A set of two commemorative postage stamps on the Quit India Resolution, Mahadev Deshai and Mirabehn (Madeleine Slade) :
Issued by India
Issued on Aug 9, 1983
Description of Designs : The stamp on ‘Quit India Resolution’, designed by C. R. Pakrashi, shows Gandhi and Nehru alongwith other leaders discussing the resolution at the AICC session held at Gowalia Tank Maidan, Bombay on 8 August, 1942.
The other two stamps have been designed by India Security Press. First day cover depicts the scene at Gowalia Tank Maidan, Bombay on 9 August, 1942 after the Police resorted to firing of tear gas shells. Both the first day cover and the cancellation have also been designed by C. R. Pakrashi.
Type : Stamps, Postal Used
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 50 Paise each
Overall size :
Quit India Resolution : 4.8 x 3.6 cms.
Mahadev Desai, Meera Behn : 4.06 x 2.73 cms.
Printing size :
Quit India Resolution : 4.35 x 3.15 cms.
Mahadev Desai, Meera Behn : 3.71 x 2.38 cms.
Quit India Resolution : 14½ x 14
Mahadev Desai, Meera Behn : 13 x 13
Paper : Unwatermarked Gummed paper
Number printed :
Quit India Resolution : 20,00,000
Mahadev Desai, Meera Behn : 15,00,000 each
Number per issue sheet :
Quit India Resolution : 20
Mahadev Desai, Meera Behn : 40 (two in one)
Printing process : Photogravure
Printed at : India Security Press
- India’s Freedom Struggle records some of the most glorious episodes in the annals of the country’s recent past. The story of this struggle has been told and retold through various media. A large number of postage stamps have been issued to honour the personalities and to commemorate the events connected with the Freedom Struggle. These stamps, however, do not narrate the complete story of the long drawn out struggle for Independence. An attempt is, therefore, being made, now to fill in the gaps through the issue of a series to depict the major landmarks in India’s Struggle for Freedom.
- The present set of three stamps, on the themes of ‘Quit India Resolution’, ‘Mahadev Desai’ and ‘Meera Behn’ is the first issue in the proposed series. This set, thus, marks the beginning of an ambitious project under which about 4-6 stamps will be issued, every year, till 1997 – the 50th year of India’s independence, to complete the story of the struggle through stamps.
- Quit India Resolution
On August 8, 1942, the All-India Congress Committee adopted a resolution sanctioning “the starting of mass struggle on non-violent lines on the widest possible scale under the leadership of Gandhi”. The committee demanded the complete withdrawal of the British power from India so that the war could, indeed, become a people’s war in which millions of free Indians could participate with zeal. Gandhi said, “I am not going to be satisfied with anything short of complete freedom ….. we shall do or die. We shall either free India or die in the attempt“.
The British Government of India could not afford to ignore this open challenge to its authority. On August 9, at early dawn, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabh Bhai Patel, Abul Kalam Azad and other members of the Congress Working Committee were arrested.
Within a week, almost every important functionary of the Congress in every part of India was put behind the bars. The number of persons arrested totalled more than 60,000, according to official information. The real figures were probably much higher. According to non-official estimates, the number of those killed alone had reached about 10,000.
The resolution started a historical phase in India’s Struggle for Freedom and is an important milestone in the journey towards independence.
- Mahadev Desai (1892-1942)
Mahadev Desai was born on 1 January, 1892 at Saras in Surat district. He received primary and secondary education at different places in Gujarat, but graduated from the Elphinstone College, Bombay in 1910. He joined the Law College thereafter and got his LL.B. in 1913.
He actively participated and courted arrest in Champaran Satyagraha (1917), the Berdoli Satyagraha (1928), and the Salt Satyagraha (1930). In 1921, Gandhiji sent him to edit Motilal Nehru‘s periodical, the Independent, at Allahabad and there too he was arrested and jailed. After his release in January, 1923, he returned to Ahmedabad and looked after the editorial work of the Navjivan. His sharp editorials on the hollowness of the constitutional reforms of 1919 and his tirade against the British Government kept up the tempo of the freedom struggle.
Between 1924 and 1928 he toured the country with Gandhiji, explaining the salient features of the freedom struggle. He accompanied Gandhiji in 1931 to the Round Table Conference in London. In the Quit India Movement of 1942, he, alongwith Gandhiji, was arrested and sent to the Aga Khan Palace for imprisonment, where he died peacefully on 15 August, 1942, deeply mourned by the nation and by Gandhiji in particular who considered himself an orphan.
- Meera Behn (1892-1982)
Meera Behn was born as Madeleine Slade in 1892 in England. Her father, Admiral Sir Edmond Slade, came of a traditional aristocratic family.
She read Romain Rolland‘s Book ‘Mahatma Gandhi‘ at one sitting and it changed her life – “Now I knew what that something was, the approach of which I had been feeling“.
Gandhiji gave her the name of Meera in view of her devotion to him and her dedication to the service of India. The Kanya Gurukul, Dehra Dun, where she taught English, Spinning and Carding, and studied Hindi and the Scriptures.
She accompanied Gandhiji to the Second Round Table Conference in 1932 and acted as his interpreter on the Continent on his way back home. She said that India was her home and she felt like a foreigner in England. She joined the Satyagraha movement later on and was in prison once with Kasturba, and twice by herself.
She was arrested alongwith Bapu on the morning of 9 August, 1942 and was in the Aga Khan Palace Detention Camp from August, 1942 to May, 1944.
It was on 18 January, 1959 that she left India for good and settled in a small village about 30 miles from Vienna. She was awarded Padma Vibhushan in January, 1982. She passed away on 20 July, 1982.