A commemorative postage stamp on the Birth Anniversary of Bishop Robert Caldwell, an Irish missionary to India and a linguist :
Issued on May 7, 2010
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue a commemorative postage stamp on Robert Caldwell.
Stamp & FDC, Cancellation : Nenu Gupta
Type : Stamp, Mint 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
- 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.