P. C. Sorcar
A commemorative postage stamp on the Birth Anniversary of Protul Chandra Sarkar (P.C. Sorcar Sr.), an Indian magician :
Issued by India
Issued on 23 Feb, 2010
Issued for : The Department of Posts honours PC Sorcar and his achievements by issuing a commemorative postage stamp. The FDC shows his sets & performances and the brochure cover is adapted from the Japanese poster of his performance.
Stamp & FDC : Sankha Samantha
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Block of 4 Stamps, Mint condition, First Day Cover with First Day Special Cancellation Postmark, Information Folder (Brochure), Post Card and Special Cover
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : India Security Press, Nasik
Name : Protul Chandra Sarkar
Born on Feb 23, 1913 at Ashokpur, Tangail, Bengal, British India [now in Bangladesh]
Died on Jan 6, 1971 at Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan
- Protul Chandra Sorcar was born on 23 February 1913 in Ashokpur in the Tangail district (now in Bangladesh) in a poor middle class family. He was attracted to magic at an early age. He initially learned magic from Shri Ganapati Chakravarti. After passing the entrance examination in the first division, he graduated with honours in mathematics in the year 1933. He then took up magic as a profession.
- Protul Chandra Sorcar‘s ascent to greatness and his emergence as Jadu Samrat has no parallel. He crafted every bit of magic unaided, almost single handed. While speaking of magic, the name of Protul Chandra Sorcar is inseparable from the contemporary history of the people and the country. The original genius that he was, he tapped the root of all culture and folk arts to draw his unique vision of entertainment based on illusion and transformed the Indian magic into Indrajal – a highly original form of Indian art presented through the full panoply of stage performance with all its opulent splendour. Indrajal became a work of art in his hands.
- He commenced his career as a magician performing in homes, clubs, carnivals, circuses, theatres, public halls and at any place where he knew he could get hold of an audience and thus earned fame as an Indian magician of a different mould, experimenting and innovating along the way.
- His was a creative genius perfecting his spectacular sets, gorgeous costumes including his own celebrated Maharaja robe complete with a plumed turban, magnificent stage illusions, and large scale lighting effects combining years of experimentation, incredible hard labour and above all wide-ranging imaginative insights. He drew upon the ethnic variety of India, tapping the rich Indian lore of magic and conjuring arts. He authored 20 books in Bengali, English and Hindi. In an era when women stage performers and artists were scorned and ostracized, Sorcar had the courage to induct in his troupe women who regularly performed in his often breath-taking stage illusions. Thus quietly but steadily he helped break a social barrier.
- P.C. Sorcar never failed to quietly rise to the occasion at home or abroad whenever he found there was something he could do to aid the struggle for freedom. In 1937 he donated the money he earned in Japan to the cause of Indian freedom movement.
- Doubtless the greatest magician of his time, he is remembered as an iconic cultural ambassador who rose from humble origins to become the “Jadu Samrat” ‘Emperor of Magic’. He toured all over the world and his performances which enthralled all kinds of audience were often seen on international television. He received many awards at home and abroad. He twice earned the Phoenix award in the United States. He also won the German Goldbar and the Golden Laurel Garland awards and the Dutch Tricks prize. In 1964 the Indian Government honoured him with a Padmashri.
- A number of well-known writers of Europe have written books on him. Arthur Leroy once famously conceded in 1966, “Prince Charming Sorcar has built the biggest, most stupendous illusion show of our times…….a show that at this moment is the only one of its kind in the world“. He was a member of the societies of magicians in France, UK, Germany, Belgium and Japan, of the International Rotary Club & the Royal Asiatic Society in London. He wrote the history of magic with stubborn resolve and unyielding ambition. In almost everything he did, Sorcar displayed inventiveness and a vision he went on developing as long as he was a practicing magician. His full-scale illusion show, “Indrajal” had virtually no peer in the field in terms of opulence, repertoire range and splendour. PC Sorcar died suddenly on 6 January 1971 while performing at a show in Japan.
- Text : As per material provided by the proponent.
- The front side of the Special Cover shows 4 different pictures of Mr. P. C. Sorkar as follows (clockwise from the top) –
- Sorcar with Lord and Lady Mountbatten in London
- Eluding a Regulation Handcuff before London Police (Photo : Sunday Graphic, London, 1957)
- Hollywood film-star Shirley Maclaine flies to Kolkata in 1965 to book “the Great Sorcar“ to inaugurate her Casino in Las Vegas
- Sorcar cycles blindfolded along place de L’opera and Champs–Elysees, July, 1950
The back side of the Special Cover shows a write-up on Jadu Samrat P. C. Sorkar (1913-1971) as follows –
- To think of magic in beauty, grandeur and precision is to think of SORCAR, for Sorcar and magic are inalienable. Sorcar’s fantastic achievement is now a story and a history as well, a true legend. “How can India, the land so deeply ingrained in the ways of the old, produce such a modern giant?” exclaimed the rich Western nations. A grand luminary Sorcar was in the firmament of magic amidst the galaxy of shining stars. Sorcar’s greatness beyond compare has been accepted by the world in epithetising him as The World’s Greatest Magician and the Maharaja of magic.