Mahadev Desai

A commemorative postage stamp on Mahadev Desai, personal secretary of Mahatma Gandhi [a part of the seriesIndia’s Struggle for Freedom‘] :

महादेव देसाईंIssued by India

Issued on Aug 9, 1983

Issued for : The present set of three stamps, on the themes of ‘Quit India Resolution‘, ‘Mahadev Desai‘ and ‘Meera Behn‘ is the first issue in the proposed series. This set, thus, marks the beginning of an ambitious project under which about 4-6 stamps will be issued, every year, till 1997 – the 50th year of India‘s independence, to complete the story of the struggle through stamps

Description of Designs : The stamp on Quit India Resolution’, designed by C. R. Pakrashi, shows Gandhi and Nehru alongwith other leaders discussing the resolution at the AICC session held at Gowalia Tank Maidan, Bombay on 8 August, 1942.

The other two stamps have been designed by India Security Press. First day cover depicts the scene at Gowalia Tank Maidan, Bombay on 9 August, 1942 after the Police resorted to firing of tear gas shells. Both the first day cover and the cancellation have also been designed by C. R. Pakrashi.

Type : Stamps, Postal Used

Colour : Multicolour

Denomination : 50 Paise

Overall size : 4.06 x 2.73 cms.

Printing size : 3.71 x 2.38 cms.

Perforation : 13 x 13

Paper : Unwatermarked Gummed paper

Number printed : 15,00,00

Number per issue sheet : 40

Printing process : Photogravure

Printed at : India Security Press

Name : Mahadev Desai

Born on Jan 1, 1892 at Saras, Surat district, Gujarat, India

Died on Aug 15, 1942 at Aga Khan Palace, Pune, Maharashtra, India

About : 

  • India’s Freedom Struggle records some of the most glorious episodes in the annals of the country’s recent past. The story of this struggle has been told and retold through various media. A large number of postage stamps have been issued to honour the personalities and to commemorate the events connected with the Freedom Struggle. These stamps, however, do not narrate the complete story of the long drawn out struggle for Independence. An attempt is, therefore, being made, now to fill in the gaps through the issue of a series to depict the major landmarks in India‘s Struggle for Freedom.
  • Mahadev Desai (1892-1942)
    • Mahadev Desai was born on 1 January, 1892 at Saras in Surat district. He received primary and secondary education at different places in Gujarat, but graduated from the Elphinstone College, Bombay in 1910. He joined the Law College thereafter and got his LL.B. in 1913.
    • He actively participated and courted arrest in Champaran Satyagraha (1917), the Berdoli Satyagraha (1928), and the Salt Satyagraha (1930). In 1921, Gandhiji sent him to edit Motilal Nehru‘s periodical, the Independent, at Allahabad and there too he was arrested and jailed. After his release in January, 1923, he returned to Ahmedabad and looked after the editorial work of the Navjivan. His sharp editorials on the hollowness of the constitutional reforms of 1919 and his tirade against the British Government kept up the tempo of the freedom struggle.
    • Between 1924 and 1928 he toured the country with Gandhiji, explaining the salient features of the freedom struggle. He accompanied Gandhiji in 1931 to the Round Table Conference in London. In the Quit India Movement of 1942, he, alongwith Gandhiji, was arrested and sent to the Aga Khan Palace for imprisonment, where he died peacefully on 15 August, 1942, deeply mourned by the nation and by Gandhiji in particular who considered himself an orphan.

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