Readers Desk

First of all I wish you all a very happy new year!
Recently  India Post in collaboration with The Times Groups has published a book of stamps entitle INDIA A Philatelic Journey.
It looks really grand and the quality of printing and pictures are superb. Any body will be highly impressed by the book.
The selling price is Rs.5,500
It is reported to be a limited edition of 800 copies only!
Now, the question is whether it is really worth the price.
The cost is mainly because it contains original stamps not just images.
When you open the book in the second page you will find four stamps of Indian Miniatures. Look carefully they are not stamps just images! Normally if images are reproduced a characteristic cross mark is given against the denomination of the stamp to distinguish it from the original stamps.  It is a rule of the department of Posts.  But the same is violated by the department in its own publication. Or is it just to hoodwink the unsuspecting buyers?
In philately, sets are not supposed to be separated unless it is for some specific reason. Here some of the stamps mentioned are part of the sets.  E.g Locomotives, UPU etc. Since the book is banking upon the stamps presented in original they should have selected and presented the set in totality.
In some cases the mention is for the set whereas the stamps presented are not complete. E.g First War of Independence,Jasmine, Quit India, Brahmos, India-89 World Philatelic Exhibition etc
In case of Cities out of three sets purchased from three different Bureaus ( packed and not opened) in one set only we find Cuttack and in another the space is left blank and in yet another set a 60p stamp from India 89 is repeated!
To cap it all many of the stamps are in damaged condition! Who will replace them? All the stamps are affixed on the pages.  Normally it should not be affixed but kept within a transparent loose packed and the packed should be fixed on the pages.
Now I think the tile of the book should be INDIA A Philatelic Blunder
 
R.Purushothaman

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