Newspaper during Indian Freedom Struggle


1. Development of Indian Press

Indian press history started with the arrival of Europeans.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to bring a printing press to India, and the Jesuits of Goa published the first book in India in 1557.

James Augustus Hickey was a pioneer in the field of newspaper publishing in India.

In 1780, he established "The Bengal Gazette or Calcutta General Advertiser," which was the first newspaper in India.

However, in 1782, Hickey's press was seized because to his outspoken criticism of the Government.

2. Regulations on Indian Newspapers before Independence

2.1. Censorship of Press Act, 1799:

Lord Wellesley established Press Censorship in 1799, which imposed strict restrictions on newspapers published in India.

2.2. The Licensing Regulation, 1823:

These were enacted by the acting governor-general, John Adams, who had reactionary views.

The publication of Raja Ram Mohan Roy's journal, "Mirat-Ul-Akbar," had to be stopped because of these restrictions.

2.3. Press Act of 1835 or Metcalfe Act:

The Press Act, often known as the Metcalfe Act, repealed the 1823 Licensing Regulations.

Governor General Charles Metcalfe was recognised in India as the "liberator of the press."

2.4. Licensing Act, 1857:

Governor General Lord Canning (later Viceroy in 1858) enacted the Licensing Act, due to the emergency arising out of the Revolt of 1857.

2.5. Registration Act, 1867:

The Metcalf Act of 1835 was replaced by the Registration Act of 1867.

2.6. Vernacular Press Act, 1878:

Viceroy Lytton enacted the Vernacular Press Act to restrict the freedom of Indian language newspapers.

The Act was repealed by Ripon in 1882 after strong opposition.

Surendranath Banerjee was the first Indian journalist imprisoned in 1883.

2.7. Newspaper (Incitement to Offences) Act, 1908:

Under the act, a magistrate could seize press property if it included unacceptable material likely to encourage murder or violence.

2.8. Indian Press Act, 1910:

This act revived the Vernacular Press Act's worst provisions.

2.9. Indian Press (Emergency Powers) Act, 1931:

The Indian Press (Emergency Powers) Act was enacted following the Civil Disobedience movement.

2.10. During The Second World War:

Repression was enforced under the Defence of India Rules, and the Press Emergency Act and the Official Secrets Act were amended.

3. Early Nationalists' Struggle for Press Freedom

Defense of civil freedoms, including press freedom, had been a priority for the nationalist agenda since the early nineteenth century.

Raja Rammohan Roy had protested against a resolution restricting press freedom as early as 1824.

The government had enacted a number of punishing legislation, including Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code.

After World War I, the Press Acts of 1908 and 1910 were repealed in 1921 after the recommendations of a Press Committee chaired by Tej Bahadur Sapru.

4. Regulations on Indian Newspapers after Independence

4.1. Press Enquiry Committee, 1947:

In view of the fundamental rights formulated by the Constituent Assembly, the Committee was formed to examine press laws.

4.2. Press (Objectionable Matters) Act, 1951:

Along with the amendment in the Article 19 (2) of the Constitution, the Act was passed.

4.3. Press Commission under Justice Rajadhyaksha:

In 1954, the commission made some recommendations:

  • The establishment of All India Press Council

  • Fixing the press-page schedule system for newspapers, etc.

5. Important Indian Newspapers during Indian Freedom Struggle

Newspapers and Magazines played an important role in Indian Freedom struggle by spreading awareness among the masses to join the freedom struggle movement against the British and attain Independence.

List of Indian Newspapers and Magazines during Freedom Struggle:

Name of the paper/ Journal

Founder / Editor

Year

Publication place

Bengal Gazette

(Also Calcutta General Advertiser)

James Augustus Hicky

1780

 

Calcutta

 

Madras Courier

(First paper from Madras)

------

1784

Madras

India Gazette

Henry Louis Vivian Derozio associated with it.

1787

Calcutta

Bombay Herald

(First paper from Bombay)

------

1789

Bombay

Indian Herald

(in English)

Started by R. Williams (English-man)

Published by Humphreys

1795

 

Madras

 

Digdarshana

(First Bengali monthly)

-----

1818

Calcutta

Calcutta Journal

Started by J.S. Buckingham

1818

-----

Bengal Gazette

(First Bengali newspaper)

Harishchandra Ray

1818

Calcutta

Sambad Kaumudi

(Weekly in Bengali)

Raja Rammohan Roy

1821

----

Mirat-ul-Akbar

(First journal in Persian)

Raja Ram Mohan Roy

1822

Calcutta

Jam-i-Jahan Numah

(First paper in Urdu)

An English firm

1822

Calcutta

Banga-Duta

(a weekly in four languages—English, Bengali, Persian, Hindi)

Rammohan Roy, Dwarkanath Tagore and others

1822

Calcutta

Bombay Samachar

(First paper in Gujarati)

-----

1822

Bombay

East Indian

(daily)

Henry Vivian Derozio

19th century

-----

Bombay Times

(From 1861 onwards, The Times of India)

Foundation laid by Robert Knight

Started by Thomas Bennett.

1838

Bombay

Rast Goftar

(A Gujarati fortnightly)

Dadabhai Naoroji

1851

-----

Hindoo Patriot

Girishchandra Ghosh

(later, Harishchandra Mukerji became owner-cum-editor)

1853

Calcutta

Somaprakasha

(First Bengali political paper)

Dwarkanath Vidyabhushan

1858

Calcutta

Indian Mirror

(Fortnightly— Early 1862, Calcutta first Indian daily paper in English)

Devendra Nath Tagore

1862

Calcutta

Bengalee

(this, and Amrita Bazar Patrika—the first vernacular papers)

Girishchandra Ghosh

(taken over by S.N. Banerjea in 1879)

1862

Calcutta

National Paper

Devendranath Tagore

1865

Calcutta

Madras Mail

(First evening paper in India)

-----

1868

Madras

Amrita Bazar Patrika

(Bengali in the beginning, later English, a daily)

Shishir Kumar Ghosh and Motilal Ghosh

1868

Jessore District

(Bangladesh)

Indian Statesman

(later, The Statesman)

Started by Robert Knight

1875

Calcutta

 The Hindu

(in English)— started as weekly

G.S. Aiyar, Viraraghavachari and Subba Rao Pandit

(Among the founders)

1878

Madras

Tribune (daily)

Dayal Singh Majeetia

1881

Lahore

Kesari (Marathi daily) and Maharatta (English weekly)

Tilak, Chiplunkar, Agarkar (before Tilak, Agarkar and Prof Kelkar were the editors respectively)

1881

Bombay

Swadeshamitram

(a Tamil paper)

G. S. Aiyar        

1882

Madras

Sanjibani

(Bengali journal)

Krishna Kumar Mitra        

1883

----

Voice of India  

Dadabhai Naoroji        

1883

Bombay

Paridasak (a weekly)

Bipin Chandra Pal (publisher)

1886

----

Deepika

Nidhiry Mani Kathanar

1887

Mannanam, near Kottayam

Sudharak

Gopal Ganesh Agarkar

1888

Pune

Prabuddha Bharata

P. Aiyasami, B. R. Rajam Iyer, G. G. Narasimhacharya, and B. V. Kamesvara Iyer at the behest of Swami Vivekananda

1896

Madras

Udbodhana

(Magazine)

Swami Vivekananda

1899

-----

Indian Opinion

M. K Gandhi

1903

Durban

(South Africa)

Free Hindustan

Taraknath Das 

1905

Vancouver

Talvar

Birendra Nath Chattopadhyay 

----

Berlin

Ghadr

Ghadr Party

----

San Francisco

Bande Mataram

Aurobindo Ghosh, Bipin Chandra Pal

1905

Calcutta

Yugantar 

Barindar Kumar Ghosh, Bhupendra Dutta

1906

Bengal

Sandhya

B. B. Upadhya  

1906

Bengal

Kal

-----

1906

Maharashtra

Reshwa

Ajit Singh

Before 1908

----

Indian Sociologist        

Shyamji Krishnavarma   

 

London

Comrade

Maulana Mohammad Ali

1911

-----

Al-Balagh

Abul Kalam Azad

1912

-----

Al-Hilal

Abul Kalam Azad

1912

-----

Bombay Chronicle

Started by Pherozesha Mehta,

Editor—B.G. Horniman (Englishman)

1913

Bombay

Pratap

Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi

1913

-----

New India

Annie Besant

1914

-----

Commonweal  

Annie Besant    

1914

----

Independent

Motilal Nehru

1919

Allahabad

Young India

M. K Gandhi

1919

----

Tarun Bharat

Baburao Thaku

1919

Belgaum

Mook Nayak

B.R. Ambedkar

1920

-----

The Hindustan Times

Founded by K.M. Panikkar as part of the Akali Dal Movement

1920

Delhi

Indian Socialist

S. A. Dange

1922

----

Vanguard

M. N. Roy

1922

----

Anandabazar Patrika    

Suresh Majumdar Parfulla Sarkar

1922

----

Bandi Jivan     

Sachindranath Sanyal

1922

Bengal

The Milap

(Urdu daily)

Founded by M.K. Chand

1923

Lahore

Leader (in English)

Madan Mohan Malaviya

----

----

Nava Kaal

Prabhakar Khadilkar        

1923

----

Mathrubhumi

(Malayalam newspaper)

K. P. Kesava Menon        

1923

----

Kudi Arasu      

(Tamil weekly magazine)

E. V. Ramaswamy Naickar (Periyar)

1925

Madras

Kirti

Santosh Singh  

1926

Punjab

Future of Indian Politics

(Communist journal)    

M. N. Roy

1926

----

Bahishkrit Bharat

(Marathi fortnightly)

B.R. Ambedkar

1927

----

Langal and Ganabani

Goswami

1927

Bengal

Kranti

S. S. Mirajkar,K. N. Joglekar,S. V. Ghate        

1927

Maharashtra

Navi Jeevan

M. K Gandhi

1929

----

Harijan Sevak

(Hindi newspaper)

M. K Gandhi

1932

----

Harijan Bandu

(Gujarati newspaper)

M. K Gandhi

1932

-----

Bandi Jivan

Sachindranath Sanyal

----

Bengal

Free Hindustan

(Journal)

Tarak Nath Das

1936

------

Hindustan Dainik

M.M. Malviya

1936

----

National Herald

(daily)

Started by Jawaharlal Nehru

1938

----

Dawn

(English newspaper, Mouthpiece for Muslim League)

Mohammad Ali Jinnah      

1941

Delhi

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Newspapers during Indian Freedom Struggle

Who was the Chairman of the Press Committee of 1921?

Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru was the Chairman of the Press Committee of 1921.

In which year was the Vernacular Press Act passed?

Vernacular Press Act was passed in 1878.

Who was known as the “Liberator of the Indian Press”?

Charles Metcalfe was recognised in India as the "liberator of the press."

Who introduced the Censorship of the Press Act?

Lord Wellesley in the year 1799 introduced the Censorship of the Press Act.

Who was the pioneer of the Indian Newspaper?

James Augustus Hickey was the pioneer of the Indian Newspaper.

What was the first newspaper published from India?

The Bengal Gazette was the first newspaper published from India.

Who was the publisher of the "Mirat-Ul-Akbar" journal?

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the publisher of the "Mirat-Ul-Akbar" journal.

The Hindu newspaper was founded in which year?

The Hindu newspaper was founded in 1878.

Who founded the Voice of India in 1883?

Dadabhai Naoroji founded Voice of India in 1883.

The Hindustan Times was founded in 1920 at which place?

The Hindustan Times was founded in 1920 in Delhi.

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