Mahatma, in the mail

Tuesday, 2 October 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Contd. from page 18

The charkha as the symbol of non-violence is a leitmotif on the stamps on Gandhi. And in 2011 India Post released the world’s first khadi stamp. The unique diamond-shaped Z100-denomination stamp shows Gandhi’s face in profile and the charkha on khadi cloth with his words, ‘Be true’.

Besides stamps, Gandhi has been featured on India Post’s pre-paid postal stationery such as inland letter cards, postcards and envelopes. There are also permanent cancellations issued from post offices in Gujarat showing the Alfred High School, where Gandhi did his schooling, his ancestral home and Kocharab Satyagraha Ashram. A unique special cover with a hologram showing Gandhi was also brought out by the South India Philatelists’ Association, with the postal department’s approval. 

Globally, stamps and postal stationery on Gandhi have been released by more than 90 countries. The United States of America, Mauritius, Fiji, Switzerland, Guyana, Poland, Bhutan, Myanmar, Mexico, Iran, Ireland and the former USSR are only some of the countries. An error occurred when Trinidad and Tobago brought out a stamp in the year 1970 instead of 1969 to mark the leader’s centenary! Britain, despite having the tradition of not issuing a stamp on a non-British personality, issued a Gandhi stamp in 1969.

The United Nations too brought out a stamp on Gandhi in 2009 designed by Miami-based artist Dr Ferdie Pacheco. Pacheco reveals that the colours in the stamp depict what Gandhi epitomised: “I chose these colours: red because it is the colour of energy, his energy even when he was fasting, green the colour of healing, white of purity, blue of serenity, yellow of balance and brown of the Earth as he helped people here on Earth. All of these colours represent a peaceful man who helped the world.” Indeed a true representation of the Mahatma in the miniature art piece that a stamp is.

(Source: N Kalyani)