Community

Maloney introduces resolution for commemorative Diwali stamp

Indiaspora’s Rangaswami says stamp will help financially ailing USPS.

By Raif Karerat

WASHINGTON, DC: Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-New York) introduced a Congressional Resolution urging the United States Postal Service to issue a stamp honoring Diwali, a South Asian holiday celebrated by billions of individuals around the world.

“Despite the significance of this holiday to many Americans, the United States Postal Service has not yet recognized Diwali with a commemorative stamp, as it has with other major religious and cultural holidays such as Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Eid,” said Maloney in an official release provided to The American Bazaar. “Our resolution would express the sense of the House that the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee should issue a stamp honoring Diwali, an important spiritual and cultural festival for many Americans.”

Maloney has spearheaded numerous efforts in the past to raise Diwali awareness. Two years ago, in January of 2013, she proposed a similar resolution but it failed to gain traction in Washington.

Rep. Maloney is not alone in her efforts on behalf of the representation for the holiday; she is joined by Reps. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Ami Bera (D-Calif.), Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), and Grace Meng (D-New York), all of who released statements echoing Maloney’s mantras nearly to a tee.

Aside from the cultural significance of the Diwali stamp, the Postal Service could stand to benefit from a substantial economic windfall should they grant its issuance. Indian Americans now number over 3.34 million and comprise the third largest Asian community in the United States, according to a report released by the Center for American Progress. It also happened to surge 76 percent in the first 12 years of the twenty-first century.

Noted entrepreneur and philanthropist M.R. Rangaswami reiterated the stamp’s fiscal benefits in an interview with The American Bazaar on Wednesday. Rangaswami’s organization, Indiaspora, enabled a grassroots campaign that generated over 10,000 physical letters and postcards demanding a Diwali stamp from the USPS.

“I think it makes sense from a political and economic point of view,” he stated before describing the Diwali stamp as a potential “shot in the arm” for the financially ailing USPS.

“We’re just getting started. The community wants it. Politicians want it. All these folks are one hundred percent supportive—both Republicans and Democrats,” declared Rangaswami.

 

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