A commemorative postage stamp on the Golden Jubilee of Vishwa Bharati University, a public central university in Shantiniketan, founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921 :
Issued on Dec 24, 1971
Issued for : The Visva-Bharati completed 50 years of its very useful service to the nation in 1971. The P&T Department feel privileged in commemorating the Golden Jubilee of this national institution by bringing out a special postage stamp to mark the occasion.
Description of Design : The design of the stamp is horizontal and depicts a portrait of Rabindranath Tagore on the left and the Visva-Bharati building on the right hand side of the portrait.
The design of the stamp is adapted from the original prepared by Shri Charanjit Lal, Artist, P&T Directorate, New Delhi.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Burnt Sienna & J B A’s Brown
Denomination : 20 Paise
Overall Size : 4.06 X 2.28 cms.
Printing Size : 3.80 X 2.0 cms.
Perforation : 14 x 14½
Watermark : Printed on unwatermarked adhesive stamp paper
Number Printed : 30,00,000
Number per issue sheet : 50
Printing Process : Photogravure
Designed and Printed at : India Security Press
- Visva-Bharati, the internationally famous seat of learning founded by Rabindranath Tagore, grew out of the Santiniketan Asrama founded in 1863 by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore, father of Rabindranath Tagore. In December 1901, an experimental school was started here by Rabindranath Tagore with only 5 students on the roll, mainly, as a result of his reaction against the joyless, mechanical system of education then prevailing in the country. The Government of the time was positively hostile to the institution and the school was never in a very flourishing condition financially. Nevertheless, the school was kept going mainly by efforts put in by a band of devoted workers who had gathered around Rabindranath. It was about the year 1912 Rabindranath was fortunate in securing the services of C. F. Andrews and W. W. Pearson who came to Santiniketan to share his work. For a short time even Mahatma Gandhi had made Santiniketan his home along with the students of his Phoenix School. However, in later years his other pre-occupations did not permit his being actively associated with Santiniketan even though Santiniketan always remained dear to his heart.
- After his tour of Japan and America, in December 1918, Rabindranath Tagore began to actively pursue the idea of creating an institution at Santiniketan which would be a true centre for all the different cultures of the East. He received the most warm and sincere cooperation from his colleagues in this endeavour. The name ‘Visva-Bharati’ came into existence at about this time and its motto – Yatra Visvam Bhavatyekanidam “Where the world makes its home in a single nest” was chosen. From 1919 arrangements were made at Visva-Bharati for providing courses of higher studies in Buddhist Literature, Vedic and Classical Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit etc. Art and Music occupied an important place in Rabindranath‘s system of education. The art section was fortunate to have the guidance of the renowned Nandalal Bose.
- The formal inauguration of Visva-Bharati took place in December 1921. As Rabindranath has put it; “Visva–Bharati represents India where she has her wealth of mind which is for all. Visva–Bharati acknowledges India’s obligations to offer to others the hospitality of her best culture and India’s right to accept from others their best.“ Visva-Bharati soon became alive with various activities. A number of distinguished educationists and scholars flocked to this place from various countries abroad and from various parts of India. The practical idealism of Rabindranath also found shape here in the Institute of Rural Reconstruction which he established at Sriniketan about a mile from Santiniketan.
- After the death of its founder in 1941, Visva-Bharati had a difficult period for sometime. Abanindranath Tagore, the renowned artist, held the reins of the institution for some years, in spite of his failing health. After Abanindranath Tagore, Srimati Sarojini Naidu, the eminent poetess of India held the office of Acharya of the Visva-Bharati till her death. Shri Jawaharlal Nehru was then elected the Acharya of Visva-Bharati.
- Considering the importance of the institution, the Indian Parliament declared Visva-Bharati in May 1951 to be an institution of national importance and it was incorporated as a residential university by an Act of the Parliament and Shri Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Chancellor of the University.