Many people voluntarily parted with the manuscripts in their possession. Swaminatha Iyer visited almost every hamlet and knocked at every door. He employed all the resources at his command to get at the works. As a result, a large number of literary works which were gathering dust as palm-leaf manuscripts in lofts, storerooms, boxes and cupboards saw the light of day. Of them, the Cilappatikaram, Manimekalai and Purananuru were received by Tamil lovers with a lot of enthusiasm. Purananuru, which mirrored the lives of Tamils during the Sangam period, prompted scholarly research on the subject. In a span of about five decades, Swaminatha Iyer published about 100 books, including minor poems, lyrics, puranas and bhakti (devotional) works.

Swaminatha Iyer retired from active teaching in 1919. His research work increased several times after retirement. He travelled from place to place in search of palm leaf manuscripts so as to edit and publish them. From 1924 to 1927, Iyer was the Principal of the Meenakshi Tamil College in Annamalai University, Chidambaram. On health grounds, he resigned the post, came to Madras and continued his research.

Another significant contribution made by Swaminatha Iyer is in the realm of Tamil music. Until Swaminatha Iyer published the Cilappatikaram, Pattupattu and Ettuthokai, music was a grey area in Tamil research. During the previous four centuries, Telugu and Sanskrit dominated the music scene in Tamil Nadu in the absence of any valuable information on Tamil music. Swaminatha Iyer's publications threw light on the presence of Tamil music in the earlier centuries and paved the way for serious research on the subject. As the son of a famous musician of his time, Swaminatha Iyer learnt music from Gopalakrishna Bharathi, a musical exponent and the author of Nandan Sarithiram.

Swaminatha Iyer published his autobiography, En Sarithiram, serialised in the Tamil weekly Ananda Vikatan, from January 1940 to May 1942. It was later published as a book in 1950. Running into 762 pages, the book is an excellent account of the life and times of villages, especially in the Thanjavur district in the late 19th century. The Tamil is simple and peppered with many observations on people as well as descriptions of school life, life in monasteries (Maths). The book also reveals the enormous perseverance of U V Swaminatha Iyer in his quest to master Tamil and save manuscripts.

It was due to his efforts that the world came to know the literary output of the ancient Tamils and their past. Tamil poet and nationalist Subramania Bharati, who inspired the freedom movement with his songs, admired Swaminatha Iyer. Paying tribute to Swaminatha Iyer in one of his poems, Bharati equated Iyer with Saint Agasthya when he called him "Kumbamuni". (Saint Agasthiar – Who was among the first exponents of Tamil – was supposed to have been born in a "Kumbha" – a kind of vessel- hence the name Kumbamuni) and said: "So long as Tamil lives, poets will venerate you and pay obeisance to you. You will ever shine as an immortal."

The meeting of Kabiguru Rabindranath Thakur from Bengal and the grand old man of Tamil literature in 1926 in Chennai was a historic moment. Not only did Tagore call on U. Ve. Swaminatha Iyer but also penned a poem in praise of his efforts to salvage ancient classical Tamil literary works from palm leaf manuscripts.

The honorary doctoral degree (D.Litt.) was conferred on Iyer by the University of Madras in 1906. In recognition of his outstanding literary accomplishments and contributions, he was also honoured with the title, Mahamahopathiyaya, literally: "Greatest of great teachers". In the same year, when the Prince and Princess of Wales visited Madras, a function was arranged where Swaminatha Iyer was honoured. Iyer was awarded the title of Dakshinathya Kalanidhi in 1925. In 1932, the Madras University awarded an honorary PhD to him in recognition of his services in the cause of Tamil.

His house  has been converted as a Memorial.

Department  of Posts issued a commemorative postage stamp on his  160th birthday 

Issued Date : 18. 02.2006
Denomination:500 Paise

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Chatrapati Shri Shivaji Maharaj 1980 India Stamp

Chatrapati Shivaji was the famous Maratha king who had the utmost courage to stand against the vast ocean of Mughal rule, single-handedly. Although his original name was Shivaji Bhosle, his subjects lovingly gave him the title of 'Chatrapati' or the 'Chief of the Kshatriyas' for his undaunted ability to protect them all under the safe shelter of his leadership. 

Born on 19th February 1680 at the Shivneri Fort to a valiant Maratha regent Shahaji Raje and a dedicated mother Jijabai, Shivaji was a descendent of the 96 Maratha Clans who were well known as brave fighters or 'Kshatriyas'. 

A young boy of 16 is not known to win battles, but his mother's teachings, father's struggle and a pride in the motherland gave the young Shivaji his first achievement as an able warrior and leader with the seizure of the Torna Fort which was initially under the Bijapur Kingdom.

With this recognition, there was no looking back. His major breakthrough came with Battle of Pratapgarh against Afzal Khan, the general of the Sultanate of Bijapur, which made him a hero of the Marathas overnight. He won it through sheer planning, speed and excellent generalship. This was followed by many other battles against the Sultanate of Bijapur, in warfares such as Battle of Kolhapur, Battle of Pavan Khind, Battle of Vishaalgad and others. 

Chatrapati Shivaji is most famous for his valor to challenge the mighty Mughal Empire, at the time ruled by Aurangzeb. Although Emperor Aurangzeb tried to capture all the forts and territories under Shivaji he could not achieve much success due to Shivaji's clever leadership qualities and guerrilla tactics.

But a temporary pause was put in Shivaji's successful ventures by the brave Hindu General Jai Singh, sent by the emperor. Upon this, Shivaji decided to negotiate with the Mughal Emperor and what followed is popularly known in history as Shivaji's trip to an astonishing escape from Agra, where he was kept a prisoner by Aurangzeb. Although after this incident, Shivaji remained dormant for some time; he rose yet again against the Mughals in the year 1670 with the Battle of Sinhagad. Soon after this victory he was coroneted on 6th June, 1674, as the King of the Marathas. Under his dedicated rule, the small independent land 'Hindavi Swaraj' went on to become a large kingdom ranging from the Northwest India to the East. 

Though not much is known of his personal life except that he was married to Saibai, Soyarabai, Kashibai, Putalabai and Sagunabai and had two sons and three daughters, as a ruler, his name is compared to that of Napoleon, Julius Caesar and the Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus, who were all great rulers in their own respect.

He incorporated modern administrative concepts such as cabinet, foreign affairs, internal intelligence and others and commanded an extremely well trained army. This apart, he was a king who was just and kind and showed tolerance towards all religions and languages. He himself was proficient in Sanskrit and Marathi, and patronised art of all kinds. 

Shivaji succumbed to fatal illness spanning many weeks in 1680 and his empire was taken over by his son Sambhaji.But this did not remove the imprint he left on the minds of all Indians. Chatrapati Shivaji's name will forever be remembered in folklore and history as the great king whose rule is considered as a golden era, which showed the light of freedom, paving the way for India's Independence later. 

Department  of Posts issued Commemorative postage stamps on Shri Chatrapati Shivaji.

Issued Date : 21. 04. 1980
Denomination : 0.30 Paise

Rafi Ahmed Kidwai 1995 India Stamp

Rafi Ahmed Kidwai was a politician, an Indian independence activist and a socialist, sometimes described as an Islamic socialist.

Rafi Ahmed was born in the village of Masauli, in  Barabanki district (now in Uttar Pradesh), the eldest son of Imtiaz Ali Kidwai and Rashid ul-Nisa. Imtiaz Ali was an affluent Zamindar (land-owner) who had added to his position in society by entering government service.

Rafi received his early education from a tutor at the home of his uncle, Wilayat Ali, a politically active lawyer, and in the village school. He attended the Government High School, Barabanki, until 1913. He then attended the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College, Aligarh, where he graduated with a BA in 1918. He began work towards the degree of LLB, but never completed it.

In 1919, Rafi was married to Majid-un-Nisa, The couple were blessed with only one child, a son who died of an unexplained fever at seven years of age. Then he got swept up by the khilafat and noncooperation movements of 1920–21 (the first of Mahatma Gandhi’s major all-India movements) and was jailed after then  he  joined  Indian  National  Congress.

In 1937, Kidwai became a minister for Revenue and Prisons in Govind Ballabh Pant's cabinet in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh (UP) under the Provincial Autonomy Scheme. Under his stewardship, UP became the first province to curtail the zamindari system.

In April 1946, he became the Home Minister of UP. Kidwai was a major all of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. After India gained independence from the British Raj in 1947, Kidwai became India's first Minister for Communications. (Kidwai and Abul Kalam Azad were the two Muslims in Nehru's central cabinet.)

After the first general elections in 1952, Mr.Kidwai elected from Bahraich. Nehru entrusted Kidwai with the portfolio of Food and Agriculture at a time when there was food rationing in the country.

Kidwai lost  his  breath  on 24 October 1954 aged 60, while still in office as a Minister. He was buried with full state honours in a mosque in his hometown.

*The Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award* was created in 1956 by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research  (ICAR) in 1956 to recognize Indian researchers in the agricultural field. Awards are distributed every second year, and take the form of medals, citations, and cash prizes.

In Nov 2011, Government of India decided to rename the Postal Staff College, Ghaziabad after him as *Rafi Ahmed Kidwai National Postal Academy*. The National Academy is entrusted with the task of imparting training to the officers of Indian Postal Service selected through Civil Services Examination conducted by the UPSC.

In Kolkata, a major street has been named after him. Kidwai  Memorial Institute of Oncology is named after him.He played a major role in donating 20 acres of the Campus land and Rs. 100,000 for the Radiotherapy  machine.

Department  of  Posts  issued Commemorative postage stamps on  Rafi Ahmed on his  Birthday  centaury  celebration.

Issued  Date : 18.02.1995
Denomination: 100 Paise

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Institution of Engineers 1980 India Stamp

The Institution of Engineers (India) [IEI] is the premier professional body of engineers established in 1920 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1935 to promote and advance the art, science and practice of engineering and technology. It is the largest multidisciplinary body of engineers encompassing 15 (fifteen) engineering disciplines with a membership of more than 8.2 lakhs serving the nation for more than 9 decades.

IEI being recognised as Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, besides conducting its own research provides Grant-in-Aid to UG/PG/ PhD students of Engineering Institutes & Universities. . In order to create a focus on national priority areas,

The Institution of Engineers has established the following entities to work in tandem with the stake holders in the respective fields.

Engineering Staff College of India (ESCI) for providing continuing education National Design and Research Forum (NDRF) to encourage design talents in engineering and technology Rural Development Forum (RDF) to encourage and promote multifaceted development of rural India.Water Management Forum (WMF) to promote and advance the engineering and practice of water resources management judiciously.

Sustainable Development Forum (SDF) for expression of authoritative views on technologies for Sustainable Development and also for enunciating practical solutions to the problems faced by mankind at large.Safety and Quality Forum (SQF) to address the multi-faceted aspects of safety and quality in engineering profession.

The Institution of Engineers (India), earlier held Annual Conventions at different places in the country to take stock and review its activities and objectives. The Annual Convention later manifested into Indian Engineering Congress in 1987 to provide a wider spectrum. The Indian Engineering Congress is intended to broaden the scope of interaction and transfusion of knowledge amongst engineers from the country as well as from the prominent parts of the globe. The Institution of Engineers (India) organises the Indian Engineering Congress every year to cater to the needs of entire engineering professional community of India. The Indian Engineering Congress, the threshold of knowledge to all engineering professionals a platform to share information and latest developments.

The aim of the Indian Engineering Congress is to enlighten the technical fraternity about the developments in various fields of Engineering, thereby enabling them to face future challenges and assist in nation building.

Forthcoming  Events:

31rd National Convention of 'High Temperature Materials', Hosur, (TN) March 10-11, 2017' 

Department of Posts issued Commemorative postage stamps on The Institution of Engineers (India),

Issued  Date : 17.02.1980
Denomination : 30 Paise

International Women's Year 1975 India Stamp

International Women's Year (IWY) was the name given to 1975 by the United Nations. Since that year March 8 has been celebrated as International Women's Day, and the United Nations Decade for Women, from 1976 to 1985, was also established.

The first World Conference on Women was held in Mexico City from 19 June to 2 July. The 1975 conference and IWY were part of a larger United Nations program which developed over the Decade of Women (1976–85), and included the drafting and of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), agreed at the second conference in 1980 in Copenhagen. The 1985 third conference in Nairobi, Kenya, not only closed the decade of women, but set a series of member state schedules for removal of legislated gender discrimination in national laws by the year 2000. The 1973–75 planning of the IWY, led by Assistant Secretary General for Social and Humanitarian Affairs Helvi Sipila was very much influenced by the rise of Second Wave Feminist movements throughout the developed world in the early 1970s. Delegates sought to deepen these advances in legal recognition of female equality and bring them to the developing world, and promote the role of women as an aid for economic development.

The 1975 Mexico City Conference was attended by over a thousand delegates.

An International Women's Year Tribune was also organised and attended by 4,000 women in 1975,  and
Its Outcomes was  as  follows :

Declaration of Mexico on the Equality of Women and Their Contribution to Development and Peace

As a result of the international focus on Women in 1975, a number of institutions were established:

International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women(INSTRAW)

United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

Women's Studies Resource Centre was established in South Australia during July.

The IWY also launched the "dove" emblem used by the IWY, CEDAW, and UNIFIL. A stylized dove intersected by a female symbol and an equal sign, the emblem was donated by then 27-year-old New York City advertising company graphic designer Valerie Pettis. It remains the official symbol of UN Women and is used in International Women's Day celebrations to this day

Department  of  Posts issued Commemorative  postage stamps on International Women's Year

Issued  Date : 16.02.1975
Denomination : 25 Paise

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Thiruvalluvar 1960 India Stamp

Thiruvalluvar, known commonly as Valluvar, is a celebrated  Tamil poet and philosopher  whose contribution  to  Tamil literature  is  the Thirukkural,  a  work on  ethics.  It  is  believed that he was born either in Thiru Mylai (Mylapore)  Chennai  in  Tamil Nadu  or in Thirunainar Kuruchi,  a village in Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu.

Thiruvalluvar is thought to have lived sometime between the 4th century BC and the 1st century BC. The Tamil poet Mamulanar of the Sangam period  mentioned  that Thiruvalluvar  was the greatest Tamil scholar and Mamulanar also mentioned the Nanda Dynasty of northern which ruled until the 4th century BC.This estimate is based on linguistic analysis of his writings, as there is no historical evidence for when and where he lived.

The name Thiruvalluvar  was first mentioned in the 10th century in a text called Thiruvalluvarmaala  "Thiruvalluve traditions of Thiruvalluvar" appeared after this text had been written. It is generally believed that the name Thiruvalluvar consists of Thiru

Thiruvalluvar may have spent part of his life in Madurai because it was under the Pandiya rulers that many Tamil poets flourished. There is also the recent claim by Kanyakumari Historical and Cultural Research Centre (KHCRC) that Valluvar was a king who ruled Valluvanadu in the hilly tracts of the Kanyakumari District  of    Tamil Nadu.

Thirukkural is one of the most revered ancient works in the Tamil language. It is considered a 'common creed', providing a guide for human morals and betterment in life. Thirukkural  has been translated into several languages, including a translation into Latin by Constanzo Beschi in 1699 which helped make the work known to European intellectuals.

Other than the Thirukkuṛaḷ, Thiruvalluvar is believed to be the author of two Tamil texts on medicine, Gnana Vettiyan and Pancharathnam

The government of Tamil Nadu celebrates the 15th (16th On Leap Years) of January as (as Per Tamil Calendar)  Thiruvalluvar Day as part of the Pongal  celebrations in his honour.

He showed people that there was no necessity to leave the family and become a Sannyasin to lead a divine life of purity and sanctity. All his wise sayings and teachings are now in book form and known as ‘Thirukkural’. These sayings are all in couplets. Here are some of them:

Just as the alphabet ‘A’ is the beginning of all letters, so also, God is the beginning for this universe.

The Anicha flower will fade by smelling, but guests are more sensitive if the hosts turn their faces a bit.

Death is like sleeping in the burial ground; birth is like waking in the morning.

*These couplets are 1,330 in number*. They contain the essence of the Vedas, the Upanishads and the six Darshanas. Thirukkural is regarded as a universal  Book. It is another Gita, Bible,  Koran or Zend Avesta

Department of Posts issued Commemorative postage stamps on  Thiruvalluvar

Issue Date:  15. 02.1960
Denomination : 15 Naya Paise

Monday, February 13, 2017

Madhubala 2008 India Miniature sheet stamp

Madhubala is one of the most gorgeous actresses to have graced the screens of Bollywood. She has made an incredible contribution to the Indian film industry.

Madhubala born as Mumtaz Jehan Begum Dehlavi on the February 14, 1933, Madhubala was the fifth child of the Pashtun Muslim family. A Muslim holy man had once predicted that this girl would make a name for herself and become a prominent personality. She would earn loads of wealth and fortune, but unfortunately  won't be able to enjoy a happy life and die at a very young age.

Madhubala is an epitome of beauty, who had an unbeatable charm. She is admired for her looks and work even by the present day generations. Madhubala's father named Ataullah Khan, on hearing the words of the Muslim holy man, planned to migrate to Bombay (now Mumbai) for leading a better life. Things were not smooth and the family had to struggle a lot for a year. Madhubala entered into the Indian film industry as a child artist. At that time, she was known as Baby Mumtaz. Early work Mumtaz gave a fabulous performance in her maiden film Basant (1942). Devika Rani was amazed by her performance and talent and changed her name to Madhubala. In the movie Jwar Bhata (1944), she was to play the lead role with Dilip Kumar. But, things did not materialize and she could not work in the film. But, this gave her an opportunity to know Dilip Kumar. Major Break Madhubala got a major break, when she was signed opposite to Raj Kapoor in Kidar Sharma's film 'Neel Kamal' (1947). She was more often referred to as the "Venus of the Screen". Within a span of two years, she established her career and came into limelight. She constantly kept climbing the ladders of success and her films were super hit. Mughal-e-Azam turned out to be the biggest hit. In her short lifetime, she worked in seventy films.

Madhubala  and Dilip Kumar got an opportunity to get along with each other on the set of Jwar Bhatta (1944). When they worked together in Mughal-e-Azam for a long period of nine years, Madhubala started having hots for him. It is even said that, Madhubala had once sent him a note accompanied by a flower. Dilip Kumar reacted in a favorable manner and they got engaged with each other. Madhubala was very serious about marrying him, but he did not pay much of attention on her and chose someone else for marriage. Later, Madhubala got married to Kishore Kumar, a well known name of the Indian film industry

Sadly, she was plagued by a persistent heart disease that confined her to a bed for almost nine torturous years, and eventually claimed her life on February 23 1969, nine days after her 36th birthday. In this short life, she had made over 70 movies, and to this day remains one of the most enduring legends of Indian cinema.

Department of Posts  has paid tribute to legendary actress Madhubala, perhaps the most beautiful and attractive woman in the history of Bollywood, by releasing a commemorative postage stamp in her memory. 

Issued  Date : 18.03.2008
Denomination: 500 Paise

silver jubilee of All India Radio 1961 India Stamp

World Radio Day seeks to celebrate the importance of the radio in improving international cooperation, providing access to information and supporting free speech. The day also serves to promote the radio as a means of communication in times of need and emergency. Radios are still the most readily available medium that can disseminate information to reach the widest and most diverse audiences in the shortest amount of time. 

The idea of World Radio Day was first proposed by Spain's Radio Academy in 2010. The following year, in 2011, UNESCO declared the first World Radio Day. Since then, World Radio Day has been celebrated annually on February 13th, a day chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the United Nations Radio, the UN's international broadcasting service, which was established on February 13th, 1946.

Amid the rise of new technologies, radio remains the most accessible platform, recognised as a powerful communication tool and a low cost medium in reaching the widest audience in the world. Radio is particularly suited to reaching remote communities and people who may be underprivileged, disabled or without other technological resources. Furthermore, radio continues to play a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief.

World Radio Day is now observed on 13 February, a date proclaimed by UNESCO, celebrating the day when UN Radio was launched in 1946.  Since its establishment, UN Radio has used its multilingual programmes, carried by media outlets around the globe to tell the story of the international community’s efforts to meet the challenges of building a better world. Raising awareness of its unique value is one of the goals of World Radio Day, which also seeks to improve international cooperation among broadcasters and encourage decision makers to provide access to information through radio.

Department of Posts issued Commemorative postage stamps. To mark the silver jubilee of All India Radio

Issued Date : 08.06.1961
Denomination : 15 Naya  Paise

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sarojini Naidu 1964 India stamp

Sarojini was born in Hyderabad to Aghore Nath Chattopadhyay and Barada Sundari Debi on 13 February 1879. Her father was a doctor of Science from Edinburgh University, settled in Hyderabad State, where he found and administered the Hyderabad  College, which later became the Nizam's College in Hyderabad. Her mother was a poetess and used to write poetry in Bengali. Sarojini Naidu was the eldest among the eight siblings. Her brother  Virendranath Chattopadhya  was a revolutionary and her other brother, Hariharnath was a poet, a dramatist, and an actor.

Sarojini passed her Matriculation examination from the University of Madras, but she took four years' break from her studies. In 1895, the "Nizam scholarship Trust" founded by the 6th Nizam - Mir Mahbub Ali Khan, gave her the chance to study in England first at King's College London and later at Girton College, Cambridge.

Sarojini began writing at the age of 13. Her Persian play, Maher Muneer, impressed theNawab of Hyderabad.In 1905, her first collection of poems, named "The Golden Threshold" was published. Her poems were admired by many prominent Indian politicians like Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

Her collection of poems entitled "The Feather of The Dawn" was edited and published posthumously in 1961 by her daughter Padamaja.

Department of Posts issued stamps Sarojini  Naidu (Poetess)  on her 85th Birth Anniversary

Issued Date :13.02.1964
Denomination : 15 Naya Paise

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Deenabandhu C. F. Andrews 1971 India stamp

Deenabandhu Charles Freer Andrews was A Christian missionary, educator and social reformer in India, he became a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi and identified with the cause of India's independence. He was instrumental in convincing Gandhi to return to India from South Africa, where Gandhi had been a leading light in the Indian civil rights struggle.

Charles Freer Andrews was born on 12 February 1871 at 14 Brunel Terrace,  Newcastle  upon Tyne,  Northumberland, United Kingdom; his father was the "Angel" (bishop) of the Catholic Apostolic Church in Birmingham. The family had suffered financial misfortune because of the duplicity of a friend, and had to work hard to make ends meet.

Andrews was a pupil at King Edward's School, Birmingham, and afterwards read Classics  at Pembroke College,  Cambridge.  During this period he moved away from his family's church and was accepted for ordination in the Church of England.

In 1896 Andrews became a deacon, and took over the Pembroke College Mission in south London. A year later he was made priest, and became Vice-Principal of Westcott House Theological  college in Cambridge.

Andrews came to India as a missionary in 1904 and began teaching at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. Shocked by the racism that he found in British India, Andrews sought out friendships with Indians and immersed himself in the study of Hindu and Buddhist traditions and literature. Through his acquaintance with Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a social reformer and nationalist,

Andrews became aware of the maltreatment and exploitation suffered by Indian indentured labourers throughout the British Empire. In 1914 Andrews traveled to South Africa at Gokhale’s urging to participate in the campaign for Indian rights there. In Durban Andrews met Mahatma Gandhiand was impressed by his nonviolent resistance movement; the two remained close friends afterward.

When he returned to India, Andrews left his teaching position at St. Stephens and settled at the experimental school at Shantiniketan  founded by the poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore, whom Andrews had met in London in 1912. Tagore’s calls for social  justice and his ideas about the synthesis of Eastern and Western culture strongly shaped Andrews’s spiritual and political views.

Andrews spent the rest of his career campaigning for Indian independence and Indian workers’ rights. He visited Fiji, Kenya, and Sri Lanka to report on the treatment of Indian labourers, and he often acted as an intermediary between the British administration and Indian communities in British colonies. He became the president of the All-India Trade Union Congress in 1925. In his later years Andrews was a leading member of the India Conciliation Group, which lobbied British politicians and members of the press for Indian independence.

Gandhi reasoned with Andrews that it was probably best for sympathetic Britons like himself to leave the freedom struggle to Indians. So from 1935 onwards Andrews began to spend more time in Britain, teaching young people all over the country about Christ’s call to radical discipleship. Gandhi's affectionate nickname for Andrews was Christ’s Faithful Apostle, based on the initials of his name, "C.F.A". He was widely known as Gandhi's closest friend and was perhaps the only major figure to address Gandhi by his first name, Mohan.

Charlie Andrews lost  his  breath on 5 April 1940, during a visit to Calcutta, and is buried in the 'Christian Burial ground' of Lower Circular Road cemetery, Calcutta.

Department  of  Posts issued Commemorative postage stamps on ( Missionary )- Birth Centenary of Charles Freer Andrews

Issued  Date 12. 02. 1971
Denomination : 20 Paise

Electric Lamp 1979 Indian stamp

Inventor Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847, in Milan, Ohio. He was the last of the seven children of Samuel and Nancy Edison. Thomas's father was an exiled political activist from Canada. His mother, an accomplished school teacher, was a major influence in Thomas’ early life. 

Thomas Alva Edison  who has been described as America's greatest inventor.He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb.

He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that,  today  we  are easily using many  ways  of communication mainly  wats app

In the fall of 1878, Edison devoted thirty months to developing a complete system of incandescent electric lighting. During his lamp experiments, he noticed an electrical phenomenon that became known as the "Edison effect," the basis for vacuum-tube electronics.

By the time of his death on October 18, 1931, Edison had received 1,093 U.S. patents, a total still untouched by any other inventor. Even more important,

Department  of Posts issued a special postage stamp  commemorating the invention  of Centenary of Electric light bulb.

Issued  Date: 21.10.1979
Denomination: 100 Paise

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Jagannath Sunkersett 1991 India stamps

Jagannath Sunkersett was born on February 10, 1803, in a wealthy Murkute family of Daivadnya community.

His father was a rich businessman and a landlord. Jagannath received his early education from private tutors and soon became fluent in Marathi, Gujarathi, Sanskrit and English. He wanted to see an all round development of Bombay.

Unlike his forefathers, he engaged in commerce and soon developed a reputation as a very reliable businessman. So high was his credit that  Arabs, Afghans and other foreign merchants chose to place their treasures in his custody rather than with banks. He soon acquired a large fortune, much of which he donated to the public.

Jagannath Sunkersett formed the first Bombay Steam Navigation Company. He also realized the need for the Railways. He formed the first Inland Railway Association, which persuaded the British to lay tracks from Bombay's Victoria Terminus to Thane. This later came to be known as the G.I.P. Railway. He was made one of its first Indian Directors.

Sunkersett became an active leader in many arenas of life in Bombay (now Mumbai).
In 1845, along with Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, he formed the Indian Railway Association. Eventually, the association was incorporated into the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, and Jeejeebhoy and Sunkersett became the only two Indians among the ten directors of the GIP railways. As a director, Sunkersett participated in the very first train journey in India between Bombay and Thane, which took approximately 45 minutes.

Jugonnath Sunkersett, Sir George Birdwood and Dr Bhau Daji were instrumental in some of the major reconstruction efforts of the city, beginning 1857. The three gradually changed a town made up of a close network of streets into a spacious and airy city, adorned with fine avenues and splendid buildings. He became the first Indian to be nominated to the Legislative Council of Bombay  and became a member of the Bombay Board of Education. He also was the first Indian member of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai, and is known to have endowed a school and donated land in Grant Road for a theater. His influence was used by Sir John Malcolm to induce the Hindus to acquiesce in the suppression of suttee or widow-burning, and his efforts also paid off after the Hindu community was granted a cremation ground at Sonapur (now Marine Lines). He is known to have donated generously to Hindu temples. During the First War of Independence of 1857, the British suspected his involvement, but acquitted him due to lack of evidence.

He died in Mumbai on 31 July 1865. A year after his death a marble statue was erected at the Asiatic Society of Bombay. Erstwhile Girgaum Road and chowk (Nana Chowk) at Grant Road are named after him in South Mumbai.

Jagannath's ancestor Babulshet Ganbashet migrated to Bombay in the mid-18th century from Konkan. Babulshet's son Shankarshet was a prominent businessman of South Mumbai in the late-18th century. Gunbow Street (now called Rustom Sidhwa Marg) in the Fort business district of present-day Mumbai, is named after Ganbashet, and not, as many people assume, a British colonial.

The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, formerly The Victoria and Albert Museum, at Byculla in  Bombay which was designed by a famous London architect was built with the patronage of many wealthy Indian businessmen and philanthropists like Jagannath, David Sassoon and Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy.

The Bhavani-Shankar Mandir and The Ram Mandir near Nana Chowk were built by Shankarshet Babulshet in the early-19th century and are currently in the possession of the Sunkersett family.

Department of Posts  proudly  issued The commemorative postage on his  125th Death Anniversary

The  above stamp depicts Jagnnath Sunkershett along with the Headquarters of Central Railways symbolising his efforts in the establishment of the first railway line in Bombay.

Date of Issue: 15.02.1991 
Denomination: 60 p, 650 Paisa

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Maha kavi MAGH 2009 India stamp

Maha kavi “MAGH” was born about 675 AD. At Bhinmal in   Rajasthan. He was son of “dattak” and grandson of “superabhadeva” a    minister of king “Varmalata”of Gujrat. “Magh” was a perfectionist. Nothing   would satisfy him except the very best.
Therefore, he wrote only one epic named,   “Shishupal Vadha” but such a masterpiece of literature that his name is taken   alongside ‘Kalidas’ and ‘Bharvi’.

“Shishupal vadha” contains 1650 stanzas and is in 20 canto. It is based on an   episode of “Mahabharat” during “Rajasuya Yagya” performed by king yudhisthir,   there was altercation between Shishupal on the one hand, and Bhishma, yudhisthir  and Krishna on the other. Shishupal abused Krishna in a filthy language. The   verbal dual acquired such a dimension that lord Krishna was constrained to halt   “shishupal”. It was but a small incident in the great story of Mahabharat. Magh   greatness lies in weaving a great epic covering all aspects of life around this   small episode.

He invested in this great work of all his rich vocabulary, pure   grammar, all encompassing erudition and knowledge, command over the language,   and ornate elegant style. For this great single work of his, he is remembered   even today with greatest respect.

His vocabulary was vast and limitless. So much so that, it is said that there is   no word in Sanskrit dictionary which has not been used in the “Shishupal Vadha”.   In other words the “Shishupal Vadh” is a living dictionary of Sanskrit language,   paying tribute to his prolific use of words. One commentator has aptly said :

” Nav Sarga gate maghe Navsshabda Na Vidyate ”

It means that even one reads upto 9th canto of his worl, one   finds that no new word of Sanskrit is left to be discovered.

Some poets   concentrate on simile while others on style. But “Magh” was one great poet who   used simile with great effect, had great felicity with the language, used   meaningful words and was the master of ornate and exotic style. So it has been   aptly said about him :
“Maghe” santi trayo Guna

It has been acknowledged by scholars that he combined in his persona, Kalidas’s   mastery over simile , Bharvi” flair for drawing word-pictures and dandi” elegent   style of writing.

Magh is known for his epic poem Shishupal Vadha
(The Slaying of King Shishupal) that is noted for its intricate wordplay,  and textual complexity. The 19th canto contains the following stanza which  is an example of what has been called the most complex and exquisite  type of palindrome ever invented". It yields the same text if read forwards, backwards, down, or up

ra-sA-ha-vA vA-ha-sA-ra-

The up-and-down reading depends on re-reading the text back up again in
each column.The stanza translates as: [That army], which relished battle (rasAhavA) contained allies who brought low the bodes and gaits of their various
striving enemies

in it the cries of the best of mounts contended with musical instruments


He experimented with rare grammatical usage which shows   that he was an artist and a great grammarian as well.

Some of his verses are very fascinating and unique and they reflect his talent   of playing with words. The following verse gives an idea of his talent :

” Raj Raj Raji Jaje Jiraojojo jaro o Rajaah Rejriju Rajo jarji Rarajarjur   Jarjar ”

In this Stanza he has mainly used two words named “Ra” and Jha”. This is not a   mean achievement.
A few of his stanzas can be read backwards as well and in   the ordinary way.

He has used forty one metre in his classic where as Bharvi   used only twenty four metre. This is metrical profusion in wonderful.
The ”   Shishupal Vadha” shows that Magh”s knowledge was encyclopedic. In fact he was   versatile genius. He was well versed in shastras, was a master of polity and   political science, was sensitive to understand the human frailities and human   virtues and their impact on social interaction, had an eye for beauty,   understood the effects of seasonal changes in climate and weather on human life   and environment, had fair acquaintance with painting and sculptures, knew   different philosophies and religions and was not unaware of human craving for   eroticism. His reading encompassed among other subjects, Astrology, Astrinomy,   Vedas, Vedantas, dramatics and science dealing with elephants and horses.

“Magh” has described nature, mountains and rivers very   vividly.
His description of beauty is unique. According to him, thing which   changes every moment and appears fresh is beautiful in his own words .

“ Kshane Kshane Yannavata Mupalti Tadaiv Rup Ramniyataya ”

Magh was not only a great poet but also a great human being.   He received unaccountable wealth from his patron king Bhoj. At the same time he   had also inherited substantial fortune from his father and grand father, yet he   died in poverty because he was very generous in helping poors, sharing his   wealth with needy and distributed money freely in charity. He was truly an   egalitarian.

Department of Posts released a commemorative postage stamp with help of Rajasthan Sankrit Academy Jaipur and Gangashahar Philatelic Association, Ganagashar,

Issued Date : 09.02.2009
Denomination : 500 Paise

Dr Zakir Hussain 1969 India stamps

Dr Zakir Hussain was the third President of India from May 13, 1967 until his death,  was born at Hyderabad State, British India [now in Telangana, India] he came of a Pathan family of the upper middle-class, settled at Qaunganj in the District of Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Fida Hussain Khan, went to Hyderabad, studied Law and had a most successful career. Unfortunately, he died when Dr. Zakir Hussain was only ten years old.

Hussain went for higher education to Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College (now Aligarh Muslim University). He was known even in those days for his love of knowledge, his wit and eloquence and his readiness to help his fellow students.

Zakir Hussain, then only 23 and a student of the M.A. class, was among the small group of students and teachers who decided to establish a National Muslim University by the name of Jamia Millia Islamia.

Zakir Hussain's unceasing quest for knowledge also took him to Germany in the 1920's. During his three year stay there, he acquired a deep love for European art and literature on music and he also got a Doctorate from the University of Berlin in Economics.

In November 1948, Dr. Zakir Hussain was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University. He was also nominated a member of the Indian Universities Commission. The World University Service made him the Chairman of the Indian National Committee and in 1954 he was elected the World President of the organization. He was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha and made the Indian representative on the Executive Board of the UNESCO from 1956 to 1958. He remained the Chairman, Central Board of Secondary Education, till 1957, a member of the University Grants Commission till 1957, a member of the University Education Commission in 1948-1949 and of the Educational Reorganisation Committee of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Dr. Zakir Hussain was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1954 and Bharat Ratna in 1963. He was awarded D.Litt. (Honoris Causa) by the Universities of Delhi, Calcutta, Aligarh, Allahabad and Cairo. After serving as the Vice President for a term of five years, Dr. Zakir Hussain was elected President of India on May 13, 1967. In his deeply moving inaugural speech he said that the whole of India was his home and all its people were his family. 

“Among the galaxy of luminous stars that have shed their radiance on the firmament of our national life, Dr. Zakir Husain occupies a pride of place. Moulded in the great traditions set before us by the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, Zakir Saheb was the embodiment of all-pervading humanism. In him, the nation found a true and living symbol of our composite culture. He adorned many a position with distinction, dignity and decorum.

He has been a shining example of erudition, dignity, nobility and humility. In his sudden demise the Nation has lost a leader of high intellectual and moral eminence. May his memory remain ever green with us as an example of lofty ideals and gentle behaviour.“

The  Department of  Posts  offer its humble homage and tribute to a great patriot, by issuing commemorative  postage stamp in honour of the late Dr. Zakir Husain,

Issued  Date : 11.01.1969
Denomination : 20  Paise

Monday, February 6, 2017

Fragrance of Roses 2007 India stamps

The name rose comes from French, itself from Latin rosa,

A rose is a woody perennial  flowering  plant of the genus Rosa, in the family  Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are over a hundred species and thousands of cultivars.

Most of the species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwestern Africa. Species, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and often are fragrant. Roses have acquired cultural significance in many societies.

Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach seven meters in height. Different species hybridize easily, and this has been used in the development of the wide range of garden roses.

Roses have been symbols of love and beauty since ancient times. Different coloured roses have their own symbolic meaning.

The Red rose is a symbol of love, the pink rose a symbol of grace, the white rose a symbol of innocence, purity and friendship, and the yellow rose a symbol of dying love or platonic love.India Post has now brought together fragrance and beauty to create a set of four stamps on  ‘Fragrance of Roses’. The stamps showcase the spectacular variety, beauty and fragrance of roses found in our country, by depicting four Indian varieties.

*1st stamp (Bhim)*

This hybrid tea rose is very famous in India. The camellia-like flatness of its form is unusual and its mid-red colour is very attractive. A healthy bush, very free with its flowers, it has dark semi-glossy foliage. The fully open blooms are striking and stands up to cold nights.

*2nd stamp (Delhi Princess)*

A popular Indian–bredvariety this rose has cerise-red buds which open to sparkling pink flowers in clusters. Growing in great profusion, the clusters may be small in cool weather, but the individual flowers are 10 cm. across. In warm weather large trusses are formed. It is exceptionally vigorous and free-flowering in all weathers.

*3rd stamp (Jawahar)*  

Free-flowering and good for bedding and exhibition, the velvety, scented‘Jawahar’ is a creation of the Indian Department ofCrops and Agriculture. Growing usually in clusters of three to six, the flowers are perfect creamy white. The vigorous, bushy plant is notable for strange brown prickles and light green flossy foliage.

*4th Stamp (Neelam)*

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute has for some years now been breeding roses especially for Indian conditions, and the gardens of the Indian Rose Society in Delhidisplay some splendid roses as a result including the ‘Neelam’. It is a large, shapely bloom in silvery pink, with a heady perfume and dark green, glossy foliage.

A Miniature Sheet consisting of 4 nos of commemorative postage stamps on the Fragrance of Roses 

The Department of Posts is proud to release a set of four scented commemorative postage stamps on ‘Fragrance of Roses’.

Issued Date :07.02.2007  

Denomination : 500, 1500, 1500 & 500 Paise

Sunday, February 5, 2017

International Fleet Review 2016 India stamp

A Naval Fleet Review is a long-standing tradition of navies world-over. The Review  was conceived as a show of naval might and readiness for battle. In India,  ten Reviews have been held so far, with the first in 1953 and the  latest  in 2011. The Review aims at assuring the country of the Indian Navy‘s preparedness, its high moral and discipline. Assembling of warships without any belligerent intentions is now the norm. Leading nations of the world, occasionally invite their maritime neighbours, to participate with their ships in the review. Normally called  ‘International  Fleet Review’, the event then allows the host nation an occasion to display its maritime capabilities and mutual trust amongst maritime nations.

The only previous International  Fleet Review in India was conducted in February 2001, off Mumbai. This earned the country widespread appreciation and goodwill. On 06th February 2016, the President of India, is scheduled to review the fleet of participating Indian and foreign warships off Vishakhapatnam.

The International Fleet Review 2016 logo depicts the 3 operating dimensions of the Navy, with a ship, submarine and an aircraft, and also letters I-F-R form an integral part of the logo. The Dolphin has been chosen as the mascot, depicting friendship across oceans, and the theme is ‘United through Oceans’.

The President of India being the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, once in his term, reviews the Indian Naval Fleet as part of the ‘President’s Fleet Review’ (PFR).

This review aims at assuring the country of the Indian Navy’s preparedness, its high morale and discipline. Many leading nations of the world use the opportunity provided by a Fleet Review to enhance mutual trust and confidence with their maritime neighbours and partners by inviting their ships to participate in the Review. Normally called the ‘International Fleet Review’ (IFR), this event then provides the host nation an occasion to display its own naval prowess, and the bridges of friendship and trust it has built with other maritime nations. Owing to the many military-diplomatic benefits it accrues to the nation, the Indian Navy is conducting an International Fleet

The Department of Posts is pleased to release a commemorative  postage stamp on the occasion of International Fleet Review 2016.

Issued on 06.02.2016
Denomination : 500 Paise

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Aero India 2003 Centenary of man first flight stamps

Man has always dreamt of flying in the sky. But he had to wait till the 20th century  for this dream to become a reality. The persistent efforts of scientists and inventors to build a machine that could fly appeared to be moving in the right direction by the 1880s. Finally in 1903 the Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville (of USA), could successfully test fly a machine that was powered and manned. This landmark feat that changed the life of man on earth was achieved on 17th December 1903.

The history of Indian aeronautical   industry is inseparably interwoven with that of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The company that began as the rather modest Hindustan Aircraft Limited in Bangalore in 1940 is today a mammoth organisation spread over seven locations, fourteen production units and nine research and design centres. It has produced 12 types of aircraft from in-house development and 13 types by license production, over the years. The postage stamps appropriately depict four aircraft models of HAL, reflecting its growth and evolution.

The first stamp shows the ‘Hindustan Trainer No. 2’ (HT–2), the first aircraft  to be designed,  developed  and manufactured in India. The first flight of the prototype of this piston engined trainer aircraft was held in August 1951 and the first batch of six HT-2s flew out of HAL in January 1953. The HT-2 was the mainstay of flight training, both civilian and military, in the country for many years.

The second stamp carries a picture of the ‘Marut’, a twin engined transonic ground attack aircraft designed by a team of Indian and German Engineers. The first prototype flew in June 1961.

The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) figures on the third stamp. This is the world’s smallest lightweight, multi role combat aircraft. It was designed for the Indian Air Force as a multi mission tactical aircraft. It has many advanced features and its successful maiden flight was conducted in January 2001.

The  forth stamp Dhruv, the Advanced Light Helicopter is depicted on the fourth stamp. It is a unique multi role, state-of-the-art helicopter with different variants to suit the requirements of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard. A civil variant is currently undergoing test flights. Dhruv is the most exportable aerospace product of India and is noted for its advanced features as well as user-friendliness.

2003 is celebrated all over the world as the centenary year of man’s first flight.
The Department of Posts  joins the celebrations by issuing a set of commemorative  postage stamps that present glimpses of the Indian experience in aeronautics. The stamps have being released on the occasion of Aero India 2003,  Bangalore,  one among the top aero events of the world.

The Aero India is organised biennially by the  Department  of Defence Production and Supplies. Leading scientists and management personalities of the world aeronautical industry participate in this prestigious show.

Issued Date : 05.02.2003 
Denomination : 500, 500, 500 & 1500 Paise

The 11th edition of the Aero India is scheduled to be held from the 14to18 February 2017