April 29, 2006

On labels

An award-winning stamp-collector gave us a guided tour through (only a part of) his collection the other day. He is also an avid collector of Ganeshas, and has over 700 sculptures -- thumbnail-sized and up -- and some similar number of paintings, all over his home. And on the frame above one door, a crucifix.

But back to the stamps. He must have thousands, individually mounted on 8x10 cards, embellished with related news clippings or photographs, wrapped in plastic, filed carefully in boxes and stored in steel cupboards. A remarkable collection, the work of a lifetime.

One of these exhibits was a collection of postal labels -- not stamps, but simply labels. Here's some of the slogans on those labels:

    We fought for liberty, we will now fight out poverty, ignorance, want and fear.

    Let Independence usher the era of plenty and prosperity for all.

    With the flaming torch of Freedom, let's take the oath to keep faith and fight it through [sic] ignorance, poverty, want and fear.

    Now that Independence is won, let us gird up for the next new fight for the betterment of our countrymen.

    With Freedom won, the honour of our country depends on our individual conduct.

    Freedom's here: Let's deserve it.

From 1947, of course.

Question: are these still relevant today?

Question: how would you react if the postal department issued labels with language like this today?

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