From the issues of Stamps of India Collectors Companion

Part 34, Issue # 93 - November 28, 2002

Mafatlal Sheth of Mumbai was the Secretary of the Trade Committee of the INPEX EMIREPEX 2001 national philatelic exhibition held at Nashik from December 22 to 26, 2001. This exhibition was held under the patronage of Philatelic Congress of India (PCI) and with the support of India Post, which also spent nearly one million rupees. 

He sent the following email message to a number of philatelists, both amateurs and professionals, on January 1, 2002:
Nashik exhibition was a total flop show and will go in the history of philately as black chapter. Everything was mess. Neither dealers nor collectors were happy. I would like to know your opinion about the exhibition.

Following are the relevant excerpts from some of the responses he received:

A S Mittal from Jaipur
Nashik was not the appropriate place- the hall was not known even to auto rickshaw pullers. Mr. Dastur is not fit for organising such exhibitions.

C R Andhare from Bilaspur
Yes, I agree with you. The arrangements for dealers and exhibitor were not up to mark.

S D Bhatia from New Delhi
I agree with your views as Nasik exhibition was total flop I hope in future no such exhibition are organized any way when you become the president of society you would definitely look all matters before conducting such exhibitions.

A S Banga from New Delhi
Thanks for your letter and comments about Nasik exhibition. You are right about the exhibition but we are part and parcel of the same, as due to our narrow interest we cannot raise our voice for better treatment. WHAT A JOKE IT WAS? EVEN AFTER SECOND DAY EXHIBIT WAS NOT DISPLAYED AND NO BODY KNOWS WHOM TO ASK FOR DEALERS FACILITIES. WE ARE THANKFUL TO YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION AND AFFECTION THAT YOU HAVE EXTENDED OVER THERE.

Prashant Pandya from Vadodara
Layout and frame arrangement was quite poor.

Sudhir Jain from Satna
Regarding Nasik, when they are not capable then why they take responsibility? PCI should do something for future. I will talk to Shri Dilip Shah. Do you remember, my exhibits of ROTARY INTERNATIONAL and
JAINISM were exhibited or not?

Sheth forwarded these messages along with a message from P C Jaiswal from Kolkata (the message was corrupted on the computer hence is not reproduced) to PCI through its Joint Treasurer, Suketu Jhaveri with his cover note.

He received a belated response from PCI Secretary, B K Sinha dated April 10, 2002, being reproduced below in full:

"Your comments that the Nashik exhibition was a flop show is entirely your opinion - depending on which aspect you view it. The enclosed copies of emails (7) also represents the opinion of five dealers and two exhibitors. Must I presume that your comments represents the collective opinion of philatelic dealers?

At the outset, we must appreciate the effort in terms of time and money which has gone in to organize an exhibition of this magnitude. You must also appreciate the fact that without exhibitions the philatelic dealer fraternity would be in doldrums. Given the constraints of raising funds and organizing frames for an exhibition, there would be shortcoming at every exhibition, which we have to take it with a pinch of salt. Let us try to appreciate the better side of the show, rather than harping on deficiencies.

Every exhibition is organized with a budget which rarely meets its expenses. Exhibitions are not held with a motive of profit. Dealers however MAY make a profit from attending and participating at the exhibition - I see no reason why they should complain. If facilities are lacking, it is because it is expensive to those facilities demanded. 

During the previous nationals - Millepex 2000, the show was held despite the preceding super cyclone, damage to the original venue, backing out of all major sponsors and its attending problems - the show was held on schedule just because we had the commitment. The eight dealers stall we had, never earned organizers any money. All but two dealers returned the chains and locks we had provided them. I shall not name them - but these are the people whose endorsements you have provided.

Let us try to see and appreciate the brighter things of any event, it would lead to much more meaningful attitude and harmony, which in turn would help the common cause of promoting philately. What can the PCI do if there is no harmony amongst its own members."

Sheth responded with a letter to Sinha on May 17, 2002 and excerpts from the same are given below:

"Your comment that "Let us try to appreciate the better side of the show", yes I agree and willing to appreciate better side but there is no better side at all, every side is bad and dull so where is the scope for appreciation? Leaving aside few people like you no one either dealers or collectors are happy with the show. This show will go in the history of philately as black day. 

Yes you can presume that my comments about the show represent collective opinion of philatelic dealers. Also note that 7 emails copies enclosed are from highly reputed people in philatelic field and their words carry more weight than yours.

Re. your comments that dealers will be in doldrums without exhibition, I may remove your ignorance on this point, none of the dealer is dependent on your exhibitions, they sell material even when there are no exhibitions, ... All dealers are well to do and they do not need any body's mercy.

And dealers are paying you stall money so you must know they have every right to complain whenever called for....

I had attended several International Exhibitions and seen their wonderful arrangements so I am able to comment up on the deficiencies.... a Intelligent person instead of giving excuses will try to improve upon his deficiencies.

You must know that there was a handful of surplus amount at this show so your argument about shortage of funds hold no good, the show was a failure only because it was managed by incapable persons like Vispi Dastur, he is fully responsible for the failure, if he has no capacity to handle such national level exhibition he should keep a way from such adventure, it was rightly commented by one dealer "Dastur is unfit to organize exhibition of such level".

Collectively exhibitors and dealers are beginning to not only notice, but voice their opinions when they encounter a bad exhibition due to judging or organizational difficulty, which is a sign of maturity.


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