Its been ages since I used a good old fashioned envelope along with a mandatory stamp to send a note anywhere in the world.
India is fast moving towards email, whatsapp and smses to communicate with people even in rural areas but some of us are still fretting over whose face appears on a stamp released by the Department of postal services. As if any of us truly care about the face once it’s licked and glued to the envelope. However for a melodramatic few, this is an opportunity to turn a perfectly routine process into a political agenda.
It’s not to say I don’t understand the significance of our snail mail Postal services but do we have to make an issue out of every step the Government takes? It’s just stamps! You can’t win any extra votes based on whose face appears on them.
The congress protests over the discontinuation of the “Builders of Modern India” series that included Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi on them is completely irrational. The government’s defense that “All those who contributed to the freedom struggle or in the creation of modern India should be honoured. It cannot be the prerogative of one family,” is completely justified.
The previous series has been replaced by “Makers of India” to include many more names and was recommended by the Philately Advisory Committee.The new series will have 25 stamps, including Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Rabindranath Tagore and BJP ideologues like Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and Deen Dayal Upadhyay. Musicians and artistes like Bismillah Khan, MS Subbalakshmi and Pandit Jasraj will also get regular use stamps in their name.
If the move was anti congress then why would they include Netaji S C Bose , Jawahar lal Nehru or Mahatma Gandhi ? If I had a say, I’d like to include Shahrukh Khan, Mukesh Ambani and Amitabh Bachchan too. Before you start to hyperventilate, may I remind you that they’re all responsible for getting India a significant amount of worldwide recognition. If a respected musician like Pandit Jasraj can be honoured why not Shahrukh Khan ? Surely the latter is a lot more popular . Amitabh Bachchan has even been recognized by the government for his exceptional talent.
It’s just stamps! There are a number of other ways to honour our beloved leaders. Most people have moved to email and other means of communication anyways. Do we have to view every single step the government takes emotionally or politically? Can’t we just celebrate the new faces and acknowledge them for their contribution to our country?
Even the ones making the loudest noise over why Mr Rajiv Gandhi or Mrs Indira Gandhi were removed from the stamps have valid email ids and probably never use the postal services. And even if they do, it’s time to gracefully give the others a chance. You never know how soon the entire Postal service department might go obsolete.