Asaf Ali

A commemorative postage stamp on the Birth Centenary of Asaf Ali, 1st ambassador from India to the United States :

First Ambassador from India to the United StatesIssued by India

Issued on May 11, 1989

Description of Designs : The stamp has been designed by India Security Press Nashik Road, First Day Cover by Sankha Samantha and cancellation by Nenu Gupta.

Type : Stamp, Mint Condition

Colour : Three colour

Denomination : 60 Paise

Overall size : 4.06 x 2.73 cms.

Printing size : 3.71 x 2.38 cms.

Perforation : 13 x 13

Paper : Indigenous unwatermarked P.G. Matt coated stamp paper

Number Printed : 10,00,000

Number per issue sheet : 40

Printing Process : Photogravure

Printed : India Security Press

Name : Asaf Ali

Born on May 11, 1888 at Seohara, NorthWestern Provinces, British India

Died on Apr 2, 1953 at Bern, Switzerland

About : 

  • Asaf Ali was, along with such illustrious personalities as Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr. M.A. Ansari and Hakim Ajmal Khan, among the patriotic Indian Muslims prominent in public life, who rejected the concept of nationhood based on religion and thus helped in laying the foundation of the secular democratic Republic of India.
  • Born on 11th May, 1888, Asaf Ali, who studied law in London, was a successful barrister. He gave up his practice during the first non-cooperation movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in the early twenties. When he and Aruna Ganguly married in 1928, the event with its symbolic significance caused a stir and drew wide public notice.
  • The last of the several spells of imprisonment which Asaf Ali courted during the freedom movement was in the wake of the Quit India resolution adopted by the All India Congress Committee in August 1942. He was detained at Ahmednagar Fort jail along with Jawaharlal Nehru and other members of the Congress Working Committee.
  • On the formation of the Interim Govt. in August, 1946, Asaf Ali served as Railway Minister. One of his first actions in this capacity was abolition of the separate provision of drinking water on railway station platforms as Hindu Pani and Muslim Pani. Asaf Ali served subsequently as India‘s first Ambassador to the U.S.A., Governor of Orissa and Ambassador to Switzerland where he died on 2nd April, 1953.
  • Asaf Ali‘s was a many-sided personality – scholar, lawyer, nationalist, writer and connoisseur of music and the arts. He was a remarkable product of the encounter between, and synthesis of, Hindu and Islamic culture, and of the best in Indian and Western values.
  • Text, Courtesy : Shri T.N. Kundra.

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