I recently acquired this wonderful cover of V. O. Chidambaram Pillai, the unique thing of this first day cover is that it has the cancellation of V. O. Chidambaram Pillai birth place and hence makes it unique.
The Indian Posts & Telegraphs department of India issued a special postage stamp on 5 September 1972, on the occasion of his birth centenary.
V. O. Chidambaram Pillai and his life events :
Valliappan Olaganathan Chidambaram Pillai (1872–1936), popularly known by his initials, V.O.C. (spelt Vaa. Oo.Ce in Tamil), also known as Kappalottiya Tamilan "The Tamil Helmsman", was a Tamil political leader. He was a disciple of Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
He launched the first indigenous Indian shipping service between Tuticorin and Colombo with the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company, competing against British ships. At one time a member of the Indian National Congress, he was later charged with sedition by the British government and sentenced to life imprisonment; his barrister license was stripped.
Chidambaram established many institutions like Swadeshi Prachar Sabha, Dharmasanga Nesavu Salai, National Godown, Madras Agro-Industrial Society Ltd and Desabimana Sangam.
In response to the British India Steam Navigation Company's trade monopoly, Chidambaram started an Indian-owned shipping company. He registered the Swadeshi Shipping Company in October 1906. The capital of the company was ten lakh rupees. The number of shares was 40,000 and the face value of each share was Rs. 25/-. Any Asian could become a share holder. The director of the company was Pandi Thurai Thevar, a Zamindar and the President of "Madurai Tamil Sangam". Janab Haji Mohammed Bakir Seit paid Rs. 200,000 for 8000 shares, which was the first capital for the Company.
In the beginning, the Company didn't own any ships, instead leasing them from Shawline Steamers Company. The B.I.S.N.C. pressured Shawline Steamers to cancel the lease; in response, Chidambaram leased a single large freighter from Sri Lanka. Realizing the need for the Swadeshi Shipping Company to own its own vessels, Chidambaram travelled around India selling shares in the company to raise capital. He vowed, "I will come back with Ships. Otherwise I will perish in the sea". He managed to secure sufficient funds to purchase the company's first ship, the S.S. Galia; shortly afterwards they were able to acquire the S.S. Lavo from France.
In response to the new competition, the B.I.S.N.C. reduced the fare per trip to Re.1 (16 annas) per head. Swadeshi company responded by offering a fare of Re.0.5 (8 Annas). The British company went further by offering a free trip to the passengers plus a free umbrella; however, nationalist sentiment meant that the free service was underused. The B.I.S.N.C. attempted to buy out Chidambaram, but he refused the deal.
The ships commenced regular service between Tuticorin and Colombo (Sri Lanka), against opposition from British traders and the Imperial Government.
Source : http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/V._O._Chidambaram_Pillai