A commemorative postage stamp on the Centenary of the Election to the House of Commons (being 1st Asian) of Grand Old Man of India, Dadabhoi Naoroji :
Issued by India
Issued on Aug 26, 1993
Issued for : The Department of Posts is proud to issue a special postage stamp to mark the centenary of election to British Parliament of this great pioneer of India’s struggle for freedom.
Design Credit :
Stamp : India Security Press based on design supplied by the sponsors.
FDC & Cancellation : Mrs. Alka Sharma, Artist, Department of Posts
Type : Stamp, Postal Used
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 600 Paise
Overall size : 3.34 x 2.88 cms.
Printing size : 2.93 x 2.53 cms.
Perforation : 13½ x 14
Paper : Indigenous un W/M gravure coated gummed stamp paper in reels width 47 cms.
Number of stamps Printed : 0.6 Million
Number per issue sheet : 42
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printers : India Security Press
- Dadabhai Naoroji, proudly remembered as “the Grand Old Man of India”, was born in Bombay on the 4th September 1825. He became a scholar at The Elphinstone Institution (now Elphinstone College) and had a brilliant academic career. At an early age he was appointed as Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at the same institution.
- On 27th June 1855, Dadabhai sailed for England to join the first Indian business firm of the mercantile Cama family. In 1859 he established his own business firm under the name of Dadabhai Naoroji & Co.
- During his time in England, Dadabhai endeavoured to educate the British public of their responsibilities as rulers of India. He delivered speeches and published articles to support his oppositions to the unjust and oppressive British regime in India. In 1867 he helped to establish the East India Association of which he became the Honorary Secretary. The purpose of the Association was to keep Britain well-informed of India’s plight and needs and to secure fair treatment for the Indian people. This was his first political move and his colleagues were not slow in realising his nationalist aspirations. Dadabhai’s ideas were put into a classic volume titled ‘Poverty and Un–British rule in India’. Later, Dadabhai was one of the members of the Royal Commission that was appointed to look into the charges made in this book.
- Dadabhai was elected to British Parliament on the 5th July, 1892 as a Liberal from the Central Finsbury Constituency, the first Asian to enter the hallowed House of Commons. He immediately championed various causes in the House of Commons. His speeches and writings both in England and in India on political reforms spearheaded the early phase of the freedom struggle.
- Dadabhai was one of the moving spirits of the Indian National Congress. He took part in the inauguration of the Indian National Congress held in Bombay in 1865. Dadabhai was thrice elected President of the Congress.
- Dadabhai Naoroji had attempted to keep the freedom movement on a moderate path during the formative years of the Congress. However his experience of the British political system and years of dealing with British Establishment led to increasing disillusionment. In 1904 Dadabhai demanded ‘Swaraj’. “Self–government is the only and chief remedy”, he declared, “In Self–government is our hope, strength and greatness.”
- Dadabhai passed away at the ripe old age of 93 on 30th June 1917. As Sir Dinshaw Wacha said, “There is no doubt Dadabhai served his country with a sacrifice and singleness of purpose which was rare. A devout follower of Zoroastor he faithfully followed the ethics of that great prophet – pure in thought, word and deed”.