Indian media was taken for a jolly hoax ride when the news of US issuing a stamp in memory of late Akkineni Nageswara Rao went around, including ours reporting in awe that the most-loved Telugu actor was honoured by a distant country.
The news quoting fans of ANR in the US called the Akkineni Foundation of America (AFA) proved wrong and the so-called issue of the stamp on the birth anniversary of the actor was also a rumour, well-stitched in time. It said a special release ceremony will also be held by the association on September 20 in Dallas, Texas.
However, Linns Stamp News quoting Washington Post said Outlook magazine of India report and repeated by many other Indian media websites was entirely untrue and even the quoted version attributed to his son was ill-informed. Nageshwara Rao died of heart attack in sleep after a cancer surgery in January. A special release ceremony will also be held by the association on September 20 in Dallas, Texas.
Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent, wrote, “Unfortunately for the son and Indian movie fans, Mark Saunders, a Postal Service spokesman, told Linn’s that USPS has no plans for any such stamp.”
Quoting Sanders, the washington Post report said , “Worse still, Saunders said he was having difficulty trying to contact the American foundation that apparently triggered the news with a press release.”
There it is, a hoax well-timed and played on the emotions of Telugu fans of a late actor who would not have expected this would happen to him, that too after his death. His humble life, a lesson to many Telugus all over the world, proved how people play around even with the dead.
Either Indian postal department or USPS should make it true to restore the dignity of the man who brought the two countries together with his popular first book in Telugu on America titled, “Nenu Chusina America” in the mid-1960s.