In order to pay homage to those who worked and died for the emancipation of the Muslims in South Asian sub-continent, Pakistan Post Office is bringing out a series of stamps called the ‘Pioneers of Freedom’ series. The first three stamps in this series in the denominations of Rs. 10, Rs. 15 and Rs. 25 which will be released on 23.3.79 are devoted to the memory of Tipu Sultan (Shaheed). Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Altaf Hussain Hali. The history of the freedom movement in South Asia sub-continent is a long drawn out struggle laden with immense sacrifices rendered by men belonging to different walks of life. In this galaxy of freedom fighters we find men who fought valiantly against the British Imperialists, those who suffered persecution at their hands for spreading ideas that could kindle and spark of freedom in the hearts of their country men and those who were sent to the gallows for having participated in the freedom struggle. The creation of Pakistan in 1947 under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah is thus the culmination of a sustained effort and the fruit of the sacrifices made by millions of Muslims. The contribution of the three men who are being commemorated through the first three stamps in this series are of the highest order in their respective fields.
Tipu Sultan (Shaheed) of Mysore (1750-1799) : was the last independent ruler of Mysore. An intrepid soldier, a benevolent ruler and a farsighted politician, he realized early in his life the design of the British Imperialists in the sub-continent. He knew that a decisive war with them was inevitable but before embarking upon it he started consolidating his own kingdom by reforming the administrative machinery and re-organising the army. In his last fight against the British when betrayed by his own trusted lieutenant he preferred to die like a lion than live like a jackal. Although vanquished in battle his memory continued to stir the hearts of millions of his countrymen who carried on the fight after him till finally the foreigners were driven out from this sub-continent in 1947.
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) ~ was among those who shaped the destiny of Muslims in the Indo-Pak, sub-continent and galvanized a frustrated mass of people into a nation with a future. He was born at a time when the continued existence of the Muslims in the sub-continent as a separate entity was in serious jeopardy. For nearly half a century he struggled against the apathy and despondency that had settled upon the Muslims in the wake of their defeat in the war of Independence of 1857 and finally took them out of the abyss gave them a national identity, enthused them with hope and gave clarity to their thinking: in short, put them on the road to progress and freedom.
Altaf Hussain Hali (1837 — 1914): was born at a time when in his own words “the conditions were such that there was no need of condemning a Muslim; his being a Muslim was crime enough”. He was an eye-witness to the catastrophy that befell the Muslims after 1857 when they had to bear the brunt of the revengeful policy of the of the British Government. A contemporary and close associate of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan he worked hand in hand with him in the revival of the Muslims. His greatest contribution in this field was through his poetry. His great ‘Musaddas’ is one of the most inspiring poems in Urdu literature and had a lasting influence on the, minds and attitudes of the Muslims in the sub-continent and continues to inspire them to this day. Above all, its critical Preface “the Muqaddima-i-Sher-o-Shairi” gave a new and purposeful trend to Urdu poetry and led the way to literary criticism in Urdu literature.