Complete set of 7 nos. of commemorative Circular postage stamps on 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi :
Issued by India
Issued on Oct 2, 2018
Issued for : As the nation commemorates the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Department of Posts is proud to issue a set of seven Commemorative Postage Stamps. Through these circular stamps, issued for the first time in Independent India, the Department endeavours to capture a few dimensions of his well-rounded personality and pays a tribute to the colossus.
Stamp/Miniature Sheet/FDC/Brochure : Sh. Sankha Samanta
Cancellation Cachet : Smt. Alka Sharma
Type : Miniature Sheet, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 500, 1200, 2000, 4100, 2200, 2500, 2500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 8.0 Lakh
Miniature Sheets Printed : 2.0 lakh
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Born on 2 Oct, 1869 at Porbandar, Gujarat, India
Died on 30 Jan, 1948 at New Delhi, India
- If ever there was a man who single-handedly steered the course of a nation and its people leading them from a subjugated subservient state in awe of their colonizers to a self-confident population demanding freedom from imperial domination, it was, without doubt, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Born on 2nd October, 1869 in a Modh Bania family, Monia, as his parents affectionately called him, was the favourite of his teachers. His father, Karamchand was politically influential and his mother Putlibai was well informed about all matters of state.
- Mahatma Gandhi had his first brush with racial arrogance in his early twenties when he went to meet Sir Charles Ollivant, the Raj’s Political Agent in Kathiawar, who was examining a charge against his brother. When Gandhiji reminded Ollivant of his old acquaintance with him, Ollivant advised him sternly to tell his brother to submit a petition in the proper course. Since Gandhiji persisted, he was forcibly evicted from Ollivant’s room, Gandhiji felt that Ollivant had overreacted but he also realized that he should not have approached Ollivant in the first instance. He, therefore, decided that he would never again place himself on a weak footing and that he would focus his anger on the arrogance rather than the person displaying it.
- Gandhi’s next encounter with racial discrimination took place in South Africa when he was asked to remove his turban in court by the Magistrate as Indians were expected to remove their headgear in court, more so if they hoped to speak to it. Thereafter came a series of racial insults on his journey from Durban to Pretoria including the Pietermaritzburg Station incident and further during his stay in Transvaal.
- The Ollivant incident and the ordeals from Durban to Pretoria engendered violent thoughts in Gandhiji’s mind and there was a clash between violence and forgiveness. However, when he read a book given by Tolstoy, he was influenced profoundly by it and learnt not to hate, not to hoard, not to kill and to love one’s enemies. The conflict in his mind thus, resolved itself against violence and Gandhiji went on to strongly believe that “Violence is the weapon of the weak; non–violence that of the strong”.
- The incidents in South Africa led to the evolution of Satyagraha, a philosophy that was used by Gandhiji not just in South Africa but in India as well and also by leaders of other countries steering their respective freedom/civil rights movements. The idea of Satyagraha emphasized the power of truth and the need to search for truth. It suggested that if the cause is true and the struggle is against injustice, then physical force is not necessary to fight the oppressor. Satyagraha is pure soul-force. Truth is the very substance of the soul. That is why this force is called Satyagraha.
- As a young boy, Gandhiji had been stirred by a play on the story of Harishchandra who clung to the truth even when all his loved ones and he himself suffered greatly. The play haunted the twelve-year old boy who enacted it to himself several times and wept as he wanted to be like Harishchandra. Owing to this impact, the boy would not be prompted when his teacher tried to urge him to copy a word from a neighbour’s slate during the visit of an educational officer to the school on inspection! Gandhi’s love for truth manifested itself in a remarkable self-awareness and openness both in public and private life. His campaigns of civil disobedience were always declared in advance. His social experiments were discussed in his newspapers and the comments of his critics were given due prominence. In fact, truth was such a sublime force in Gandhi’s life that he said, “Innumerable are the names of God; but if a choice were to be made of one, it would be Sat or Satya, that is Truth. Hence verily Truth is God”.
- With openness and self-awareness came a striking ease of forgiving, another defining characteristic of Gandhiji’s persona. He could quickly let bygones be bygones. He had no hatred and no resentment; once a settlement was reached, he could cooperate with enemies as fervently as he fought with them. That is why he believed, “Man finds himself by losing his self”. A country so large and diverse could never have been united by a leader hindered by ideological rigidity or personal arrogance.
- An almost non-existent ego led to a character completely given to selfless service. Gandhiji believed, “A life spent in service is the only fruitful life”. From the age of about thirteen to sixteen, he seems to have spent some time each day attending on his increasingly sick father, time which he could have spent on walks, games with school friends, reading and pursuit of other hobbies. That streak of compassion and service developed in boyhood is the reason why later in life, he could dress the wounds of an indentured labourer suffering from leprosy with as much ease and equanimity as he could inspect latrines in plague-hit Bombay when he offered to help with the city’s sanitation.
- Gandhiji believed that cleanliness is extremely important for physical and mental well-being as well as for a healthy environment. He lamented however, that even though we inculcate clean personal habits, we do not care about public hygiene. He felt that without a clean and healthy surrounding, we would not develop as a nation. In fact, he did not see cleanliness only in terms of the physical aspect, he believed in cleanliness of the body, the spirit and the soul, saying, “When there is both inner and outer cleanliness, it approaches godliness”.
- Text : Dr. Amarpreet Duggal.