A commemorative postage stamp on Pt. Motilal Nehru, president of Indian National Congress (1919-20 & 1928-29), father of 1st Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru :
Issued by India
Issued on Sep 25, 2012
Issued for : The Department of Posts is privileged to issue a commemorative postage stamp on Motilal Nehru, a commanding figure of India’s freedom struggle, who was instrumental in laying the cornerstone of a secular and democratic India.
Stamp / FDC : Sankha Samanta
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint condition
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.3 Million
Printing Process : Photo Gravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Motilal Nehru
Born on May 6, 1861 at Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died on Feb 6, 1931 at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
- One of the most eminent personalities of the Indian nationalist movement, Motilal Nehru (1861-1931) was a legal luminary, a noted parliamentarian and a journalist who upheld high ideals. He is also remembered as the father of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister and one of the tallest statesmen of the world in the post-World War era.
- Though he hailed from an aristocratic family, Motilal had to go through testing times early in life. He lost his father three months before his birth, and was raised by his elder brothers. Student days at the Muir Central College, Allahabad exerted a formative influence on young Motilal. Subsequently he took up Law as his career. Motilal Nehru emerged successful in the legal practice, and in course of time, he came to be counted among the leading lawyers in the country.
- Motilal’s incursions into politics started with attendance at the Allahabad session of the Congress in 1910. The following year, he became a member of the Allahabad Municipal Board and of the All India Congress Committee. In 1919 he launched the daily paper ‘Independent’, which advocated nationalist ideas forcefully. Motilal’s commitment to the freedom movement and his leadership qualities were widely recognized, and he was elected to preside over the Amritsar Congress in 1919. He was the first among the front rank leaders to accept Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of non-cooperation and cast his lot with the Mahatma. In 1920 he abandoned his practice at the Bar, accepted a frugal style of living and adopted khadi.
- The cancellation of mass civil disobedience by Mahatma Gandhi in 1922 immediately after arousing patriotic fervour was seen by many as an anti-climax. Motilal advocated entry into Legislative Councils to actively pursue non-cooperation, to enable the people to recover from the mood of despondency. A man who lived by his own conviction, he confronted even Mahatma Gandhi, who disagreed with him on the issue. Motilal Nehru and C.R. Das founded the Swarajya Party in January 1923 and contested the elections. The Party emerged the largest in the Central Legislative Assembly. In the six years that followed, Motilal was the leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly.
- The appointment of Simon Commission in 1927, which excluded Indians from the Commission, saw a revival of political activity in the country. Different streams of nationalism converged and it was decided to counter the Commission with an effort to determine the principles of a Constitution for a free India. Motilal Nehru was the considered choice to head the committee for drafting this report. The work of the committee culminated in the Nehru Report which can be described as modern India’s first collective attempt to develop a constitution for itself.
- As Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha unfolded and evolved into a mass movement of an unprecedented scale, an ageing Motilal Nehru, against the advice of his doctors, was once again in the political arena. He was arrested and imprisoned, but his health gave way and he was released. Motilal had the satisfaction of having his son and Gandhiji beside him in his last days. He passed away on February 6, 1931.
- Text : P.N. Ranjit Kumar.