In 2011, we wrote about the end of the telegram in Sri Lanka. When telecom and posts were bifurcated in Sri Lanka, telegrams went with posts, somewhat illogically. In India, they went with telecom, so they lasted a little longer. But BSNL’s failure to offer improved service and features while keeping price below costs did the telegram in nevertheless.
The telegram or taar, once the bearer of urgent news, good or bad, will disappear once and for all on July 15, outpaced in the age of text messages and emails.
The telegraphic service began in India in 1850 — by cable, later wireless — but what spurred the Indian telecom revolution has eventually been overtaken by it. A cash-strapped BSNL, which took over telegraphy from the postal department, raised charges two years ago, from Rs 4 for 50 words to Rs 50. Two months ago, international telegrams were done away with and now, the domestic taar is set to go too.