Homage to Martyrs of Independence

A commemorative postage stamp on the Jallianwala Bagh :

571 Jallianwala Bagh [India Stamp 1973]Issued by India

Issued on Apr 13, 1973

Issued for : The Posts & Telegraphs Department was happy to bring out the commemorative postage stamp to pay their homage to the martyrs.

Picture : The stamp is vertical. The National Flag in the form of the rising Sun represents political freedom from the dark night of foreign domination. The flame symbolises the indomitable spirit of the millions of our men and women who laid down their lives for the country’s freedom.

Designed by : The design of the stamp is adopted from the original prepared by Shri C.R. Parakshi, Artist, New Delhi.

Type : Stamp, Mint Condition

Watermark : No

Colour : Multicolored

Denomination : 20 Paise

Overall Size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.

Printing Size : 3.56 x 2.50 cms.

Perforation : 13

Stamps Printed : 2 Million in sheets of 50

Printers : India Security Press

About : 

  • Exactly fifty-four years ago on this very day [from the issuance of this stamp], several hundred patriots fell at Amritsar‘s Jallianwala Bagh to bullets fired by troops under the command of General Dyer. They formed part of an unarmed crowed which went to attend a peaceful meeting to voice their protest against the forces of repression let loose by the British authorities in the first countrywide ‘hartal’ launched by the Father of the Nation. But this was not the first time that the blood of martyrs flowed to drench our sacred soil to help the seed of freedom to sprout. Nor was it the last in the saga of our heroic resistance to foreign rule in India. The Great Revolt of 1857, which spread over Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Central India as well as parts of Rajputana, Punjab and Maharashtra, demonstrated in no uncertain manner how deep was the discontent in different strata of society against alien authority. In this armed conflict thousands perished on various fields of battle. Many more died on the gallows or were blown to death by cannon with or without summary trials by military tribunals. Freedom’s battle once begun, it has been truly remarked, passes from sire to son. It is equally true that every drop of a martyr’s blood brings forth a hundred more to carry on the unfinished struggle for freedom. The challenge to the British Raj fostered an intense patriotic feeling which prompted many Indian revolutionaries to seek arms and set up centres of agitation and propaganda far outside the boundaries of the country, across the seas in distant parts of Asia, Europe and America. From the very beginning the revolutionaries built up and maintained contacts with the Indian soldiers of the British army with a view to enlisting their help in the armed uprising they planned in utmost secrecy. But such efforts to mobilise the Army for the cause of liberation did not meet with any significant success until the days of the Second World War when the Provisional Government of Azad Hind was formed under the inspiring leadership of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and the men and women of the Indian National Army took up the cry of “Jai Hind” and blazed a trail of glory as they succeeded in liberating a part of Indian territory.
  • The terrorist movement continued to inspire many young men and women well into the Nineteen Thirties but, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the nationalist struggle became primarily a non-violent endeavour. This did not prevent the rulers from unleashing violence against the people of our country. Every form of repression, including lathi Charges, firing, and hanging, was restored to by the guardians of the Empire to suppress the noncooperation movements of thousands of patriotic Indians. During the Quit India‘ Movement of 1942 there were indiscriminate assaults and killing of freedom fighters in many parts of the country. The yearnings of the martyrs for freedom were realised on August 15, 1947, when India emerged, awake, vital, free and independent, to use Jawaharlal Nehru‘s words.
  • In the 25th Anniversary year of Independence, as we look back on the long struggle for freedom, we are struck by the courage and gallantry which bondage itself called forth. The objective of Swaraj and the creed of Swadeshi permeated all classes of society, and the people of the country learnt to overcome narrow loyalties of caste, creed, religion or language. Not only the leaders but the rank and file and lakhs of little-known people bore hardships and privation cheerfully, and made many sacrifices in the service of the motherland. They have passed away but their memory remains engraved in millions of hearts. At a time when we are consolidating our political freedom through self-reliance, the lives of the martyrs can indeed illumine our path. We have to be imbued with the same burning enthusiasm for holding our heads high in the face of heavy odds, the same readiness to sacrifice today’s expectations of ease and comfort for the sake of a better tomorrow. The most befitting homage to the martyrs is to emulate their example in building up a democratic, secular, just and egalitarian society.

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