Source: New Kerala News
Wire Service: IANS
On November 6, 2005 the Indo-Asian News Service reported, "The controversial Christmas stamp issued by Royal Mail depicting Virgin Mary with traditional Hindu markings ('tilak') based on a 17th century painting has been partially withdrawn. The stamp, priced at 68 pence - the basic cost of sending letters to India - had raised hackles of Hindu groups in Britain who first demanded its withdrawal and then threatened an agitation after Royal Mail refused do so. Royal Mail says the stocks of the stamp will run out early next week and it will not be replenished. The stamp will be henceforth only available on request... Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain, told IANS: 'Would the worldwide Christian community feel comfortable if the government of India issued a Diwali stamp with a Christian priest offering worship to baby Krishna?' A Royal Mail spokesman said no offence had been intended. 'We thought it would be nice to return to a religious theme'... [Kallidai said,] 'Even if we accept that an artist in 1620 made the mistake of portraying practising Hindus worshipping the infant Christ, we should be asking if this is politically and communally correct in the 21st century.'"