When I read this piece a few days ago on the Times' website, I though this use of -self was blow back from Indian English, but I didn't have any data. I've since looked around and it seem to be a feature of what we might call polite Colonial English.
The letter at the linkhttp://www.ashanet.org/projects-new/doc ... 010-11.pdf
appears to be a serious letter of thanks written a few years ago from someone in India to a benefactor in Seattle.
Note the use of "own self" to refer to the writer and "kind self" and "good self" to refer to the addressee.