Culture Current Affairs
United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) has issued special stamps with Diyas lamps (special event sheet) to commemorate India Hindu festival of Diwali. These stamps are available at UN headquarters post office in New York, US and also online.
The special event sheet (stamps) issued by UNPA are in denomination of US $1.15. It contains ten stamps and tabs featuring festive lights and symbolic lamps known as diyas. The background of sheet features United Nations Headquarters building illuminated with message of “Happy Diwali” to celebrate the spirit of the festival.
The description accompanying information about stamps mentioned that Diwali, also known as Deepawali is joyous and popular festival of lights, which is celebrated in India and by followers of many faiths across the world. It also said that during celebration clay lamps known as diyas are lit to signify the victory of good over evil. The festival also symbolises start of new year for many communities.
Note: United States Postal Service (USPS) in October 2016 had launched commemorative stamp in honour of festival of Diwali. It was issued after seven-years-long efforts and advocacy by Indian-American community and several Congressional resolutions by influential American lawmakers such as Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA)
It is postal agency of United Nations. It issues postage stamps and postal stationery, denominated in United States dollars for United Nations offices in New York, in Swiss francs for offices in Geneva and in euros for the offices in Vienna. Postage rates charged are identical to those of the host nation.
Karnataka Government has decided to accept state flag proposed and designed by 9-member committee constituted by state Kannada and Culture department. It will be official flag in place of an unofficial red and yellow flag that is currently used in the state to signify local pride.
The committee has recommended new tricolour having yellow (at top), white (in middle) and red (at bottom) colorus, with state’s emblem Gandaberunda (a two-headed mythological bird) in centre. The white colour in new flag symbolizes peace and captures Karnataka’s image the best, while other two colours are synonymous with Kannada identity. Now state government will make formal application to Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) under whose purview issue falls to amend Flag Code 2002 to included state flag. The amendment will add provisions of including Karnataka flag as one of the symbols in the Flag Code.
If adopted with clearance from MHA, Karnataka will be the second state after Kashmir to have an official state flag. Karnataka has had unofficial state flag since mid-1960s when pro-Kannada groups were agitating against the screening of non-Kannada films in the state. The earlier red and yellow unofficial flag was created by Kannada writer and activist Ma Ramamurthy for pro-Kannada political party called Kannada Paksha. This unofficial flag is flown every year on November 1, Karnataka’s foundation day, and is a common sight at public spaces in the state.
Karnataka already has official state song and there is feeling that there is nothing wrong in having state flag.