ANDHRA PRADESH

Ratnam miniature gold pen presented to Governor

Golden moments: Governor ND Tiwari writing with Ratnam miniature pen presented by K.V. Ramanamurthy in Rajahmundry.

Golden moments: Governor ND Tiwari writing with Ratnam miniature pen presented by K.V. Ramanamurthy in Rajahmundry.  

Staff Reporter

Rajahmundry: Ratnam pens, known as ‘swadeshi’ pens, during the freedom movement, which brought laurels to Rajahmundry added another feather in its cap for manufacturing miniature gold pens. The pens were presented to the Governor of Andhra Pradesh N.D. Tiwari in Raj Bhavan by K.V. Ramana Murthy son of the founder pen-maker K.V. Ratnam. The pen has many unique features.

On completion its platinum jubilee, the company has made 3.5 cms and 4 cms gold pens. On one pen Mahatma Gandhi’s emblem was embodied and tri-colour flag on the other with green, red and white stones. Ramana Murthy explained how the Ratnam pens got popularity and Mahatma Gandhi used this pen and wrote an appreciation letter.

Popularity

During the ‘swadeshi’ movement, after Gandhiji gave a call to boycott foreign goods, Ratnam, who was until then involved in making lithographic blocks, met Gandhiji in 1921. Gandhiji advised him to make something that would be useful to the common man and that was inexpensive.

Ratnam made a pen made in ebonite material and sent it to Gandhiji, who wrote to him commending it. Gandhiji wrote from Wardha: “Dear Ratnam, I must thank you for the fountain pen you sent me... I have needed it and [it] seems to be a good substitute to the foreign pen, . Yours sincerely, M.K. Gandhi, 16.7.1935.”

The pens retained their popularity after Independence and remained status symbols. In the 1950s, a Ratnam golden pen (22 carat gold) cost Rs.55: now it costs Rs.30, 000. Prices now range from Rs.35 to Rs.40,000.

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