A commemorative postage stamp on the 150 years of the Assamese Newspaper (Orunodoi/Arunodoi, first newspaper in Assam) :
Issued by India
Issued on Jan 29, 1999
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to commemorate 150 Years of Newspapers in Assam through issue of this stamp.
Stamp design, FDC : Based on material supplied by the sponsors.
Cancellation : Smt. Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Three Colour
Denomination : 300 Paise
Overall size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.
Printing size : 3.55 x 2.54 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported un w/m Adhesive Gravure Coated Stamp Paper in sheets 50.8 x 53.5 cms.
Stamps Printed : 0.7 Million
Number per issue sheet : 35
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
- “Orunodoi“ (meaning sunrise), started in 1846 by an American missionary was the first newspaper in Assam. It was also the first newspaper in Assamese.
- Though “Orunodoi” was launched primarily for the propagation of Christianity, its contribution towards advancement of Assamese literature, culture and society was immense. Along with concentration on news with international coverage, the newspaper regularly featured critiques on literature, science, etc. The publication initiated the Assamese middle class into a literary movement. In fact, Ananda Ram Dhekial Phukan described as Raja Ram Mohan Roy of Assam, Hem Chandra Barua recognised as the Panini of Assamese language and Gunabhi Ram Barua eulogised as the Vidyasagar of Assam started their literary careers in the pages of “Orunodoi”. It was the first journal to publish the ethnological studies of various tribes of the then Assam like the Aka, Adi and Khamti. The pages of “Orunodoi” also waged war against the social evils of opium, alcohol etc.
- The role played by “Orunodoi” in the establishment of a separate identity for Assamese language is well recognised. Though this newspaper had to close down, the publication played a significant role in raising the levels of public awareness and its popular appeal led to other newspapers being launched. In later period other Assamese newspapers and journals continued the good work for the advancement of Assamese language and literature. During the Independence movement, the pioneering newspapers were “Assamiya“, “Assam Bilasini“, “Assam Sevak“ and “Advocate of Assam“. The newspapers published from Sylhet district, then a part of Assam also supported the non-cooperation movement. Among the prominent publications from that district were “Deshbrata“, “Janashakti“ and “Surma“.
- The journalists in Assam have always participated in the struggle to protect the freedom of the press whenever it was under threat. There have been instances of journalists who suffered death at the hands of extremists.
- Text : Based on material supplied by the sponsors.