Amrito Bazar Patrika, the oldest Indian owned Bangla Newspaper
Amrito Bazar Patrika is the oldest newspaper in India. There is a long history of this newspaper. It was founded more than 153 years ago. At first, it was a Bengali newspaper and next started to publish in English from Kolkata and other locations such as Cuttack, Ranchi, and Allahabad. But the paper was discontinued after long 123 years. It was started in 1868 by two sons, namely Sisir Ghosh and Moti Lal Ghosh, the son of prominent merchant Hari Narayan Ghosh from present-day Bangladesh. The place was Magua, Jessore district time it was a Bengali Province of British Empire in India. They arranged a Bazar and their name was Amritamoyee, wife of Hari Narayan Ghosh and mother of Sisir Ghosh and Moti Lal Ghosh. Then the two brothers started the historical newspaper and it was edited by Moti Lal Ghosh who did not have any university graduation certificate. The paper was built as a rival to Bengalee. It was a weekly paper and then turned to the daily newspaper.
This is the oldest Indian-owned English newspaper. Amrito Bazar Patrika played a vital role in the growth of journalism in India. The Russian Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin described the newspaper as the best nationalist newspaper in India. The paper was first established in Magua in Jessore district (present Bangladesh) and it was moved to Calcutta (now Kolkata) as Plague, a disease outbreak in the Amrito bazaar.
Amrito Bazar Patrika at a glance
|Owner(s)||Hari Narayan Ghosh|
|Founder||Sisir Kumar Ghosh and Moti Lal Ghosh|
|Editor in Chief||Moti Lal Ghosh|
|Founded||20 February, 1868 (153 years ago)|
|Language||Bengali and English|
|Head Quarters||Kolkata, India|
|Circulation||25000 (Before 1991)|
|Websites||Ceased publication from 1991|
The paper became a daily newspaper in 1891 and the first Indian owned English daily. There is a unique history of this newspaper and it was regarding Viceroy’s plan to annex Kashmir. During the ruling time of Lord Lansdowne, a newspaper journalist rummaged through the waste paper basket of Viceroy’s office and pieced the letter together with a torn-up paper detailing the Viceroy’s plan to annex Kashmir issue. The Amrita Bazar Patrika published the news to their newspaper in the front page and it was read by the Maharaja of Kashmir who went to London without delay and lobbied for his independence. There is also another historic incident in this oldest newspaper.
Sisir Ghosh, who was editor, launched a vigorous campaign against civil liberties and economic exploitation restrictions. He wanted the Indians to be promoted to an important post in the administration. Even after the death of Motilal Ghosh in 1922, the paper was in the spirit of the nationalist. The form espoused the cause of communal harmony at the time of the partition of India.
The paper left its editorial column blank for three days during the timer of great Calcutta killings in 1946 and when freedom dawned on 15 August 1947, the article published an editorial:
“ It Is dawn, cloudy though it is. Presenting sunshine will break”.
Therefore, the media played a very crucial role during the freedom struggle of India. The editor showed the power of the pen and utilized the maximum to create awareness among the masses.
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