India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, has not featured on any stamp issued in the seventy-fifth year of the country’s independence. In fact, over the past twenty-five years, he has featured on only three key postage stamps and found mention in the information brochures of a few others.
This is in sharp contrast with the earlier period when he towered over other Indian icons except for Mahatma Gandhi in the philatelic space. This exhibition uses a wide range of Indian postal material to put together a philatelic picture of Nehru’s prime ministerial tenure.
The exhibition is divided into three broad parts. The first section, which is biographical in nature, looks at the philatelic afterlife of Nehru.
The second section explores his approach to nation-building through the stamps issued by his government.
The last section explores how the Nehruvian stamps foregrounded the country’s progressive aspirations and kept citizens informed about what the government was trying to achieve rather than present them with select moments from India’s history and culture. And, how the Nehruvian philately reflected the confidence of a government that kept itself open to public scrutiny.
The exhibition has been curated by Vikas Kumar, who teaches economics at Azim Premji University. He will briefly introduce the exhibited materials at 10 AM and 2 PM on 13 and 14 November 2022.