By Anil Kr Pujara
2016 is the jubilee of the Greatest Hockey team to win Olympic Gold for India
Gradually we philatelists are finding that the Indian Philately is loosing ground, the first question that comes to the mind is Who is responsible for the present plight of Philately in India in particular n world at large. We hardly find 1% growth in the number of philatelists per year who have interest in Indian Philately. Here when I refer to the Indian Philately, I mean the philatelic products released in India. Besides other factors, the main factor appears to me is apathy of India Post. India post is being used as tool to serve different purposes. The number of stamps per year issued on Personalities, is overshadowing the events which are historical in nature n deserve to be commemorated in Philately.
The first thing that comes to my mind is the significance of 2016. This year the Olympics is being organized in Rio, Brazil.This year also happens to be the Diamond Jubilee year of the completion of The First n Only Olympic Golden Hatrick for Independent India. -In 1948 (London) India won Olympic Gold in field Hockey – India vs Great Britain in London-Ist time India played under Tiranga- defeated its former Rulers at Wembley stadium London with (4-0) score, -1952 (Helsinki)- India vs Holland (6-1), where Sh Balbir Singh Senior’s Stick created the historic n unbroken till date world & Olympic record of scoring 5 goals in the final. 1956 — under the captainship of Sh. Balbir Singh Senior, India played against Pakistan for the first time an in Olympics and WON. The fact that makes it historical is that it is the only team(Indian or otherwise) to win Olympic Gold without conceding a single goal in the entire tournament with a tournament score of 38-0. The final was played between India & Pakistan at the Iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground On 6th Dec 1956.
Does this event not call for a celebration n commemoration by India Post. It will not only enhance the value of Indian Philately but will serve the purpose of Thematic philately n also give a boost to all the ones who are connected with the event. More so when the man behind the show i.e. Sh Balbir Singh Sr is still alive n being felicitated abroad, eg- Sh Balbir Singh Sr.was choosen as 1 of only 16 Olympic Icons by the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Museum amongst all sports persons in all sports discipline in over 100 years of Modern Olympics at 2012 Olympics in London. Needless to say, He was the only Indian n only World Hockey Player thus chosen. Alas Govt of India n India Post comes out of it’s slumber as still Olympics is yet to start.