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Friday, May 29, 2009

Two rupee coins: Republic India-IV

2 rupee, 1990: National integration
2 rupee national integration 1990The theme for the 2 rupee coin has been national integration since the inception of the 2 rupee coin in 1982, and the design continued till 2004-05 when the controversial 2 rupee with the cross was introduced. The reverse on this coin shows the denomination, country and the four headed lion symbol. The obverse shows the map of India. The small dots on the left are the Lakshadweep Islands, and the line of dots below the "national integration" inscription and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Hindi inscription above the map reads "rashtriya ekta" which means national integration. The date can be seen at the bottom. This was the first design of the 2 rupee coin, released for the first time in 1990.

See also: National integration UNC set

2 rupee, Asian Games 1982
2 rupee asian games 1982This 2 rupee coin was released on the occasion of the IXth Asian games, which were held at Delhi in 1982. The Asian Games, also called the Asiad, is a multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia. The games are regulated by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) under the supervision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Medals are awarded in each event, with gold for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition which started in 1951.
The first Asian Games were held in New Delhi in 1951, where they were held again in 1982.

Competitors are entered by a National Olympic Committee (NOC) to represent their country of citizenship. National anthems and flags accompany the medal ceremonies, and tables showing the number of medals won by each country are widely used. In general only recognised nations are represented, but a few non-sovereign countries are allowed to take part. The special case of Taiwan was handled by having it compete as Chinese Taipei, due to the political status of Taiwan.

The figure on the obverse is the Jantar Mantar, which was the logo of the Asian games of 1982 and has also featured on many coins and stamps. The jantar mantar is situated at what is now the Connaught place area of Delhi, and was built by raja Sawai Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur between 1710 and 1724. It is actually a complex observatory built in the 18th century, the dark age of Indian history. The Maharaja built five such Jantar Mantars including one at Delhi. The other four monuments are built at Jaipur, Varanasi, Ujjain and Mathura. Delhi’s monument, however, is historically the most important in all the also serves somewhat like London’s Hyde Park, as the venue of all sorts of protests and demonstrations by individuals, groups and even larger political parties.

As you enter the Jantar Mantar, you find some abstract structures within its premises. They are, in fact, yantras- instruments to track the celestial bodies, plot their course, predict the eclipses and keep the time. There are four yantras-- Samrat, Misra, Jai Prakash and Ram. They tell a lot about the technological achievements under the Rajput kings and their efforts to understand the mysteries of astronomy. These yantras were designed by the Maharaja himself.

Must see: Asian games proof set

Jantar Mantar at Delhi
jantar mantar delhi

2 rupee, Vallabhbhai Patel
2 rupee sardar vallabhbhai patelSardar Patel was popularly known as Iron Man of India. His full name was Vallabhbhai Patel. He played a leading role in the Indian freedom struggle and became the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India. He is credited with achieving political integration of India.

Vallabhbhai Patel was born on October 31, 1875 in Nadiad, a small village in Gujarat. His father Jhaverbhai was a farmer and mother Laad Bai was a simple lady. Sardar Vallabhai's early education took place in Karamsad. Then he joined a school in Petlad. After two years he joined a high school in a town called Nadiad. He passed his high school examination in 1896. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was a brilliant student throughout his schooling.

Vallabhbhai wanted to become a barrister. To realize this ambition he had to go to England. But he did not have the financial means to even join a college India. In those days a candidate could study in private and sit for an examination in Law. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel borrowed books from a lawyer of his acquaintance and studied at home. Occasionally he attended courts of law and listened attentively to the arguments of lawyer. Vallabhbhai passed the Law examination with flying colours.

Sardar Patel returned to India in 1913 and started his practice in Ahmedabad. Soon he became popular. At the urging of his friends, Patel contested and won elections to become the sanitation commissioner of Ahmedabad in 1917. Sardar Patel was deeply impressed by Gandhiji's success in Champaran Satyagraha. In 1918, there was a drought in the Kheda division of Gujarat. Peasants asked for relief from the high rate of taxes but the British government refused. Gandhiji took up peasants cause but could not devote his full time in Kheda. He was looking for someone who could lead the struggle in his absence. At this point Sardar Patel volunteered to come forward and lead the struggle. He gave up his lucrative legal practice and entered public life.

Vallabhbhai successfully led peasants revolt in Kheda and the revolt ended in 1919 when the British government agreed to suspend collection of revenue and roll back the rates. Kheda Satyagraha turned Vallabhbhai Patel into a national hero. Vallabhbhai supported Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Movement, and as president of the Gujarat Congress, helped in organizing bonfires of British goods in Ahmedabad. He gave up his English clothes and started wearing Khadi. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was elected Ahmedabad's municipal president in 1922, 1924 and 1927. During his terms, Ahmedabad was extended a major supply of electricity and underwent major education reforms. Drainage and sanitation systems were extended over all the city.

In 1928, Bardoli Taluka in Gujarat suffered from floods and famine. In this hour of distress the British government raised the revenue taxes by thirty percent. Sardar Patel took up cudgels on behalf of the farmers and appealed to the Governor to reduce the taxes. The Governor refused and the government even announced the date of the collection of the taxes. Sardar Patel organized the farmers and told them not to pay even a single pie of tax. The government tried to repress the revolt but ultimately bowed before Vallabhbhai Patel. It was during the struggle and after the victory in Bardoli that caused intense excitement across India, that Patel was increasingly addressed by his colleagues and followers as Sardar.

Crowning glory:

There were 565 princely states in India at that time. Some of the Maharajas and Nawabs who ruled over these were sensible and patriotic. But most of them were drunk with wealth and power. They were dreaming of becoming independent rulers once the British quit India. They argued that the government of free India should treat them as equals. Some of them went to the extent of planning to send their representatives to the United Nations Organization. Patel invoked the patriotism of India's monarchs, asking them to join in the freedom of their nation and act as responsible rulers who cared about the future of their people. He persuaded the princes of 565 states of the impossibility of independence from the Indian republic, especially in the presence of growing opposition from their subjects. With great wisdom and political foresight, he consolidated the small kingdoms. The public was with him. He tackled the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Nawab of Junagarh who initially did not want to join India. Sardar Patel's untiring efforts towards the unity of the country brought success. He united a scattered nation without much bloodshed. Due to the achievement of this massive task, Sardar Patel got the title of 'Iron Man'. Sardar Patel died of cardiac arrest on December 15, 1950. For his services to the nation Sardar Patel was conferred with Bharat Ratna in 1991.


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