Archive for July, 2011

stamp anomalies


This was a letter I had written to the Director of India Post (Philately) after discovering that the names of two lakes were incorrect in the list of five stamps released in 2006 to commemorate Himalayan Lakes.

I had originally mailed my letter to directorphilately@indiapost.gov.in as mentioned in the philately website maintained by India Post but when it bounced I was not amazed at all.

I then mailed Mr Sahadeva Sahoo, the immediate past president of PCI who was prompt enough to send copies of my letter to the Director (Mr Manju Kumar) and Deputy Director General (Ms Devika Kumar) of India Post (Philately) after getting through their personal email IDs since the ones maintained by India Post bounced as well (not surprising, isn’t it?)

Mr Sahoo was quite frank when he mentioned, “India Post has not corrected their web pages nor is their webmaster update(d).”

This was the letter in original I had written..

This is with respect to the five commemorative stamps (on Himalayan Lakes) that India Post had released in the year 2006.

himalayan lakes stamp collection (2006)

The idea of releasing stamps honoring the Himalayan lakes (Sela Lake, Chandra Taal, Roop Kund, Tso Moriri, Tso Mgo) requires special mention and a note of thanks but being someone who immensely loves the etymology of a particular name I would like to draw your attention towards the names of two of the lakes that appear incorrectly.

One of the lakes mentioned as TSOMO RIRI would actually be TSO MORIRI while the other one mentioned as TSANGU would actually be TSO MGO (or going by the various spelling variants it could be either TSO NGMO or CHANGU)

In the various Himalayan languages “tso” means a “lake” so TSO MORIRI would be Lake Moriri and TSO MGO would be Lake Mgo.

“Mgo” in the Bhutia language means “head” so the name translates to “head of the lake” or “source of the lake.”

“Moriri” in the Ladakhi language means a “mountain” so the name translates to “mountain lake.”

I would be very glad  if this is taken note of and the incorrect spelling changed.

Hoping against hope that a reply would be forthcoming from the babudom of India I was in for a mighty shock when the DDG replied these many words at least, “Dear Mr Singh, Thank you for your mail.”

With much enthusiasm seeing the babudom at least alive I shot back another mail asking for a correction..

Madame,

My honor that you responded to the mail.

I would just like to know if the correct print of those two stamps could be released. It would be a really good thing. I am new to philately but my friends who are actively into it and since quite some time are really looking forward to it.

I would consider my effort very worthwhile if I could see a new print coming with the correct spelling.

A long silence prevailed and after a few days I altogether forgot about this for I can’t endlessly pursue on this when there are so many more things to do. This was the first letter I had ever written to the top authorities of a government department asking for corrections to be made and from the response I got I could well assure myself that “such is the sorry state of affairs in India.”

If anyone would want to follow personally on the issue I can provide the personal email IDs of the Director and Deputy Director General. Not surprisingly India Post comes under the Ministry of Communications and Information technology headed by none other than Kapil Sibal and I can very well understand the mess.

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