A commemorative postage stamp on Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, India‘s first Minister for Communications, author of All–Up Airmail Scheme :
Issued on Apr 1, 1969
Issued for : On the occasion of the Twentieth Anniversary of the All-up Scheme, the Posts & Telegraphs Department consider it a great honour to pay its humble homage to this great son of the soil and patriot by bringing out a commemorative stamp in honour of one who had done so much for the P & T Services in this country and for the P & T staff.
Description of Design : The design of the stamp is horizontal. and depicts a portrait of late Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai at the right side of the stamp. At the left top corner aeroplane is shown flying to indicate the Night Air Mail Service which was introduced by late Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai during the year 1949.
Type : Block of 6 Stamps, Mint Condition
Colour : Blue Grey
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 paper
Number Printed : 30,00,000
Number per issue Sheet : 35
Printing Process : Photogravure
Designed and Printed at : India Security Press
Name : Rafi Ahmed Kidwai
Born on Feb 18, 1894 at Masauli, Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died on Oct 24, 1954 at Delhi, India
- The late Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai was one of the most colourful figures in Indian political life in recent years. A man of indomitable courage, he always believed in acting according to his conviction without regard to any personal considerations. He was, in many respects, an extraordinary personality with extraordinary ways but with all that he had a lovable sense of individuality, selflessness and a keen spirit of social consciousness. Above everything else, he had the divine gift of a feeling for others, particularly for the under-dog. He was generous to a fault and his liberality knew no limits.
- Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai the first child in a family of four brothers was born on February 18. 1895 in the village of Masauli in Barabanki District in United Provinces. He graduated in 1919 from the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh and was about to sit for the Bachelor of Law Examination when he felt the urge to respond to Mahatma Gandhi‘s call for non-cooperation and left the college. He started his political career as Private Secretary to the late Shri Moti Lal Nehru. Since then, he had always played a prominent part in the political life of the country. He was for some time the General Secretary and later the President of the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Congress Committee. He was a Minister in the State Cabinet and Union Cabinet Minister on two occasions when he held charge of the portfolio of Transport and Communications and then Food & Agriculture.
- His tenure as Union Minister on each of these occasions was marked by several bold innovations. It was through his determination and fore-sight that the Night Air Mail Scheme linking the four major centres of Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Madras via Nagpur was introduced. This directly linked the day air services operating from these four terminal centres and greatly expedited the transmission of mails in the country. This was a real break through in the field of postal communications and the benefit of quick transmission was extended to all First Class mails with the adoption of the All-up Scheme in the country with effect from the 1st of April, 1949. It is fitting, therefore, that to mark the 20th anniversary of this landmark in the history of postal services in our country, the Posts & Telegraphs Department are bringing out a stamp in memory of the author of this scheme.
- Even if Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai had been responsible only for the All-up Airmail Scheme, his place in postal history would have been assured. But during his tenure as Communications Minister, he was also responsible for the grant of a weekly off day to all P & T staff, even though it entailed closing down of post offices on Sundays, a measure which evoked considerable public criticism at that time. It was only a man cast in Rafi Ahmed Kidwai‘s mould who could see such a scheme through. Another outstanding achievement of his tenure in office was the setting up of a proper organisation in the P & T Department to deal with public complaints, not only from the aspect of the customer who is aggrieved, but also from the point of view of a public utility department which has a responsibility to find out weaknesses in the organisation and rectify them in time to obviate such complaints. Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai also had conceived the scheme of getting badly needed capital requirements for the expansion of the country’s Telecommunication services from prospective subscribers by the introduction of the “Own Your Telephone” Scheme. His tenure in the Food Ministry, which had proved the grave of many reputations earlier was singularly successful and he was able to lift the controls on food grains.
- Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai is no longer with us, but his fearlessness, patriotism, generosity and love for the poor and the down-trodden will always remain green in our memory.
- As the Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi rightly observed, “He was a true Servant of the people dedicated and able. His untimely death was a great loss to the country.“