From the issues of Stamps of India Collectors Companion

Part 6, Issue # 63 - May 2, 2002 

Judging is a thankless job, a juror recently told us. The argument went on that you couldn?t satisfy the exhibitors no matter what the award. Our plea was that this can not be a reason for not trying.

We continue to focus on judging, with specific instances, this time on only one discipline ? revenues.

A M Mollah was quoted in a report published in ?The Revenue Journal of Great Britain?, Vol. 11 # 1, June 2000, as follows:

?Abdul Mollah recently attended a National Stamp Exhibition at Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa State where the judges didn?t seem to like revenue exhibits?

The judging of revenue exhibits later in the year at INDEPEX-ASIANA 2000 was the same story. These were evaluated in a very strange manner. On inquiry the Jury held Indian members responsible for this. The results were as under: Anil Suri won a Gold with Special Prize, for his exhibit that is winning Gold at World level since PHILAKOREA 1994, and Rajan Jayakar won a Gold for the first time.  After this all other participants uniformly were awarded a Vermeil, it seems without applying any yardstick whatsoever ? Dr. Anjali Dutta (first time exhibit), Anil Suri (another exhibit), Ajay Kumar Mittal, Rajan Jayakar (another exhibit), Sahadeva Sahoo, and the veteran revenue philatelist & Bureau Member of the Revenue Commission of the International Philatelic Federation ? A M Mollah. This is not only unjust but also insulting to the exhibitors. Under no stretch of imagination these exhibits will earn the same award in a properly judged show. Some will definitely go down in evaluation while some will deserve higher awards.

Indian jurors? aversion to revenue exhibits is well known. We appeal for evenhanded treatment of this prominent area of philately.

Earlier Anil Suri of New Delhi wrote in a letter to Secretary General of PCI on April 24, 2002. We reproduce excerpts as follows:

?I have been collecting Revenues of Indian Princely States for nearly two decades, exhibiting for over eight years, and brought the highest awards in the class to the country. I am very much concerned with the whole approach and judging for the Revenues Class in India. Without being prejudiced towards anybody I personally would have liked to have at least one specialized member of the Jury from this discipline. Unfortunately it is becoming clearer that the collective attitude of PCI towards this discipline is a bit negative.?

?Inpex 93 was the first national to have the Revenues Class. It is a common knowledge that at the confidential Jury sessions behind closed doors all fiscal exhibits were ruthlessly downgraded.?

The complete text of his letter is available at      

Secretary General of PCI, Dilip Shah of Jabalpur replied to Anil Suri on June 20, 2002. We reproduce excerpts as follows:

?The Department of Post in India has no interest in the promotion of the Revenue and Fiscal and there is a strong feeling that they have nothing to do with it.  Time and again, serious objections have been raised by the Department officials questioning their support and inclusion of the Revenue Class in the State, National and International Exhibitions which were being organized by the Department. If the PCI had not taken keen interest for the promotion of the Revenue philately in India, it would have long been out of the exhibitions organized by the Department of Post, which has no interest or obligation to include it.?

It is convenient for PCI and some of its office bearers to pass on the blame to India Post however the areas in which the Department is interested in, have been loosing favor with the Indian collectors on the behest of the PCI as they are not the current international collecting favorites like the collection of FDC?s that use to generate large volumes of sale and still can for India Post. We once again reiterate that India Post definitely needs to decide what is of national importance and frame their exhibiting regulations accordingly.  A handful of international level collectors should not be impacting the fun derived by tens of thousands of young collectors of First Day Covers.

The above-mentioned letter further goes on to mention ?The PCI accredited Jury are qualified to judge all the disciplines up to National level.  It is not possible or practical to have separate specialist Jury for each discipline at the State and National level exhibitions.  For selection as an Apprentice Juror, besides having certain minimum qualifications and wide experience, the person should also have a suitable temperament and ability to work together in a team or a group and above all an unbiased approach and unquestionable integrity.  Therefore, the Apprentice Jury nominations have to be approved by the PCI Governing Council.?

The complete text of this letter is available at      

Anil Suri responded with another letter to Secretary General of PCI on July 18, 2000 that remains unanswered till date. We reproduce excerpts as follows:

?If the Department of Post has no interest or obligation towards revenue philately that is very much understandable. There has never been a Revenue Class at district or state level so far. And last national the Department had organized was in 1993, therefore I fail to understand what PCI had done in this regard that you have been gloating about. And I do have evidence of PCI opposing revenues during this period that I have held back.? 

?I am mighty pleased regarding the qualifications, experience, temperament, approach, integrity, and ability to work together for Jurors as mentioned. Please let me know how many of existing jurors, including yourself, can prove to be true to the requirements as stipulated by you.?

The complete text of this letter is available at      

Philatelic world in general and Indian philately in particular needs stalwarts like Mollah who has been totally devoted to revenues for over two decades. He has been a Bureau Member of the FIP Revenues Commission from its very inception and has been exhibiting revenues internationally since 1988. Mollah has been associated with Koeppel & Manners catalogs of Indian States revenues and has authored a score of articles on revenue philately. It is high time that PCI includes specialists, like him, as a member of the Jury.  


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