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

The BJP-led NDA government has decided to give a place of pride to political icons including Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Ram Manohar Lohia, Jaiprakash Narayan, B R Ambedkar, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. These national heroes will also now been seen on definitive stamps that are issued for daily use.

Speaking on the issue, a senior BJP leader expressed regret that “apart from Mahatma Gandhi, only one family was reflected in the definitive stamps“.

Sources said the government proposes to have postage stamps on eminent people, who have been ideological, cultural and revolutionary icons from various states.

The new list of names for stamps were decided at a meeting chaired by communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday, where the government also decided on including poet Rabindranath Tagore, social reformer Swami Vivekananda, poet Subramaniya Bharathi, freedom fighter Shaheed Bhagat Singh and three legendary musicians -Ravi Shankar, Bhimsen Joshi and M S Subhalakshmi.

The last time the list of names for stamps was revised in 2008. A review takes place every 6-7 years and the government decides on the value of each stamp to be released.

In the commemorative category, the government has also decided on running a series on popular legends in the fields of music, dance, painting, literature and revolutionaries. Some the icons to feature in commemorative stamps will include singers Geeta Dutt, Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Talat Mehmood, Manna Dey, Mukesh and some from the southern states, painters Nandalal Bose and Raja Ravi Varma, dancer Rukmani Devi Arundale and writers Prem Chand, Maithili Sharan Gupta and Dinkar.

The ministry also plans to have stamps on major tourist spots, which will be made available at those sites for the visitors to use them as memorabilia and send out letters from there. There are also plans to host letter-writing competitions across the country with specific themes.