Indian Postal History On The Father Of The Nation

A special collection of Mahatma Gandhi stamps issued by the government of India. It is collected by Mr Das, an Indian philatelist & an admirer of Gandhi.

By Evolve Foundation

India stamp (2009)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist. He is widely recognised as one of twentieth century's greatest political and spiritual leaders.  

Indian stamps (1976)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

He is honored in India as the father of the nation and is one of the famous personalities all over the world.  

Indian stamps (1995)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

Gandhi's popularity has bestowed a number of memorials dedicated to in his name over the years. One such is from the Philatelic Society of India which has released a lot of stamps on different occasions related to him.

Indian Postage Stamp of Bapu, 1948, Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das
,
Indian Postage Stamp of Bapu, 1948, Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das
,
Indian Postage Stamp of Bapu, 1948, Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das
,
Indian Stamp (30 Jan 1948), 1948, Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das
Show lessRead more

To celebrate the first anniversary of India's Independence in 1948, four stamps were issued with M K Gandhi portrait on it. Three out of four has the same front side portrait of Gandhi and are in different colours. Each of the four is valued differently.

Indian Stamps (2007) (2007)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

Gandhi employed non-violent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India's independence from British rule. 

Satyagraha Movement’ (fighting with peace) was a philosophy started by Gandhi. The three main principles of satyagraha are – Satya, Ahimsa & Tapasya, meaning the truth, the refusal to do harm to others, and willingness for self-sacrifice in the cause.

India stamp (2005)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

This commemorative sheet was released to celebrate 75 years of Salt Satyagraha. The back cover shows the route where the Dandi march/Salt march took place in 1930.

It was a 24-day non-violent march led by Mahatma Gandhi along with nearly 60,000 Indians to protest against the steep tax the British levied on salt.

India stamp (2000)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

This stamp shows Jaglal Choudhary along with Mahatma Gandhi at the back.

Choudhary was an Indian Independence activist, Dalit leader, and politician from the state of Bihar in India. He was also a reformer who championed the causes of women's rights, the emancipation of Dalits, education and land reforms in Bihar. He joined the Non-Cooperation Movement led by Gandhi.

Indian stamps (1969)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

The Non-Cooperation Movement was started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920. It was a peaceful and non-violent protest against the British government in India.

This stamp was released to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of him i.e 1869-1969.

Indian stamps (1969)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

Another stamp released to celebrate his 100th birth anniversary shows Gandhi using the spinning wheel which he called Kamdhenu – a cow that could fulfil our every wish! He said so because spinning yarn could offer clothes to crores of the country's populace, as well as food to the hungry.

He started using it himself and encouraged others to do the same.

Indian stamps (1969)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

To celebrate the birth centenary,  the government of India issued a series of new stamps. This one shows a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi. 

Indian stamps (1969)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

Another stamp issued in 1969 for the birth centenary. The stamp shows a portrait of him with his wife, Kasturba Gandhi.

Indian Posts & Telegraphs (First day cover) (1969)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

A first-day cover was issued in 1969 as well to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of M.K. Gandhi. A full length drawing of him is seen on the cover.

Special Indian commemorative postage (2011)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

India Post, under the government of India, organised The World Philatelic Exhibition (referred to as INDIPEX 2011) and issued a special Gandhi stamp for the event.

It is a unique stamp printed on "Khadi", the handspun cotton material that Gandhi held as the symbol of self-determination and self-reliance.

India stamp (1973)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

The stamp shows an image of Nehru and Gandhi sitting together.

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India and started his political career as a self-proclaimed follower of Gandhi. Even though the two differed with each other, they shared a bond of affection and a special relationship.

Indian stamps (1998)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

The block of stamp highlights Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas, efforts and movements. It was issued to mark the 50th death anniversary.

He worked for the peasants' welfare, social upliftment, salt Satyagraha and communal harmony. Each is depicted through beautiful illustrations.

Indian Posts (First Day Cover) (1994)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

A first-day cover was issued to celebrate the completion of the 125th birth anniversary of M.K. Gandhi, with a backside full-length drawing of him.

Indian stamps (1994)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

The stamp issued had India's flag colors as background and different drawings of Mahatma Gandhi printed on it. His famous quote, "My life is my message,"  is written on the sides as well, in both English and Hindi.

Indian stamps (2001)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

This stamp pair shows the image of Mahatma Gandhi as 'Man of the Millennium', honouring him for all his teachings and principles.

Indian stamps (1979)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

The United Nations had declared 1979 as the International Year of the Child.

The government of India and Telegraph departments issued a set of 2 stamps to mark the observation of this day. Here is one of the stamps, showing Gandhi holding a child in his arms.

India stamp (1964)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

Kasturba Gandhi was a political activist involved in the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India along with her husband, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, and son.

The stamp has a portrait of her.

Indian Postcard with stamp (1996)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

She was Gandhi’s companion, his wife, his caretaker and later in life his representative, too. She was a Satyagrahi and strong woman who supported and actively participated in the movement and struggle for freedom.

She was fondly known as 'Baa', a term for mother in Gujarati. The first-day cover is issued as a tribute to her.

Indian posts & Telegraphs (First Day Cover) (1964)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

A first-day cover was issued by the government showing Kasturba Gandhi with a spinning wheel in 1964, commemorating her 20th death anniversary.

Indian stamps (1996)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

In a befitting tribute to her, the Department of Post issued a commemorative postage stamp on the completion of fifty years of service by the Kasturba Trust, which was established in memory of the indomitable Kasturba Gandhi.

Indian postcard (First Day Cover) (1995)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

Many first day covers were issued on other occasions by the Indian government to pay homage to the great leader, M K Gandhi.  

Indian Postcard (1983)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

This first-day cover depicts the scene of Gowalia Tank Maidan, Bombay on 9 August 1942 after the police resorted to firing of tear gas shells.

The three stamp set was on the theme ‘Quit India Resolution’ showing Gandhi and Nehru in one discussing and Mahadev Desai and Meera Behn on the other two.

Indian Posts (First Day Cover) (1978)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

Another first-day cover issued shows an image of Charlie Chaplin pictured with M.K. Gandhi during his visit to London in 1931.  

Indian Posts (First Day Cover) (1980)Original Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

This first-day cover shows the facsimile of Gandhi’s message to the world, together with an artist’s impression of Gandhi’s marching feet against the background of a crowd scene symbolising the nation’s solidarity with the Mahatma’s march. 

The message says, "I want world sympathy in this battle of right against might."

Mr Das with his stamp collection (2020)Evolve Foundation

After retiring from the government as Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand, Surjit K. Das has served as Chairman of the Uttarakhand Public Service Commission. 

Mr. Das admires the Gandhi principles and ideas and that is when he started his collection of the stamps and cards. 

Letter by Rajmohan Gandhi to Mr DasOriginal Source: The Collection of Mr. Surjit K. DasThe Collection of Mr. Surjit K. Das

Mr Das's Gandhi stamp collection has been once visited by Mr Rajmohan Gandhi, an Indian historian and the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.

Rajmohan Gandhi wrote a letter appreciating his efforts and labour of love for the collection.

Mr Das talking about his collection and Mahatma Gandhi (2020)Evolve Foundation

This exhibition would not be possible without his collection. Here is Mr Das, sharing words of wisdom he has learned from Gandhi and how he started as a philatelic.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps