Part 48, Issue # 107 - March 13, 2003
D N Jatia was too ill, with cancer of the prostrate, to attend MILLEPEX 2000 held at Bhuwaneswar in January 2000. In his absence, the jury, like a headless chicken, didn't know what they did.
MILLEPEX Jury under M G Piitie as the president awarded only one gold medal to a thematic exhibit on History of Aviation that opened with 1911 first official airmail in India! In case it was judged under aerophilately it would have scored zilch and would have also scored same if judged properly in thematics.
Only one gold medal in a nation of 1 billion people after 25 years of the Philatelic Congress of India speaks volumes for their existence.
In case the same kind of jury and judgments were in place in 1970 then D N Jatia would have never emerged as a leader in philately.
Several new classes were introduced in 2000 by singular efforts of yours truly that however were clubbed together for the purpose of judging by ill-informed jury. Yours truly then worked for two full years, 2000 and 2001, to rectify the mess that Pittie and his team had created at MILLEPEX. In the very next national in December 2001 the new classes were judged, except frugal, with their own specific rules supplied to jury by yours truly.
There were 9 jury apprentices for this exhibition and Pittie, controlling the jury affairs as the jury secretary this time, held back all the papers regarding them in spite of stern reminders by India Post. He however was forced to hand these over to B N Som, the jury chairman, in the PCI meeting of April 22, 2002. Pittie had unilaterally cleared 5 out of 9 apprentices and under his control the jury team leaders did not even bother to complete assessment papers in regards to apprentice postal officers.
A review committee was formed by the PCI governing council to look in the matter with Som, Sahoo, and Pittie that evaluated each case and cleared all the 9 jury apprentices.
In a blatant disregard to this democratic and consensus decision Pittie once again made R D Binani undergo apprenticeship in this so called, recently held INPEX 2002.
Mysteriously R S Gandhi joined as jury apprentice. Bahiwani who flunked apprentice jury test conducted by Jatia in 1997 and was made to undergo another stint as an apprentice in 2000 was elevated to Secretary of Jury in this so-called national. The general feeling amongst philatelists is that it helps being an unscrupulous supporter of powers that be.
The PCI governing council, that used to appoint jury and apprentices, has been non-existent since August 25, 2002, and apparently had no role in appointing these members for this so-called national that has the dubious distinction of being the first not to have been recognized by India Post.
Then who did it? The answer is the same set of people who have been doing so for a long time. The names of exhibitions and organizations may change but it is the same set of people who hog all key posts in organizing and other committees, and control the affairs against all norms of a functioning society.
The message is loud and clear - PCI's role as a society representing Indian philately was only a fa?de. It was gainfully misused till it was found convenient and is now discarded exposing naked ambitions, personal agendas, and an unholy nexus of powers that be and their sycophants.