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 Robert Caldwell

A commemorative postage stamp on the Birth Anniversary of Bishop Robert Caldwellan Scottish missionary to India and a linguist :

Missionary Social Service : Church of South IndiaIrish Christian Missionary Bishop in South IndiaIssued by India

Issued on May 7, 2010

Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue a commemorative postage stamp on Robert Caldwell.

Credits :
& FDC, CancellationNenu Gupta

Type : StampMint condition

Colour : Multi colour

Denomination : 500 Paise

Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million

Printing Process : Photogravure

Printer : India Security Press, Nasik

Name : Bishop Robert Caldwell

Born on May 7, 1814 at Clady, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Died on Aug 28, 1891 at Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India

About : 

  • Robert Caldwell was born at Clady, Northern Ireland, on May 7, 1814 to Scottish parents. Initially self-taught and religious, young Caldwell graduated from the University of Glasgow and was fascinated by the comparative study of languages. At 24, Caldwell arrived in Madras on January 8, 1838 as a missionary of the London Missionary Society and later joined the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel Mission (SPG). Caldwell was married in 1844 to Eliza Mault.
  • As a missionary, his achievements were tremendous, he converted the dry lands with palm trees in Idayangudi into an area fit for human livelihood.
  • Caldwell was an ardent lover of Tamil, Tamil Art and Tamil Culture. The Tamil works Narkarunai Thianamalai‘ and ‘Thamarai Thadagam‘ were written by him. He had also written articles viz., ‘Ganasudhanam‘ and ‘Narkarunai‘. The books such as ‘Diayanamalai‘ and ‘Baratha Kanda Puradhanam‘ were also written by him.
  • He proved the relationship between Tamil Nadu and foreign countries by quoting examples of words such as Thogai‘ as ‘Thugi‘ in Hebrew and Arisi‘ as ‘Arusa‘ in Greek language.
  • He carried out excavations in historic places like Punnaikkayal and Korkai and tried to bring the portals of ancient Tamilagam into the lime light.
  • He knew 18 languages. He was a member of the Royal Asiatic Society. He was awarded the title of LLD and DD. His most impressive work was “A Comparative Study of Grammar of Dravidian Languages“. He had also to his credit a book on “The History of Tirunelveli” in English.
  • He breathed his last on August 28, 1891.
  • Text : Based on material provided by the proponent.
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[…] Dr. Robert Caldwell in the later part of the 19th Century had done detailed research and proclaimed to the world that Tamil, among the Dravidian languages, was equally ancient with a distinct diction and literature without the influence of Sanskrit. […]

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