Stamp to commemorate 100th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo's arrival TNN 30 July 2009, 04:07 am IST PUDUCHERRY:
The Union government will release a stamp next year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of revolutionary-turned-philosopher Sri Aurobindo's arrival in Puducherry. Union minister of state for planning, parliamentary affairs and culture V Narayanasamy, said in a statement from New Delhi, said Union communications minister A Raja had assured a delegation of representatives from Sri Aurobindo Ashram in his presence that a special stamp would be released on April 4, 2010 to mark the occasion.
India had released a stamp of Sri Aurobindo in 1972 to commemorate his 100th birth anniversary. The stamp featured a picture of Sri Aurobindo taken during his stay in Puducherry as a spiritual guru. Sri Aurobindo, who was declared by the British as a most dangerous man reached the then French colony of Puducherry at 4 pm on April 4, 1910.
One of the prominent leaders who sowed the seeds of the Indian freedom struggle, Sri Aurobindo abruptly ended his active participation in political affairs and reached the Union territory. He was received by small group of nationalist Tamils, including revolutionary Tamil poet Subramania Bharathi. He was taken in a horse-cart to the house of Calve Shankara Chettiar, a prominent citizen of Puducherry. Swami Vivekananda also stayed in the same house during his south India missionary journey.
Puducherry slowly became Sri Aurobindo's permanent abode for spiritual activities. The coastal territory outside the jurisdiction of the British was a sanctuary for nationalists who were not in the good books of the British. The British had issued a warrant of arrest for his article, To my countrymen' published in Karmayogin. The British though had information that Sri Aurobindo was in Puducherry had no authority to arrest him without the help of the French government. It was later recorded that Sri Aurobindo was sitting in Karmayogin office in West Bengal, when the news spread that the British intended to arrest him. Immediately, there was an agitated discussion all around.
Sri Aurobindo sat calm and unmoving and heard a distinct voice tell him, 'Go to Chandernagore'. He went straight to the Ganga and boarded a boat for Chandernagore, which was then a French settlement. Soon he received another order to go to Pondicherry (Puducherry). Sri Aurobindo remarked later: "I could not question. It was Sri Krishna's adesh (command). I had to obey. Later, I found it was for the Ashram, for the Yogic work." Chettiar accommodate the leader in his residence.