43, Issue # 102 - February 6, 2003
Before the end of the next month this column will be a year old and has been well received by the readers. However the powers that be at the helm of affairs in the current scenario of Indian Philately continue unabated to bend and break the system for their personal gains. This is clearly demonstrated by the actions of those who have been manipulating the system for long and still hope that they can continue with the practice.
M G Pittie of Hyderabad was a Juror at the National Stamp Exhibition of United Arab Emirates organized by Emirates Philatelic Association with Asian Philatelic Federation (FIAP) held from January 20 to 24, 2003 at Dubai during Dubai Shopping Festival, it was the 7th exhibition and Pittie has been a permanent fixture as a Juror at each one of these exhibitions due to some undisclosed reason. This year he took Vispi Dastur of Mumbai along.
The first such exhibition was held in 1997 where the exhibit "Speed Post - the Story of the Indian Express Mail Service" of yours truly was displayed in the invitee class. This exhibit later went on to be the Best Modern Philatelic Exhibit in the World in 1998 in Israel.
The Philatelic Congress of India (PCI), the member federation of FIP & FIAP, is not aware of any of Pittie's nominations in this regard. As the elections of the PCI were stayed by the order of the Court, there is no Governing Council since August 25, 2002 and no meeting has been held since. Yet this is no deterrent to persons such as Pittie.
Till 2001 PCI governing council was responsible for appointment of the Jury for various exhibitions being organized in India and abroad with India Post. But with many instances coming to notice it is now emerging that no reference needs to be made to the governing council of PCI by those who think they are in control of it.
Dhananjay Desai of Ahmedabad, the national commissioner to HAFNIA 2002 world exhibition with Sahoo's consent did not send any exhibit to Denmark during October 2002, as he was unable to obtain the official permission to take Dilip Shah's exhibit out of the country. The no show of the rest of the India exhibits was a loss of face for India. However, instead of being questioned on his actions Desai has been rewarded with an appointment as Apprentice Jury at the so-called INPEX 2002.
Sahoo, being investigated by the premier agency in the country, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for smuggling antiquities on several occasions, served as juror at MAPPEX organized by Madhya Pradesh Circle of India Post. Shah, who is also being investigated for similar charges, played a mysterious role in judging and was conspicuous by his absence on the last 2 days of the exhibition in spite of it being in his home state.
Our readers may draw their own conclusions on the goings on in philately in India. It is amply clear that the coveted visits as jurors are maneuvered. To be a juror from India it is more important to be the camp follower of those who controls PCI than the philatelic qualifications.
The FIAP and FIP have to figure out for themselves that the PCI as they knew died with D N Jatia in November 2000. The false pretenders neither represent the philatelist community in the country nor supported by the Government of India.