A commemorative postage stamp on the Birth Centenary of Sardar A. Vedaratnam Pillai, known for his contributions in salt march of Vedaranyam in 1930 :
Issued on Feb 25, 1998
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue a special commemorative postage stamp in the memory of Sardar A. Vedaratnam to mark his birth centenary.
Stamp and FDC : Sardar Vedaratnam Centenary Committee Vedaraniam
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Single Colour
Denomination : 200 Paise
Overall size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.
Printing size : 3.55 x 2.54 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported un w/m Adhesive Gravure Coated Stamp Paper in reels 47 cms. width
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million
Number per issue sheet : 35
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Sardar Vedaratnam Pillai
Born on Dec 25, 1897
Died on Aug 24, 1961
- Born in Vedaraniam on 25th February 1897 in an orthodox Saiva Vellala community, A. Vedaratnam Pillai was deeply influenced by Gandhiji, Vallabh Bhai Patel, Vinoba Bhave, Avinasilingam Chettiar, N. M. R. Subbaraman, O. P. Ramaswami Reddiar and C. Rajagopalachari whom he accepted as his political guru. Impressed by the evocation call of the leaders of the National Movement, he joined the movement at the age of 19. He spun cotton for personal use, joined the Khadi movement and actively participated in the foreign cloth boycott. He closed down his own cloth shop and exhorted his people to take to Khadi and boycott foreign cloth. Vedaratnam Pillai at this young age, began to take an active part in the Congress agitations and courted arrest several times. His most outstanding contribution came in 1930. When Mahatma Gandhi launched his famous Salt Satyagraha, Vedaratnam Pillai led the march in Vedaraniam at a great personal risk. This march was the first of its kind in the South. Vedaratnam Pillai incurred the wrath of the government which confiscated and auctioned his salt lands. He was also arrested, tried and sentenced to six months rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 200/- in 1931, he attended the meeting of the agriculturists in Tirunelveli when he was given the title of SARDAR to felicitate him on his part in the freedom struggle, particularly Salt Satyagraha.
- When the leaders were arrested in the 1942 movement he carried on Gandhiji’s constructive programme. In 1944, on the death of Kashturba Gandhi, he took an active part in raising funds for the Kasthurba National Memorial Fund and organised several Women’s Welfare Centres and Child Welfare Centres. In 1946, he founded in Vedaraniam, the Kasthurba Gandhi Kanya Gurukulam, a residential school for poor girls, to provide basic education with free board and lodging. For his service in the field of Harijan Welfare he was awarded a Gold Medal by Government. He was thrice elected as a member of the Madras Legislative Assembly, during this period he never missed a single session. He donated all his salaries as MLA, to Shri Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya at Coimbatore. Sardar A. Vedaratnam as he came to be known, continued to work for abolition of untouchability, women’s right and reforms like widow remarriage and women’s upliftment. His Kasthurba Gandhi Kanya Gurukulam was founded for the purpose of women’s upliftment during 1946. As a nationalist he was opposed to regionalism and advocated the study of Hindi as the unifying language.
- Text : Sardar Vedaratnam Centenary Committee, Vedaraniam.