Call it “Valuation Class” or “Gradation Class” and not “Competition Class”
International competition class, Invitation class, Championship class….these are the three classes which we normally hear in the philatelic exhibitions at any level. In one of my articles long back, I had given my opinion/comments with the title “Who says there is competition in competition class” in any exhibition especially in Thematic Class.
I again emphasize the same. There is no competition in so called competition class in philatelic exhibitions. Competition is a competition when the competitors are asked to do the same things and also the top level are awarded. Like in racing competition, racers have to cover the same distance, that too at the same time together. In drawing competition, the competitors are given particular time span and topic and they have draw it sitting together… what I mean is that the things are to be done together under stipulated conditions and supervision.
But here in philately, is there any thing like competition? It is the display of best part of one’s collection in a particular way under stipulated guide lines for display. Who has collected, how it has been collected, who has prepared the exhibit, the time span of the collection, how much time has been spent in making exhibit… how much true knowledge the exhibitor has, is the collection really belong to the exhibitor or a procured or purchased one ? there are several questions which are unanswered and need to be asked, to be considered, to be monitored, to be looked upon before one exhibit is put in the so called competition class.
Competition is the judgment of one’s true efforts with in the means provided and not the money one has. Philatelic exhibits are certainly not the true display of ones own efforts. Money can get you best of the material and also the hands to help you making the exhibit or in other words, the ready made exhibit or the complete blue print of the exhibit with materials.
Now coming to the exhibitions, what do the jury do? They just do valuation of the exhibit with in the set norms. Every exhibit is different, time span for making it is different, collecting and making conditions are different……. pocket size of each exhibitor is different….I mean there are no uniform conditions and parameters to collect and make the exhibit. Of course, valuating conditions and parameters are same and set. This means the exhibits are valuated only . Each of the exhibit is given the marks/points by the jury which is valuation of the exhibit and it helps him/her to improve upon his/her exhibit. For me, the Gold, Silver, Bronze……..medals awarded during exhibitions are not the awards but the grades which are given to a particular exhibit by the jury. In the recent change in education system in India, valuation is given in terms of grades now by CBSE and other education boards though students have the spirit of no competition but to do better amongst them..
After this discussion, I would say that there is no competition in competition class of philately. Yes, it is valuation of exhibit…. which gives equal joy and pleasure to a true philatelist. Hence, it should be named as “Valuation Class” and not “Competition Class”. The medal should be given but called as Gold Grade, Silver Grade…..like that. In fact, when we say Silver… it reflects the IInd position of the exhibit like in other competitions, which in fact is not there.
Hence, putting this matter on discussion amongst the philatelic fraternity, I would ask them to come forward with there comments.