commemorative stamp Current Affairs - 2019

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PM releases commemorative coin and stamp on Sikh Guru Gobind Singh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin and stamp on Guru Gobind Singh to mark the 350th birth anniversary. On the occasion, Prime Minister Modi underlined the role of Guru Gobind Singh in uniting the country through Khalsa sect.

Commemorative Coin

Rs 350 commemorative Coin with the standard weight of 35 gram will have 50 per cent silver, 40 per cent copper and 5 per cent each of nickel and zinc. The front side of the coin bears the rupee symbol and denominational value ‘350’ in international numerals below the Lion Capital. The reverse side bears the picture of “Takht Shri Harimandir Ji Patna Sahib” in the centre and the years ‘1666’ and ‘2016’ in international numerals will be on the left and right periphery of the coin.

Image: Commemorative Coin

Guru Gobind Singh

Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth and last of the human Gurus of Sikhism. He became Guru at the age of 9 in 1675 after the martyrdom of his father, the ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur.

Guru Gobind Singh played a vital role in moulding the Sikh religion into its present shape, with the institution of the Khalsa fraternity, and the completion of the sacred scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib.

Guru Gobind Singh lost his four sons died during his lifetime two in battle and two executed by the Mughal army. Later he himself declared Guru Granth Sahib as the next and perpetual Guru of the Sikhs before leaving his mortal body in 1708.

Khalsa Sect

After the martyrdom of his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, Guru Gobind Singh had declared that he would create such a Panth which would challenge the tyrant rulers in every walk of life to restore justice, equality and peace for all of mankind. This led to the institution of the Khalsa Sect.

He infused the dual spirit of a saint and a soldier in the minds and hearts of the Khalsa sect followers to fight oppression in order to restore righteousness (Dharma) and to uplift the down-trodden people in this world.

He introduced the 5Ks, of the Khalsa: Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha( wooden comb), Kara( iron or steel bracelet worn on the wrist), Kirpan (sword or dagger) and Kacchera (short breeches).

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PM Modi launches Paika Rebellion Chair in Utkal University

PM Modi announced setting up of a Chair on the Paika Rebellion, in Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. He also released a commemorative stamp and coin on the Paika Rebellion.

Paika Rebellion

The Paika Rebellion of 1817 in Odisha briefly shook the foundations of British rule in the eastern part of India. Paikas were the peasant militias of the Gajapati rulers of Odisha and rendered military service to the king during times of war while taking up cultivation during times of peace.

The British had established their sway over Bengal Province and Madras Province to the north and south of Odisha and occupied Odhisa in 1803. The Gajapati Ruler of Odisha Mukunda Deva-ll was a minor then and the resistance by Jai Rajguru, the custodian of Mukunda Deva-II, was put down brutally.

As British began consolidating their rule and started tinkering with the revenue system, they faced the anger of the people of Odhisa. A few years later Paikas under Baxi Jagabandhu, the hereditary chief of the militia army of the Gajapati King rose in rebellion by taking the support of tribals and other sections of society in March 1817. Paikas attacked British symbols of power, setting ablaze police stations, administrative offices and the treasury during their march towards Khurda, from where the British fled. The Paikas were supported by the rajas of Kanika, Kujang, Nayagarh and Ghumusar and zamindars, village heads and ordinary peasants. The Rebellion spread quickly.

British were initially taken aback and then tried to regain lost ground but faced stiff resistance from the Paikas. There was a widespread suppression. Rebels fought a guerilla war till 1819 but were captured and killed. Baxi Jagabandhu was finally arrested in 1825 and died in captivity in 1829.

The Paika Rebellion enjoys a cult status in Odisha. Children in Odhisa grow up with hearing stories of the brave fight against the British.

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