A commemorative postage stamp on Fakir Lalon Shah, a Bengali philosopher and Baul saint [a part of the series ‘Personality Series : Folk Music‘] :
Issued by India
Issued on Dec 29, 2003
Issued for : The Department of Posts is proud to bring out a set of two commemorative postage stamps in recognition of the invaluable contribution of these two doyens of Indian folk music.
Stamp & FDC : Sankha Samanta (Stamp on Lalan Fakir is inspired by a line sketch of Lalan Fakir by Nandlal Bose).
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamps, Mint Condition
Colour : Four
Denomination : 500 Paise
Overall size : 2.80 x 3.30 Cms.
Printing size : 2.80 x 3.30 Cms.
Perforation : 13.5 x 13.5
Paper : Matt Chromo
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million
Number per issue sheetlet : 50
Printing Process : Photo Offset
Printer : Calcutta Security Printers Ltd.
Name : Lalon Sain
Born on 1774 at Bhanrara, Kustia district, Bengal Presidency, British India
Died on Oct 17, 1890 at Cheuriya, Kushtia district, Bengal Presidency, British India [now in Bangladesh]
- Lalan Fakir (1774-1890), the all-time emperor of the bauls of Bengal was born in Bhanrara village of Kustia district (now in Bangladesh). He was the only child of his parents but having lost his father in early childhood, he could not obtain any institutional education. His village was a centre of folk traditions, renowned also for the culture of folk songs especially baul songs. Baul songs are considered to be the most popular folk songs of rural Bengal and the contribution of Lalan Fakir towards making them popular is immense. From his very boyhood, Lalan was fond of devotional songs. It is stated that he went on a pilgrimage with his neighbours but fell seriously ill due to an attack of small pox. While his companions abandoned him in a state of senselessness, a Muslim lady rescued him, nursed him and got him backed to life. However, Lalan was not accepted back in his village. So, he adopted an ascetic life with Siraj Sain as his preceptor.
- Lalan established a religious institution in the village of Chenuria near Kustia where he preached his spiritual ideology based on the tenets of philanthropy, universal love and secularism. His devotional baul songs were simple and touched people’s hearts. People of different religions and castes were drawn to his philosophy based on humanism and before long, his popularity crossed the boundaries of Chenuria. His open-mindedness, secular sense and social orientation added a new dimension to his baul character. He was able to instill a remarkable awareness and sensibility in the life of rural Bengal. The great Indian poet and philosopher, Rabindra Nath Tagore was deeply influenced by Lalan’s ideology and composed many songs based on his baul philosophy.
- Text : Based on material received from the proponents and other published sources.