A commemorative postage stamp on the Golden Jubilee of the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, a public university located in Varanasi, established by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta and Bhagwan Das in 1921 :
Issued on Feb 10, 1971
Issued for : The Kashi Vidyapith celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its inception in the year 1971. It has rendered yeomen service to the cause of education especially in the task of character-building of its alumni based on nationalistic ideals. The Posts and Telegraphs Department congratulates the Kashi Vidyapith on its completion of fifty years of useful existence and service to the cause of education and is happy to associate itself with the golden jubilee of this national institution by bringing out a special commemorative stamp on this memorable occasion.
Description of Design : The design of the stamp is horizontal and depicts the picture of the Vidyapith building.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Brown
Denomination : 20 Paise
Overall Size : 4.06 X 2.28 cms.
Printing Size : 3.80 X 2.00 cms.
Perforation : 14 x 14½
Watermark : Printed on unwatermarked Adhesive stamp paper
Number Printed : 30,00,000
Number per issue sheet : 50
Printing Process : Photogravure
Designed and Printed at : India Security Press
- In the early days of the freedom struggle, some nationalistic-minded Indians felt the need for establishing a truly national institution free from governmental control to impart education on right lines to progressive-minded young Indians. They felt that higher cultural education should be imparted through the medium of the mother tongue and that it should be designed to suit the genius of the Indian people and to help in the process of character building of the students.
- In 1920, at the special session of the Indian National Congress which met at Calcutta, the non-cooperation programme was adopted. One of the items of this programme was to withdraw students from Government and semi-Government educational institutions. In pursuance of this, some students left the official institutions and established a Gandhi Ashram at Iswar Gangi in Varanasi to carry on national work, as suggested by the Indian National Congress. Simultaneously, a plan for starting an independent national institution was also maturing. In January, 1921, after the Nagpur Session of the Congress, Mahatma Gandhi wrote to Shri Bhagwan Dass expressing his desire for the early opening of a national college at Varanasi. As the moment was quite appropriate for starting such an institution, preparations were made with great speed and Mahatma Gandhi was requested to perform the opening ceremony. Mahatmaji inaugurated the Kashi Vidyapith on the 10th February, 1921 (28th of Magh, 1977) in the presence of leaders like Pandit Motilal Nehru, Maulana Mohammed Ali, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Shri Jamnalal Bajaj, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru and tens of thousands of patriotic Indians who had gathered at Varanasi.
- The authority for administering the Vidyapith was vested in a Nirkshaka Sabha as it was considered desirable to keep the Vidyapith independent of the Congress and free from political activities. Further, certain basic principles were adopted, viz., that the Kashi Vidyapith will not be, in any way, under the control of the Government and that the medium of instruction shall be the Hindi language in Devanagri script. It was also decided that technical education should be imparted along with cultural education.
- The Kashi Vidyapith began to function on these lines with Dr. Bhagwan Dass as the Kulapati, as well as the Principal. Acharya J. B. Kripalani, Acharya Narendra Deva, Shri Sri Prakasa, Dr. Sampurnanand and Shri Birbal Singh joined the Vidyapith as members of the staff. Higher education in philosophy, Mathematics, History, Economics, Political Science, Sanskrit and Hindi was imparted through the medium of Hindi in Devanagri script.
- The institution became an eyesore to the then foreign Government. During the freedom movement of 1930, 1932, 1940 and 1942, almost all the students and the members of the staff participated in the fight for independence and were jailed by the British Government and the institution was locked and kept under the control of the police.
- The Kashi Vidyapith has produced many brilliant men who have played a very prominent part in the public life of our country in later years. One Prime Minister, two Chief Ministers, several Union and State Ministers and many members of Parliament, State Legislatures and many men in public life have all been products of this famous institution.
- In 1947, a Social Science Institute was started to train youngmen to work on scientific lines in the field of social work. In 1948 at the request of the Government of Uttar Pradesh, the Labour Welfare Officers in industrial concerns in U.P. were trained under the auspices of this Institute. In 1961, postgraduate courses in Sociology and Economics were added. Post-graduate courses were also introduced in English, History and Hindi in 1964. The Shastri Degree of the Kashi Vidyapith was recognised as equivalent to the B.A. degree by the Governments of U.P., Bihar and Madhya Pradesh in 1937 and after independence by the Government of India, Government of Bombay and most of the universities in the U.P. Subsequently, the post-graduate degrees of the Vidyapith have also been recognised by most of the universities in the U.P.
- In July, 1962, the Kashi Vidyapith was officially granted the status of a University under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act by the Ministry of Education, Government of India.