Part 1, Issue # 58 - March 28, 2002
A positive attitude is the guiding principle in discussing the below mentioned issues in this newsletter and even though we have resisted pressure to highlight issues of this nature in this Newsletter during its 20 month long life. But we feel that the Newsletter is definitely an appropriate platform where these issues could be discussed.
After the demise of D N Jatia in late 2000, who admittedly was in absolute control, the qualified leader/s with vision are yet to emerge on the Indian philatelic scene. Meanwhile for over a year now directionless drifting has been the norm. Nothing of importance is discussed in general body or governing council meetings of PCI and every thing important including awards and appointments, are available for the asking, but for a price, from a small group of people who are attempting to hold control and whose acceptability factor in general hovers close to zero.
We consider it our duty to report truly the Indian philatelic scenario. We had hoped that better sense would prevail and collectively the senior philatelists would try to give a positive direction to philately in India. Instead an attempt is being made to control it through the Philatelic Congress of India (PCI) that has been run as a privately owned business and not as public society, that it is meant to be, in 26 years of its existence. Earlier the favors were dispensed by Jatia but now it is the small group that considers itself the true inheritors of this privately owned lucrative philatelic business better known to the world as PCI.
This group is prepared not to allow a change even at the cost of creating a negative image internationally. Encouraging new collectors and guiding them to emerge on the International philatelic horizon was something that Jatia did with ease. Instead this group continuously nominates themselves and their loyal and pliable cronies to positions of commissioners and jury members. These members then use these positions to settle personal scores at international shows. They do not even have the vision to let go of the district level exhibitions even though they have been, with the help of Jatia, acting as experts internationally. If there philatelic knowledge were to be tested they would feature nowhere even on the National scene.
India has the potential of nurturing international philatelists many folds the numbers that are currently participating. But it is the close sighted view of this small group that has disgusted many an emerging philatelists to simply give up the hobby and pursue other ventures.
We request the India Post to also come forth and recognize individuals and institutions that have been doing good work in promoting philately. The PCI even though it is meant to represent the interest of the philatelists has been actually doing damage to the promotion of philately being done by the India Post by misrepresenting the interests of the general collectors.
In the forthcoming issues we will document the material that we have received that would highlight the degenerated state of philately in India today and hope that other likeminded people would join hands in focusing on the problems and collectively finding a solution to its ailments.
Please send in your views and opinions to make this column make a difference to philatelic scenario in India and in the International arena.