Remembering Iqbal Through Stamps

LAHORE – On the occasion of Iqbal Day, an exhibition of stamps, coins, currency notes and other items printed to pay tribute to Iqbal and collected by Mian Sajid Ali were displayed at the national poet-philosopher’s mausoleum. Sajid told Pakistan Today that he had started collecting his stamps in 1991 and had put up his first exhibition in 2009. His collection consists, not only Iqbal stamps, but also post marks, stationery, post cards, coins and medals among other things. The fact that many of these items had not been issued officially attracted many to the exhibition. A block of four different stamps from 2002 that was marked at Allama Iqbal Year that had not been issued, for example, was on display. These four stamps were designed by Aslam Kamal. The four different paintings which are shown in the stamps were also chosen from Kamal’s studio.

\"\"There is an incorrect statement printed at the bottom of these stamps that says “Death Anniversary of Allama Muhammad Iqbal” when in actuality these stamps were supposed to be issued on his birth anniversary. Similarly, there was an imperforated stamp of Rs 5 for the Iqbal Memorial Fund that was on display but had not been issued. Another block of four stamps there were not issued on the occasion of Allama Iqbal Year 2002 were also on display. The photo was taken by Sirdar Umrao Singh in Paris, 1933, while Iqbal was resting after a severe attack of cold and fatigue from walking. This is a typical picture of Iqbal, who sits resting his head tilted on one side on his hand as if he is thinking. 
Besides these, there were some other 50 paisas coins that had not been issued and were on display. Just as Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s portrait was first embossed on coins on his 100th birth anniversary in 1976, Iqbal’s portrait was also only introduced on his 100th birth anniversary in 1977. Later the government wanted to reuse the portrait on a 50 paisa coin in 1998 but due to inflation this coin was not introduced. Iqbal’s portrait was also suggested for Rs 5 coin in 2001 but which, however, was not accepted. Besides these, articles autographed by Justice (r) Javaid Iqbal and his sister Munira Salahuddin, both children of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, were also on display.
Currency notes were also present at the occasion. These included the old One rupee note which was printed in 1981, with Allama Iqbal’s tomb on it, with a crescent and star and floral patterns on it. There was also an aerogramme of a commemorative issue on display which celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Pakistan Resolution. The stamp impression depicts Minar-e-Pakistan in four colours, portrait and sayings of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on the left of the address lines in black. A painting by Aftab Zafar showing scenes from the historic meeting was printed above the sender’s address lines. A famous couplet of Talu-e-Islam by Bang-e-Dara was used on the banner over the dais on the occasion of Lahore session of the All India Muslim League.
A stamp on the occasion of 20 years of the Allama Iqbal Open University was also displayed which was issued in 1995, with a denomination of Rs 1.25. There are other stamps of Rs 2 and 3 also for this occasion, accompanied by 25 and 30 years of AIOU along with different postal markings of the university. Several people turned up on the exhibition, in spite of the Eid and Iqbal Day holidays.(Source-Pakistan Today)

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