Role of Newspaper in
MA Mass communication.
• Media, especially the Print Media, has all along been the
backbone of all mass movements or popular upsurge, and
Indian independence struggle is no exception.
• At the time of the first war of independence, any number of
papers were in operation in the country.
• In the struggle against the British, some newspapers played a
very notable role.
• Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the founder of the nationalist
press in India. Though a few papers had been started by
others before him, his Sambad-Kaumudi in Bengali
published in 1821, and Mirat-Ul-Akbar in Persian
published in 1822, were the first publication in India with a
distinct nationalist and democratic progressive orientation.
• In 1822, Fardaonji Murzban, the pioneer of the Vernacular
Press in Bombay, started Bombay Samachar (still in
• During 1870 to 1918 powerful newspapers emerged during
these years under distinguished and fearless journalists.
• These were the Hindu and Swadesamitran under the
editorship of G. Subramaniya Iyer
• Kesari and Mahratta under B.G. Tilak
• Bengalee under Surendranath Banerjea,
• Amrita Bazar Patrika under Sisir Kumar Ghosh and Motilal
• Indian Mirror under N.N. Sen
• Voice of India under Dadabhai Naoroji.
• The Press was the chief instrument for carrying out the main
• Political propaganda, education, and formation and
propagation of nationalist ideology to awake, train, mobilize
and consolidate nationalist public opinion.
• Even the work of the National Congress was accomplished
during these years largely through the Press.
• The resolutions it took and the proceedings of its meetings
were propagated through newspapers. Nearly all the major
political controversies of the day were conducted through the
• The The Hindi Patriot Established in 1853, by the author and
playwright, Grish Chandra Ghosh, it became popular under the
editorship of Harish Chandra Mukherjee.
• In 1861, the paper published a play, "Neel Darpan" and
launched a movement against the British, urging the people to
stop cultivating the Indigo crop for the white traders. This
resulted in the formation of a Neel Commission. Later, the
paper was taken over by Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
• The paper strongly opposed the Government's excesses and
demanded that Indians be appointed to top government posts.
The Indian Mirror was the other contemporary of this paper
which was very popular among the reading public.
• In fact,many of the tallest leaders of the Freedom
movement themselves turned journalists too, and
used the press to propagate their ideas to the masses.
Swadeshabhimani, Malayala Manorama, and Mathrubhumi
The Hindu in English in 1878, and Swadesa Mitran ( Friend of Self
Rule) in Tamil in 1881 In Madras presidency by G.Subramania Aiyer.
• Since the Press was a powerful weapon in the development of
Indian nationalism and the nationalist movements, it was
subjected to restrictions by the British Government which was
reluctant to satisfy the aspirations and grant of the demands of
• The very fact that the British government had to enact a series
of Press Acts proved the decisive role played by the Press in the
development of the nationalist movement.
• In 1878, the Vernacular Press Act was enacted. This Act
restricted the freedom of the vernacular Press.
Vernacular press act
• Lord Lytton was being bitterly criticized for the Second Anglo-
Afghan War (1878–80). So, he promulgated the act with an aim
to prevent the vernacular press from expressing criticism of
British policies under him.
• Publishers have to submit the all the proof sheets of contents of
papers to police before publication. The police used to decide
what the seditious news was and deleted them. Thus many of
the papers were fined and their editors jailed.
• Such was the role of the Press in the building up of an
increasingly strong national sentiment and consciousness
among the Indian people,
• In the development and consolidation of their growing
• in the creation of national and provincial literatures and
• And in the forging of bonds of fraternity with other
progressive peoples and classes in the outer worlds.