Stamps of India:
Article of the Month - February 2012
by Madhukar and Savita Jhingan
The demonetization of postage (and revenue) stamps
is the process by which the stamps are rendered no longer valid for
postage. In general, stamp demonetization is a rare event, since any
unused stamp is effectively equivalent to its face value, and there is
no financial disadvantage if postal customers use old stamps on their
mail. Demonetization chiefly occurs in connection with major upheavals
in the postal system, such as a transfer from one country to another, or
currency changes, such as decimalization, or a change of government. The
process of exchanging millions or billions of stamps in the public's
hands, plus that of exchanging post office stock, is usually complicated
and difficult, and offers much interest for students of postal history.
In India the postage stamps have been demonetized
for the first time in 1938. The postal notice of July 23, 1938 issued by
Gurunath V Bewoor, the first Indian to become the Director General of
Indian Posts & Telegraphs, notified the demonetization of ordinary and
service postage stamps, and postal stationery bearing the portrait of
Queen Victoria and King Edward VII with effect from September 1, 1938.
These were however allowed to be exchanged for the then current stamps
of equivalent value up to February 28, 1939.
With independence on August 15, 1947 where on one
side the country was partitioned in two and on the other side the
integration of hundreds of princely states was a challenging task. Many
of the princely states maintained their own postal system and issued
stamps in some cases till 1951.
The governance of the French enclave Chandernagore
was ceded to India on May 2, 1950. More information is required
regarding validity of French India stamps in Chandernagore that was
merged with West Bengal state on October 2, 1955.
The stamps and postal stationery of most states
were continued to be accepted for postal charges up to April 30, 1950.
These could be exchanged for Indian stamps up to July 31, 1950.
The stamps of Gwalior, Patiala, Nabha, Jind, and
Chamba that were overprinted on the issues of British India remained
valid for postage up to December 31, 1950. These could thereafter be
exchanged for stamps of equivalent value up to March 31, 1951.
The stamps of Travancore Cochin ceased to be valid
for prepayment of postage with effect from July 1, 1951. These could be
exchanged for Indian stamps of equal value up to September 30, 1951.
The stamps issued during the reign of King George V
and King George VI ceased to be valid for postage with effect from
October 1, 1954. These could be exchanged for then current stamps of
equal value up to March 31, 1955
December 31, 1954.
On November 1, 1954, the four French enclaves of
Pondichéry, Yanam, Mahe, and Karikal were de facto transferred to India.
The details of the stamps of French India's demonetization requires
All denominations of Anna Pie series, except 4
Annas, 8 Annas, 12 Annas, and Rs 1½ were demonetized with effect from
October 1, 1959. These could be exchanged with stamps in decimal
denominations up to November 30, 1959
Portuguese enclaves of Dadra & Nagar Haveli were
liberated by people themselves on August 2, 1954 who established free
Administration of Dadra and Nagar Haveli that was merged in Union of
India in 1961. India liberated Goa and Daman & Diu on December 19, 1961
in a miliatary action that Portugal only recognized in 1975. The stamps
of India were put on sale with effect from December 28, 1961 although
postage stamps of Portuguese India remained valid for postage up to
Janaury 4, or 5, or 6, 1962.
Various Postal Documents, Philatelic Journal of
India, Ashok K Bayanwala, Umesh
Kakkeri and Wikipedia
Version 1.0, First published in Issue # 511 of February
23, 2012 of the Stamps of India Collectors Comapnion
Version 1.1 April 8, 2012,
Correction carried out, published on