A commemorative postage stamp on Lala Jagat Narain Chopra, an Indian freedom fighter, founder of Hind Samachar, a daily Urdu newspaper in Mumbai :
Issued on Sep 9, 2013
Issued for : India Posts salutes the contribution of Lala Jagat Narain in upholding democratic values and being a beacon of fearless journalism by issuing a Commemorative Postage Stamp on Lala Jagat Narain.
Stamp/FDC/Cancellation : Nenu Gupta
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi color
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.41 Million (0.1 million for the proponent)
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Jagat Narain Chopra
Born on May 31, 1899 at Wazirabad, Gujranwala, Punjab, British India [now in Pakistan]
Died on Sep 9, 1981 at Punjab, India
- Lala Jagat Narain, affectionately known as Lalaji, was born on 31st May, 1899 in Wazirabad, District Gujranwala, now in Pakistan to Lakshmi Dass Chopra and Lal Devi. After graduation from D.A.V. College, Lahore in 1919 he joined the Law College, Lahore. Deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals, he left his studies in 1920 and joined the non-cooperation movement. He was sentenced to two and a half years’ imprisonment. After his release from jail in 1924, he was greatly perturbed by Katherine Mayo’s book, “Mother India” which contained several derogatory and objectionable references to India and the Indians. Lalaji demanded a ban on the book but when the British government took no notice, he wrote a book “Unhappy India”. He also became the editor of Bhai Parmanand’s weekly Hindi paper “Akashvani”.
- Lalaji married Shanti Devi in 1924. Both husband and wife remained active in the freedom struggle. Lalaji was in jail for almost nine years on different occasions. He was the President of the Lahore Congress Committee for seven years and leader of the Congress Party in Lahore Corporation. He came in touch with Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose during the Congress session at Lahore in 1929.
- After partition of India, Lalaji came to Jalandhar and started an Urdu daily named “Hind Samachar” in 1948. He also started Punjab Kesari (Hindi) in 1965 and Jag Bani (Punjabi) in 1978. He ran the newspaper as a cause rather than a business, always focusing on giving right information to the people and standing up for what he believed in. With his editorials, Lalaji became the face of fearless journalism during the Punjab insurgency.
- In spite of being active in politics, Lalaji remained true to his commitment to unbiased and truthful reporting of facts and issues as they were. He was also a Member of the Rajya Sabha from 1964 to 1970.
- Lalaji was shot dead on 9th September, 1981 near Ludhiana. He died fighting for what he believed in.
- Text : Based on the material furnished by the proponent.