From the issues of Stamps of India Collectors Companion

Part 7, Issue # 64 - May 9, 2002

Stamps and stamp collectors do from time to time attract the attention of the mainstream media especially as philatelists do continue to bring laurels for India. 

?India Today? the leading newsmagazine of India took an interest in philately way back in 1987 after the biggest loss took place for Indian Philately. The then secretary-general of the Philatelic Congress of India (PCI) and the national commissioner for the AMERIPEX?86 world philatelic exhibition, M G Pittie lost five collections while carrying exhibits to Chicago, USA via Canada. The AMERIPEX?86 Committee announced a reward of US $ 25,000 for information leading to the recovery of the exhibits lost. US Federal Bureau of Investigations was working on this case without much success. 

Two of the exhibits lost belonged to P Gupta of Kolkata, the then President of PCI. One of his exhibits ?Cochin? was in the FIP Championship Class and another was ?Indian Maritime Mail?. An exhibit of ?India Classics? that included the famous ?Inverted Head? besides several philatelic jewels belonged to S B Kothari of Kolkata. The fourth exhibit ?Soruth? belonged to Dhirubhai Mehta of Mumbai and like all other exhibits had won Gold Medals on many occasions. The fifth exhibit ?Indore? belonged to a young exhibitor Ravi Dangi of Indore. These exhibits were then estimated at Rs. 15 million.  As a trader and office-bearer of the Philatelic Traders Society (PTS) said in London: ?The market value of two out of the five collections lost could be as much as half a million pounds.? 

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?The Week?, another news magazine spoke in 1996 to leading philatelists and talked about the possibility of investing in stamps as a means of hiding black money.

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We are continuing to receive responses from our readers on this column. Reproduced below is the response received from Umesh Kakkeri of Mumbai:

?Thank you very much for publishing my letter, which I had written to the president of PCI on INPEX-EMPIREPEX 2001.

It will be disgraceful to know that this very president of the PCI has not bothered to write to me or even sending the acknowledgement of my letter, or single line stating of considering or looking into the matter, since almost 4 months have been past for my writing a Registered Acknowledgement Due letter to him.

And on top of it, Mr. Dhirubahi Mehta and Mr. Vispy Dastoor, both former presidents of PCI, think I am a ping pong ball which they are hitting from one court to other (any body can make that out from their respective letters).

What any gentleman can expect from these shameless people occupying high offices and doing nothing?

I request you to publish this letter of mine, so that my fellow philatelists should know that what kind of people are taking care of Indian philately and what kind of people we are electing as a president of the topmost body in Indian philately (PCI).?  

Part 8, Issue # 65 - May 16, 2002

We have been constantly receiving feedback for this column and we are in the process of compiling the same.  We will continue with more inputs on philately in transition in the next issue.


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