House members pushing for Diwali commemorative stamp

Jan 14, 2015
Press Release
Maloney, Honda, Bera, Gabbard and Meng say Festival of Lights deserves recognition

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today introduced a Congressional Resolution urging the United States Postal Service to issue a stamp to commemorate the holiday Diwali. Reps. Mike Honda (D-CA), Ami Bera (D-CA), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and Grace Meng (D-NY) joined Maloney in the push to recognize the holiday. The Indian holiday is celebrated by billions across the globe. Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil, light over dark, and knowledge over ignorance.

“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. “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.”

“I’m proud to join Congresswoman Maloney and my colleagues in calling for a stamp commemorating Diwali,” said Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA). “It celebrates ideas that Americans believe in – good over evil, light over dark, knowledge over ignorance.  The millions of Americans who celebrate Diwali deserve to have their holiday afforded the same recognition and respect as the USPS has already shown for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Eid.”

“A postage stamp recognizing Diwali as an important holiday is long overdue,” said Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA). “Diwali is a celebration of goodness over evil observed by millions of Americans each year and it should get the same acknowledgment as many other major religious holidays do with a commemorative stamp.”

“Diwali is a time of spiritual renewal for many American,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).  This stamp would be deeply meaningful to Indian Americans all across the country, and Hindus around the world.  The Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee should recognize Diwali, its universal message of selflessness and righteousness, and the diversity that exists within our country.”

“Diwali deserves its own stamp,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY). “The Postal Service has issued stamps for several major religious holidays, and now it’s time that the agency does the same for the Festival of Lights as well. I‘m proud to once again join Congresswoman Maloney in pushing for a stamp to recognize and celebrate this important holiday, and we will continue to keep up the fight.”

Aside from the cultural significance of the Diwali stamp, there are economic benefits associated with its issuance. There are over 3 million Indian Americans residing in the United States and over 1 billion Indians living in India. The sale of the Diwali stamp could provide the USPS with a much-needed revenue surge.  

For several years, Congresswoman Maloney has headed efforts in Congress to push the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee to consider issuing a commemorative Diwali stamp. In 2013, Congresswoman Maloney introduced H.Res. 47, expressing the sense of the U.S. House of Representatives that the CSAC should issue a Diwali stamp. The bill had 46 cosponsors. Maloney wrote letters to the CSAC in 2010 and 2012 requesting the same action.