Do you know which pen was gifted by Narendra Modi to the german Chancellor Angella Markel?
Do you know which pen was used by Pandit Nehru while signing his oath as the first Prime Minister of India? And also by most other presidents and Prime ministers of India?
Well, it's not a mont blanc, a parker, a Bic and not even a Reynolds pen. It is this humble swadeshi handcrafted pen named 'Ratnam Pen' manufactured at this small shop in the town of Rajamundry.
But how did this pen from a town of Andhra Pradesh become a favourite of National leaders?
The journey goes back to 1921. Those were the days of the non-cooperation movement. An entrepreneur named K V Ratnam visited Gandhiji at Wardha. Gandhiji asked Ratnam to manufacture something that is solely made of Indian components.
Ratnam asked, which item he can make. Gandhiji then said, "anything from a pin to a pen!"
The motivated Ratnam returned home and started breaking down a fountain pen to understand its intricacies. In 1933, he sent a fountain pen made in India to Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji rejected to recognise it as the swadeshi pen as some of its components were imported... Hence, the pen was not truly Indian.
A year later, J C Kumarappa, the then president of the All India Village Industries Association visited Rajamundry to help Ratnam build a truly Swadeshi Pen. This time Gandhi ji recognised it as a true and first Indian-made swadeshi pen. Since then, the Ratnam Pen became synonymous with the National Movement, as more and more leaders started using the Swadeshi Pen.
All the Ratnam pens are hand-made with materials like Ebonite, Steel, Silver and Gold. Each of their pens takes 2 to 3 days to take the final shape. Even in this digital age, the pen manufactured at this humble shop has high demand from people across the world, especially pen collectors.