Stamps of Distinction: Celebrating India’s Poetic and Spiritual Legacy
India’s 1952 ‘Saints and Poets’ collection is a beautifully crafted and vibrant set. While I appreciate each stamp, the 12 annas featuring the illustrious Bengali genius, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), holds a special place for me.
Stamp collecting is a journey through the annals of history, culture, and art. Every stamp tells a story, and sometimes, these stories are groundbreaking. Such is the case with India’s 1952 ‘Saints and Poets’ series. This set of stamps is not just a visual delight but also a significant milestone in India’s philatelic history.
A First in Many Ways
Issued on October 1st, 1952, this series was groundbreaking for several reasons. It was the first time India recognized individuals other than rulers, political leaders, and the iconic Mahatma Gandhi on its stamps. Before this, the first commemorative sets were dedicated to events like the Inauguration of New Delhi and the King George V silver jubilee issues.
A Vibrant Tribute
The ‘Saints and Poets’ series is a set of 6 postage stamps, each meticulously designed using the photogravure technique. With a perforation of 14×13.5, these stamps are catalogued under Scott #237-242. The set features:
- 1a: Tulsidas, a revered poet and saint.
- 2a: Meera, the Rajput princess known for her devotional songs and poems.
- 4a: Surdas, the blind poet and saint whose tales of devotion are legendary.
- 4 1/2a: Ghalib, the Urdu poet whose verses are celebrated to this day.
- 12a: Rabindranath Tagore, the multifaceted Bengali polymath.
Of all these, the 12 annas stamp portraying Rabindranath Tagore stands out not just for its design but also for the weight of Tagore’s contributions. He was not just a poet but also a writer, playwright, composer, philosopher, social reformer, and painter. His genius was such that he penned the national songs for two nations: India and Bangladesh.
A Collector’s Delight
For stamp collectors, this series is a treasure. The vibrant colors, the intricate designs, and the significance of the personalities featured make it a must-have. The fact that this was India’s first-ever commemorative set recognizing its cultural icons adds to its allure.
Ending on This Note
India’s 1952 ‘Saints and Poets’ series is a testament to the nation’s rich cultural and literary heritage. It’s a reminder of the luminaries who shaped the nation’s ethos and left an indelible mark on its history. For philatelists, this set is not just a collection of stamps but a piece of history, art, and culture.
PS: You might also like to view this Indian Bhudda postage stamp. 📬
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