A commemorative postage stamp on the Death Anniversary of ‘Caxton of India‘ Munsi Newal Kisore, an Indian book publisher, founder of the ‘Newal Kishore Press and Book Depot’ in Lucknow :
Issued on Feb 19, 1970
Issued for : The Posts and Telegraphs Department has great pleasure in paying its tribute to the memory of this great pioneer and savant by bringing out a special commemorative stamp in his honour.
Description of Design : The Stamp design is vertical. It shows a portrait of Munshi Newal Kishore and a picture of printing press.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Maxtone Red-Brown
Denomination : 20 Paise
Overall Size : 3.91 X 2.90 cms.
Printing Size : 3.56 X 2.54 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Watermark : Printed on unwatermarked Adhesive stamp paper
Number Printed : 30,00,000
Number per issue Sheet : 35
Printing Process : Photogravure
Designed and Printed at : India Security Press
Name : Munshi Newal Kishore
Born on Jan 3, 1836 at Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died on Feb 19, 1895 at Delhi, India
- The later half of the 19th century will go down in Indian history as a period of renaissance in various fields of activities. It was a period when great patriots appeared on the Indian scene to answer the call of destiny and who sowed the seeds for the great national awakening which ultimately brought about the liberation of our Motherland. Similarly, we have a long list of poets, social reformers, industrialists and entrepreneurs who contributed their skill and imagination towards building a better India. One of them is Munshi Newal Kishore who has been aptly termed the Caxton of India. Munshi Newal Kishore took to publishing books. He brought out 4000 volumes in those days when such a mammoth task can be styled as a great pioneering achievement. Many of his published works found their way to the markets of West Asia.
- Munshi Newal Kishore, son of Pt. Jamuna Prasad Bhargava, a zamindar of Aligarh was born on 3rd January, 1836. Though born in an orthodox Brahmin family, Munshiji‘s outlook was uncompromisingly universal. He took great pains to help in building up an integrated Indian society where perfect religious harmony could prevail. This he tried to achieve with the help of his publishing enterprise. In 1858, at the age of 22, he founded the ‘Newal Kishore Press and Book Depot’ at Lucknow. This institution which is today the oldest printing and publishing concern in Asia, has branches at Lahore, Kanpur, Patiala and London. Munshi Newal Kishore made a search for the most valuable hand-written books and manuscripts in Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu and Persian, and published during his lifetime over 4000 such books which would have otherwise been lost to posterity. Religious books like the Koran and Guru Granth Saheb were also published by him. He got the holy books of Islam translated into Sanskrit and Hindi; and the holy books of Hindus into Urdu and Persian.
- Munshi Newal Kishore also started the northern India‘s first Indian language daily newspaper, ‘The Oudh Akhbar‘ in Urdu in 1858 under his own editorship. This journal set a high standard in journalism and this continued for nearly a century. In 1860, he started ‘The Oudh Review‘, an English newsweekly. He was also responsible for setting up over 30 public libraries and schools throughout the sub-continent.
- An erudite scholar, educationist and a nationalist, Munshiji was also a great social worker, philanthropist and a pioneer industrialist. The Upper India Couper Paper Mills, the first and the oldest paper mills in northern India, was the product of his pioneering capacity. Due to his varied achievements and personal magnetism, he won several admirers in all classes of society. Mirza Ghalib was one of his greatest admirers.
- Munshi Newal Kishore was made a C.I.E. at a very young age and was also given the ‘Kaiser-e-Hind‘ Medal in recognition of his public services and his services to the cause of education. But, perhaps, the greatest tribute came to him from King Abdur Rahman of Afghanistan who in the presence of the then Viceroy of India, Lord Dufferin and the Princes of India at the Ludhiana Darbar in 1885 told Munshiji, “I am thankful to the Lord that I have seen you. In India nothing has given me more pleasure than having seen you……“.
- But all this name and fame did not deter Munshi Newal Kishore from fostering the political aspiration of his people. In 1885, he joined the ranks of the Congress founding fathers and played his role in the founding of the Indian National Congress. His friends and admirers included Mr. Hume and Sir Surendra Nath Banerjee.
- Munshi Newal Kishore passed away at the age of 59 on the 19th February, 1895. He will indeed remain a shining example of how courage, hard work and dedication can shape a many splendoured life.