Digital Dimdima
Under One Flag
The Light Has Gone Out
India Wins Freedom
Apostle of Peace
The Last War of Independence
Quit India
Leave India to God… or to Anarchy
Gandhi and Ambedkar
A Pinch of Salt!
Saga of Indian Revolutionaries
Bardoli
Gandhiji Withdraws from Political Activities
The Himalayan Blunder
A People Reject Their Rulers
Jallianwala — The Aftermath
Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh
The Gentle Satyagrahi
Gandhi in Champaran
Carrot and Stick
Revolutionaries Outside India
Heroes and Martyrs
Gandhi in South Africa
From Swadeshi to Swaraj
Swadeshi Enterprise
The New Spirit of India
The Great Divide
Partition of Bengal
The Battle is Taken to the Legislature!
The Monk Who Shook The Nation
Father of Indian Unrest
An Old Man's Dream
Women : Crossing the Threshold
The Battle Lines are Drawn
The Battle For A Free Press
Pressing On !
Europeans Take To The Street!
The British Raj in Black and White
Mamool Raj
The One-Man Army
Hunger Deaths
The Delhi Durbar
Return to Swadeshi
Barbarous Britannia
‘Rani Ka Hookum’
Perishing in Peace
The Blue Mutiny
English Education
The Trial of the Last Emperor
Roll of Honour
The Empire Strikes Back
British Authority Collapses
Sepoys on the Move
Tribal Uprisings
The Empire Builders
For God and Country

In 1835 Sir Charles Metcalfe restored the freedom of the Press with the passing of the Press Law. "Freedom of "Public discussion," said Metcalfe, "which is nothing more than the freedom of speaking aloud, is a right belonging to the people which no government has a right to withhold."
Earlier Sir Thomas Munro had expressed misgivings about a free press in India. "A free press and the dominion of strangers", Munro had said, "…cannot long exist together, for what is the first duty of a free press? It is to deliver the country from a foreign yoke." When this line of argument was cited to oppose liberalisation, Metcalfe retorted: "If India could only be preserved as a part of the British empire by keeping its inhabitants in a state of ignorance, our domination would be a curse to the country, and ought to cease".
What Metcalfe granted, Lord Canning took away in the wake of the Great Revolt by passing Act XV of 1857 which required licenses for keeping printing presses and gave the government the power to prohibit the publication or circulation of books or papers it considered objectionable. One of the biggest casualties of the Act was the Urdu Press. Many Urdu papers ceased publication. In other languages,
including English, editors received warnings, and some were edged out.
Fortunately restrictions on the Press were withdrawn when the situation returned to normalcy. The vernacular Press grew bolder and bolder in its criticism of the government. In 1878 Lord Lytton, in order to put a check on the non-English papers which were becoming increasingly hostile to the government came out with the Vernacular Press Act. Under the Act the government could prevent publication of anything likely to give rise to feelings of disaffection against the government.
The vernacular Press protested against the Act. Somprakasha ceased publication and Amrita Bazar Patrika, until then a bilingual, overnight changed into an English paper to escape from the purview of the Vernacular Press Act.
In 1882 Lord Ripon won public acclaim by repealing the Acts of 1857 and 1878.
The Indian Press was now very clear about what its role was : to oppose the government. The Indian press became an instrument in educating public opinion and inculcating patriotic and national views among the public. However, the English Press owned by Europeans took an alarmist view of the rising tide of patriotic fervour in the country and reacted strongly prompting Lord George Hamilton, the Secretary of State to write to Lord Curzon in 1900 :
"We, from time to time, abuse the Native Press, and believe it to be a danger to our rule in India. I am not at all sure that the Anglo-Indian Press is not quite as mischievous, and by its intolerance, does not greatly aggravate all racial difficulties and differences."

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