It has been a little over two months since the Department of Telecommunications discontinued its telegraphic services. But the nostalgia associated with the telegram is never ending.
A man in Coimbatore has preserved a telegram which Mahatma Gandhi had sent to the former’s granduncle on March 13, 1941. Gandhiji had sent the telegram to Tribhavandas Vendraban, a Jain, who along with his brothers had taken steps to stop an age-old practice of giving the ‘Muppali’ (a triple sacrifice of killing a goat, hen and pig) to appease Goddess Koniamman, Coimbatore’s sentinel deity.
Tribhavandas and his brothers, Kapoor Chand Vendraban, Keem Chand Vendraban, Utham Chand Vendraban and Abai Chand Vendraban, had succeeded in convincing the people then to give up animal sacrifice.
According to Vimal Shanthilal, the grandson of Kapoor Chand, when Mahatma Gandhi learnt of this, he had sent a telegram to Tribhavandas. Mahatma Gandhiwas well acquainted with the Vendraban family in Coimbatore.
Shanthilal proudly displays the ageing telegram which reads: “To Tribavandas Vendraban, Coimbatore, Glad, animal sacrifice stopped — Gandhi.”
The telegraphic services were back then handled by Indian Posts and Telegraphs Department.