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One of the last remaining bastions of the telegram, India, has announced it is ceasing telegram services on July 15, in the wake of the rising popularity of smartphones, texting and email.

Telegrams – called “taar” in India —  began circulating in the 1850s. The signs of the taar’s demise were already clear; the system was privatized when Indian telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. took over from the postal system in the 1990s, and two years ago raised the price from three or four rupees for 50 words) to 27 rupees for 50 words. In March 2013, BSNL announced the cessation of all international telegrams.

BSNL said it decided to cease telegram services after asking the Department of Posts to take the failing service back.

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