Thursday, December 22, 2016

Legend in the Making: Legendary Singers of India Stamps

Update (22 Dec 2016): The last word on this story had yet to be said. India Post will release the Legendary Singers of India stamps on 31st December 2016. Sheets of 45 stamps for each singer is being sold on ePostOffice for pre-booking. This does again raise the question about commemorating the same singers with a second stamp (six out of 10). We highly recommend that the list at the end of this post must be considered for issuing stamps on India's well known singers.

Here begins another saga with recalling of Indian postage stamps from all philatelic bureaus (after Guru Granth Sahib stamps in 2005). This current one dates back to July 2015. After a meeting of the Philatelic Advisory Committee of India Post, it was announced that series of stamps would be released on singers, writers, dancers, painters and freedom fighters. The first series of stamps were to be released on legendary singers of India. The Minister along with senior department officials must have decided on a set of names of playback singers of Indian cinema to be commemorated with a set of stamps. The following ten singers were chosen:

Shamshad Begum
Manna Dey
Geeta Dutt
Bhupen Hazarika
Hemant Kumar
Kishore Kumar
Talat Mahmood
Mukesh
Mohammed Rafi
T. M. Soundararajan
BetterPhilately had reported this on 04 April 2016 (http://betterphilately.blogspot.com/2015/10/india-post-stamp-subjects-for-2016.html), while pointing out that stamps had been previously released on 6 out of 10 (highlighted in blue) personalities selected this time around. Within a few days, some other options for famous playback singers was provided on the BetterPhilately twitter feed (https://twitter.com/BetterPhilately/status/719343350193790976). Now it has been reported on Facebook that these stamps along with the miniature sheet of 10 designs have been recalled by India Post. All philatelic centers have been asked to send the stamps back to New Delhi. What led to this adhoc decision?

- Was there a realization in India Post that these stamps do not well represent all regions of India?
- Were these postage stamps released prematurely by some philatelic offices and this recall will help identify the culprits? Returns from whichever post office do not match the quantity originally sent could be easily found.
- Are there some errors in printing or logistical issues behind the release?
Stamps recalled: Legendary Singers of India (Source: Pan India Pictorial Place Cancellations Facebook Page)
We recommend this series of stamps be re-considered and the following singers be instead commemorated on Indian postage stamps:
Shamshad Begum
Manna Dey
G. M. Durrani
Mahendra Kapoor
Talat Mahmood
T. M. Soundararajan
P. B. Sreenivas

Sunday, December 18, 2016

India's XI Definitive Stamp Series - Makers of India



Update 6 on 29 May 2016: One more of the four remaining definitive stamps - on Gopinath Bordoloi - in the Makers of India series is available for purchase on ePostOffice. It was likely supplied to post offices from mid-April 2017. Just three more stamps are pending to be issued to complete the series. There was discussion in the philatelic community about new Makers of India postcards and inland letters as well, but nothing has been seen so far.
Update 5 on 18 Dec 2016: It's been quite a while since this post was last updated. The key points to note is that most of the stamps, except four of the planned 27 stamps have been issued and available for purchase on ePostOffice or at the local post offices. The stamps that were put on sale in the second and third quarter of 2016 are listed below along with the ones that are yet to be issued. We urge India Post to put the remaining four stamps in circulation as soon as possible, to complete this new definitive series.

Released Q2 2016 onward
Bhimsen Joshi
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
Jawaharlal Nehru
Maharana Pratap
M. S. Subbulakshmi
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Subhash Chandra Bose

Pending stamps
Gopinath Bordoloi
Mother (Saint) Teresa
Rabindranath Tagore
Thiruvalluvar

Update 4 on 01 Apr 2016: A lot of the definitive stamps in this series are now available across many post offices and even online at ePostOffice. Just posting an update to the grid/list below. Green indicates that the stamp has been sold at at least one post office in India. Although not technically sound, it appears to be an overall good decision to have started a new definitive stamp series. It has a much needed freshness to it. Happy Collecting!
Update 3 on 23 Jan 2016: Sharing an image for 19 of the definitive stamps for this new stamp series. Only a handful of them (8 more) remain to be seen. Some of these might be available soon. Let's go looking for these stamps on mail or in local post offices.

Update 2 on 18  Dec 2015: Here's a major overhaul of the Makers of India Stamp Series. Below is a final version of the stamp series with a total of 27 personalities and one Yoga stamp. The denominations for all the stamps is shown as well. Better Philately is most likely the first source of this information for philatelists. Happy Holidays!

A few points of note: 
1. Gopinath Bordoloi has been included in the stamp series, so have Srinivasa Ramanujan, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Thiruvalluvar. 
2. Karpuri Thakur no longer features on the final list.
3. An additional stamp on Yoga (25 Paise) will also be released along with the personality series. There was even a mention of inland letter cards or airmail letter cards with the Yoga theme as well.
4. There will be no 2 Rupees or 15 Rupees stamps in this definitive series.
5. Removed references to release dates. Neither official dates for first day of issuance are being announced nor first day covers are being provided. So, it doesn't provide a fair opportunity to know the stamp release date for this series.

Update 1: Added Bhagat Singh, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Moulana Abul Kalam Azad and Ram Manohar Lohia stamp date and denomination. Appears to be an odd move to release a bulk of the new stamps in 5 rupees denomination.

As a response to the less representative Builders of Modern India stamp series, a new one is being put in place. As of early December 2015, seven 5 Rupees stamps have already been released. This new list has not been put out officially, but is a guess based on news information in the last few months. Mainstream media had enjoyed a week long spectacle when the Indira and Rajiv Gandhi stamp sales were halted in July 2015. Government officials presented their case during this time and provided insight into this new stamp series as well. Three of the guesses have so far been accurate based on this list. Additional updated for first known sale date will be added as it becomes available. There will be no first day covers (FDC) or an official release date for this series of stamps, so one has to be content with approximate release dates based on first availability of the stamps in post offices.

The number of personalities, presumably to be honored with the new stamp series is more than twice the previous definitive stamp series, but appears to cover a wider range of historical figures, political, social and spiritual leaders. Although more representative it is still missing a sports personality, a representative of North-East India and and an industrialist. If given a choice, the following should be included as well:

Dhirubhai Ambani, Aurobindo, G. D. Birla, Gopinath Bordoloi, Dhyan Chand, Satish Dhawan, Tenzing Norgay, Dadasaheb Phalke, Munshi Premchand and Vikram Sarabhai.

Although, not ideal, the best way to enable a larger series of stamps could be by printing limited quantities for each personality. This would prevent from a glut of the definitive stamps in post offices and could end up adversely impacting sale of commemorative stamps as well. Many post offices tend to sell overstock commemorative stamps along with the definitive stamps to remove dead stock and also provide variety to customers. Anyways, given that the new stamp series was initiated so soon after the public discussion, a blog post for initial thoughts and a way to track progress of the Makers of India stamp series seemed appropriate.

Makers of India – Eleventh Definitive Stamp Series (2015 onward)
Issue Description
Contribution to Making India
Denomination
Mahatma Gandhi
Indian Independence
25 Paise
Subramania Bharathi
Writer & Poet
Indian Independence
50 Paise
Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Indian Independence – Home Rule League
Re 1
Bhimsen Joshi
Arts & Culture (Singer)
Rs 3
Bismillah Khan
Arts & Culture (Shehnai Player)
Rs 3
M. S. Subbulakshmi
Arts & Culture (Singer)
Rs 3
Ravi Shankar
Arts & Culture (Sitar Player)
Rs 3
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Mathematics
Rs 4
Bhagat Singh
Indian Independence – Socialist Republican Association
Rs 5
Deendayal Upadhyaya
Integral Humanism
Led Bharatiya Jana Sangh
Rs 5
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
Indian Constitution
Modern Buddhist Movement
Rs 5
Gopinath Bordoloi
Indian Independence
Assam Chief Minister
Rs 5
Jayaprakash Narayan
Indian Independence
Total Revolution of 1970s
Rs 5
Jawaharlal Nehru
Indian Independence
First Prime Minister
Rs 5
Lal Bahadur Shastri
Indian Independence
Second Prime Minister
Rs 5
Moulana Abul Kalam Azad
Indian Independence
First Education Minister
Rs 5
Rajendra Prasad
Indian Independence
First President of India
Rs 5
Ram Manohar Lohia
Indian Independence
Socialist Leader
Rs 5
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Indian Independence
First Home Minister/Deputy Prime Minister
Integrated 600 Small States
Rs 5
Subhash Chandra Bose
Indian Independence
Pre-Independence National Army
Rs 5
Swami Vivekananda
Indian Philosophy – Vedanta & Yoga
Rs 5
Shyama Prasad Mukherjee
Indian Independence
Founded Bharatiya Jana Sangh
Rs 5
Thiruvalluvar
Ancient Tamil Poetry & Philosophy
Rs 5
Chhatrapati Shivaji
Warrior & Ideal Rule of Maratha Empire
Rs 10
Maharana Pratap
Gallantry Warrior & Rule of Mewar Empire
Rs 10
Mother Teresa
Catholic Religious Sister
Missionaries of Charity
Rs 20
Rabindranath Tagore
Indian Independence
Indian Writing & Poetry
India’s National Anthem
Rs 50

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Papua New Guinea - India Joint Stamp Issue

Original Post: India and Papua New Guinea (PNG) are likely to issue a joint stamp issue in the next few weeks. This stamp issue was originally scheduled for release in late September, but has been delayed numerous times. This stamp issue was rescheduled for release on 22nd November, but has likely been postponed again. The new release date is not known yet.

Both the countries will commemorate their relationship on two stamps by depicting the National Birds of Papua New Guinea and India; Peacock and Bird of Paradise, respectively. Artwork for the souvenir sheet from PNG Post Office can be seen below. PNG Post will also release two stamps along with the souvenir sheet. Details from India Post are still awaited.
Papua New Guinea-India: Joint Issue
PNG Post Souvenir Sheet
Update on 24 Nov 2016: Papua New Guinea will also release individual stamps for each bird. Denomination for the peacock stamp appears to be same (K1.45), but the Bird of Paradise stamp will likely be issued in two denominations (K6.60 and K10.00). Higher denomination stamp will be on the souvenir sheet and K6.60 denomination appears to be part of the stamp set.

Update on 14 Dec 2016: This joint issue is likely postponed to 2017 or indefinitely. Papua New Guinea has taken off the stamps from its pending released for 2016 and India Post has obviously not confirmed the issue date so far. Stay tuned for more on this.

Update on 17 Dec 2016: PNG Post has posted an update on its website rescheduling the release date for this joint stamp issue to 03rd April 2017. This happens to be exactly one year after the originally planned released for April 2016. See the links below for these updates.

PNG Post - http://www.postpng.com.pg/collections/view/india-papua-new-guinea-joint-stamps
New article - http://www.thenational.com.pg/india-png-to-release-stamp/

Monday, December 5, 2016

Philatelic Passport at World Stamp Show 2016

Finally! We can now share the completed Passport from the World Stamp Show 2016. A few cancellations from the last two days were pending and thus we were unable to share the details. A blank copy of the passport was picked up from the Linns Stamp News booth on the first day of the show, stamps and cancellations applied over the course of next four days at various country, organization and stamp dealers booths. Even though the overall number of countries participating at the show was huge, many of them were represented by Herrick Stamp Company, IGPC and Stamperija. Countries that were represented by their respective postal administrations are in bold below. In another update to this post, countries represented by large stamp dealers will be identified as well. In total, our passport contains 108 different stamps/cancellations! Here's a list of the cancellations that were obtained during the stamp show, which we attended from 28th to 31st May. Leave a message if you'd like to see any specific cancellations and we can post them here.

United States
First Day of Issue Cancellations
World Stamp Show-NY2016
Repeal of the Stamp Act, 1766
The Service Cross Medals
World Stamp Show - NY2016 - Official Passport
Pluto Explored!
View of Our Planets
Classics Forever
National Parks
Colourful Celebrations

Stamp Show Special Cancellations
The World of Stamps Day
Learning Never Ends Day
Armed Forces Day
Science Meets Stamps Day
U. S. Stamp Day
Beautiful Americas Day
United Nations Day
Children of the World Day
Topical Collecting Day

Other Sovereign Nations
Territories





Other Cancellations
American Topical Association

Linn's Stamp News Scott Catalogues

United Nations





Our Favorite Cancellations
Armenia - Austria - Germany - India - United States