07 June 2015

Kashi Prasad Jayaswal - Birth Centenary 27.11.1981

Kashi Prasad Jayaswal was born in Mirzapur (U.P) on 27 November 1881. After post graduation from Allahabad University he entered Oxford University for further studies. He was called to the Bar of the Lincoln’s Inn, London after a distinguished career at Oxford culminating in his being conferred the degree of M.A. in Ancient Indian History. At Jesus College Oxford he was awarded the Davis Chinese Scholarship for 1909. On his return to India, he set up practice at the Calcutta High Court. While at Calcutta he came into contact with Sir Ashutosh Mookherjee, then Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University. Sir Ashutosh inspired him to undertake extensive research in Ancient Indian History.

A distiguished lawyer and eminent historian, he also possessed a deep knowledge of Numismatics, and had an extraordinary proficiency in deciphering ancient scripts. His deciphering of “Hathi-Gumpha” inscription of Emperor Kher Vela (c. 173-160 BC) is a landmark. His remarkable discovery and study of a large number of coins of Maurya and Gupta periods led to his being the first Indian to be invited to speak to the Royal Asiatic Society of London in 1931. He was twice elected president of Numismatic Society of India (1934 and 1936) and of All India Oriental Conference (1933). He was also closely associated with Bihar & Orissa Research Society and the Patna Museum since their inception. Benares Hindu University and Patna University honoured him with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa). He died on 4 August 1937 in Patna.

The stamp has a portrait of K.P. JAYASWAL along with the facsimile of a coin of the Yaudheya period. The First Day Cover, designed by India Security Press shows the ancestral house at Mirzapur (U.P.).  

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