Kesari and Maratha newspaper started in 1881 at the same time. Kesari was in Marathi & Maratha was in English language. Kesari was weekly for first 50 years. Launching of Kesari is the historical phenomenon in marathi journalism. Social life in Maharashtra got a new turn due to Kesari. Starting of Kesah & Maratha is the most important thing in the History of Maharashtra. It gave news shape to the Marathi Life.
Great freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak was one of the founder editor of Kesah, Vishnu Shastri Chiplunkar & Gopalrao Agarkar were another founder editor. It was the belief of these trio that India will not get freedom & Indians are unable to rule till social & religious revolution take place. In the year of 1877-78, due to draught, more than six lakh people died in India. So, people were very angry with British Rulers. Kesah gave the way to their anger. Before Kesan, Vishnu Shastri Chiplunkar started’ Nibandhmala’ (1874) which was a magazine.
Through this media, Chiplunkar critcised the government. After launching of Nibandhamala, Kesari & Maratha started in 1881, Gopalrao Agarkar who was the founder of Kesari, started ‘Sudharak’, These four nespapers made revolutionary changes in Maharashtra.
To encourage the -Freedom Struggle, make social & political revolution yi/ere the aims of Kesan. For first seven years, Agarkar was the editor, !,then Tilak accepted the charge. In the beginning, circulation was 100 to 1000 copies per day. It went up to 4200 in 1884, & 6900 in 1887, which raised to 27000 in 1927. There were readers from Bramhadesh (today’s Myammar), Srilanka, & Afghanistan. On 3rd August 1929, Kesan started to publish fortnightly.
After Tilak, N.G.Kelkar, J.S.Karandikar became editor in 1950. Jayantrao Tilak became editor in 1950 & this paper started to publish thrice in a week. From 8th October 1982, Kesari converted into Daily i.e. after the one year of completion of it’s century. Now Kesari Maratha Trust is the owner of this newspaper. Despite Pune, this newspaper is printed & published in Ahmednagar, Solapur. It is circulated through out the state. Chava is another publication of kesari devoted for children.
Once upon a time Kesari was the largest circulated Marathi daily in Maharashtra. In 1984, circulation was 70,000 copies per day. But now today’s circulation in the state is not more than 40 thousand. The main reasons are cut throat competition, careless & inefficient owner and management, higher price & lower quality, lower page average, weak economic condition, no expansion & improvement in quality. Kesari is the oldest Marathi newspaper in the state & one of the few newspapers in India who have completed more than hundred years. Whatever may be the present condition, it is true that Kesari gave boost to the journalism. If the management & editorial department tried together , kesari can become leading newspaper again. Now a day’s many of it’s personnel are joining other newspapers. The other unit like Nagar, Solapur are running in losses. To change the situation, planned efforts & will power is the only solution.