Saturday, March 28, 2015

India Post needs a Research Unit for Philately

Another round of stamps that contain unique spellings. First up, the D. K. Pattammal stamp issued in September 2014. This can get tricky, but I will try explain. The musician's name in the vernacular language (Hindi) is printed incorrectly. The Department of Posts is not going to make any amends, but I do want philatelists to be aware of this fact. Take a look at the snapshot from the information brochure released along with the stamps. The incorrect Hindi spelling on the actual stamp reads - D. K. Pattaamal, whereas it should be corrected as D. K. Pattammal (as printed in the brochure).

D. K. Pattammal
The next stamp issue that deserves mention was recently released on 20 March 2015. This stamp was released during the India and Indian Ocean international conference in Bhubaneshwar. The stamp commemorates Indian Ocean and king Rajendra Chola I. The theme is great and the stamp is design is decent as well. The problem lies in the fact that the king's name Rajendra Chola I is printed as Rajendra Chola 1. It is typical to use regnal numbers (written using roman numerals) for monarchs, but India Post's choice of using the common numerals was odd. In the Hindi spelling on the stamp, apart from the fact that the Hindi spelling of Rajendra Chola I, oddly reads Rajendra Chol I, use of the common numeral 1, instead of just spelling out 'Pratham' or 'First' is amusing. I am unsure about the spelling of Chola in Hindi, but if I find additional information will provide an update.
Anyways, thought I'd shed some light on these two stamp issues, with a hope that stamp design can improve in the future. There is an urgent need to establish a research wing within the philately division in the Department of Posts to avoid such gross errors. This research unit will enable collection of accurate information on stamp subjects, help design stamps in consultation with SPMCIL, national museums, Ministry of Culture, etc. A proper system of quality check with respect to stamp design and printing will ensure that the best product is delivered to the philatelists. This idea may have been mooted in the previous Five Year Plan as well, but when will it be implemented?

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