Today is Gandhi Jayanti (Happy Birthday to him!) and while I was wondering how we remember Mahatma Gandhi in today’s era, I realised that he is with us even today. Not just in terms of his ideologies and values but he is also a crucial part of our everyday life.
Could you guess how?
Well, Mahatma Gandhi stays with us in our wallets as all the Indian currency notes have Bapu’s picture on them. All of us have been seeing him smiling away on the notes since the longest time possible but have you ever wondered where did that picture come from?
While most of you may not know, but there is an interesting story behind that Mahatma Gandhi picture. The picture that you see on your currency notes today was originally taken by a photographer in 1946 (we don’t know the photographer’s name) when Mahatma Gandhi met the then British Secretary Lord Pethik Lawrence in the Viceroy House, Kolkata.
The portrait size image from the original was taken and then a mirror image of the same was created for usage on the currency notes.
In 1987, when Rs. 500 note was used for the first time, a watermark of Gandhi’s picture was present on the notes. Another interesting thing to note is that Gandhiji’s picture on the currency only came into existence from 1996 onwards when the series of notes was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India. Before that, currency notes used to have the picture of Ashoka Stambha on them.
So now you know where did the Bapu image on our currency notes come from!