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

Pressing On !

William Bolt, an official of the East India Company was pulled up for carrying on private trade. Bolt resigned in a huff and in 1776 threatened to reveal all in the newspaper he was going to launch. Bolt made it known that he had "in manuscript many things to communicate which most intimately concerned every individual." The officials of the company took serious note of the threat and promptly had Bolt deported to the mother country. Bolt's daring newspaper remained stillborn!
Later, in 1780, James Augustus Hicky made history when he launched the first ever newspaper in India, Bengal Gazette or The Original Calcutta General Advertiser. In the first issue Hicky introduced himself as "the late printer to the Honourable Company". That Hicky's intentions were not entirely honourable became evident as his Gazette specialised in exposure of the private lives of the servants of the Company. The popularity the paper achieved made Hicky reckless and he went too far when he turned the spotlight on the wife of the Governor-General. 400 armed guards raided his press and Hicky was thrown into prison. But the valiant editor refused to put his pen down. He continued to edit the Gazette even while in prison and his writings showed no sign of repentance.
In 1785 the Madras Courier was launched by Richard Jhonson, a Government printer and four years later Bombay got its first newspaper, The Bombay Herald.
In 1818, James Silk Buckingham launched the Calcutta Journal. Buckingham was a man of principles. Earlier as a naval commander he had angered slave runners by refusing to transport slaves from Madagascar and had resigned from his post.
When he turned to journalism, he took a vow "to admonish governors of their duties, to warn them furiously of their faults and to tell disagreeable truths."
He threw open his columns to the general public and to whoever had a grievance to air. For five years he kept the company officials on their toes. The officials fumed and fretted and tried to get him deported but Governor-General Lord Hastings, a liberal who believed in the freedom of the press, refused to oblige. After Hastings' departure, one of the first things his successor John Adam did, was to deport Buckingham to England.
The Indian editors were as fearless and as adventurous as Hicky. In the 1840's, Shrinath Roy who wielded a caustic pen, made his tri-weekly Bhaskar, a household name in Bengal.
Once he wrote a piece criticising the Raja of Andul. The raja sent his goons to beat him up and bring him to Andul where his right hand was pounded with a pestle. Afterwards he was thrown into a dungeon. Roy escaped and launched legal proceedings against the raja who eventually had to pay him a compensation of one thousand rupees, a princely sum in those days.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy who was a friend of Buckingham, and who looked upon the press as a tool for social change, launched his publication Sambad Kaumudi in 1819. However, his editor, Bhowani Charan Banerji, walked out on him and started a rival paper Samachar Chandrika which defended the practice of sati. The Chandrika suffered a setback when sati was abolished but continued in business. In 1859, the Rev. James Long noted with satisfaction : "The Chandrika occasionally barks now but it is toothless, the body of the Hindu reformers is too strong for it."

News-Hungry Indians

In 1885 there were 421 newspapers with a combined circulation of 199,825. These included English papers, language papers and bilinguals and trilinguals. The readership was ten times more and came close to 2 million.

       Go to   Next Page

Liked This Article? Then Rate It.

 Select A
 DIMDIMA Site

 

 


Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Testimonials | Feedback | About Us | Contact Us |  Link to Us | Links | Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2014 dimdima.com. All Rights Reserved.