Petitions presented to Deputy Postmaster General supporting a commemorative stamp honoring Indian holiday Diwali

Jul 18, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Ami Bera (D-CA), Grace Meng (D-NY) and representatives of the Indian-American community today presented Ron Stroman, Deputy Postmaster General, with petitions signed by thousands of supporters of a commemorative stamp honoring the Indian holiday Diwali.

Maloney is sponsor, and Reps. Meng and Bera are cosponsors of, H. Res 47, a resolution which requests that the U.S. Postal Service issue a commemorative U.S. stamp in honor of the Indian holiday Diwali, the five-day “festival of lights,” celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains around the world.

“Today’s meeting with the Deputy Postmaster General is another important step on the road to a Diwali stamp,” Rep. Maloney said. “I am optimistic that the Citizens Stamp Advisory Commission will respond favorably to the 1300 signatures presented today, and the 400,000 signatures presented in the online campaign.”

“I appreciate Deputy Postmaster General Stroman meeting with my colleagues and me today to discuss the US Postal Service issuing a Diwali stamp,” said Rep. Bera. “Introducing a Diwali stamp makes business sense, giving the USPS more revenue at a time when it’s sorely needed, and is also the right thing to do, giving this holiday—and the India American Community—the equal recognition that it deserves.”

“The Postal Service has issued stamps for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Eid and now it’s time for one to honor Diwali,” said Rep. Meng. “Diwali, the festival of lights, is observed by 1.2 billion people in over 120 countries including the United States and India. These include thousands of constituents who reside in my district which includes one of the largest South Asian populations in the country. Issuing a stamp would be an outstanding way to salute the tremendous contributions of Hindu and Indian Americans, and it would give Diwali the recognition that it deserves. I thank the Deputy Postmaster General for meeting with us and we will continue to keep up the fight.”

Ranju Batra, chair of Diwali Stamp Project, said "I'm truly excited by today's meeting with Deputy Postmaster General Stroman. Rep. Carolyn Maloney's durable national leadership is bearing fruit. I'm also grateful for the support of Rep. Grace Meng along with Rep. Ami Bera for attending today. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has worked hard to support Carolyn's HR47. I was delighted to have the letter-petitions presented to DPMG Stroman and have Carolyn read out loud Amb. Mulay's poem, 'Towards Diwali Stamp,' now the official poem of the Diwali Stamp Project. We are closer than ever before, and we will not stop until our Diwali Stamp is issued."

Ravi Batra said, "Ron Stroman is a serious public official, who comprehends the compelling need to issue the Diwali Stamp, consistent with CSAC's necessary merit-driven independent judgment, and I applaud Carolyn Maloney's tireless leadership and Ranju's limitless work ethic in driving the Diwali Stamp to critical mass -  with scores of members of congress supporting, including Tulsi and Ami - and now an official poem too. When the USPS decides, sooner rather than later, to issue the Diwali Stamp 'E Pluribus Unum' shall include Hindu-Americans too."

As part of the campaign for the Diwali stamp, Maloney asked Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay, the Consul General of India in New York, to write the following poem, “Towards Diwali Stamp” in support of the campaign:

“Towards Diwali Stamp”

Brighten up the world
Light up the nearest Lamp
Stamp out clouds of darkness
Bring in the Diwali Stamp.


Diwali, also known as the Holiday of Lights, marks the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and the beginning of the Hindu New Year. It is one of the oldest and most storied religious holidays in the world, and is celebrated by people of several faiths. There are commemorative stamps for Christmas, Chanukah, Kwaanza, Eid, and more. A Diwali stamp would officially recognize the size and significance of the country’s Indian American population, which comprises over three million people, and would provide the USPS with sorely needed revenue,

113th Diwali Stamp Cosponsors, H.Res. 47
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney
Updated 7/17/13

1.    Beatty, Joyce
2.    Bera, Ami
3.    Castor, Kathy
4.    Chu, Judy
5.    Conolly, Gerry
6.    Crowley, Joeseph
7.    Dingell, John
8.    Duckworth, Tammy
9.    Gabbard, Tulsi
10.    Green, Al
11.    Heck, Denny
12.    Holt, Rush
13.    Honda, Michael
14.    Israel, Steve
15.    Kennedy, Joe
16.    Kildee, Dan
17.    King, Peter
18.    Maffei, Daniel
19.    Maloney, Sean Patrick
20.    McNerney, Jerry
21.    Meeks, Gregory
22.    Meng, Grace
23.    Murphy, Patrick
24.    Nadler, Jerry
25.    Napolitano, Grace
26.    Nolan, Richard
27.    Payne, Donald
28.    Peters, Gary
29.    Rangel, Charles
30.    Ruiz, Raul
31.    Rush, Bobby
32.    Schiff, Adam
33.    Sherman, Brad
34.    Sinema, Kyrsten
35.    Slaughter, Louise
36.    Speier, Jackie
37.    Swalwell, Eric
38.    Takano, Mark
39.    Tonko, Paul
40.    Walz, Tim
41.    Waxman, Henry