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புதன், ஜனவரி 26, 2011

Is philately losing its charm?



Stamps reflect the socio-cultural ethos of society.

CUDDALORE: 

         Philately seems to be losing ground with the growth of courier services and information technology.

       It is common knowledge that usage of stamps has come down significantly owing to the advent of e-mail, short messaging service and social networking system. The philatelists have voiced concern over the state of affairs because they could not reconcile themselves to the fact that the stamps are gradually losing their coveted position in the sphere of communications. Philatelists collect the stamps and preserve them because they realise the value of every single stamp that acts as a treasure trove of information.

           The stamps reflect the socio-cultural ethos of society, besides giving insight into the demographic history. According to K.Thirumalai, an avid stamp collector, the present generation does not have much exposure to the stamp culture and hence, its significance is lost to them. The very sight of the stamps carrying the images of tall leaders would convey a lot about their struggle and travails in getting Independence and the toils of the scientist in making a breakthrough. The strenuous practices that lie behind one's success and the toil one has to put in for reaching the height of glory are being graphically conveyed through the stamps. In a nutshell the stamps reflect the social ethos of a country.

             Moreover, the stamps act as a motivating factor to the individuals who are aspiring to attain the acme of success. A philatelist's collections are not just outdated stamps but records of the very configuration of the social set-up, Mr Thirumalai says. Superintendent of Post Offices, Cuddalore, V.S. Mani says that the philatelists continue to have un-sagging interest in stamp collection, but he cannot be sure whether their tribe will grow in the coming days.
For the sake of convenience and speedy delivery, franking machines have been put to use.

The stamps could be categorised into two types: 

              commemorative ones and definitive ones.

                 The commemorative stamps have limited editions and would be in circulation for a specified period (until the commemorative event lasts); 

             whereas, the definitive stamps would be reprinted time and again, depending upon the demand. Mr. Mani concurs with the view that there has been a significant fall in the sale of stamps, though he would not quantify it in value terms.

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