Last updated on December 2, 2019
L for Letters: The Letters To The Editor
One of my letters published in India Today weekly with a highlight from my letter
Letters and letter writing is disappearing at this age!
Letters and letter writing is diminishing day by day. In fact, it’s almost disappeared from the scene!
It’s a fact that a few years back we all used to send letters to our near and dear through postcards or inland letters via the post office.
The main media of communication at that time was the inland letters and the postcards, of course, some use envelopes too.
That was really a bygone age! And these days very rarely people use inland letters, postcards or post offices to communicate with their near and dear.
The advanced growth of electronic and digitalTechnology has facilitated communication very easy through the development of computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and now the latest smartwatches.
Apart from this we now have easy and free access to different other means like email, social media, text messages, snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and the WhatsApp.
A recent report says that the United States Post Office (USPS) has had a direct hit from this change. It is really sad to note the USPS has suffered $2.7 million in losses due to a decline in the postal mail.
The 50% decline of first-class mail, which includes letters and postcards, in the last decade is expected to fall even further, racking up losses by $800 million. This statistical record is really shocking.
If we ask a young boy of today about the inland letter, postcard or letter writing?
He will surely get baffled!
Once upon a time, postal letters were an important medium of communication.
At my young age, I made a lot of friends (Penpals) from India and abroad through this media of communication.
Letter writing was one of my favorite hobbies at that time. Philately also was one of my favorite hobbies and it very well went along with letter writing. I got a good collection of stamps through exchange via letter writing. I still keep some of my friends’ handwritten letters in my file.
That was indeed a great time of intimate relationships with friends. I had a good number of friends from the US, UK, Australia, Philippians, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) Israel and Gulf Countries.
A few years back even in print media, this was the only medium to get in touch with their writers and readers.
The editors communicate by writing letters through postcards, inland letters or through envelopes. But sad to say those days are almost over and the letters and letter writing is diminished and almost disappearing from the scene.
Letterboxes placed by the postal department in different prominent places are now disappeared or not used by any.
A letter column in a newspaper or magazine was the main medium of communication with readers and editors.
In the print media, letters to the editor column is a vital part and without the readers’ letters/opinion, no magazine or newspaper was published.
Someone emphasized, “It is an“Ardhaasanam” (in Malayalam) which means Half Seat given to the readers of the publications.
Letters column is a must in newspapers and magazines. The phrase is very true in its meaning: The publications allow a second place or seat next to the editor, ie., the next important person after the editor in a publication is his readers or their opinion through the letters column.
So most of the print media gives a prominent place (That is next to the editorial of the publication) to their readers in their publication. Malayala Manorama Daily, (the largest circulated regional language daily in India),
The daily newspapers like The Hindu, The Times of India, Deccan Chronicle and the weeklies like India Today, The Sunday Indian, The Week and Outlook weekly are following this practice.
They publish their readers’ opinions/feedback just after the editorial column, most of the time it is just below the editorial column or by the side of it on the same page.
I am so happy to say that many of my letters are published by these publications and got prominent places (Ardhaasanam) in these columns, few of them which are available is posted (screenshots) elsewhere on these pages.
Letters To The Editor Means Half Seat (Ardhasanam) Of the Editor
In short, giving a second place or position (Ardhaasanam) to its readers is a good practice, and in this electronic speed media the comment box occupies somewhat similar place and we should not shut that comment column or space from our readers, instead, it should be open to its readers to air their views/feedback.
It is also proved that readers’ opinions or comments are very powerful and need to value it and accept it for paving a strong write-up foundation. Yes, the comments can do wonders in our writings.
I am reminded of my beginning of letter writing, my first letter was published in one of the leading Malayalam publications in Kerala. It is the largest circulated daily in India in the regional languages.
Yet another joy to note here is that my first letter published along with a cartoon by the publication’s cartoonist Shankaran Kutty. That was indeed a great joy to me at that time, since the cartoonist was so famous at that time. His caricatures of politicians were one of the major discussions on those days. He depicted almost all Prime Ministers and all other top politicians of those days.
And that encouraged me to pen more letters and many published in the long run in the print media in English and in Malayalam languages. Many of my letters fetched prize money and recognition, few of them you can read it elsewhere in these web pages.
Here are some of my published letter’s scanned copies: These are Published in The Sunday Indian Weekly. India Today, The Week weekly, Outlook Weekly and Malayala Manorama Daily.
TO READ THE LETTERS CLEARLY PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE!
India Today (Malayalam) Weekly’s Editorial and Letters Column
My letter regarding handwritten letters. To read it clearly, please. Click on the picture
India Today English Weekly’s Special Edition Column
Published a part of my letter:
India Today Special Edition Cover Page
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