Telegram sevice: a nostalgia

Media in India are reminiscing over the rich history of the 160-year-old telegram service, which is to wind up soon.

Photo credit: BBC News

The government has decided to discontinue the telegraph service from 15 July due to massive losses, sparking a feeling of nostalgia in newspapers.

Editorials are remembering the telegraph service’s importance during the British rule and the role of the humble postman, who was the bearer of all kinds of news, in connecting rural India to cities and to the world.

“The postman fishing out a telegram from his satchel is an abiding image in many of our earlier movies, at least for those of us of a certain age. The recipient would tear it open with trembling hands, for there was always an element of urgency about a telegram,” The Hindustan Times, in an editorial, says.

“Tersely worded, printed out in capital letters, sentences ending with the dramatic “STOP”, nothing can bring it home like a telegram,” says The Indian Express.

The paper adds that cutting the telegraph wires was a “favoured form of nationalist protest” in India during the time of the colonial rule and was “invaluable” to the British during the Indian uprising of 1857.

“The extinct service will leave only memories now of a day and age in which the postman cycled in a hurry to convey the good or bad news, or even better, came with a telegraphic [postal] money order from a generous relative”, writes The Asian Age.

Read more via BBC News – Indian media: Telegram nostalgia.

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