Missing from their morning adda with tea, biscuits and newspapers, has been the year-old English daily Amrita Bazar Patrika last reported circulation: 25, and its Bengali sister publication Jugantar circulation: 80, Time and again during the British Raj, the paper was banned and the editor jailed. The nectar started turning sour from the time when the newspaper group switched from its antiquated premises at Ananda Chatterjee Lane in Baghbazar to the multi-storey structure at Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Road in central Calcutta by the end of The new premises obviously did not inspire the staffers morale. Advertisement revenue suddenly slumped from over Rs 1 crore a month to around a paltry to Rs 20 lakh. A cash crunch resulted.
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It played a major role in the evolution and growth of Indian journalism and made a striking contribution to creating and nurturing the Indian freedom struggle. It was started by the Ghosh brothers to fight the cause of peasants who were being exploited by indigo planters. Sisir Kumar Ghosh was the first editor. The Patrika operated out of a battered wooden press purchased for Rs Here it functioned as a bilingual weekly, publishing news and views in English and Bengali.
Its anti-government views and vast influence among the people was a thorn in the flesh of the government. The Patrika became a daily in It was the first Indian-owned English daily to go into investigative journalism. ABP published the letter on its front page, where it was read by the Maharaja of Kashmir, who immediately went to London and lobbied for his independence. Sisir Kumar Ghosh also launched vigorous campaigns against restrictions on civil liberties and economic exploitation.
He wanted Indians to be given important posts in the administration. Both he and his brother Motilal were deeply attached to Bal Gangadhar Tilak. When Tilak was prosecuted for sedition in , they raised funds in Calcutta for his defence.
Motilal Ghosh was also charged with sedition but his eloquence won the case. After this, the Patrika started prefacing articles criticising the British government with ridiculously exuberant professions of loyalty to the British crown. When Subhas Chandra Bose and other students were expelled from Calcutta Presidency College, the Patrika took up their case and succeeded in having them re-admitted.
Higher securities of Rs 10, were demanded from it during the Salt Satyagraha. The Patrika contributed its share to the success of its freedom movement under the leadership of Gandhi and suffered for its views and actions at the hands of the British rulers. During the great Calcutta killings of , the Patrika left its editorial columns blank for three days.
When freedom dawned on 15 August , the Patrika published in an editorial: It is dawn, cloudy though it is. Presently sunshine will break.
Amrita Bazar Patrika. (1870-1949)
External links It debuted on 20 February It was first edited by Motilal Ghosh, who did not have a formal university education. It had built its readership as a rival to Bengalee which was being looked after by Surendranath Banerjee. It played a major role in the evolution and growth of Indian journalism and made a striking contribution to creating and nurturing the Indian freedom struggle.
Retrieval of two major and endangered newspapers: Jugantar and Amrita Bazar Patrika (EAP262)
Most issues of both these newspapers are not available or usable in any safe archive. Amrita bazar patrika is a bilingual weekly which later transferred to an English language daily and established itself as a nationalist newspaper as a sharp contrast of its European counterpart, The Statesman. Jugantara patrika started as a Bengali daily from the same house in Both newspapers recorded all important events of the nationalist movements in India, partition of Bengal in , Indian perspective on both World Wars, the famine of in columns of leftist intellectuals of the time, recorded the independence of India, the partition and massive influx of migration and related trauma, and of course the process of nation-building in post-colonial period, with critical review of the coercive machinery of the nascent democratic state of India.
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