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Topical Philately Related to Mohandas K. Gandhi

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Postal History

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Gandhi's principles of peaceful, non-violent non-cooperation were inspired by an American philosopher, Henry David Thoreau.  The USA was the first country, besides India, to honor Gandhi on its stamps.  The design was adapted from photographs obtained from R. L. Lekhi, an Indian photographer.  At 120,000,000 (4c) and 40,000,000 (8c), these are the largest quantities of Gandhi stamps ever printed by any country.  Strange statistics, from a country, which until twenty years before this, had regarded Gandhi as a seditious saboteur of Western interests.  Strange also, since US laws in 1961 were targeted against racial minorities and were responsible for throwing someone who adopted Gandhi's non-violent tactics, Rev. Martin Luther King, in jail.  One is reminded of Gandhi's prophesy:  "It may be through American Negroes that the unadultrated message of non-violence will be delivered to the world".  It was.  Not in 1961, though.