Meera Behn

A commemorative postage stamp on Mirabehn (Madeleine Slade), a British woman lived and worked with Mahatma Gandhi, leader of Indian Independence movement, daughter of British Rear-Admiral Sir Edmond Slade [a part of the seriesIndia’s Struggle for Freedom‘] :

Mirabehn (मीरा बेन) : Madeleine SladeIssued 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 : Madeleine Slade

Born on Nov 22, 1892 at England, United Kingdom

Died on Jul 20, 1982 at Vienna, Austria

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.
  • Meera Behn (1892-1982)
    • Meera Behn was born as Madeleine Slade in 1892 in England. Her father, Admiral Sir Edmond Slade, came of a traditional aristocratic family.
    • She read Romain Rolland‘s Book Mahatma Gandhi at one sitting and it changed her life – Now I knew what that something was, the approach of which I had been feeling.
    • Gandhiji gave her the name of Meera in view of her devotion to him and her dedication to the service of India. The Kanya Gurukul, Dehra Dun, where she taught English, Spinning and Carding, and studied Hindi and the Scriptures.
    • She accompanied Gandhiji to the Second Round Table Conference in 1932 and acted as his interpreter on the Continent on his way back home. She said that India was her home and she felt like a foreigner in England. She joined the Satyagraha movement later on and was in prison once with Kasturba, and twice by herself.
    • She was arrested alongwith Bapu on the morning of 9 August, 1942 and was in the Aga Khan Palace Detention Camp from August, 1942 to May, 1944.
    • It was on 18 January, 1959 that she left India for good and settled in a small village about 30 miles from Vienna. She was awarded Padma Vibhushan in January, 1982. She passed away on 20 July, 1982.

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