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. 


  1. Very interesting and informative details. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Really nice. I used to be keen about Philately. Still got my collection :)