23rd January 2019 was celebrated as the 122nd birth anniversary of one of India’s fiercest freedom fighters, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The great visionary, had crossed borders, sought international assistance and also formed the Indian National Army to fight for freedom. A few days before the entire nation came together to pay tribute to this influential historic figure, a 60-year-old numismatist from Dhanbad named Amrendra Anand shared information about a unique error coin featuring Netaji.
This 2 Rs copper-nickel coin was issued by the Government of India in 1996 to celebrate Netaji’s Birth Centenary. However, Netaji was born on 23rd January 1897, so his birth centenary year would be 1997. The coin was mistakenly issued a year in advance at Calcutta Mint. The coin also features an erroneous legend ‘Subhas Chandra Bose - Centenary 1996’ instead of ‘Subhas Chandra Bose - Centenary 1997’. It’s considered to be a very rare error coin of Independent India.
As soon as the Government came to know about this error, they immediately removed the coins from circulation. Nevertheless, some of them managed to enter circulation and today they are one of the most sought-after Independent India coins among collectors. A new coin with revised legends ‘Subhas Chandra Bose - Centenary 1997’ was also released the following year. Anand has an example of this variety as well.
Apart from these two coins, Anand also has a handwritten letter of Netaji dated 10th January 1930, three badges of Azad Hind Fauj, six postage stamps on Azad Hind Fauj, five stamps featuring Nejati, two special covers, Rs 10, Rs 50 and Rs 100 fundraising coupons that were released on Netaji’s birth centenary year 1997. Anand is a retired LIC officer who has been collecting coins, notes, hukum namas, hundis, notes with errors, fancy notes etc. for a long time.
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