Monthly e-Stamp Bulletin edited and published by Jeevan Jyoti from Dehradun.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Rainbow September 2017

20th Death Anniversary of Lady Diana

Date of Issue : 31 August 2017

Dehradun  September 2017    Vol. X  No. 117

Readers are requested to send reports of philatelic activities in their area for publication. Short write ups by the readers about their journals, societies, publications and philatelic requirements can be sent for inclusion in this bulletin to the editor:   

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Dear Reader

  I am pleased to release September 2017 issue of Rainbow Stamp News. The date of next National Philatelic Exhibition has been announced. 2017 National Philatelic Exhibition will be held from 30th November to 4th December at World Trade Center, Mumbai. The exhibition is being organized by India Post in collaboration with Philatelic Society of India. The prospectus and other details of the exhibition are awaited. Once again the venue of the exhibition is chosen at Mumbai. The place could have been changed and New Delhi was a better option. In this national show, the philatelists from different parts of the country will get together and interact with each other at a common platform. This time something new is expected from the organizers. 

It is observed that there are always few visitors at the exhibition hall and most of the crowd could be seen at the stalls busy in buying and selling philatelic items. If the part of main exhibition hall is used for philatelic activities like public voting for exhibits of certain classes of the exhibition, all five days discussion and analysis on exhibits, Quiz and seminars etc, more gathering could be seen in the exhibition hall. It is always quite disappointing to see very little presence of visitors in the main exhibition hall. In fact any exhibition without visitors seems to be of no value. It appears that people come and visit for business purpose. To overcome this poor situation and draw a crowd of visitors from all walks of life, the proper publicity of the exhibition through different media must be done one or two months before the exhibition. A team of philatelist volunteers should be present in exhibition hall during  exhibition hours to guide the visitors and explain them about important exhibits. These volunteers could be selected on the basis of their specialized field like Traditional, Postal History, Thematics, Maximaphily, Social Philately, Philatelic literature etc. These specialized volunteers can better explain the exhibits to the visitors. This will promote not only philately but create a lively philatelic environment in the exhibition. In this way a common visitor can have a better view of the exhibition as well as better understanding of philately and its pleasure. The joy of a philatelic exhibition is doubled if explained by a philatelist. So the organizers must do something innovative in this exhibition to make it successful and full of visitors.

This is all for this month….More in next issue.

Happy Collecting!.


§  From the Desk of Naresh Agrawal
§  Recent Indian Issues
§  In The News
§  Doon Philatelic Diary
§  Beginners’ Section
§  Specialized Section 
§  Reader’s Right
§  New Issues from Other Countries
§  Philatelic Clubs and Society
§  Blogs & Websites on Philately
§  Current Philatelic Magazines – Newsletter


There is still confusion as to whether India Post is a service organization or a business organization. Selling postal and philatelic products to the philatelists is appreciable but exploiting  them  can never be appreciated. It was expected that India Post will produce and sell such products even at subsidized price but the story is different. There are several reasons which clearly states the unsupportive nature of India Post. I may be wrong but what I could feel, I have quoted. To state one example here is the selling of  some of the  sheet lets  issued in 2016 through e-post  and not through counter/window or bureau. Some of the sheet lets out of  Sheet lets like Yoga,Rio Olympic, Indian Metal Crafts, Surya Namaskar  and Orchids issued in year 2016 were sold at over 200% of its actual price through e-post only. It was expected by the department that the philatelists would bounce upon those and would pay any price. As I gathered from different sources that as many as 25000 nos. of sheet lets each were produced / issued  and there was hardly  a sale of about 15% through e-post and rest were preserved in the postal  treasury of India post. That means  crore of rupees were just blocked giving no revenue to India post and giving utmost dis-satisfaction to the philatelists. What a great policy of India Post !!

I have seen in the last few years the think tank of India Post has different  ideologies /strategies. Earning revenue has become the sole motto. This is badly affecting the promotion of philately. Frankly speaking,  many philatelists have started talking adverse about the India Post. I re-iterate, India Post is  a service organization and not a business organization. I do understand privatization has brought in the spirit of competitiveness (but to give better and subsidized service) but there is no private organization which is authorized to produce postal / philatelic material and selling to help carriage / transmission of postal products/ information. Then at least philately comes out of the fold of competitiveness. 
I request the think tank and the executive body of India Post to re-form their policies as for as philately is concerned. They should think differently looking in to the fact that philately is dying day by day. They are there to promote philately….develop philately….. appreciate philatelists. And this all can be done by two acts by selling stamps and other philatelic products at lower price. And secondly by organizing stamp exhibitions at all levels. I do appreciate that there have been regular Distt level shows organized by the India post but very unsystematic manner without any concrete plan. One must see that there should be opportunity for every philatelist to participate in higher level show which he aspire to but  who is to give this opportunity…the DOP.

Well, let me share with you the state of despair amongst the philatelists of Chhattisgarh State of India. The last state Level Exhibition was held in 2007. Over 10 years have passed. Yes,  there have been several District Level Stamp shows but  that’s the end of the journey of an aspiring philatelist. In the last meeting held  in Bilaspur between Philatelists of Bilaspur  and CPMG Chhattisgarh Circle, it was felt that DOP was not at all interested in organizing State Level Exhibition. I express my serious concern on this. They need to understand that Sate Level Show primarily gives a platform to those philatelists who participated in Distt Level Exhibitions. The state which has extensive potential and has good number of upcoming new stamp collectors and has  dedicated National / International and World  Level Philatelists; is so badly refrained from giving such platform. What does this indicate?  Either there is lack of will or the policies of DOP are very negative as for as promotion of philately is concerned.

I understand such would be the scenario in some other states too. If it is true…I don’t see a good future for philatelists in India. PCI, our main body has also failed to check and work on this. It has just worked and acted to appoint jury and commissioners for exhibitions. But it has not worked at all to produce philatelists. It has failed to co-ordinate  properly with DOP for promotion of philately. It is said that PCI is a federation then I don’t really understand the use of such federation. Philately can only survive if there is regular introduction of philatelists. Let’s think together and plan…… let’s plan and act……. Let’s act to promote philately

Well, continuing my above discussion I am also worried about the next National Level Philatelic Show. Like every time, this time again the delay in National Philatelic Exhibition has created a serious concern about the thinking of India Post for development of philately. No doubt several dedicated  efforts are being done by the department to organize District and State Level exhibitions for last  over four years  i.e. after the Last National Level Exhibition held in Mumbai  in collaboration with Philatelic Society Of India, Mumbai in the year 2013.But all these efforts were done in unplanned and unsystematic manner.

Well, why there is no eagerness shown by the department to organize National Level Philatelic Exhibition? We are not talking about International which certainly need to have more and long working beforehand. But National Level Show is our show. Department can certainly organize it every two year if so desired. The strong will can  only make it happen. The pure National Level Show by the department was organized only in 2008-2009 in Chennai. What’s wrong? Expenditure…I think should not be a problem.

India Post, as we all understand is turning in to a  business organization and is perhaps forgetting its motto “Service  to the people”. Okay  a famous business slogan is “ The more you spend, the more you earn”. I mean such high level shows give boost to philately. More and more philatelist come in to its fold…more and more philatelists are attracted… Thus philately is developed..promoted. This promotion then leads to more sale of philatelic products and involvement of more postal transactions and carriage.

As I gather there has been very good number of Distt Level Exhibitions and State Level Exhibitions organized by DOP apart from the private shows organized by different philatelic clubs and societies) after the last National Level Show In Mumbai in 2013. Philatelists are desperately looking forward towards the next show. New exhibits, new philatelists, new materials, application of new rules in exhibits.. meeting philatelic friends from all over India, to view all the important and attractive philatelic products under one roof at one time.. all are being awaited. It is genuinely high time that India Post should declare its next National Level Philatelic show with taking much time. This show should more number of frames so that more and more philatelists are allowed to participate. And one thing more, the venue should be New Delhi as it is central location and is easily accessible.

I conclude my discussion with all the best wishes to the philatelists in India to see changing mood and act of DOP to help philatelists in general by reducing the prices of philatelic products and also to organize State Level Shows in those states where it has not been help for years and to organize next long awaited National Level Philatelic Show.

-Naresh Agrawal Ph. 09425530514

Recent Indian Issue

9 August 2017  : 75 Years – 1942 Freedom Movement 8 x Rs5 + MS
15 August 2017 : Beautiful India -2 X Rs 15 + MS
15 August 2017 : Caves of Meghalaya – 2 X  Rs 5 + MS

Recent Special Covers

1 August 2017 : Celebration of 94 years of Khadi Movement – Hudli
8 August 2017 : August Kranti Diwas - Bhubaneshwar
12 August 2017 :  Chaturmas spiritual Service Function - Civic Centre - Bhilai
29 August 2017 : National Sports Day – Bangalore

The "National Sports Day (Rashtriya Khel Divas)" is observed every year across India on 29th August to mark the birth anniversary of one of the greatest sports legends - Hockey King Shri Dhyan Chand Singh (born on 29th August 1905 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh).
Officially known as 'Major Dhyan Chand' and often referred to as "The Hockey Wizard" for his incredible hockey skills and extraordinary goal-scoring feats, in addition to earning 3 Olympic gold medals for India in field hockey in 1928 (Amsterdam), 1932 (Los Angeles) and 1936 (Berlin).

This special cover was released to mark "National Sports Day 2017" & tribute to Major Dhyan Chand Singh (29th August 1905- 4th December 1979), legendary Indian hockey player & highly successful Indian hockey captain.

In The News

Bandung 2017 - WORLD STAMP EXHIBITION :  Indian Winners

BANDUNG 2017 - Specialized WORLD STAMP EXHIBITION,  under FIP Patronage was   held in Trans Studio Convention Center, Bandung, INDONESIA from 3rd August to 7th August 2017. The following Indian participants won awards at Bandung 2017. 

Heartiest Congratulations to all the winners

Sandeep Jaiswal's 8 frame Q.V. Postal Stationery collection won "Large Gold" with "Special Prize". The highest awarded exhibit in the Postal Stationery class at Bandung 2017.
Large Vermeil Medal

Pradip Jain's Mahatma Gandhi 
Vermeil Medal

Shakil Ahmed's Femme Dishabelle
Anand Kakad's Birds of Pheasant Family
Large Silver Medal

N K Saboo's Portuguese India
Sanjay Kumar Jain's Live and Let Live
Raghav Jhunjhunwala's World of Cricket

Silver Bronze Medal

Bijoy Kumar Biswal's Australia Pre Decimal Issues
Anantharaman Srinivasan's The Humble Banana's Story

Source : 
Stamps of India

India, Canada to jointly issue postal stamps with Diwali as theme

A set of two commemorative postage stamps will be issued jointly by the Government of India and Canada on the theme of Indian festival Diwali. The Cabinet has informed about the issue of postage stamps jointly by India and Canada, which will be released on September 21, this year.

Postal departments of both the countries have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for this joint issue.Considering the large presence of Indian Diaspora in Canada,  Diwali has been selected as the cultural theme for both the countries.

INPEX 2017 - National Stamp Exhibition

Philatelic Society of India announced national exhibition INPEX2017 to be held from 30th November to 4th December 2017 at world trade center, Mumbai.


2018 May 27-31: Jerusalem, Israel, ISRAEL 2018 World Stamp Championship

2018 Aug 15-18: Prague, Czech Republic, PRAGA 2018 World Stamp Exhibition

2018 Sep 21-24: Macao, MACAO 2018 35th FIAP International Stamp Exhibition

2018 Dec: THAILAND 2018 World Stamp Exhibition

Best Europa stamp 2017 - Public Prize

Europe After a year without public prize for the Best Europa stamp, the on-line competition is back. You can vote till the 9th of September 2017 for your favorite Europa stamp 2017 ! For Voting please visit the following link :
Recent Stamp Exhibitions

Brasilia-2017 is a Specialized World Stamp Exhibition. The Exhibition will open on 24 October 2017 and close on 29 October 2017. Mr Ajay Kumar Mittal is the National Commissioner. email :

 News from Philatelic Societies

Gift sets of Stamps donated to school children

Mr RD Matkar of Mumbai donated 100 gift packets containing about 6500 stamps to Thakur Shyamnarayan High School, Kandiwali, Mumbai. Other eminent philatelists who have contributed in this endeavour are Mrs Damyanti Pittie. Mr Suketu Jhaveri, Mr At Haji, Mr Tarifa Bamre, Mr Rajan Jayakarand Dr Avinash B. Jagtap

Doon Philatelic Club

 President of Doon Philatelic Club, Shri PC Agrawal passed away on 31st August 2017. He was a very enthusiast philatelist, despite his old age and poor health condition; he attended the meetings of the club and shared experiences of his long philatelic journey. He had a wonderful collection of FDCs and old letters from several countries. Our heartfelt condolences. May his soul rest in peace....- Editor

Tributes to Grand old philatelist of Dehradun…..

Shri Prem Chand Agrawal of Dehradum, President of Doon Philatelic Society, Dehradun left for his heavenly abode on 31st August 2017 leaving behind him a treasure of love and respect for him. Though for last few months , he was not keeping well but even at the age of around 90 years  he was far enthusiastic  and active. His will power had no match.
Mr. P.C. Agrawal, was always found very affectionate, enthusiastic, full of energy, young by heart and possessed a strong will power to do something new. He was immensely creative, courageous, a photographic genius, ardent lover of art and music, a hardcore Violin Player, had zeal for social work and potential philatelic aspirant. He loved socializing, meeting people and  & to share his experiences. Having a versatile personality, Mr Agrawal was  a big inspiration for youngsters. In his young age in 1958 he probably was the first man to go out for tough  solo all India Journey on a motorcycle. As president of Doon Philatelic Club, he  took the club to the heights where it is known all over now.

I still remember the time  I spent with him  and the interaction I had. I found him eager to learn, a man always looking ahead, willing to live and love,  and always ready to deliver. He was the man who always moved ahead of his times. A philatelist who loved stamps rather than just accumulating those. He showed me all his collections, discussed with me his life journey in brief, shared with me his wonderful experiences which opened new phases of his personalities for me.

In short, I would say he was a treasure house of varied human personalities and  will always remain in our hearts.  

Though he is physically not with us today but his memories will always keep us motivating. I pray god  to give peace to his departed soul. & strength to all his family members to bear  this irreparable loss.

-      - Naresh Agrawal, Bilaspur (CG)

Doon Philatelic Diary

Dehra Dun Clock Tower

- Abhai Mishra

Situated at the heart of the city, the clock tower of Dehra Dun is the city's identity. It is one of the important landmarks and thronged by thousands daily. It is located at a strategic point where Chakrata Road, Rajpur Road, Paltan Bazar Road and Haridwar Road meet. It is the centre of city commercial hub and major shopping complexes are at a stone throw distance from here. 

Most of the architecturally rich structures were built by the efforts of the leading business families of Dehra Dun. The first Indian bank of the valley "Bhagwan Das Bank Ltd." was established by Seth Bhagwan Das. Seth Nemi Das was responsible for building the Jugminder Hall (Town Hall). Rai Bahadur Choudhary Sher Singh, Rai Bahadur Ugrasen and Barrister Darshan Lal are some of the prominent names of the Doon valley who immensely contributed in its development.

To commemorate India’s Independence Lala Sher Singh and Lala Anand Singh along with Dehra Dun Nagar Palika muted the idea of building a clock tower. The foundation stone of the clock tower was laid by the then Governor of Uttar Pradesh Smt. Sarojini Naidu on 2nd July 1948. Normally clock towers have four faces but this clock tower was unique in the sense that it was designed with six faces. It was completed in 1953 and was inaugurated by none other than Sh. Lal Bahadur Shastri.

The hexagonal structure of the clock tower imparts immense heritage value to it. It was called “Balbir Tower” after the name of one of the ancestor of Lala Sher Singh and Lala Anand Singh. To honour the freedom fighters of the Independence movement, names of various freedom fighters were inscribed on a golden plaque. The chime of the clock tower was audible at far-off distances. At present it is non-functional though several efforts were made in the past to repair it. It is one of the important landmark of Dehra Dun city and is standing tall with all its grandeur.

- Abhai Mishra : email : 

Beginners’ Section


There is an Island where thousands of statues are standing buried up to the shoulders in deep meditation, looking always to heaven from thousands of years, but why , is still not  known. 

The statues, whose traditional name is "Moai," were carved from volcanic rock between A.D. 1100 and 1500 by ancient Polynesians living in Easter Island, a triangular-shaped, treeless, island in Chilean territory. They range in size, with the tallest reaching 33 feet (10 meters) and weigh over 82 tons. Some of the ‘Moai’ had either ‘crowns’ or ‘hats’ of red volcanic stone on them.

Although their significance is still somewhat of a mystery, the Moai are thought to have been representations of the indigenous peoples' ancestors. Tribe’s people would probably have carved a new statue each time an important tribal figure passed away. However, no written and little oral history exists on the island, so it’s impossible to be certain. The Moai are carved human figures with oversize heads, often resting on massive rock altars called Ahus. Ahu Tongariki has the largest group of upright Moai. Island is also home to some 400 statues, which appear in all stages of completion. About 150 statues buried up to the shoulders on the slope of a volcano, and these are the most famous, most beautiful and most photographed of all the Easter Island statues.

New images from the 2012 excavation of Easter Island’s iconic statues reveal the renowned heads are not only connected to giant bodies, but the bodies are covered in mysterious designs and symbols, which researchers have likened to tattoos.
These include crescents carved on the backs of the towering monoliths, which academics say represent the canoes of the Polynesians who made them.The completed version of tallest statue is 70 feet tall and weighs 270 tons. That's a heavy sculpture! 

It is thought the bodies would have been originally displayed in all their glory but that centuries of exposure to the elements caused them to be buried under layers of silt until only the heads remained visible.

Specialized Section

The US New Deal Era and Prexies of 1938

    - Col J Dutta & Dr Anjali Dutta

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt became President.  He was notable not only as an avid collector in his own right (with a collection estimated at around 1 million stamps), but also for taking an interest in the stamp issues of the Department, working closely with Postmaster James Farley, the former Democratic Party Committee Chairman.  Many designs of the 1930s were inspired or altered according to Roosevelt's advice.

In 2009-10, the National Postal Museum exhibited six Roosevelt sketches that were developed into stamp issues:  the 6-cent eagle airmail stamp and five miscellaneous commemoratives, which honoured the Byrd Antarctic Expedition, the Mothers of America, Susan B. Anthony, Virginia Dare and the Northwest Territories' rise to statehood.  A steady stream of commemoratives appeared during these years, including a striking 1934 issue of ten stamps presenting iconic vistas of ten National Parks − a set that has remained widely beloved.  [There is a memorable sequence in Philip Roth's novel The Plot Against America where the young protagonist dreams that his National Parks stamps, the pride and joy of his collection, have become disfigured with swastika overprints.]  Choosing an orange colour for the 2¢ Grand Canyon tableau instead of the standard 2¢ carmine red, the US Post Office departed from UPU colour-coding for the first time.

1934 issue of ten National Parks

With a philatelist in the White House, the Post Office catered to collectors as never before, issuing seven separate souvenir sheets between 1933 and 1937. In one case, a collectors' series had to be produced as the result of a miscalculation.  Around 1935, Postmaster Farley removed sheets of the National Parks set from stock before they had been gummed or perforated, giving these and unfinished examples of ten other issues to President Roosevelt and Interior Secretary Harold Ickes (also a philatelist) as curiosities for their collections.

President Franklin Roosevelt viewing his stamp album

When people came to know of this there was a public outcry. Some accused Farley of a corrupt scheme to enrich Roosevelt and Ickes by creating valuable rarities for them at taxpayer expense.  Stamp aficionados, in turn, demanded that these curiosities be sold to the public so that ordinary collectors could acquire them, and Farley duly issued them in bulk.  This series of special printings soon became known as "Farley's Follies."

Postmaster General James A. Farley


An example of Farley's Follies and the same perforated

As the decade progressed, the purples used for 3¢ issues, although still ostensibly conforming to the traditional purple, displayed an increasingly wide variety of hues, and one 1940 issue, a 3¢ stamp commemorating the Pony Express, dispensed with purple entirely, appearing in a rust-brown earth tone more suitable to the image of a horse and rider departing from a western rural post office.

In 1933 President Roosevelt put forward the idea of a set of stamps honouring all the deceased past presidents of the United States. On June 22, 1937, the Treasury Department announced a national design competition for a new regular series of postage stamps, with a submission deadline of September 15, 1937, offering prizes of $500, $300 and $200 for the three top entrants.  The panel of judges included philatelic specialists and art experts. Several eliminations took place for the more than eleven hundred submitted designs, and the remaining entries were scored on a graduating scale.  From these the first prize went to Elaine Rawlinson of New York City, the second to Charles Bauer of West Orange, New Jersey, third to Edwin Hoyt Austin of Delmar, New York. The winning design is reported to not have been voted in first place by any of the judges.  Her design for the 1-cent stamp showed Washington in profile, modeled after a bust by the famous sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon, and became the template for the new definitive series issued in 1938 known as "Prexies" for short.

1 cent Washington

Some entrants submitted multiple designs, among them JS Stevenson, an employee of the American Banknote Company (two designs) and Thomas F Morris, Jr, son of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's first chief of the engraving division (four designs).
The series featured all 29 US presidents through Calvin Coolidge, each of whom appeared in profile as a small bust.  Values of 50¢ and lower were mono-colored; while on the $1, $2, and $5 stamps the presidents' images were printed in black on white, surrounded by colored lettering and ornamentation.  Up through the 22¢ Cleveland stamp, the denomination assigned to each president corresponds to his position in the presidential roster:  thus the first president, Washington, is on the 1¢ value, the seventeenth, Andrew Johnson, is on the 17¢ value, etc.  Additional stamps depict Franklin (½¢), Martha Washington (1½¢), and the White House (4½¢).  Many of the values were included merely to place the presidents in proper numerical order and did not necessarily correspond to a postal rate; and one of the (difficult) games for Prexie collectors is to find a cover with, for instance, a single 16¢ stamp that pays a combination of rate and fees valid during the Prexies' period of usage.  Many such covers remain to be discovered.  Some sellers on eBay have been surprised to discover an ordinary-seeming cover bid up to several hundred dollars because it was one of the sought-after solo usages.  The Presidential issue remained in distribution for many years.  Not until 1954 did the Post Office begin replacing its values with the stamps of a new definitive issue, the Liberty series.

The models for the engravings used in the printing of the various issues were obtained from a number of different sources, from paintings to sculptures to bronze statues, all reproduced in a relatively uniform intaglio style on steel dies.  The overall stamp design incorporates a solid background of color. On the values up to 50-cents, the name of each subject appears in capital letters to the right of the bust, with the years of his presidential tenure beneath it (no dates are provided for the non-presidents Franklin and Martha Washington). On denominations from 10-cents through 19-cents a single-line border is added, while a double-line border surrounds the values between 20 and 50 cents.  The 1, 2 and 5-dollar values have their own design which places colored columns and stars on either side of the black-and-white presidential portrait, and displays the president's name and the dates of his tenure beneath his image.


Presidential issue of 1938

Andrew Jackson, model for engraving, Kinney-Scholz bronze statue, in U.S. Capitol and Abraham Lincoln from portrait taken from a bust of Lincoln by sculptor Sarah Fisher Ames

Chester A. Arthur from a marble bust by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Warren G. Harding from an engraving modeled after a medal struck by George Morgan of the US Mint

On January 20, 1939, nine values were issued in coil form, consisting of all low values from 1¢ to 6¢, and the 10¢, all perforated 10 vertically.  On January 27, the four values from 1¢ to 3¢ were also issued in vertical coil form, perforated 10 horizontally; and that same day, booklets offering the 1¢, 2¢ and 3¢ denominations went on sale, perforated 11 x 1012.
1939 The 7 coil stamps perforated 10 vertically

1939 The coil stamps perforated 10 horizontally

20 January 1939 The 1½ c coil stamp on FDC

-Col Jayanta Dutta & Dr Anjali Dutta : email : 

… and the 14thPresident of India is …


 India achieved independence from the British on 15th August 1947, initially as a Dominion within the Commonwealth of Nations with George VI as king, represented in the country by a governor-general. Still, following this, the Constituent Assembly of India, under the leadership of Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, undertook the process of drafting a completely new constitution for the country. The Constitution of India was eventually enacted on 26th November 1949 and came into force on 26th January 1950, making India a republic.The offices of monarch and governor-general were replaced by the new office of President of India, with Rajendra Prasad as the first incumbent.

The constitution of the Republic of India (Articles 53, 74(2), 79 & 111) gave the President the responsibility and authority to defend and protect the constitution of India and its rule of law. Invariably, any action taken by the executive or legislature entities of the constitution shall become law only after President's assent. The president shall not accept any actions of the executive or legislature which are unconstitutional. The president is the foremost, most empowered and prompt defender of the constitution (article 60), who has pre-emptive power for ensuring constitutionality in the actions of the executive or legislature. The role of the judiciary in upholding the constitution of India is the second line of defence in nullifying any unconstitutional actions of the executive and legislative entities of the Indian Union.

The President of the Republic of India is the Head of state of India and the Commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.The President is indirectly elected by the people through elected members of both the houses of the Parliament of India, the Legislative Assemblies of all the states of India and the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory of Puducherry, as well as the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and serves for a renewable term of five years. The oath of the President is taken in the presence of the Chief Justice of India, and in his/her absence, by the most senior judge of the Supreme Court of India.
Although the Article 53 of the Constitution of India states that the President can exercise his powers directly or by subordinate authority, with few exceptions, all of the executive authority vested in the President are, in practice, exercised by the Prime Ministerwith the help of the Council of Ministers.
Powers and duties
The primary duty of the President is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the law of India as made part of his oath. The President is the common head of all independent constitutional entities. All his actions, recommendations and supervisory powers over the executive and legislative entities of India shall be used in accordance to uphold the constitution. There is no bar on the actions of the President to contest in the court of law.
Legislative powers
Legislative power is constitutionally vested by the Parliament of India of which the President is the head, to facilitate the law making process as per the constitution. The President of the Republic summons both the Houses (The House of the People and 'The Council of States') of the Parliament and prorogues them. He can dissolve the LokSabha.The President inaugurates Parliament by addressing it after the general elections and also at the beginning of the first session every year. The Presidential address on these occasions is generally meant to outline the new policies of the government.
All bills passed by the Parliament can become laws only after receiving the assent of the President. After a bill is presented to him, the President shall declare either that he assents to the Bill, or that he withholds his assent from it. As a third option, he can return a bill to Parliament, if it is not a money bill, for reconsideration.
Executive powers
The executive power of the country is vested in the President and is exercised by President either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with the Constitution. When parliament thinks fit it may accord additional executive powers to the presidentwhich may be further delegated by the president to the governors of states. Union cabinet with Prime Minister as its head, should aid and advice the President in performing his functions.
Judicial powers
The primary duty of the President is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the law of India. The President appoints the Chief Justice of the Union Judiciary and other judges on the advice of the Chief Justice. He dismisses the judges if and only if the two Houses of the Parliament pass resolutions to that effect by a two-thirds majority of the members present.
Appointment powers
The President appoints, as Prime Minister, the person most likely to command the support of the majority in the LokSabha (usually the leader of the majority party or coalition). The President then appoints the other members of the Council of Ministers, distributing portfolios to them on the advice of the Prime Minister.The Council of Ministers remains in power at the 'pleasure' of the President.
The President appoints 12 members of the RajyaSabha from amongst persons who have special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service.Governors of States are also appointed by the President who shall work at the pleasure of the President. Per Article 156, President is empowered to dismiss a governor who has violated the constitution in his acts.
The President is responsible for making a wide variety of appointments. These include:
•           The Chief Justice, other judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts of India
•           The Chief Minister of the National capital territory of Delhi (Article 239 AA 5 of the constitution)
•           The Attorney General
•           The Comptroller and Auditor General
•           The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners
•           The Chairman and other Members of the Union Public Service Commission
•           Vice-Chancellor of the central university and academic staff of the central university through his nominee
•           Ambassadors and High Commissioners to other countries (only through the list of names given by the Prime Minister)

Financial powers
•           A money bill can be introduced in the Parliament only with the President’s recommendation.
•           The President lays the Annual Financial Statement, i.e. the Union budget, before the Parliament.
•           The President can take advances out of the Contingency Fund of India to meet unforeseen expenses.
•           The President constitutes a Finance commission after every five years to recommend the distribution of the taxes between the centre and the States.
Diplomatic powers
All international treaties and agreements are negotiated and concluded on behalf of the President.However, in practice, such negotiations are usually carried out by the Prime Minister along with his Cabinet (especially the Foreign Minister).
Military powers
The President is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. The President can declare war or conclude peace, on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.
Pardoning powers
As mentioned in Article 72 of the Indian Constitution, the President is empowered with the powers to grant pardons in the following situations:
•           Punishment is for an offence against Union Law
•           Punishment is by a Military Court
•           Sentence is that of death
The decisions involving pardoning and other rights by the President are independent of the opinion of the Prime Minister or the Lok Sabha majority. In most cases, however, the President exercises his executive powers on the advice of the Prime Minister and the cabinet.
Emergency powers
The President can declare three types of emergencies: national, state and financial.
National emergency
A national emergency can be declared in the whole of India or a part of its territory for causes of war or armed rebellion or an external aggression. Such an emergency was declared in India in 1962 (Indo-China war), 1971 (Indo-Pakistan war), and 1975 to 1977 (declared by Indira Gandhi).
State emergency
If the President is fully satisfied, on the basis of the report of the Governor of the concerned state or from other sources that the governance in a state cannot be carried out according to the provisions in the Constitution, he can proclaim under Article 356 a state of emergency in the state. Such an emergency must be approved by the Parliament within a period of 2 months.A State Emergency can be imposed via the following:
1.  By Article 356 – If that state failed to run constitutionally, i.e. constitutional machinery has failed[33]:159
2.  By Article 365 – If that state is not working according to the direction of the Union Government issued per the provisions of the constitution.
This type of emergency needs the approval of the parliament within 2 months. It can last up to a maximum of three years via extensions after each 6-month period. However, after one year it can be extended only if
1.   A state of National Emergency has been declared in the country or in the particular state.
2.    The Election Commission finds it difficult to organise an election in that state.
Financial emergency
Article 282 accords financial autonomy in spending the financial resources available with the states for public purpose. Article 293 gives liberty to states to borrow without any limit to its ability for its requirements within the territory of India without any consent from the union government. However union government can insist for compliance of its loan terms when a state has outstanding loan charged to the consolidated fund of India or an outstanding loan in respect of which a guarantee has been given by the Government of India under the liability of consolidated fund of India.Under article 360 of the constitution, President can proclaim a financial emergency when the financial stability or credit of the nation or of any part of its territory is threatened.
Selection process
The Constitution sets the principle qualifications one must meet to be eligible to the office of the President. A President must be; a citizen of India, of 35 years of age or above and qualified to become a member of the LokSabha. A person shall not be eligible for election as President if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said Governments.Certain office-holders, however, are permitted to stand as Presidential candidates. These are:
•           The current Vice-President
•           The Governor of any state
•           A Minister of the Union or of any state (including Prime Minister and Chief Ministers).
Time of Election
Article 56(1) of the Constitution provides that the President shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office. According to Article 62, an election to fill a vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of office of President shall be completed before the expiration of the term.
Conditions for the Presidency
Certain conditions, per Article 59 of the Constitution, debar an otherwise eligible citizen from contesting the presidential elections. The conditions are:
•           The President shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State, and if a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State be elected President, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as President.
•           The President shall not hold any other office of profit.
•           The President shall be entitled without payment of rent to the use of his official residences and shall be also entitled to such emoluments, allowances and privileges as may be determined by Parliament by law and until provision in that behalf is so made, such emoluments, allowances and privileges as are specified in the Second Schedule.
•           The emoluments and allowances of the President shall not be diminished during his term of office.
Election process
Whenever the office becomes vacant, the new President is chosen by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of Parliament (M.P.s), the elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies(VidhanSabha) of all States and the elected members of the legislative assemblies (M.L.A.s) of two Union Territories (i.e., National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry). The election process of President is more extensive process than Prime Minister who is also elected indirectly (not elected by people directly) by the LokSabha members only. Whereas President being constitutional head with duties to protect, defend and preserve the constitution and rule of law in a constitutional democracy with constitutional supremacy, is elected in an extensive manner by the members of Lok Sabha, RajyaSabha and state legislative assemblies in a secret ballot procedure.Although Indian presidential elections involve actual voting by MPs and MLAs, they tend to vote for the candidate supported by their respective parties.
Oath or affirmation
The President is required to make and subscribe in the presence of the Chief Justice of India (or in his absence, the senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court), an oath or affirmation that he/she shall protect, preserve and defend the Constitution.
Presidents of India
The President of India is the head of state and first citizen of India. The President is also the Commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces. Although the president is vested such powers by the Constitution of India, the position is largely a ceremonial role and the executive powers are de facto exercised by the Prime Minister. The post of President is known in Hindi as Rashtrapati, a Sanskrit neologism meaning "lord of the realm".
There have been 13 presidents of India since the introduction of the post in 1950(the current tenure is 5 years of an Indian President). Apart from these thirteen, three acting presidents have also been in office for short periods of time. Varahagiri Venkata Giri became Acting President of India in 1969 following the death of Zakir Hussain, who died in office. Giri was elected President a few months later. He remains the only person to have held office both as a president and acting president. The President may remain in office for a tenure of five years. In the case where a president's term of office is terminated early or during the absence of the president, the vice president assumes office. Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, is the only person to have held office for two terms.

Seven presidents have been members of a political party before being elected. Six of these were active party members of the Indian National Congress. The Janata Party has had one member, NeelamSanjiva Reddy, who later became president. Two presidents, ZakirHussain and Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, have died in office. Their vice-presidents functioned as acting president until a new president was elected. Following ZakirHussain's death, two acting presidents held office until the new president, V. V. Giri, was elected. VarahagiriVenkataGiri himself, ZakirHussain's vice president, was the first acting president. When Giri resigned to take part in the presidential elections, he was succeeded by Mohammad Hidayatullah as acting president.[5] The past President Pranab Mukherjee was elected on 25 July 2012. Mukherjee held various posts in the cabinet ministry for the Government of India such as Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, Defense Minister and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. Prior to PranabMukharjee, PratibhaPatil, was in office till 25 July 2012.She was elected as the 12th President of India in 2007 to become the first woman to serve as President of India.
Presidents of India till date
This list kept here below is numbered based on Presidents elected after winning an Indian Presidential election. The terms of Varahagiri Venkata Giri, Mohammad Hidayatullah, and Basappa Danappa Jatti, who have functioned as acting presidents, are therefore not numbered. The President of India does not represent any political party.

President's Bodyguard

The President's Bodyguard (PBG) is an elite household cavalry regiment of the Indian Army. It is senior-most in the order of precedence of the units of the Indian Army. The primary role of the President's Bodyguard is to escort and protect the President of India which is why the regiment is based in the RashtrapatiBhavan in New Delhi, India. It is equipped as a mounted unit, with horses for ceremonies at the presidential palace and BTR-80 vehicles for use in combat. The personnel of the regiment are also trained as paratroopers and nominally are expected to lead in airborne assaults in the role of pathfinders. The regiment is the successor of the Governor General's Bodyguard of the British Raj.

President's Bodyguard (PBG) is the oldest surviving mounted unit and the senior most regiment of the Indian Army. It was raised by Governor-General Warren Hastings in September 1773. Hastings handpicked 50 troopers from the Moghal Horse, a unit which was raised in 1760 by local sirdars. In the same year, the Raja Cheyt Singh of Benares provided another 50 troopers that took the strength of the unit to 100. The first commander of the unit was Captain Sweeny Toone, an officer of the East India Company, who had Lieutenant Samuel Black as his subaltern.

The name of the regiment has changed throughout its history:


Present status
In 2003, the President's Bodyguard had an establishment of 7 officers, 15 NCOs, and 140 enlisted men, for a total strength of 180 men. Throughout its history, the Bodyguard has varied in size from 50 men when first raised, to 1929 men in 1845. However, it was usually around squadron size, or about 130 men.By tradition, the CO has always been of Brigadier or Colonel rank. He is assisted by Majors, Captains, Risaldars and Daffadars.Soldiers hold the ranks of Sowar or Naik.

Rashtrapati Bhavan

The RashtrapatiBhavan (Presidential Residence), formerly known as Viceroy's House, is the official home of the President of India, located at the Western end of Rajpath in New Delhi, India. It may refer to only the mansion (the 2 room main building) that has the president's official residence, halls, guest rooms and offices; it may also refer to the entire 130-hectare (320 acre) President Estate that additionally includes huge presidential gardens (Mughal Gardens), large open spaces, residences of bodyguards and staff, stables, other offices and utilities within its perimeter walls. In terms of area, it is one of the largest residences of a head of state in the world.

This decision to build a residence in New Delhi for the British Viceroy was taken after it was decided during the Delhi Durbar in December 1911 that the capital of India would be relocated from Calcutta to Delhi. When the plan for a new city, New Delhi, adjacent to end south of Old Delhi, was developed after the Delhi Durbar, the new palace for the Viceroy of India was given an enormous size and prominent position. About 4,000 acres of land was acquired to begin the construction of Viceroy's House, as it was officially called, and adjacent Secretariat Building between 1911 and 1916 by relocating Raisina and Malcha villages that existed there and their 300 families under the Land & Acquisition Act.The British architect Edwin Landseer Lutyens, a major member of the city-planning process, was given the primary architectural responsibility. On 26 January 1950, when Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India and occupied this building, it was renamed as RashtrapatiBhavan – the President's House.

Architecture designs

Consisting of four floors and 340 rooms, with a floor area of 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2), it was built using 700 million bricks and 3,000,000 cu ft (85,000 m3) of stone with little steel.

The design of the building fell into the time period of the Edwardian Baroque, a time at which emphasis was placed on the use of heavy classical motifs in order to emphasise power and imperial authority. The design process of the mansion was long, complicated and politically charged and after much political debate Lutyens conceded to incorporating local indo-Saracenic motifs, albeit in a rather superficial decorational form on the skin of the building. Various Indian designs were added to the building. These included several circular stone basins on top of the building, as water features are an important part of Indian architecture. There was also a traditional Indian chujja or chhajja, which occupied the place of a frieze in classical architecture; it was a sharp, thin, protruding element which extended 8 feet (2.4 m) from the building, and created deep shadows. It blocks harsh sunlight from the windows and also shields the windows from heavy rain during the monsoon season. On the roofline were several chuttris, which helped to break up the flatness of the roofline not covered by the dome. Lutyens appropriated some Indian designs, but used them sparingly and effectively throughout the building. There were also statues of elephants and fountain sculptures of cobras in the gar of the retaining walls, as well as the bas-reliefs around the base of the Jaipur Column, made by British sculptor, Charles SargeantJagger. The column has a "distinctly peculiar crown on top, a glass star springing out of bronze lotus blossom".
There were grilles made from red sandstone, called jalis or jaalis.These jalis were inspired by Rajasthani design. Lutyens established ateliers in Delhi and Lahore to employ local craftsmen. The chief engineer of the project was Sir Teja Singh Malik, and four main contractors included Sir Sobha Singh.

The Viceregal Lodge was completed largely by 1929, and (along with the rest of New Delhi) inaugurated officially in 1931. Interestingly, the building took seventeen years to complete and eighteen years later India became independent. After Indian independence in 1947, the now ceremonial Governor-General continued to live there, being succeeded by the President in 1950 when India became a republic and the house was renamed "RashtrapatiBhavan".

Lutyens stated that the dome is inspired by the Pantheon of Rome. There is also the presence of Mughal and European colonial architectural elements. Overall the structure is distinctly different from other contemporary British Colonial symbols. It has 355 decorated rooms and a floor area of 19,000 m². The structure includes 700 million bricks and 85,000 m³ of stone, with only minimal usage of steel.

Layout plan

The layout plan of the building is designed around a massive square with multiple courtyards and open inner areas within. The plan called for two wings; one for the Viceroy and residents and another for guests. The residence wing is a separate four-storey house in itself, with its own court areas within. This wing was so large that the last Indian governor-general, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, opted to live in the smaller guest wing, a tradition followed by subsequent presidents. The original residence wing is now used primarily for state receptions and as a guest wing for visiting heads of state.

Halls and rooms

RashtrapatiBhavan has many halls which are used for state functions and other purposes. Two of them, Durbar Hall and Ashoka Hall, are the most prominent.
Durbar Hall is situated directly under the double-dome of the main building. Known as the “Throne Room” before independence, it had two separate thrones for the Viceroy and Vicereine. Durbar Hall has a capacity of 500 people and it is here in this building that JawaharLal Nehru took the oath of office of Prime Minister of Independent India from Lord Mountbatten at 8.30 am on 15 August 1947.

Ashoka Hall is a rectangular room of 32×20 m and the most beautiful of all the halls. It was originally built as a state ballroom with wooden flooring. The Persian painting on its ceiling depicts a royal hunting expedition led by King Fateh Ali Shah of Persia. The walls have fresco paintings.

The dome, in the middle, reflects both Indian and British styles. In the centre is a tall copper dome, surmounting a drum, which stands out from the rest of the building. The dome is exactly in the middle of the diagonals between the four corners of the building. The dome is more than twice the height of the building itself.

The height of the dome was increased by Lord Hardinge in the plan of the building in 1913. The dome combines classical and Indian styles.

Other features

Water features are present throughout the mansion, such as near the Viceroy's stairs, which has eight marble lion statues spilling water into six basins. These lions were symbolic of the heraldry of Great Britain. There is also an open area in one room to the sky, which lets in much of the natural light.

Mughal Gardens

The Mughal Gardens are situated at the back of the RashtrapatiBhavan, incorporate both Mughal and English landscaping styles and feature a great variety of flowers. The RashtrapatiBhavan gardens are open to the public in February every year.
The Mughal Gardens opens for general public viewing in February–March every year during Udyanotsav.

In July 2014, a museum inside RashtrapatiBhavan was inaugurated by President of India Pranab Mukherjee. The museum helps visitors to get an inside view of the RashtrapatiBhavan, its art, architecture and get educated about lives of past presidents.

President Fleet Review

The Hon’ble President of India being the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, once in his/her term, reviews the Indian Naval (IN) Fleet as part of the ‘President’s Fleet Review’ (PFR). This review aims at assuring the country of the Indian Navy’s preparedness, high moral and discipline.
Many leading nations of the world use the opportunity provided by the Fleet Review to enhance mutual trust and confidence with their maritime neighbours and partners by inviting their ships to participate in the review. Normally called ‘International Fleet Review’ (IFR), this event then provides the host nation an occasion to display its own naval prowess and the bridges of friendship and trust it has built with other maritime nations. The first IFR was conducted in January 2001, off Mumbai with participation from 29 countries. This earned the country widespread appreciation and goodwill.

Acknowledgments: This philatelic article is prepared using information available at following web sites;,

The author thankfully acknowledges all sources of information. The 2011 Special cover Rashtrapati Bhavan Centenary Year is gracefully gifted by Anil Choksi of Ahmedabad.

-Ilyas Patel email :

In Memory of Dr Satyendra Agrawal….


In great philatelic memory of Dr Satyendra Kumar Agrawal, I am re-publishing some of his best articles every month this year. Those who were closely associated with Dr Agrawal may also share their memories  in this column.- Editor

POSTS, you never dreamed of……

Can you ever dreamed off welcoming your little relative from abroad with a mailing tag around her neck, delivered by a postman at your doorstep? This happened in USA in 1914 when a postman in a railway post office discovered that, being a small   four-year-old girl named May Pierstorff living in Grangeville and wanted to visit her grandparents in Lewiston, sending her as "parcel post" by the pound, would be cheaper than buying a ticket on the train. She was pinned the fifty-three cents in postage in her coat and put in the baggage car, under the care of the postal clerk. Though it was customary to leave packages in the post office overnight, when May arrived in Lewiston, the postmaster took her to her grandmother immediately.


Girl child to be posted

This event alerted The US Post Office Department and on June 13, 1920 it issued new rules, announcing that children would no longer be accepted as a parcel post. Still two more incidence of booking of a baby to the husband who had left her and the body of a child who had died of natural causes come in light when it was mailed to an undertaker in Albany, New York. It arrived on November 20, 1922, and carried no 'return address'. She was buried '...through the kindness of individuals' under the apt name of 'Parcella Post.'

Even mailing of a young man also published in early 19th century when to save him from slavery, Henry “Box” Brown, mailed himself to freedom on March 29, 1849 with the help of a storekeeper in Louisa County, Virginia. He packed himself into a crate that was 3’x 2’x 2.6’ and labeled “This Side up with Care,” to be sent to the home of Philadelphia abolitionist James Miller McKim.

Henry “Box” Brown in a crate- ready to be mailed

With only a small container of water he journeyed for 27 hours  loaded onto a wagon, then to the baggage car of a train, then another wagon, then a steamboat, then another wagon, then a second baggage car, then a ferry, then a third railroad car, and finally a wagon that delivered him to McKim’s house. When the box was opened, Brown stood up, and passed out. 
Chrissie Maclean writes in his book ‘'The Stornoway I Knew Memories from 1930s to 1950s', published by Stornoway Historical Society that ‘During the war ... Some unusual parcels went through the mail then. Often a customer would come in with a large dead hen, complete with feathers, its legs tied with string to which was attached the address label. These hens were destined for mainland relatives.’

One more interesting story related to delivery of unusual item by post born in1916 when construction of historical building of The Bank of Vernal (or Parcel Post Bank) started by  WH Coltharp. He wanted to use textured bricks to give a modern style to the facades. Since those bricks were manufactured in Salt Lake City the delivery cost was enormous, amounting to four times the cost of the material.

Coltharp managed to send those bricks by USPS, through the standard mail delivery system: bricks were packaged in 50 pound parcels (7 bricks each), and sent by lots of 40 packages per day. The total amount exceeded 80,000 bricks.

Again US Postal Regulations were changed to avoid further exploiting of the service, and a limitation of 200 pounds per day per receiver was introduced. The United States Postmaster General Albert Sidney Burleson explicitly stated in a letter that "it is not the intent of the United States Postal Service that buildings be shipped through the mail".
The United States had a special rate for "live bees, baby alligators & chicks." Occasionally ladybugs were also sent by mail.

Instruction Label

In December, 1954, the postmaster in Orlando, Florida, received a chameleon posted from Fostoria Ohio with request to let him deliver some where in the ground as in Orlando was too cold for his chameleon to live. He also requested for acknowledgement of its safe arrival which was done happily by the postmaster in following words “I received your chameleon yesterday and he was immediately released on the post office grounds. Best wishes for a merry Christmas!”

But can you imagine in your postbox a field post envelope made of birch bark or letter written on a leaf attached to it a 7k commemorative the international post charges for a post card from Yalta, Crimea in the USSR to New York? Apparently the item caused some consternation in Crimea as it received the postage-due oval and the manuscript "T". Both have been subsequently erased

Field post envelope made of birch bark

 Posted in July 1928 from Yalta, Crimea in the USSR to New York

Hundreds of coconuts were also sent back to U.K. Pacific Ocean, via the mail system. Many tourists paint a tropical island scene on one side, put the address and stamps on the other and off they would go.

Examples of booking of many more strange articles with stamps pasted directly on the booked item with address written on them also exist. Strangely reports of their safe delivery to the recipients were also recorded.

Globe Tobacco Pipe, Crockery and Spectacle

                                  Toys                                                  Ball

    Bone                Human Mask         Glass bottle         Gramophone Record

Delivery of a biscuit that was sent to an American student away at college in the early 20th century - not wrapped or packaged in anyway, simply a biscuit with postage and address somehow affixed was also reported in a magazine.  It is said that the biscuit was being preserved in the University's archives.

And what would be a great surprise for the receiver and a matter of pride for the postman who got the opportunity to deliver a rose bud to others Valentine sent per post attached to a   card that was tied to the stem with address and stamps on it. It has taken three days to get delivered but rose bud was still gracing the stem. What an efficient US postal system is.
And what will you do with the wine filled bottle received as an FDC? Not a dream but it happened for an “Australian Folklore” series of 1983 , consisting  a set of five setanent stamps issued to commemorate the 107th Anniversary of Birth of C. J. Dennis, who wrote numerous verses, one of which was the Sentimental Bloke, popularized in films, stage plays, musicals, records, and radio & TV programs and depicted on these stamps .Along with regular FDCs, in Auburn,  Australia, the birth place of Dennis,  540 bottles of 1976 vintage port wine were also used for FDCs on which this set of   se-tenant strip of five stamps were pasted on the obverse and cancelled with the pictorial postmark of Denis with a Tobacco pipe in his mouth on 7 September 1983 .

 Se-tenant stamps of five pasted on a 1976 vintage port wine bottle with First Day  pictorial cancel of Dennis.(Sorry, bottle is missing)

Reader’s Right
GST and its implications on Philately and philatelists / collectors /dealers

I am a senior citizen and having been collecting stamps for past few decades. In recent times especially since around 2013 I observe that the popularity of this Hobby has been on a steep decline for several reasons. However the remaining Philatelists have been bravely and desperately clinging to their beloved Hobby which has given them countless hours of happiness and have found it a worthwhile occupation as well as rewarding in terms of financial returns on their collections and investments in spite of dealers selling at a futuristic premium and buying at discouraging discounts. Since the advent of the internet since around 2002 the collector had for the first time a direct access to other collectors / buyers in India and abroad, on platforms such as the Ebay, Delcampe etc.and hoped that the collector base would finally get larger. 

However, since the promulgation of the GST Act and Rules 2017, there has been a tremendous amount of confusion and the once simple process of selling on the internet is now made an almost impractical and  onerous task , with the ecommerce operators required to insist on  GST registration number from all sellers and deduct TCS from them @ 1% of total value of their annual sales and remit to the Government. Over and above this additional deduction, is their listing fees, transaction charges etc besides the packing , shipping charges and delivery to shipper, costs to the collector/seller. To make matters worse the seller at the time of GST registration is( as I understand )required to declare value of his entire stock held by him and declare its value and remit GST on it at 5% and/or 12%  depending on whether the philatelic item falls under HSN code number 4907 or 9704/6 ( which are confusing as in their description both say they apply to postage and revenue stamps used and unused!!) The GST remitted  by the seller on his stock valuation (based on face value or latest catalog value??) is to recovered by him after charging the prescribed GST charges on each and every item sold , as Input tax credit and remit the balance to the Govt. It is unimaginable to do this exercise for  the single mint stamps  for which the selling price may be as low as Rs.10/50/100 etc. Over and above this he is required to maintain each and every invoice and efile the same in 3 or more GSTR Forms as prescribed every week/month. It appears that this GST Act will extinguish the transaction  sale and exchange and thereby punish and become the last nail in the coffin of surviving  Philatelists and dealers who have so far managed to survive the unprecedented  fall in demand and price of  philatelic items both in India and abroad as confirmed by latest Indian and International Catalogs.

Through this email I am requesting  you to kindly prevail on  the most influential and knowledgeable Philatelists/ Societies to request/persuade  the Finance Ministry that this mandatory registration for selling through ecommerce operators/platform be immediately exempted/cancelled and the GST currently prescribed at 5%/12% on sale /exchange of all Philatelic items be abolished and all Philatelic items be included in the NIL GST Schedule with immediate effect .

I am sure the Philatelic community at large would be eternally grateful  if the above can be achieved .                        


 Email:   Ph.  0836-2460298

Suggestions for Upgradation of Philatelic Bureau , Jaipur
-       Rajesh Paharia

Philatelic Bureaus are face of Philately and Philatelic activities done by India Posts , hence it should incorporate all factors and facilities which truly represent Indian Philately and alternatively should be well equipped to increase presentability , utility, reputation and business of Indian Philately. 

Though there are lots of Long term activities which are related with Policies , Man Power and Fund allocation but I have observed and limited my suggestion keeping in view of its implementation at Circle specially local level that too confined to Philatelic Bureau and its available and possible resources. The key suggestions are as follows :

1.Heritage value through Old Post Boxes Display : Old Post Boxes relates directly relates to our rich Postal heritage hence old British and Jaipur State Post Boxes should be displayed on proper platform with small description about them.

 2.Museum Lighting

The Lights should not be in display boxes which release heat and spoil items. They should be on ceiling

3. A small Post office Heritage model with counter for all visitors to buy stamp/ stationery , cancel on their own and post letters there itself .


4 .Air-conditioning

5. RO Water Dispenser

6. Smart Screen showing Regular available Philatelic Material. It can also used for workshops and showing short films on philately to visitors specially students.

7. Re-writing available display of Philatelic Bureau with addition of more stamps and information

8.Inviting 12 Philatelists every year for 1 month display of their collection. The invitation may be based on collections which are highly awarded or which are relevant to dates and Month. For Example inviting a Gandhi Collection in October or Jawaharlal Nehru in November.

9.Purchasing New Books for Library. Suggestions for new books may be taken from Reputed Senior Philatelists and Philatelic Society.

10.Recognising Active Philatelists and School Representatives for their efforts at least once a year . This will require small function with memento , refreshment and back up seating arrangement of at least 40-50 pax.

11.Signages  around GPO indicating location of Philatelic Bureau

12.Keeping database of Schools with contact person to regularly invite and involve them in making MY Stamps , seeing monthly Stamp Displays of bureau  , Post office  Visits to see the working etc.

13.Distribute free Stamp Information Sheet free to all Schools of Jaipur

14.Send information of New Stamp Release to Media and News Papers

15.Review again after approval and budget allocation.

16.Philatelic Themed complimentary items for Press and School Representatives

17.Printing and distributing Brochure publicising Postal Museum & Bureau at all Hotels and Tourist Information Bureau

18.Ramp at entrance gate

-       Rajesh Paharia : email -

New issues from other Countries

31 August 2017 : Diana

From her engagement to the Prince of Wales in 1981 until her death in 1997, Diana was a major presence on the world stage, often described as the “world’s most photographed woman”. She was noted for her compassion, style, charisma, and high-profile charity work, as well as her difficult marriage to the Prince of Wales. Paul Burrell, who worked as a butler for the Princess, remembered her as a “deep thinker” capable of “introspective analysis”. She was often described as a devoted mother to her children, who are influenced by her personality and manner of life. In the early years, Diana was often noted for her shy nature, as well as her shrewdness, funny character, and smartness. Those who had communicated with her closely describe her as a person who was led by her heart. 
Diana was widely known for her encounters with sick and dying patients, the poor and unwanted whom she used to comfort, an action that earned her more popularity. She was mindful of people’s thoughts and feelings, and later revealed her wish of becoming a beloved figure among the people by saying in her 1995 interview that “[She’d] like to be a queen of people’s hearts, in people’s hearts”. According to the biographer Tina Brown, she could charm the people with a single glance.
 “Diana was the very essence of compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty. All over the world she was a symbol of selfless humanity. All over the world, a standard bearer for the rights of the truly downtrodden, a very British girl who transcended nationality. Someone with a natural nobility who was classless and who proved in the last year that she needed no royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic”.


31 August 2017 : 150 Years of Tubli Letters

Swiss Post have issued a single stamp and miniature sheet on 31st August 2017 marking the 150th anniversary of the nation’s first pre-franked postal envelopes, known as ‘Tübli letters’.
The miniature sheet shows the Zweisimmen first day cover in the background, one of the few remaining pieces from the official first day. It displays all four values of the first issue in a fan arrangement.The 85c value stamp shows 10-centime value of the Zweisimmen letter cancelled on the issue date. A detail of the address written with a quill sends the observer on a journey back in time to the 19th century.
‘Tübli letters’ were federal postal system envelopes pre-franked with a printed stamp and were first issued by Geneva Post Office on 1 July 1867, although covers were sold and cancelled before this date.
United Nations
3 August 2017: 2017 World Heritage - UNESCO Along the Silk Roads

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world that are of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.

The Silk Roads were an interconnected web of routes linking the ancient societies of Asia, the Subcontinent, Central Asia, Western Asia and the Near East, and contributed to the development of many of the world’s great civilizations. The routes served principally to transfer raw materials, foodstuffs and luxury goods. However, these vast networks carried more than just merchandise and precious commodities. The constant movement of people, merchants and goods along these routes also brought about the transmission of and exchange of knowledge, ideas, cultures and beliefs, which had a profound impact on the history and civilizations of the Eurasian peoples. The Silk Roads were listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 2014.
$0.49 Longmen Grottoes, China
The grottoes and niches of Longmen contain the largest and most impressive collection of Chinese art of the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties. These works, entirely devoted to the Buddhist religion, represent the high point of Chinese stone carving. The Longmen Grottoes are situated on both sides of the Yi River to the south of the ancient capital of Luoyang, Henan province. They comprise more than 2,300 caves and niches carved into the steep limestone cliffs over a 1 km stretch. The earliest caves to be carved in the late fifth and early sixth centuries include Guyangdong and the Three Binyang Caves, all containing large Buddha figures. Yaofangdong Cave contains 140 inscription recording treatments for various diseases and illnesses. Work on the sculpture in this cave continued over a 150-year period, illustrating changes in artistic style. The site was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2000.
$1.15 Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain, Kyrgyzstan
Sulaiman-Too Mountain in Kyrgyzstan dominates the surrounding landscape of the Fergana Valley and forms the backdrop to the city of Osh. In medieval times Osh was one of the largest cities of the fertile Fergana Valley at the crossroads of important routes on the Central Asian Silk Roads system. For more than one and a half millennia, Sulaiman was a beacon for travellers and was revered as a sacred mountain. Its five peaks and slopes contain a large assembly of ancient cult places and caves with petroglyphs, all interconnected with a network of ancient paths, as well as later mosques. The site is believed to represent the most complete example of a sacred mountain anywhere in Central Asia, worshipped over several millennia. It was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2009.
CHF 1,00 Historic Centre of Bukhara, Uzbekistan
The Historic Centre of Bukhara, situated on the Silk Roads, is more than 2,000 years old. It is the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia, with an urban fabric that has remained largely intact. Monuments of particular interest include the famous tomb of Ismail Samani, a masterpiece of tenth-century Muslim architecture, and a large number of seventeenth-century madrasas. Bukhara was long an important economic and cultural centre in Central Asia. The ancient Persian city served as a major centre of Islamic culture for many centuries and became a major cultural centre of the Caliphate in the eighth century. The real importance of Bukhara lies not in its individual buildings but rather in its overall townscape, demonstrating the consistently high level of urban planning and architecture that began with the Sheibanid dynasty. It was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1993.
CHF 1,50 Kunya-Urgench, Turkmenistan
Kunya-Urgench is situated in north-western Turkmenistan, on the left bank of the Amu Darya River. Urgench was the capital of the Khorezm region, part of the Achaemenid Empire. The old town contains a series of monuments mainly from the eleventh to sixteenth centuries, including a mosque, the gates of a caravanserai, fortresses, mausoleums and a 60-m minaret. The monuments testify to outstanding achievements in architecture and craftsmanship whose influence reached Iran and Afghanistan, and later the architecture of the Mogul Empire of sixteenth-century India. It was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2005.
€ 0,80 Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex, Iran (Islamic Republic Of)
Tabriz has been a place of cultural exchange since antiquity, and its historic bazaar complex is one of the most important commercial centres on the Silk Road. Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex consists of a series of interconnected covered brick structures, buildings and enclosed spaces for different functions. Tabriz and its bazaar were already prosperous and famous in the thirteenth century, when the town, in the province of Eastern Azerbaijan, became the capital city of the Safavid kingdom. The city lost its status as capital in the sixteenth century but remained important as a commercial hub until the end of the eighteenth century, with the expansion of Ottoman power. It is one of the most complete examples of the traditional commercial and cultural system of Iran.It was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2010.
€ 1,70 City of Safranbolu, Turkey
The City of Safranbolu is a typical Ottoman city that played a key role in the caravan trade over many centuries. The settlement developed as a trading centre after the Turkish conquest in the eleventh century, and by the thirteenth century it had become an important caravan station. From the thirteenth century to the advent of the railway in the early twentieth century, Safranbolu continued to be an important point on the main east–west trade route. The Old Mosque, Old Bath and Süleyman Pasha Medrese were built in 1322. During its apogee in the seventeenth century, Safranbolu’s architecture influenced urban development throughout much of the Ottoman Empire. It was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1994.

Ananthapuri Stamp Bulletin September 2017 from Ananthapuri Philatelic Association
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