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Not a State secret

A Speed Post letter may never reach the person it’s addressed to. This is desi fail mail.

india Updated: Dec 28, 2010 23:17 IST
Hindustan Times

Now we never said that our postal services should function like greased lightning. We are quite used to letters taking an inordinately long time to reach their destination, if at all. And in case you thought that you had to suffer such delays because you are a minor cog in the wheel, be assured that our postal services are an equal opportunities discriminator.

Yes, even the highest in the land are not accorded any special privileges as the astounded home minister P Chidambaram found when a letter from him on a matter of grave import addressed to West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee reached Kolkata five days after it had been posted. Why, you might ask, are official communications sent by post and not on the electronic mail. It is because, according to some antiquated law, official classified documents have to be sent by Speed Post, which as we have seen is anything but that. H ow we wish that communications of less import were to follow this route. Then those wishing to sell you land, villas, water purifiers and insurance would have to nip down to the post office and cough up a nifty amount to send their information by Speed Post. Which, if all goes well, we will never get. What bliss that would be.

Worry warts among you might fret that important communications could fall into the wrong hands if they were sent by Speed Post. Clearly, you have never visited a post office. If anyone has the patience and dedication to sift through the millions of letters supervised by the work-averse postal staff, then he or she deserves to get their hands on State secrets. But chances are that you will never get anything worth a Wikileak. Will this latest incident speed things up in our postal services? We’ll keep you posted.

First Published: Dec 28, 2010 23:14 IST