By Datta Dharmadhikari
Michal Miloslav Hodža was one of the leading personalities of Slovak cultural and political life in the 1830’s – 1860’s. He was born on 22nd September 1811 in the village of Rakša in central Slovakia. He studied at the Evangelical Seminary in Prešov and later in Bratislava. In 1837 he finished his studies of theology in Vienna and was ordained a Lutheran priest. He spent most of his life as a pastor in Liptovský Mikuláš. During his studies in Bratislava in the 1830’s ,he brought about a new codification of the Slovakliterary language in 1843, which has lasted with minor modifications until the present time. Hodža also participated in establishing Tatrín (1844),the first nationwide cultural associationas well as in issuing the first Slovak political newspaper (1845).He was one of the leaders ofthe Slovak revolution in 1848 – 1849, in which he represented the moderate wing.He was a leading member of the Slovak National Council, based also on his own initiative in September 1848 and one of the leaders of the military uprising for Slovak national rights. After the revolution he worked as a notary for some time devoting himself to cultural, linguistic, theological and political activities.In 1867 after a conflict with the authorities he emigrated to Těšín in Silesia,where after a short illness he died on 26th March 1870. He is buried in Liptovský Mikuláš.The main motif of the post stamp issued in his honour by Slovakia on 22-9-2011 is Hodža’s portrait with a background in which there are books and pens, symbolizing his merit in codification of the Slovak literary language.The value of the stamp is 0-40 euro.