A commemorative postage stamp on the Centenary of the Amrita Bazar Patrika, an Indian Bengali newspaper, founded by Sisir Kumar Ghose and Moti Lal Ghosh (also first editor) in 1868 :
Issued by India
Issued on Feb 20, 1968
Issued for : Today, “Amrita Bazar Patrika” is one of the foremost national dailies, a position which it owes as much to its pioneering founders as to the patriotic fervour of the Indian people. The Posts and Telegraphs Department is glad to recognise the services of this great Indian-owned newspaper by bringing out a commemorative postage stamp to mark its centenary.
Design : The design of the stamp is horizontal and depicts a bow and a quill used in place of the arrow, the symbol for Amrita Bazar Patrika Centenary.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Golden Yellow and Brown
Denomination : 15 Paise
Overall Size : 3.34 X 2.46 cms.
Printing Size : 2.99 X 2.10 cms.
Perforation : 14 x 13½
Watermark : Printed on unwatermarked paper
Number Printed : 20,00,000
Number per issue Sheet : 54
Printing Process : Photogravure
Designed and Printed at : India Security Press
- One hundred years ago, a great name in the journalistic annals of India came into existence. “Amrita Bazar Patrika” was launched on its illustrious, turbulent journey as a Bengali weekly on 20th February, 1868. Its early issues came out from a remote village in the district of Jessore (now in East Pakistan). The “Patrika” was not started as a commercial proposition, but to serve as the mouthpiece of the travails and aspirations of a down-trodden people.
- It was a time of growing unrest. Politically, the people of India hardly counted in the eyes of the alien rulers. Economically, India was nothing more than a market for the expanding industries of their home country. As a result, the indigenous trades languished for want of support. The rural masses became increasingly poorer. Even in agriculture, the ryots were not left alone, but were compelled to grow indigo for the benefit of a small group of foreign indigo-planters. All this exploitation led to widespread discontent. Shishir Kumar Ghosh organised the peasants to protest against the tyranny of the indigo-planters and the antipathy of the Government. He and his brothers founded the “Patrika” as part of this movement.
- Three years after its inception, the paper shifted its venue to Calcutta. As was to be expected, the authorities were not happy that this outspoken publication should function in their very midst. At first, attempts were made to cajole the paper into adopting a softer line. It was then that Shishir Kumar Ghosh addressed his famous words to the Lt. Governor of Bengal : “Let there be at least one honest journalist in the country.“ This infuriated the Lt. Governor who threatened the paper with eviction from Calcutta. Some years later, the Vernacular Press Act was enacted with a view to gagging the Indian languages papers. But this design was frustrated in the case of the “Patrika”. Its very next issue came out in English.
- In 1891, the “Patrika” became a daily. Its subsequent history followed the course of India‘s struggle for independence. Beginning with a prosecution within the first few months of its existence, the paper faced many more prosecutions and other repressive measures. Nevertheless, it displayed unswerving devotion to the nationalist cause. This endeared it to the people who showed their gratitude by offering it their powerful patronage.
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