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Inland letters with image of Indira Gandhi may be discontinued

New Delhi :Inland letters carrying the image of late Indira Gandhi may be discontinued, indications were available today, a day after it became known that stamps displaying her image as well as that of another former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi will not be printed.

The Philately Advisory Committee (PAC) has recommended replacing the image of Indira Gandhi with yoga on inland letters but no decision has yet been taken, Communication Minster Ravi Shankar Prasad told a media briefing today.

He was replaying to a question whether there was a proposal to remove the image of Indira Gandhi from inland letters.

Defending the decision to discontinue stamps with images of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi under the definitive series, Prasad said postage stamps should honour leading lights of the nation and not members of one family.

He said on the advice of the PAC, it has been decided to issue definitive series of stamps in the honour of Jan Sangh’s founding leaders Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Shivaji, Maulana Azad, Bhagat Singh, Jayaprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, Vivekananda and Maharana Pratap.

“In the definitive stamp series, the focus was on one family, though other names were there. Mahatma Gandhi was there, Maulana Azad was there. Dr Ambedkar was there. Dr Bhabha was there.

“Here the entire definitive series is an inclusive series which seeks to encapsulate the contribution of all the leading lights of the freedom movement including Jawaharlal Nehru. We have been most liberal and understanding in giving due recognition to people of different ideology and approaches. All of them have contributed in a very significant way to make modern India,” the minister said.

The Congress party yesterday criticised the government’s decision to discontinue postal stamps issued in memory of Indira and Rajiv saying it was a “sinister attempt to erase the memory of the two martyr Prime Ministers of the country”.

“This depicts that hatred of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government in seeking personal vendetta which has reached its zenith,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had said.

In addition to the use of postage stamps for regular use under the definitive series, the government also issues commemorative postage stamps.