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.