Wednesday October 18, 2017
Home India Diwali Commem...

Diwali Commemorative Stamp: Tulsi Gabbard’s initiative to include Hindu Festival in US Postal Service

Tulsi Gabbard launched a signature campaign in 2014 to ensure that the United States Postal Service prints a stamp recognizing the Hindu Festival of Diwali

2
415
Tulsi Gabbard. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
  • Tulsi Gabbard, first Hindu Congresswoman of the US had renewed the efforts of bringing out a stamp recognizing Diwali as a special event
  • Efforts had previously been taken by the Indians settled in America and many other organisations as well. But none of them had been entirely successful
  • Gabbard says that now, they are almost at the point of winning this battle

Hinduism is probably the only religion in America whose festivals remain unrecognized. In spite of the fact that thousands of Indians in America celebrate the festival of lights every year, American Postal Services refuse to bring out a stamp which pays heed to the special days of Diwali. Other major religions of the world have some sort of recognition and mark in the American calendar and lives. Hinduism seems to have gotten the worst of it all. It stands almost unnoticed amidst all other religions of the world, as far as U.S is concerned. In spite of the fact that a huge number of Indians and specifically a huge number of Hindus settle down in the United States of America, there is not even a small postal stamp recognizing or celebrating the spirit of Hindu festivals.

Hinduism seems to have gotten the worst of it all. It stands almost unnoticed amidst all other religions of the world, as far as U.S is concerned. In spite of the fact that a huge number of Indians and specifically a huge number of Hindus settle down in the United States of America, there is not even a small postal stamp recognizing or celebrating the spirit of Hindu festivals.

Congresswoman Gabbard. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
Congresswoman Gabbard. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Tulsi Gabbard is the first Hindu woman to be a part of the United States Congress. Her love for Indian culture and festivals led her to launch a signature campaign back in 2014 to ensure that the United States Postal Service prints a stamp recognizing the Hindu Festival of Diwali. Last year too, in 2015, many of the Indian-American communities in the U.S. had tried to bring about the stamp recognizing Diwali as a special day but they did not succeed. It is unfortunate that being an Indian-American is not enough to bring this small change. The demand for Diwali Stamp got push only after Gabbard started the campaign- it came under the spotlight and people started taking the issue seriously.

Gabbard said, “After decades of progress towards creating a postage stamp that recognizes the festival of lights, finally, we’re almost there”.

She further asserted that even though this is one of the final moments of struggle for the campaign, she definitely needs solidarity from Indians all over the world to succeed in her endeavour. “Every year when we get together and we celebrate Diwali, the beautiful festival of lights, we’re celebrating the triumph of good over evil, of right over wrong. Now, a lot of people having been working hard to try to get a Diwali stamp here in the United States, but we need your help,” she said.

“Please join me in signing this petition so that we can increase the volume of all of our voices all across the country in urging the United States Postal Service to create a Diwali stamp to recognize this special day and to further increase and enrich our nation’s tapestry of religious and cultural diversity,” Gabbard appealed to people in her un-dated video message in 2014.

Gabbard with PM Modi. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
Gabbard with PM Modi. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

A media release had previously mentioned that PM Narendra Modi too had agreed to write to President Obama, supporting the cause.

Hopefully, this time, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will succeed in bringing out a stamp in the honour of the Indian festival of lights. That way, the efforts made by the other Indians previously will not go in vain and Hinduism will finally get some sort of token recognition and appreciation in America.

To view the petition and the video, click here.

– prepared by NewsGram team.

ALSO READ :

Next Story

Las Vegas Mass Shooting Reignites Gun Debate in US Congress

0
10
Gun Shop in US
Assault weapons and handguns are seen for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield. voa

Amid an outpouring of grief and condolences as the death toll of Las Vegas Mass Shooting, climbed higher. U.S. senator, Chris Murphy sent out a tweet, pointing an angry finger at his colleagues on Capitol Hill.

Murphy represents Connecticut, where a gunman toting a semi-automatic rifle slaughtered 20 children aged six and seven at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Congress enacted no legislation restricting firearms in the months that followed, nor after any subsequent mass shooting, including last year’s bloodbath at an Orlando, Florida nightclub that left 49 people dead.

“Thoughts and prayers need to be matched by action,” Murphy said later on the Senate floor. “The reason why we exist is to act, is to change the laws of the nation, to address challenges that our constituents face.”

During a visit to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico on Tuesday, President Donald Trump praised Las Vegas’ police force and said, “We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.”

Forcing the dialogue

In both houses of Congress, many Democrats are attempting to force an immediate dialogue in hopes of jumpstarting legislation on measures that have broad public support, such as expanding background checks for gun purchasers and scrutinizing firearms sales at gun shows.

The NRA did not comment immediately on the carnage in Las Vegas, but other organizations representing gun owners insisted the mass shooting in no way invalidates Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms.

“There’s no way to make a law, any law that would stop an evil person from doing an evil deed,” Eddie Fulmer, president of Bama Carry, an Alabama run rights group, told VOA. “I don’t think restrictions do anything but prevent honest, law-abiding people from getting a weapon they need and deserve to have, with the freedoms we have in America.”

Murphy rejected such arguments after the Newtown slaughter and did so again this week.

“Laws do work,” the Democratic senator said. “Though you can’t regulate away evil in total, you can do more to protect people.”

Although there is little appetite for new gun restrictions among Republicans who control both houses of Congress, legislation to liberalize firearms sales is being put on hold. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced on Tuesday that a bill deregulating the sale of gun silencers has been shelved.

Trump is to travel to Las Vegas Wednesday to mourn the loss of life and honor the city’s first responders. Democrats want the president to do much more. (voa)

 

Next Story

Scientists in US Successfully Edit Genes of Human Embryos in the First Attempt

Citing certain ethical concerns, the U.S. Congress has made it illegal to turn genetically-edited embryos into babies

0
44
DNA double helix, genes
A DNA double helix is seen in an undated artist's illustration released by the National Human Genome Research Institute. For the first time, U.S. scientists have successfully edited genes of human embryos. VOA
  • Scientists at the Oregon Health and Science University have successfully edited genes of human embryos in the first such attempt in the United States
  • Engineering human genes in the embryo stage opens up the possibility of correcting their defective parts that cause inherited diseases
  • Oregon scientists successfully repeated the experiment on scores of embryos created with sperm donated for scientific purposes by men with inherited disease mutations

July 29, 2017: Scientists at the Oregon Health and Science University say they have successfully edited genes of human embryos in the first such attempt in the United States.

Previously, similar experiments have been reported only by scientists in China.

Engineering human genes in the embryo stage opens up the possibility of correcting their defective parts that cause inherited diseases. The new trait is passed on to subsequent generations.

But the practice is controversial, since many fear it could be used for unethical purposes such as creating “designer babies” with specific enhanced abilities or traits.

Oregon scientists led by Kazakhstan-born Shoukhrat Mitalipov successfully repeated the experiment on scores of embryos created with sperm donated for scientific purposes by men with inherited disease mutations.

ALSO READColour-Changing e-skin to have Robotics Uses: Chinese Scientists

The editing was done very close to the moment of fertilization of the egg in order to make sure the changes would be repeated in all subsequent cells of the embryo.

Scientists have been experimenting with gene editing for a long time, but the availability of the technique called CRISPR rapidly advanced the precision, flexibility and efficiency of cutting and replacing parts of the molecule chains that comprise genes.

Citing ethical concerns, the U.S. Congress made it illegal to turn genetically-edited embryos into babies. Many other countries do not have such regulations. (VOA)

Next Story

Security and Counter-Terrorism Key to Strengthening India-US Ties: Tulsi Gabbard

Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to the Congress, was in conversation with the Indian envoy to the US, Navtej Sarna, at the event

0
41
Terrorism, Tulsi Gabbard
Security and Counter-Terrorism Key to Strengthening India-US Ties: Tulsi Gabbard. Twitter

 

  • Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to the Congress, was in conversation with the Indian envoy to the US, Navtej Sarna
  • Gabbard also said there’s still a lot of excitement in Washington around Modi’s visit
  • Sarna pointed out at the ongoing Malabar joint naval exercise, which is aimed at enhancing interoperability between the navies of India, US and Japan

– by Radhika Bhirani

New York, July 15, 2017: A stronger partnership in dealing with counter-terrorism will give an impetus to India-US relations, US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has said.

“The number of military-to-military engagement and exercises between US and India exceeds any other partner in the region and it is only continuing to grow,” the Hawaiian Democrat said at a Ficci-IIFA Global Business Forum here on Friday.

Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to the Congress, was in conversation with the Indian envoy to the US, Navtej Sarna, at the event.

ALSO READ: Village in Rajasthan Bans ‘Fashion Clothes’ and Mobiles for Women

They discussed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US last month to meet President Donald Trump and how opportunities must be explored to further strengthen ties between the two countries.

Stressing the need to boost counter-terrorism, Gabbard said: “There is a recognition of the benefit to continuing to strengthen the partnership and engagement, to ensure the countries are stable and that we deal with unconventional counter-terror threats together… Because then we will be stronger.”

Sarna pointed out at the ongoing Malabar joint naval exercise, which is aimed at enhancing interoperability between the navies of India, US and Japan. “Aircraft carriers from India and US are exercising together with submarines. This year, India has been designated as a major defence partner by the US… We need to fight this together, and we appreciate the personal reactions we got on the recent attack on pilgrims in India,” he added.

Gabbard also said there’s still a lot of excitement in Washington around Modi’s visit.

“For those of us on the India-US Caucus and those who have been working on India-US partnership for years, everyone is saying it that these are the most exciting times for friendship between both the countries.

She mentioned that economic partnerships were flourishing and so too were relationships in technology, education, culture and the Arts. “Having the IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) celebrations here is appropriate given how much interest not just the Indian-American audience has, but the Americans as a whole have in films coming from India. This is increasing the understanding and affinity between the people of the two countries,” she said.

Sarna appreciated how the support for India-US engagement is “bipartisan and across the political spectrum”. He even said that during Modi’s visit to meet Trump, they “hit it off in terms of understanding, engaging each other and listening to each other’s concerns”. (IANS)