A commemorative postage stamp on the Birth Anniversary of ‘Desabandhu‘ Kasinadhuni Nageswararao, an Indian journalist, nationalist, politician, staunch supporter of Khaddar movement, father of library movement in Andhra Pradesh, founder of Telugu newspaper Andhra Patrika :
Issued on May 1, 1969
Issued for : In bringing out a commemorative stamp in honour of this valiant freedom fighter and patriot, the P & T Department pays its respects to the memory of this great son of Andhra Pradesh and India.
Description of Design : The design of the Stamp is horizontal and depicts a portrait of Kasinadhuni Nageswara Rao Pantulu.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Dark Brown
Denomination : 20 Paise
Overall Size : 3.34 X 2.88 cms.
Printing Size : 2.98 X 2.52 cms.
Perforation : 14 x 13½
Watermark : Printed on unwatermarked paper
Number Printed : 30,00,000
Number per issue Sheet : 42
Printing Process : Photogravure
Designed and Printed at : India Security Press
Name : Kasinadhuni Nageswara Rao
Born on May 1, 1867 at Yelakurru, Krishna, Andhra Pradesh, India
Died on Apr 11, 1938 at Madras, India
- In the early ‘thirties when the entire nation was in a political upheaval, the freedom movement in Andhra found a great champion in Kasinadhuni Nageswara Rao Pantulu who was a rare combination of a journalist, nationalist, politician, a staunch supporter of khaddar movement and an enthusiastic pioneer in library movement. It is no wonder that his life-long exertions in such diverse fields in the service of the nation has earned him the honorific prefix “Desoddharaka” (uplifter of masses), conferred on him by the people of Andhra Pradesh as a mark of their great respect and appreciation of his services to Andhra and to India and the special title of Kalaprapurna (Doctor of Literature) which was conferred on him by the Andhra University in 1935.
- Sri Nageswara Rao was born at Elakurru village in Gudivada Taluk of Krishna District on May 1, 1867. He received his early education in his native place and later at Machilipatnam. He studied at the Madras Christian College under the stewardship of that great educationist, Dr. Rev. Miller, whose ability, high standards and rigid discipline made it a premier institution of the South.
- Sri Nageswara Rao‘s entry into the challenging field of journalism could aptly be compared to Pulitzer‘s into the Fourth Estate on the other side of the Atlantic. It was a time when journalism in this country was undergoing a silent transformation and the then Government did not look upon the “Native Press” with any sympathy. It needed a competent and fearless man to not only mirror the heritage of the nation but also interpret the day-to-day political trends. Sri Nageswara Rao took up the challenge when he launched the ‘Andhra Patrika‘, a weekly from the metropolis of Bombay in September, 1908. His publication thrilled the Andhras; while his forewords reflected scholarship and keen insight into and appreciation of public affairs. In 1914 when the First World War broke out, it was clear that the clamour for political emancipation was gathering momentum. Sri Nageswara Rao wanted to interpret the trends of the time in their own language to the Andhras so that they may have an opportunity of playing their role in moulding India’s future. With this aim in view, he started a Telugu daily, ‘Andhra Patrika‘, the first copy of which rolled out of the press on April 1, 1914 from Madras. Thanks to the undaunted ability of Nageswara Rao who kept up the tempo and made the paper an institution of repute, to this day ‘Andhra Patrika‘ is a force to reckon with in the land of the Krishna. A decade later in January, 1924, he launched a Telugu Journal ‘Bharati‘ which has been rendering signal service to the literary and cultural advancement of the Andhras.
- Besides being a journalist, Sri Nageswara Rao was also a Telugu litterateur of repute with a razor-sharp intellect and a publisher. In 1926, he launched a publishing house known as the Andhra Grandha Mala. This institution published as many as 20 books besides reproducing many Telugu classics as well as modern writings. With a view to placing the fountain-head of knowledge within easy reach of the common man, he priced his publications very low. Sri Nageswara Rao can be regarded as the father of the library movement in Andhra. Thanks to his exertions during the first two decades of the century, as many as 120 libraries came into being in Andhra districts.
- Perhaps, the politician in Sri Nageswara Rao will be remembered longer than the journalist in him. A stalwart congressman of the day and a great contemporary of T. Prakasam, Sri Nageswara Rao‘s services to the Congress and the country have now become part of the history of freedom struggle in the South. Sri Nageswara Rao had the privilege of becoming the President of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee for four terms during the years 1924 to 1934. As a part of the constructive programmes chalked out by Gandhiji, the khaddar programme was already making much headway in Andhra. Sri Nageswara Rao imparted the necessary impetus and drive to the khaddar popularisation work.
- The salt satyagraha of the ‘thirties under the banner of Gandhiji was yet another memorable phase of our freedom struggle. It not only galvanised the whole nation to action but also in the main consolidated the Mahatma‘s magic hold on the masses to an extent never known before. Among the leaders in the forefront in Andhra who translated Gandhiji‘s programme and brought the epic salt satyagraha campaign to a signal success, Sri Nageswara Rao was among the foremost. During his lifetime, Shri Nageswara Rao was held in great esteem by the people of Andhra. The spontaneity with which honours crowded round his name, was an indication of the people’s respect and regard and love for him. He passed away in 1938 at Madras at the ripe age of 71. In his passing, the Fourth Estate lost a stout-hearted pioneer who blazed a new trail, the nationalist movement a patriot of the first water, and the Andhras, to use Gandhiji‘s words – “a modern Karna“.