A commemorative postage stamp on Raj Kumar Shukla, who convinced Mahatma Gandhi to visit Champaran for the Champaran Satyagraha :
Issued by India
Issued on Dec 18, 2018
Issued for : Department of Posts is pleased to issue a Commemorative Postage Stamp on Rajkumar Shukla.
Stamp/FDC/Brochure : Designed by Sh. Sankha Samanta based on the materials received from Mani Bhushan Rai (Rajkumar Shukla‘s grandson) and Swati Chandra.
Cancellation Cachet : Smt. Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 5.0 lakh
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
Name : Raj Kumar Shukla
Born on Aug 23, 1875 at Satwaria village, Champaran, Bihar, India
Died on May 20, 1929 at Motihari, Bihar, India
- In India’s struggle for Independence, the “Champaran Satyagraha” marks a turning point. Rajkumar Shukla drew the attention of Mahatma Gandhi, who had just returned from South Africa, to the plight of the peasants suffering under an oppressive system established by European indigo planters. Beside other excesses they were forced to cultivate indigo on 3/20 part of their holdings and sell it to the planters at prices fixed by the planters themselves. This set the stage for Gandhiji’s entry into the India’s Struggle for Freedom. On his arrival at Motihari, the district headquarters, accompanied by Rajkumar Shukla, Gandhiji was ordered to leave by the next available train which he refused and was promptly arrested. He was released and the ban order was withdrawn in the face of a “Satyagraha” threat. Gandhiji conducted an open enquiry into the peasant’s grievances. The Government had to appoint an enquiry committee with Gandhiji as a member. This led to the abolition of the system.
- Rajkumar Shukla has been described by Gandhiji in his “Atmakatha”, as a man whose suffering gave him the strength to rise against the odds. In his letter to Gandhiji he wrote –
- “Respected Mahatma, you hear the stories of others everyday. Today please listen to my story _ _ _ _ _ I want to draw your attention to the promise made by you in the Lucknow Congress that you would come to Champaran. The time has come for you to fulfil your promise. 19 lakhs suffering people of Champaran are waiting to see you.”
- Gandhiji reached Patna on 10 April, 1917 and on 16 April he reached Motihari accompanied by Rajkumar Shukla. Under Gandhiji’s leadership the historic “Champaran Satyagraha” began. The contribution of Rajkumar Shukla is reflected in the writings of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, first President of India, Acharya Kriplani and of course Mahatma Gandhi himself. Rajkumar Shukla maintained a diary in which he was given an account of struggle against the atrocities of the indigo planters, atrocities so movingly depicted by Deen Bandhu Mitra in “Neel Darpan”, a play that was translated by Michael Madhusudan Dutt.
- Text : Based on book “Rajkumar Shukla” by Rai Prabhakar Prasad & NCERT’s publication: India’s struggle for Independence.