Bhubaneswar 9th August: A black bordered Mourning Cover on M. Karunanidhi was issued by the Mourning Cover Society of India at Bhubaneswar today. The Day of Death Mourning Cover was made on the evening of the 7th August after the announcement of Kalaignar’s death and posted the same day. It was cancelled on the next day at the Philatelic Bureau at the Bhubaneswar G.P.O and later delivered by the Sahid Nagar post office. The cover was affixed with the recently issued stamp of Biju Patnaik. Both Karunanidhi and Biju Babu had a very close and special relation.
Mourning covers are black-edged posted letters used in most countries, especially during the 19th and early 20th centuries, as harbingers of death and messengers of grief. Mourning covers and stationery are easily identified by their black borders. These death related letters and covers are characterized by a mourning mark, almost always black, and have been carried in the public mail system of at least 250 different countries.
Mourning covers are issued on the death of statesmen, leaders and famous personalities. Very few are issued, and the covers are collected by philatelists. The Mourning Cover issued on Mahatma Gandhi after his death recently sold for Rs 6 lakhs.
Anil Dhir, the founder Secretary of the Society, said that earlier covers have been issued on Biju Patnaik, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Khushwant Singh and even Saddam Hussein. Dhir has a collection of 5000 different mourning covers from 180 countries spanning a period of two hundred years. Out of the five hundred covers issued, three hundred covers have been sent to Tamil Nadu for the philatelists there.