From the issues of Stamps of India Collectors Companion

Part 52, Issue # 111 - April 10, 2003

There is an entire generation of philatelists in India at present who grew up seeing and believing in PCI. To them PCI is philately! PCI's way of promoting philately is the only and the right way of practicing philately.

Though the numbers for such persons is small yet they have been on the philatelic scene for more than a decade, they have not allowed collectors to grow at the grass roots because that is what they have seen PCI doing. These persons have risen in philately by means of payoffs and blind loyalty and that is what they expect of those who come in contact with them.

The efforts of the Department of Posts are laudable in view of the philatelic scene in India to hold district level exhibitions in India to promote philately at the grass roots. Sometimes as advisors to various exhibitions these same persons have put hurdles in promoting philately.

Till D N Jatia was alive PCI was run as his personal and private property. The other known names from India owe their very existence to Jatia as their primary qualification has been unwavering, unquestioning and blind loyalty to him and his personal agenda. Now that Jatia is gone, it is these very persons who claim to have inherited the mantle and control of philately in India.

There have been philatelists such as G B Pai, P Gupta, Brigadier Virk, and few others who rose to prominence in spite of Jatia on their own merits. While Jatia managed awards and honors in heaps, the nomination of any name, other than Jatia, for any honor or award was taboo. This is the reason that a person of Pai's stature is bereft of any suitable philatelic decorations. The chances of P Gupta, the first Indian to win the Grand Prize of Honor, who was all set to bag the nation's coveted civil honor 'Padma Shree' was successfully scuttled by Jatia. Brigadier Virk was nominated for the coveted RDP (Roll of Distinguished Philatelists) not by PCI but by the national philatelic federation of Norway!

There also have been philatelists such as Dhirubhai Mehta and few others who even after possessing merit and having global recognition unashamedly surrendered to Jatia for petty personal gains. Philatelists such as M A Rao, and O P Bhatnagar were simply ignored and were denied their rightful places.

To promote this hobby among the younger generation all concerned need to focus more on the hobby for fun, entertainment and education. The need is also to focus on thematic and newer forms of collections like frugal, social, picture post cards, and one-frame.

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