Sunday, 29 May 2011

Mahatma

"I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try an experiment in both on as vast a scale as I could " Gandhi

The first British stamp to be designed by someone not from the UK, and the first to feature a foreign leader.  Mohandas Karamchad Ghandi was born in 1869 and studied law in England and then South Africa. It was his experiences in South Africa that started his civil rights journey.

His creed of satyagraha, resistance through mass civil non-violence, helped India gain independence and inspired civil rights movements across the globe. To protest against British rule and policies in India ,such as the salt tax, he formed the Non-Cooperation Movement and the Quit India campaign to gain independence. He also campaigning for the rights of the poor and discrimination. "Poverty" he said "is but the worst form of violence".  He lived a life of simplicity and high ideals.

The stamp designer, Biman Mullick, has said he wanted to reflect Gandhi's simple life so the stamp features just Gandhi in front of an Indian flag. Mullick explains his design on his website here.  The stamp was not issued on Gandhi's birthday of 2nd October, which is a national holiday in India and designated International Day of Non-violence across the world, but on 15th August the day of Indian Independence.  A stamp was going to be issued in India to celebrate the 1st Anniversary of independence in 1948 featuring Gandhi  but three bullets to his chest ended his life, and so the stamp was turned into a mourning issue.

An entry for Sunday Stamps whose theme this week is people you are happy are honoured by stamps. Gandhi is commonly referred to as Mahatma (Great Soul), which probably says it all.

Visit our hostess Viridian's Postcards for more Sunday Stamps

10 comments:

Ana said...

Great man Gandhi was. I really do admire people like him who in a way, dedicate their entire life for the good of others and humanity in general.

Postcardy said...

That is an interesting post and nice stamps. I really didn't know much about Gandhi.

Sreisaat said...

We studied Gandhi back in uni and he's among Asia's most revered figures. I'd like to think Gandhi's philosophy of civil non-violence has inspired the Philippines' peaceful People Power Revolution in 1986 that ousted the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. There was a movie of his life which starred Ben Kingsley as Gandhi.

Postcards Crossing

Al said...

I have the utmost respect for those who can accomplish change through nonviolent resistance. It's very difficult, and very effective.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

He was an incredibly wise man, I think.

Ann said...

A noble figure to highlight. I didn't know too much info on him,

♥♥ Willa ♥♥ said...

Another great man of his century and I so love the his quotation.

Here is my Sunday Stamp

Bob Scotney said...

A great man, great stamps.

Lisa B said...

The stamp is a wonderful design, and he a great man.

viridian said...

Wonderful. I'm getting chills down my spine just reading about him.