Issue # 61 - April 18, 2002
In this issue we take you on a ?journey through
judgments? and our first stop is an excerpt from 'A
View of INDIA?89' by Gerald Sattin published in ?India Post?, The
Journal of the India Study Circle for Philately, Vol. 23 # 3, whole #
101, July - September 1989 issue.
our friends in India have to realize is that philatelic leaders have a
responsibility to aspiring collectors.
Their role is not the wielding of power, privilege and patronage,
but to help and guide collectors as to what is good or bad, quality or
tat, and inspire them, from beginners with only a desire to collect, to
more advanced collectors with philatelic knowledge and experience.
This was most forcefully impressed upon me when one collector asked
me to view his display. I
found he had a quite obvious forgery, and told him so, only to be assured
that one of the ?powers that be? had insisted that it was genuine. That person was an Indian juror!?
No prizes for guessing the identity of
?powers that be?. India-89 was a world philatelic exhibition organized
by India Post. Read more at the web site
A K Bayanwala commenting on the state of affairs at
INDEPEX-ASIANA 2000, again organized by India Post, in the column 'From
The Desk Of President? published in GPA NEWS, Vol. 4 # 6, Whole #
42, January 2001, Monthly publication of Gujarat Philatelists'
?In my opinion, an exhibitor should be
allowed to put his defence, when he is penalized for exhibiting his
materials. The Constitution of India does not give power to any judge to
punish a person, without giving him an opportunity to defend him.?
more at the site
Late V V Mehar in his letter of February
27, 2001 to PCI President wrote about Indian Juries, M G Pittie and Dilip
Shah, at HONG KONG 2001
cavalier attitude of some of the Indian Jury is also responsible for the
fast decline of Indian Philately. Favoritism
& Nepotisms in Indian philatelic competitions is now universally
discussed at all International meets.?
The complete text of his letter is
Umesh Kakkeri in his letter to PCI
President recounts his experience at INPEX-EMPIREPEX 2001
I personally asked one of the juries one Mr. M G Pittee about
reconsidering about my result. He
flatly replied that nothing can be done as the results are already
announced, but I also wish to bring to your kind notice that Mr. M G
Pittee changed one persons result from ?out of the exhibit? category
to Large Silver medal very much from the stage at the time of prize
distribution ceremony. I
would like to request PCI to elaborate me that under what capacity Mr.
Pittee can do this after the results are already announced and displayed
them on the notice boards at every nook & corner of exhibition
The complete text of his letter is available at
exhibit referred to in his letter belongs to Pragya Kothari Jain son of
Pradip Jain of Patna. Pradip Jain accompanied by Dr. Ranjit Singh Gandhi
had hand carried this exhibit and arrived on the first day of the
exhibition. By that time it was already marked as absent. That all
exhibits at INPEX-EMPIREPEX 2002 were not mounted and the youth class was
the worst sufferers is now well known. This does not do much for the
promotion of youth philately in India through stamp exhibitions. This
exhibit was shown as ?absent? in the award list published by the
Organizing Committee but while the award ceremony was in progress, Dr.
Gandhi walked over to M G Pittie sitting on the dais and reportedly
requested him to let this exhibit have the medal it was awarded last time
? Large Silver. Don?t know why but Pittie readily agreed and the award
was announced. It is interesting to note that Dr. Gandhi is responsible
for preparing this exhibit and hence his concern?
more interesting is the correspondence between Dhirubhai Mehta and Vispi
Dastur on Kakkeri?s
complaint. Complete text is available at
Varma, another collector who has
been disheartened by the decision of the Jury members of INPEX-EMPIREPEX
2001 has complained to the PCI President
is not the only case at this or earlier exhibitions. These persons have
demonstrated time and again, thru their actions, that they have neither
any knowledge of philately nor that of managing a public organization or
exhibitions. And have no inclination to change. All this has been possible
due to uneven distribution of institutional seats on the PCI Governing
Council where one state will have 3 seats and 4 states together have 1
seat, and several states have no seat at all. Instead of a federation of
philatelic societies as was the original idea; the PCI has become a
society of individuals. A few persons, for whom it appears as a source of
livelihood, control it. PCI, since its birth in 1976, has never had any
role to play in promotion of philately in India, which has clearly
declined. In a country of 1 billion people sending 20 exhibits abroad in a
year is neither an achievement nor promotion of philately although it does
provide enough opportunities for a handful of persons to gain monetarily
and hold authority over aspiring collectors. Any honest person would be
ashamed to be associated with such persons.?
The complete text of his letter is available at
As in the case of dissatisfied customers
there are hundreds who do not lodge their complaints. This is the time for
philatelists in India to come together for safeguarding the future of
philately. The need of the hour is to set examples for the younger
philatelists to emulate. And to lay down of just, transparent and suitable
regulations for conducting meetings, elections, exhibitions, exhibiting,
We solicit your comments and suggestions to carry forth
the task of moving Indian philately through its transitional phase to its
rightful place in the philatelic world.
5, Issue # 62 - April 25, 2002
this issue also we continue with the ever controversial topic of
friend, who does not wish to be identified, called in to ask why we have started
exposing the misdeeds of judging only from 1989 when this malady has been going
on from the day India Post organized the first ever national philatelic
exhibition in 1970. We did explain that we had touched 1970 while writing on D N
Jatia in issue # 59. We agreed that the nationals in 1975, 1977, 1982, 1986,
1993 and internationals in 1977 and 1980 do provide ample opportunities to
document wrongdoings and in many cases there are several published reports in
various publications in India as well as abroad. We had to start from somewhere
and we began with 1989 that is not too old for the current generation of
sincerely believe that the system has to be cleaned up first before any real
development can take place. Therefore we definitely will be collating all
previously documented as well as new reports for presentation here. Many of
these may not have had the benefit of being seen by a large readership. We
invite your contributions regarding your experiences with philately/philatelists
in India as well as comments for publication here.
are amazed that even after clear reports documenting ills of judging in Indian
philately that had been authored by respected names and published by reputed
publications, the Philatelic Congress of India (PCI) and India Post have failed
to take any corrective action.
Post was one of the entities that created the PCI in 1976 by signing its
Memorandum of Association. Army Postal Service (APS), represented by APS
Historical Society, was also a signatory. The PCI, since its inception, has been
working very closely with India Post and could not have survived thus far
without generous official patronage. The head of Philately Division of India
Post is always an ex-officio member of the Governing Council of the PCI from
1976 till date. The same is also true regarding representation of APS, either
its head or the head of its constituent APS Historical Society. Effectively
India Post has two reserved seats on PCI Governing Council of 26 members (23
elected and 3 co-opted).
Post needs to play an equally active role to set right the ills plaguing
philately in India. Almost all exhibitions at district, state, national and
international level are organized by India Post or with their support even when
they are at the initiative of any other organization. In absence of detailed
regulations the group with vested interest have misguided India Post on numerous
occasions in the past.
Post must now clearly look at the benefits it derives by organizing exhibitions
where International philatelic Federation (FIP) regulations are implemented in a
selective manner that is damaging to our national interests. The blind following
of the FIP rules, ignoring national interests has led to the wiping out of a
philatelic discipline ? First Day Covers (FDC), that sold in several hundred
thousands and now sell in hundreds. The loss to India Post is estimated at over
Rs. 150 millions per year taking the numbers of FDC sold if they would have
remained static to the levels at the time of the creation of PCI.
can organize world exhibitions without FIP and its Continental Federation (FIAP)
where competitive displays are just couple of hundred frames. US postal service
successfully held World Stamp Expo, more or less on the same lines, in 1989 and
2000 and is planning one for 2005.
India this will save fat fees for patronage paid to FIP and FIAP as well as the
heavy expenses incurred for hosting international jury. Even more important than
saving money is saving philately in India that is dying a slow death due to the
unprofessional way in which it is being managed for a very long time by same
small group of people with vested interests.
development of philately in India from the grass root levels up to world level
is required. The interests of 15 or 20 exhibitors participating in FIP
exhibitions per year have been hogging resources from the overall development of
philately in India. This needs to be set right at the earliest.
K Bayanwala once again writes on judging this time on INPEX-EMPIREPEX 2001, in
'From The Desk Of President? published in GPA NEWS,
Vol. 5 # 7, Whole # 42, February 2002. We give below some excerpts:
exhibition, in particular National Exhibitions, always leave bad taste in the
mouths of the participants.?
?It is very high time for
the organizers and for stalwarts in philately, to think and change the rules or
to force the existing rules to be compulsorily operative.
For instant, Exhibition rules say that critic session should be arranged
during the exhibition. But usually,
we don?t find such session in a National Exhibition.?
?Actually, I want to
stress on a point that extra care should be taken in judging the exhibits, or
otherwise it will look like a ?fixing of a judgment?, and that will be bad
The complete text of this
?must read? column is available at
A Critique Session (an
Indian version of it) was held during the national exhibition in 1993 and an
incident there led to a lawsuit against the India Post and PCI. Since then the
Critique Session have never been held in India.
In fact questioning a
philatelic juror in India is a dangerous thing to do. The usual practice is that
jury handover the award list to the organizers and leave town before it is made
public to avoid answering any questions. If
all this is not a mockery of judging than we do not know what is.