|with SK Biswas, my philately mentor 2006|
Ever heard of a rare occasion in a philatelic history; a man from one country requesting the highest official of another country to issue a stamp on a particular individual and his appeal being made into practice. Meet Surya Kanta Biswas a professional philatelist from Berhampore, District Murshidabad, West Bengal has earned a special place in a philatelic world. It was in response to his appeal to the then President HM Ershad of Bangladesh that a postage stamp on Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore came to be depicted in Bangladesh postage for the first time.
It was in May 12, 1990 he wrote a letter to the then President Ershad requesting to bring out a stamp on Gurudev to commemorate the occasion of 150th anniversary of Gurudev Birth Anniversary. He wrote Gurudev should be honoured since one of his poems “Amar Sonar Bangla” is Bangladesh’s national anthem. It is a rare coincidence that Rabindranath Tagore’s two poems is the national anthem of two different countries India and Bangladesh.
Surya Kanta Biswas received a letter from Toab Khan the then Personal Assistant to the then President Ershad on August 21, 1991 informing him about the interest of the President put note down his thought to issue Gurudev’s postage stamp. The Bangladesh Government finally agreed to release a Taka 4 stamp with Tagore’s portrait in the background of Silaidoha Smiritibari. Today Surya Kanta Biswas possess the letter from Toab Khan his biggest wealth and a history it had.
Surya Kanta Biswas also speaks of another record but in the field pen friendship. Biswas friendship with TM Qadir from Bangladesh has already crossed 25 years and could be one of the longest ever in the world until someone comes with more years then them.