Honouring the contribution of the sensuous actress to Indian cinema, India Post, released the stamp at a glitzy event here last evening. Unveiling the stamp, veteran actor Manoj Kumar said Madhubala was "the face of the century". "There can be only one Madhubala in one century. I'm extremely lucky that I had the pleasure of working with her. I'm happy and want to thank the department for their initiative," he said. "I'm extremely happy at the initiative of India Post. They have paid tribute to her beauty who was renowned for her beauty. I have no words to express my happiness," added Madhubhushan, Madhubala's sister.
The act of issuing postage stamps in memory of film personalities dates back to 1971, when the postage department issued a stamp to mark the birth centenary of Dadasaheb Phalke, touted as the father of Indian cinema.
A research of almost two years by the Philatelic Advisory Committee at the Department of Posts goes behind the release of such stamps. Madhubala is only the second Indian actress after Nargis to have a postage stamp released in her honour.
Mumtaz Jahan Begum Dehlavi alias Madhubala was born on February 14, 1933 in a poor family of Pathan Muslims. She was the fifth of eleven children. Her father, Ataullah Khan, migrated from Delhi to Mumbai in search of better prospects.
A holy Muslim man is said to have predicted that young Mumtaz would attain fame and fortune, but at the cost of unhappy life and an early death. Those words came true.
Mumtaz made her debut in films in 1942 in the film "Basant" as an eight-year-old chilled artiste. So impressed was the film's producer, Devika Rani, with her performance that she was rechristened Madhubala.
Her film career last all of 27 years. She died on February 23, 1969 from a heart-related problem.