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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

BJP icons Vivekananda, Bhagat Singh, Tagore, Bose, Abul Kalam to join Nehru on stamps

NEW DELHI: Continuing with the BJP's project to dilute the Gandhi-Nehru family's  iconography, the government is all set to immortalise anti-Congress political  icons such as Jai Prakash  Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, Syama Prasad  Mookerjee and Deen Dayal Upadhyay by issuing 'definitive' postage stamps of  them in various denominations.

A decision to this effect was learnt to  have been taken during a recent meeting of the philatelic advisory committee  chaired by Ravi Shankar   Prasad, Union minister of IT, Telecom and Posts.

The postal department  issues stamps in two categories - definitive and commemorative. Definitive  stamps are for day-today use in various denominations and are available across  all post offices in the country. Commemorative stamps are limited edition stamps issued on special occasions related to  people, institutions or events.

Government sources said the move stems from criticism during the committee meeting  about the postal department issuing definitive stamps featuring members of the Congress first family --Jawaharlal  Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi - apart from Mahatma  Gandhi.

"It was decided that eminent people of all ideological, cultural  and musical streams and revolutionaries should be given due space in definitive  postage stamps," according to an official who attended the meeting.

According to  sources, the indications are definitive postage stamps would be  issued on Swami Vivekananda, revolutionary Bhagat Singh, Rabindranath Tagore, Subhash Chandra Bose, Vallabhbhai Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Tamil poet Subramnia Bharti and modern stalwarts of Indian music -  Pandit Ravishankar, Bhimsen  Joshi and MS Subbulakshmi.

"This move has been necessitated by the  dominance of members of one family (Nehru-Gandhi) in the definitive postage  stamps category," said a person who was present at the committee meeting. The ruling establishment now hopes to establish Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Syama  Prasad Mookerjee, the two ideological icons of the ruling BJP, as icons for the
masses through their postage stamps.

Additionally, the meeting is learnt  to have recommended launching a series of commemorative stamps on musical  stalwarts (Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Bhupen Hazarika and Geeta Dutt),  painters, dancers and revolutionaries of India.

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