A commemorative postage stamp on the 2nd Death Anniversary of Harekrushna Mahatab, 1st Chief Minister of Odisha (1946-50, 1956-61) :
Issued by India
Issued on Jan 2, 1989
Description of Designs : The design for the stamp has been prepared by India Security Press, Nasik Road, the first day cover by Sankha Samanta and the cancellation by Alka Sharma.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 60 Paise
Overall size : 4.06 x 2.73 cms.
Printing size : 3.71 x 2.38 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported unwatermarked adhesive gravure coated stamp paper
Number Printed : 10,00,000
Number per issue sheet : 40
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printed : India Security Press
Name : Harekrushna Mahatab
Born on Nov 21, 1899 at Agarpada, Bhadrak district, Odisha, India
Died on Jan 2, 1987 at Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
- Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab, born on 21st November, 1899 at Agarpara, Balasore district, Orissa, to Krishna Charan Das and Topha Bibi, was adopted by his maternal grandparents Jagannath Mahtab, Raja of Agarpara, and Rani Dhani Bibi.
- Educated at Bhadrak High School and Ravenshaw College, he was inspired by Gandhiji to join the freedom movement in 1921. He married Subhadra Devi in 1916.
- In 1922 he was imprisoned for two years for participating in the non-cooperation movement. In 1923 he became editor of the Weekly “Prajatantra“ published from Cuttack, which went on to become a daily newspaper.
- In 1930 he became the President of the Utkal Pradesh Congress Committee and the same year he was imprisoned for participating in the Satyagraha movement. During imprisonment he translated the “Balmiki Ramayan“ into Oriya and produced the Oriya prose version of “The Bhagwad Geeta“. In 1932 he suffered further imprisonment for participating in the Salt Satyagraha. From 1933-37 he worked for the upliftment of Harijans in the “Gandhi Karm Mandir Ashrama” at Agarpara and also at Jhadapipal village, north Balasore.
- In 1938 a committee was formed under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mahtab to enquire into the oppression in the then princely states of Dhenkanal, Talcher and Rampur etc. Dr. Mahtab was a Member of the Working Committee of the National Congress and later in 1942 he was imprisoned for speaking publicly against the British Raj. On his release he spent some time at Bardoli with Mahatma Gandhi, later publishing ‘Rachna‘, a periodical espousing Gandhiji‘s thoughts and philosophy.
- During the Second World War, assisted by Meerabehn, Dr. Mahtab worked to control panic in Orissa due to bombardment near the Orissa coast by Japan.
- In August, 1942 he attended the Congress Working Committee meeting at Bombay which passed the Quit India Resolution. Along with other national leaders he was imprisoned from August, 1942 to April, 1945. He spent this time writing a history of Orissa, 3 novels and a number of poems.
- From 1946-50 he was the premier of Orissa, then being appointed as the Cabinet Minister for Commerce and Supply till 1952. His efforts went a long way to assist construction of the Hirakud Dam and the new capital at Bhubaneshwar with the amalgamation of the princely states with Orissa. From 1952-54 he remained Secretary General of the Congress Parliamentary Party. Appointed Governor for undivided Bombay from 1955-56, he returned to become Chief Minister of Orissa from 1956-61. Elected to the Lok Sabha in 1962, he was also the Deputy Leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party.
- He was honoured by the Andhra University, Utkal University, Sahgor University. He was Chief Editor of ‘Jhankar‘ an Oriya monthly, and patronised ‘Meena Bazar‘ a children’s journal. He received the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi Award in 1983 for his book “Gaon Majlis“. He has written as many as 24 books in English and Oriya.
- Dr. Mahtab died on 2nd January, 1987.
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