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  • 15 June, 2021

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Important Newspapers associated with the freedom Struggle

Important Newspapers associated with the freedom Struggle

The evolution of Indian press was fraught with developmental difficulties, illiteracy, colonial constraints and repression. It disseminated the ideas of freedom and became prominent tool for freedom struggle.

Name of the Paper/journal

Year and Place of Publication

Name of the Founder or Editor

Bengal Gazette

1780, Calcutta

James Augustus Hicky

India Gazette

1787, Calcutta

Henry Louis Vivian Derozio was associated with it

Bombay Herald (First Paper from Bombay)

1789, Bombay



(First Bengali Monthly)

1818, Calcutta


Bengal Gazette

(First Bengali Newspaper)

1818, Calcutta

Harishchandra Ray

Sambad Kaumudi

(Weekly in Bengali)


Raja Ram Mohan Roy


(First Journal in Persian)

1822, Calcutta

Raja Ram Mohan Roy


(A weekly in four languages- English, Bengali, Persian, Hindi)

1822, Calcutta

Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Dwarkanath Tagore and others.

Bombay Times

(From 1861 onwards, The Times of India)

1838, Bombay

Foundation laid by Robert Knight Started by Thomas Bennett

Rast Goftar

(A Gujarati fortnightly)


Dadabhai Naoroji

Hindu Patriot

1853, Calcutta

Girishchandra Ghosh


1862, Calcutta

Girishchandra Ghosh

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

Amrit Bazar Patrika

1868, Jessore District

Sisirkumar Ghosh and Motilal Ghosh


(In Bengali)

1873, Calcutta

Bankimchandra Chatterji

Indian Statesman

(Later, The Statesman)

1875, Calcutta

Started by Robert Knight

The Hindu (In English)

(Started as weekly)

1878, Madras

G.S. Aiyar, Viraraghavachari and Subha Rao Pandit

Tribune (daily)

1881, Lahore

Dayal Singh Majeetia

Kesari (Marathi daily)


Maharatta (English weekly)

1881, Bombay

Tilak, Chiplunkar, Agarkar


(A Tamil paper)


G.S. Aiyar

Paridasak (a weekly)


Bipin Chandra Pal (publisher)


1906, Bengal

Barindra Kumar Ghosh andBhupendra Dutta

Indian Sociologist


Shyamji Krishnavarma

Bande Matram


Madam Bhikaji Kama



Virendranath Chattopadhyay



Ghadar Party

Bombay Chronicle

(a daily)

1913, Bombay

Started by Pherozeshah Mehta

The Hindustan Times

1920, Delhi

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

Leader (in English)


Madan Mohan Malaviya

Bahishkrit Bharat

(Marathi fortnightly)


B. R. Ambedkar

Kudi Arasu (Tamil)


E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker (Periyar)

Bandi Jivan


Sachindranath Sanyal

National Herald


Started by Jawaharlal Nehru

Development of Indian Press during British Rule in India

The Bengal Gazette or Calcutta General Advertiser” was 1st (Weekly) newspaper started by James Augustus in 1780. It was seized in 1872 because of its outspoken criticism of the Government.

Later, more newspaper newspaper/journals came up - The Bengal Journal, Calcutta Chronicle, Madras Courier, and Bombay Herald. And this effort of Hickey laid the foundation of press in India. The evolution of Indian Press is discussed below:

Lord Wellesley enacted Censorship of Press Act, 1799

  • It was enacted anticipating French invasion of India.
  • It imposed almost wartime press restrictions including pre-censorship which was later relaxed by the Lord hasting.

Licensing Regulations, 1823

  • It was enacted by the John Adams. According to this regulation, press without licence was a penal offence.
  • The restriction was directed mainly to Indian language newspapers or those edited by the Indians.

Press Act of 1835 or Metcalfe Act

  • Metcalfe (Governor General – 1835 – 36) repealed the obnoxious 1823 ordinance and was named, “liberator of the Indian press”

Licensing Act, 1857

  • This act imposed licensing restriction and the right to stop publication and circulation of book, newspaper or printed matter reserved with the Government.

Registration Act, 1867

  • This act relaxed the restrictions put by Metcalf‘s Act of 1835 and hence states that Government acts as regulatory not restrictive body.

Vernacular Press Act, 1878

  • It was constituted for ‘better control’ of the vernacular press and effectively punished and repressed seditious writing.
  • The provisions of the Act are given below:
    1. The district magistrate was empowered to call upon the printer and publisher of any vernacular newspaper to enter into a bond with the Government undertaking not to cause disaffection against the government or antipathy between persons of different religions, caste, race through published material; the printer and publisher could also be required to deposit security which could be seized if the offences reoccurred.
    2. The magistrate’s action was final and no appeal could be made in a court of law.
    3. A vernacular newspaper could get an exemption from the operation of the Act by submitting proof to a government censor.

Newspaper (Incitement to Offences) Act, 1908

  • This act empowered the magistrates to confiscate press property which published objectionable material likely to cause incitement to murder/acts of violence against the Extremist nationalist activity.

Indian Press Act, 1910

  • This act was a revision of the Vernacular Act that empowered the local government to demand a security at registration from the printer/publisher and forfeit/deregister if it was an offending newspaper, and the printer of a newspaper was required to submit two copies of each issue to local government and lastly,

Indian Press Act, 1931

  • To supress Civil Disobedience Movement

Source: Spectrum, Modern India

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