A commemorative postage stamp on the Cellular Jail, Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands :
Issued by India
Issued on Dec 30, 1997
Issued for : The Department of Posts is pleased to issue a special commemorative stamp of Cellular Jail to honour its special place in the history of India‘s struggle for freedom.
Stamp, F.D.C. : Resident Commissioner, Andaman & Nicobar Administration.
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multicolour
Denomination : 200 Paise
Overall size : 4.06 x 2.28 cms.
Printing size : 3.75 x 1.98 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported un w/m Adhesive Gravure Coated Stamp Paper in Sheets 50.8 x 53.5 cms.
Stamps Printing : 0.7 Million
Number per issue sheet : 50
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
- Located at Port Blair in the Andamans, the Cellular Jail stands testimony to a poignant chapter in the history of India’s struggle for freedom. It stands mute witness to the indescribable sufferings of the patriots who were incarcerated in its cells. Many perished, thus having Andamans the notorious name of ‘Kala Pani‘ or the black waters. Today, the Cellular Jail is a National Memorial, a tribute to those who dared and a place of pilgrimage for every Indian.
- The name Cellular Jail is derived from its unique features as it had only cells and no dormitories. Each cell measured 13½ feet by 7 feet and had a door with iron grating in the front. A 3 feet by 1 feet ventilator nearly 10 feet high from the door was provided to each cell. In order to minimise the chances of dialogue among the convicts and to isolate them from each other, the construction of the Jail was so made that the front portion of each wing was to face the back side of the other wing.
- It was here the British Government used to send those they considered as ‘dangerous prisoners’. The food was not only inadequate but unfit for human consumption. Neither any writing nor reading materials were provided to the prisoners. Even the letters coming from mainland and newspapers subscribed by the prisoners were often censored before being given to them. While fighting against this tyranny political prisoners like ‘Bhai Mahavir‘ and others had to lay down their lives. Many prisoners had gone insane in the jail and some had to find solace in putting an end to their lives by committing suicide rather than subjecting themselves to the indignities heaped on them.
- Freedom fighters incarcerated in the Cellular Jail included, Barindra Kumar Ghosh, Upendra Nath Banerjee, Hem Chandra Das, Indubhushan Roy, Ullaskar Datta, Bibhuti Bhushan Sarkar, and others sent there after 1910 on conviction for participation in the Manicktollah Conspiracy. Vir Savarkar was sent in 1910 with sentence of transportation for life. Other freedom fighters who were incarcerated in the jail were Prithivi Singh Azad, Bhai Parmanand, Vaman Joshi, Shambu Nath Azad and a host of others. The freedom fighters who participated in the Chittagong Armoury Raid, Meerut Conspiracy Case, Labour Commissioner Case etc. were also brought to these islands.
- In the Cellular Jail Museum are now exhibited available photographs of all freedom fighters, who were incarcerated in the jail. Reports about the atrocities, the jail authorities used to commit published in national newspapers on the mainland, are also kept in display. Certain paintings on the barbarous treatment to the prisoners, utensils, vessels, uniforms, etc. of the prisoners, used in those days and the tools/machines which the prisoners were made to operate, at great personal risk, are all kept in the museum to remind us of the heroic battle our freedom fighters had to wage and the untold sufferings they had to undergo.
- Text : Resident Commissioner, Andaman & Nicobar Administration.