A commemorative postage stamp on the Death Anniversary of Pachaiyappa Mudaliar, a Madrasi merchant, dubash and philanthropist, one of the first Indians to leave a will :
Issued on Mar 31, 2010
Issued for : India Post is happy to issue a commemorative postage stamp on Pachaiyappa.
Stamp, FDC & Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint condition
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.3 Million
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nasik
Name : Pachaiyappa Mudaliar
Born on 1754 at Periapalayam, Tamil Nadu, India
Died on Mar 31, 1794 at Thiruvaiyaru, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India
- Pachaiyappa was born in 1754 in Periapalayam village near Chennai to Shri Visvanatha Mudaliar and Smt Punchi Ammal. His father passed away before his birth. Therefore his mother, after a brief stay at Periapalayam, moved with her children to Chennai in search of livelihood. They settled down at George Town, then called Black Town, where she obtained the help of Shri Narayana Pillai Dubhashi. He evinced interest on the boy Pachaiyappa and put him into the school. The boy picked up sufficient English to become a Dubhashi (Interpreter) which in Hindi meant a bilingual person. Starting often as interpreters, dubhashis were brokers who handled business and commercial matters between their English masters and the Indians at the time.
- The situation prevalent in the South India was chaotic. The small princely kingdoms were fighting each other. For the British traders the situation was favourable to firm up their commercial roots in the Indian soil. However, the local language proved to be the main impediment. So they employed local people knowing English for the purpose of carrying on with their trade. Shri Narayana Pillai, Pachaiyappa‘s mentor, was one such person who was a leading Dubhashi of his time.
- At a tender age when other boys of his age were attending school, the young Pachaiyappa began his career by becoming a purchasing and selling agent for a wholesale ceramics merchant.
- Pachaiyappa‘s business acumen was amazing. He was always honest. This earned him the most coveted honour of being the foremost Dubhashi in the Madras Presidency. From being a Dubhashi to revenue collector, Pachaiyappa tried his hand at various businesses and made a large fortune.
- Pachaiyappa was pious and charitable at heart. He gave large donations to temples and built choultries along the old pilgrim route to Rameshwaram. He had special veneration for Lord Nataraja in Chidambaram and gave large quantities of jewellery and huge amounts to this temple. His own house had become a converging point for scholars and pilgrims where he fed thousands daily.
- His huge successes and wealth in the business did not make him forget his debt to his mentor Narayana Pillai. He secured a job for Pillai‘s son with one Joseph Sullivan. He made him his agent in Madras and through him all the business payments were made. Further, Narayana Pillai was given the right to manage a part of his large property after his death.
- At 40 years he suffered an attack of paralysis. Soon his condition worsened and therefore, he wrote his Will on 22nd March 1794. In the Will, sufficient funds had been allocated with the direction to perform pujas in selected temples from Kashi to Rameshwaram. He went to Thiruvaiyaru where he passed away on 31 March 1794. Though much was lost due to mismanagement by successive executors of the Will, some amount was redeemed and put to good use in charities and in setting up educational institutions, one of which is Pachaiyappa’s College.
- Text : Based on the material provided by the proponent.