Friday, December 06, 2013

Philately - 1953 - The year of the railways

5 Commemorative stamps were Issued in 1953. One to commemorate the Centenary of the Indian railways, two for the Centenary of Indian telegraph and two to commemorate the successful conquest of Mount Everest.
This Railway centenary stamp, has been a part of my collection ever since I remember collection stamps. Not really sure who gave it to me but I did dearly treasure it.  The stamp was 2anna black and white issue

A bright violet and a brown stamp, commemorate the ascent of man on Mount Everest.

Blue-green and a blue stamp were released commemorating 100 years of Indian Telegraph.  60 Years later on 15 July2013 Ashwani Mishra sent the last telegram to Rahul Gandhi. Just like this stamp the 163 year old Indian telegraphs, passed into history this day. Like I have said before, philately gives one the satisfaction of treasuring this small part of Indian history.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Philately 1952- A poetic Year.

In 1952, the post office released six stamps. All stamps depicted Indian saints and poets.
In bright emerald-green, costing 9p was the poet Kabir.

Tulsidas, considered as the reincarnation of Valmiki and the author of Ramcharitamanas, cost 1anna and coloured caramine.By choosing to write the story of Ram in Awadhi, a dialect of Hindi, Tulsidas made the holy book accessible to the common people thus breaking the hegemony of the Brahmins.

Meera bai, from the 16th Century, was probably was the forerunner of women's liberation movement. She fearlessly broke with tradition and resisted feminine stereotypes, Meera is also an enduring symbol of a liberated woman who risked all to protect her independence, freedom and happiness. The stamp was orange red and cost 2 anna

Surdas, costing 4annas was coloured bright blue. Surdas was a blind singer and is said to have composed over 1,00,000 songs, though only about 8000 exist today.

The first four poets are considered the most prominent figures of the Bhakti movement. It upheld a path to salvation through a personal relationship of love, devotion and surrender to, usually, a particular deity. This form of religion could be practiced by anyone, irrespective of sex or caste.

4.5anna, Ghalib was coloured bright mauve. During the anti-British Rebellion in Delhi on 5 October 1857, three weeks after the British troops had entered through Kashmiri Gate (Delhi, some soldiers climbed into Ghalib's neighbourhood and hauled him off to Colonel Burn for questioning.He appeared in front of the colonel wearing a Central Asian Turkic style headdress. The colonel, bemused at his appearance, inquired in broken Urdu, "Well? You Muslim?", to which Ghalib replied, "Half?" The colonel asked, "What does that mean?" In response, Ghalib said, "I drink wine, but I don't eat pork."

The most expensive of the lot was Rabindranath Tagore in Brown and costing 12 a. ( Today a mint stamp will cost anything upwards of 2000 Rs- A compounded annual return of 14%!!)

The value of these stamps can double, if you can find a pair. 

Monday, December 02, 2013

Philately- 1951, Play the game, in the spirit of the game.

Three stamps were released this year, and delightedly I have all three of them.

The first one was released on 13th Jan and commemorated the centenary of Geological Survey of India. The Black and claret, 2 anna stamp depict two Extinct Stegodon ganesa, a first ever reconstruction of a pre-historic creature on a stamp.
In 1928 century 3 metre long fossil tusk of an elephantine mammal Stegedon ganesa found in India by Dr. Darashaw Nosherwan Wadia. In 1984 the postal department released a stamp commemorating Dr Wadia's contributions to Indian geology and in 2001 another stamp was released to commemorate the 150 years of Geological survey of India.

The two other stamps released were for the First Asian Games, which were held in New Delhi. It must have been quite an amazing feat to do, considering that the country was still dealing with the after effects of partition and the decision to hold the games in New Delhi was done just three years earlier. For a young nation, it was truly a event to be proud of.