Gandhi in Stamps - The Courier of Truth and Non-Violence
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Gandhi in Stamps - The Courier of Truth and Non-Violence

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Item Code: NAW868
Author: P.C. Jain
Publisher: Aravali Books International Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2002
ISBN: 8186880887
Pages: 132 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Cover: HARDCOVER
Other Details: 10.00 X 10.00 inch
Weight 770 gm
About the Book
Gandhi was not only the most unique man of the twentieth century and the prime inspiration of several world leaders like Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah, and many others in their struggle for liberation and justice but ha al 0 been the theme of hundreds of books. He himself wrote his life story and volumes of his experiments with life and many of its truths and values. He wielded for decades great influence over all kinds of writings and thought and even fiction books, novels and short stories like those of Munshi Prem Chand, echoed with Gandhian values.

Thus it could not be easy for anyone to discover in his writing an unpublished aspect of Gandhi's life and personality. 'Gandhi in stamps.' the Courier of truth and non-violence' is an exception. First it conceives in postal stamps a medium, altogether new and perhaps the most unconventional, capable of depicting a personality like Gandhi and then discovers in these stamps Gandhi's universal image as it has precipitated in global vision during the last fifty years as also how the world seeks in him solution to many of its problems. This study of Gandhi discovers in these stamps, a canvas rarely exceeding an inch in its size, Gandhi's massive personality, and his great struggle, focal points of his economy and village uplift, his unprecedented humanism, magnificent ideals, his vision of religious harmony, world relations, peace, parity, justice and Gandhi's timeless universal relevance.

It is curious to note that 91 countries have issued postal stamps or other postal stationery on Gandhi, which is the highest number of countries to have ever issued such stamps on any single person. England is known to have never issued such a stamp on any non-Englishman. Gandhi is its only exception. This by itself defines world's reverence for Gandhi and his ideals and Gandhi's universal timeless relevance. 'Gandhi in stamps.' the Courier of truth and non- violence' has made use of the stamps of eighty countries. Each of these countries has seen Gandhi with its own angle and amidst its own frame and indigenous setting. Every time it is a new Gandhi, or at least a new aspect of his personality, and this study has put wondrous efforts to discover it and take it to readers.

About the Author
Prof. P.C.Jain, an instinctive poet, linguist and aesthetician, began writing poetry, short stories and essays from his student life. His translation of T.S.Eliot's Waste Land, though never published due to technical problems, was highly appreciated. He began his career in 1961 as a college teacher of English literature. When yet in teaching profession, he accomplished some outstanding research work in Hindi linguistics including an extensive linguistic survey of Gwalior and Chambal divisions. He also wrote an elaborate book on structural patterns of standard Hindi. Some of his poetry, short stories and a translation of 'Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method' (two volumes) of the known American writers Cohen and Nagel for Madhya Pradesh Hindi Granth Academy are amongst his early works. He later shifted to journalism and active politics, though despite a busy and tumultuous political life he never gave up reading and writing. He edited for over two decades a Hindi daily Lokpath published from Gwalior and Jhansi and over two dozen standard books on art, monuments and other allied subjects of various publishers. He also contributed meanwhile articles, stories and poetry to several leading journals. Now history, more especially the freedom movement, religion, philosophy and art were his special interests. He wrote on these subjects both in Hindi and English with alike authority. For quite some time now he is engaged in book writing with Dr. Daljeet, the known art historian. Aesthetics, Indian art and architecture, religion and history are their favorite subjects. Of their works 'Monuments of India' (four volumes of which the first is already in market), Shakuntala, Ramayana and Khajuraho are outstanding. 'Indian Gods and Goddesses', 'Gatha Shri Rama Ki', second volume of the 'Monuments of India' and 'Krishna' are their forthcoming publications.

Preface
'Gandhi in Stamps: the Courier of Truth and Non-violence' is an humble attempt at portraying Gandhi, the most unique man of our era, as reveal postal stamps issued on him by various nations for paying their tribute to him and for commemorating his great ideals and life values. It is essentially a study of Gandhi's life, personality and thought based on Gandhian stamps. These stamps, the Gandhian couriers of his ideals of truth and non-violence, evince that to a world tormented by materialism, war phobia, falsehood, conceit, narrow self interests, fundamentalism and money dominance, a world where arms and violence have become the diction of the day and peace and respect for life have hardly any place, Gandhi is more relevant than ever before and that Gandhi alone, who led simplicity to sainthood, hatred to love, heart to cool the head, hands to rise to just and truthful, arms to the protection of peace, human Endeavour to let life prevail and all things to mutually sustain and grow, is the solution to many of its problems. These stamps revive our commitment to Gandhian values of truth, peace, universal brotherhood, humanism, communal harmony, love and non-violence and at the same time re-assert our confidence in Gandhi's arduous desire to give the entire mankind a better world and broader and wider geography.

This study thus seeks to discover in these stamps the essence of his life and thought. Severally these stamps provide just some glimpses of Gandhi, profiles of his personality and major events of his life, but collectively it is altogether different. When aggregated, they re-create the timeless legend of his great struggle, as great life and as timeless a legacy. They represent Gandhi's vision of life, a vision wherein life's dignity stood above everything, a commitment to humanism, peace, love, truth and non-violence reigned supreme and falsehood, conceit, violence, hatred, ill-will had no place. These stamps portray Gandhi from views to vision, strains to smiles, frowns to blissful benevolence, toughness of stand to tenderness of kisses, determination to humble submission, resolute untiring strides to reposeful ease and folk-like simplicity to ages of philosophical substance. This philatelic wonderland of Gandhian stamps has wide writ on its face the saga of a great man who carried a vast humanity across the abyss of darkness to the realms of light and glory. 'Gandhi in Stamps: the Courier of Truth and Non-violence/attempts at reading this face. And, incidentally, the outcome, this book, as it has evolved and is before you, has become a unique document on Gandhi and perhaps the ever first of its kind.

As contemplates this study, these stamps have a strong visual aspect and philatelic significance, but also as strong a thematic thrust and capacity to reveal their subject. 'Gandhi in Stamps: the Courier of Truth and Non-violence' gives due priority to the philately ice aspect of these stamps but not so much that the book becomes a mere catalogue of stamps, or a collectors' thing. It rather treats each stamp as a miniature with its own size, dimensions, visual strength, aesthetics and intrinsic symbolism capable of discovering the essence of Gandhi's personality and thought and the world image of him. This study contends that each stamp, besides revealing the timeless Gandhi and his great message of love, peace and non-violence, contains an indigenous element, a tradition of thought, religion, art or culture, which each country has added to its visualization of Gandhi while issuing its stamp on him. It depicts how a country discovers in Gandhi solution to problems of war, armament, violence, disquiet, communalism, disharmony, apartheid, antipathies and exploitation. Obviously for giving better projection to such aspects the actual sizes of most of the stamps have been multiplied, a clear departure from catalogue designing. Alike the material, save a country index appended at the end of the book, is neither country-wise nor in chronological order, which is the usual designing pattern of a catalogue. 'Gandhi' is essentially the theme of the book whether one discovers it in script or from visuals.

I humbly admit that a work like this is always a collective Endeavour and all contributing hands deserve thanks. I accordingly express my gratitude to Shri Rajbir Singh for preparing very fine slides and Shri Yogesh Gajwani and Smt Suraksha Gajwani, the young energetic artists full of imagination and their team memberSatyapriya for transforming simple looking material into a magnificent book. I am immensely indebted to Arawali Books International, its Directors and owners Shri Suresh Goel, Madan Goel, Subhash Goel and Vijay Goel and their entire team to always stand by me in all my academic efforts and for bringing out this book with great emotional concern and beyond business considerations.

I am thankful to Philately Museum, New Delhi, Shri Himanshu Dubey, S.D. Agrawal, Kamal Jain and Dr. Deepshikha Lahoti for arranging some invaluable stamps from their own sources. I express my gratitude to all Gandhian scholars I read in course of writing my text but most to Prof. Neelakanta Radhakrishnan of Gandhi Smriti, New Delhi, whose devotion to Gandhism in a materialistic world of today has been my special inspiration. I also thank Dr. A.K.Das, National Museum Institute, New Delhi, Dr. R.C. Agrawal, Member Secretary, ICH R, New Delhi and Dr. Vijay Mathur, Senior Museum Lecturer, National Museum, New Delhi who have always been very encouraging to me in this project.

I thank Dr. Daljeet, Keeper (Painting), National Museum, my friend and companion, for discovering in me the capacity to write and for devoting her long hours in checking the text, doing proof, assisting designing and supervising printing. I am as much indebted to Smt. Mohindar Kaur, our Mamma, and my eldest daughter Himani and son-in-law Vinit whose constant concern for the progress of the book ever gave me strength. I recall with utmost gratitude my elder brother Shri C. L. Jain who fathered me and led me to light and all that makes life worth living. I also thank my wife Smt. Shashi Prabha Jain and daughters and son-in-laws and all my children who taking care of house-hold let me devote most of my time and energy to this work and boosted my morale.

Painfully I recall the sad incident coinciding with the hour when I finally completed this book. It was 30th September. At about 4.30 in the afternoon I finished the final proof and sent back the material to the press. Suddenly the telephone rang and a couple of words, 'put the TV on', rolled out the receiver. What the voice sought to evade was as much difficult for ears to hear. Shri Madhav Rao Scindia, the glowing star of Indian politics, former Union Minister and the ruler of erstwhile Gwalior state and the pulse of every heart there, had met his death in a fatal air crash. For over fourteen years I was in close association with him, managing his elections, party activities, representing him on various official committees from district to state levels and the like, though lately on some ideological grounds I had dissociated myself from him. The news shook every particle of my blood. The shock was severer, perhaps, because the age of my association was much longer than that of my dissociation. Besides, he was in real sense highly secular, thoroughly gentle and earnestly compassionate and for these great human qualities I revered him even during my differences. I rushed to his residence and was there till late night. In the morning I called back from the press the manuscript of this book and dedicated it to Shri Madhav Rao Scindia.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages








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