Shillong, Feb. 19: In the era of electronic mail when philately appears to be on the wane, the Meghalaya postal division, Shillong, today launched a three-day philatelic exhibition, Meghapex-2014, to instil this fine art in young minds.
More than 2,000 stamps were on display, some of them from the collection of Meghalaya governor Krishan Kant Paul, who himself is an enthusiastic philatelist, at the district-level exhibition.
In his address, Paul recounted how a postage stamp was able to change the history and geography of a country.
“The original proposal of linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans contemplated a canal through Nicaragua. The rival lobby in 1902, on the day of voting, circulated a Nicaraguan postage stamp with an active volcano. One does not know whether it was entirely because of the stamp or not, but the alignment of the famous canal surely got changed in favour of Panama. In the process, the stamp with a picture of Momotombo volcano overnight turned into a rarity,” he said at the gathering at Anton Hall, Don Bosco Square, here.
The governor also pointed out that prior to the creation of Israel, postage stamps showing Palestine with more or less the same map as that of Israel bring out stark historical realities. “Some of the very rare stamps these days are also being used by professionals as investment propositions at auctions,” he added.
Stating that India has a healthy tradition of issuing commemorative stamps on illustrious personalities, both national and international, Paul, however, said at times, deserving personalities are left out.
Postmaster general (Northeastern circle) P.K. Swain said philately brings millions of people of all nations into greater understanding of the world around them.
A special cover to commemorate Sohra (Cherrapunjee) and My Stamp (a brand name for personalised sheets of commemorative postage stamps of India Post) were released at the function.