History of Marathi Newspapers
First newspaper that was started in Maharashtra was in Gujrati, by a Parsi Man. After ten year of this , first Marathi newspaper was started. Gujrati & Parsi people had made tremondus progress in printing technology. And the readers needed for newspapers were in Bombay. So, first newspaper in Gujrati and Marathi was launched in Bombay.
On 20th April 1828, first Marathi newspaper was published. It was Mumbapuri Vartman. It was derived from, ‘Bombay Gazette‘ which was a English laungage newspaper. So, ‘Darpan‘ of Ballshashtri Jambhekar which was totally new newspaper in Marathi. It’s launching date was 6th January 1832.
The Government of Maharashtra itself does not consider “Darpan” as the first Marathi newspaper, so Balshastri Jambhekar cannot be called “Father of Marathi Newspaper Creation” without a doubt. The daily “Mumbapuri Vartaman” was started entirely in Marathi language in 1928, then 4 years later in 1932 “Darpan” was started.
Balshastri was borned in Pombhurley (Kokan) in 1812. He expired on 17th May 1846. But in the short life of 35 years, he wrote many books, launched first newspaper in Marathi, did lot of social work. He was Professor by profession. He was expert in nine languages like Marathi, Sanskht, English, Bengali, Kannad etc. Freedom fighter Dadabhai Nauroji was his student. Other newspapers of that time like Bombay Times, Courier, Dyanodya, Mumbaina Samachar, Chabuk, paid homage to Balshastri in their editorial. Darpan was fortnightly From 4th May 1832, it converted into weekly and on 26th June 1840 the last issue of Durpan was published. In the last issue, Balshastri wrote editorial ‘Last Farewell‘.
After Darpan, Mr.Narayan started another Marathi newspaper. But it’s name is not known. Darpan used to publish in two language viz. Marathi & English. The United Senyice Gazette was the English newspaper prevailing that time. Darpan was merged in it. The Directors of United Service Gazette started second newspaper in Marathi which was known as ‘Mumbai Akhabar‘. The size was 17 into 13 inches & price was Rupees five for three months. This newspaper was main competitor of Darpan at one time.
After Mumabai Akhabar, Prabhakar was another newspaper which lasted for 20 years. It was launched by Vitthal Mahajan on the auspicious occasion of Dashara on 24th October 1841. He was close associate of Balshastri Jambekar. The size of ‘Prabhakar was 11 into 9 inches & yearly contribution was 12 rupees. The matter of article was derived from another newspapers like Dyanodya, English Man, Agra Akhabar, Bombay Gazette. Courier etc. this newspaper lasted for 22 years. In 1890, Vitthal Mahajan died.
After Darpan & Prabhakar, Dynodya, Dyan Sindhu, Dyan Prakash were the reputed newspapers which contributed for the progress of society. Dnyan Sindhu started in Mumbai. At the same year (1842) Dyanodya started in Ahmednagar, Dyanprakash launched in Pune & lasted for hundred years.
Vireshwar Chatre started Dyan sindhu in Mumbai on 7th february 1842 and it’s size was 17 into 12 inches which was twice than Prabhakar. It used to print in morning of every Monday at it’s own press. Price was 12 anna per month. Later it was raised to rupee one. The editor of this newspaper Vireshwar Chatre started a newspaper ‘Mitrodya‘ on 2nd March 1844 at Pune. He also launched Arunodya (1848) & Dyanbodhak. Mr. Chatre tried to start various newspapers, but it could not became popular. Mr Chatre died in 1890.
All the newspapers that time were working as mission. The American Christen Missionary working in Ahmednagar, started Dyanodaya in 1842. The main intention was propoganda of Christen Religion. It’s first six issues were in Marathi. It was in working for Englishmen. Price of this newspaper was three rupees. Reverend Hanry Belentine was the first editor. Abbot, Hume, Fareback, Shahu Daji Kukude, Reverand Tukaram Nathuji were other editors. Famous marathi poet Revrand Narayan Waman Tilak was also editor. Revrand B.P. Hiwale, Manohar Ujagare, D.S. Sawarkar, S.L.Salvi, R.H. Keikar, Sumant Karandikar also worked as editor of Dyanodya. In 1845. this newspaper converted into 16 pages fortnightly. The tradition of pictures in newspaper started from this newspaper. Another important feature of Dyanodaya was that it started supplement for children named Balbodh Mewa. It was supplied till 31st December 1875. It started as separate magazine for children. American women, C.W.Park, E.S.Hume, Dr. E.R.Bisel were the editors of this magazine. This magazine was very populer amongst the children at that time.
In Pune, Mitrodya was the first newspaper, but it worked for few years.
Dyanprakash was second newspaper from Pune followed by Poona Observer (15th May 1852). Dyanprakash was working for 103 years. It started on 12th February 1849 and the owner was Gopal Krishna Gokhale’s Bharat Sevak Samaj. The last issue of Dyanprakash was published on 31st December 1950. Legendary people like Datto Waman Pottadar requested president of Bharat Sevak Samaj, Pandit Hridynath Kunzaru, not to wind up the business of Dyanprakash. Prominent newspaper like Kesari, other leaders of the society also requested the same. Krishnaji Trimbak Ranade was the owner of Dyanodaya Sevak Samaj. The pages were eight & price was six for six- month and Rs.10 for one year. The size of first issue was 13 into 8.5 inches. From 1st June 1929, the Bombay edition started. Kakasaheb Limaye was then editor. In his tenture, Dyanodya became very popular in all clases. The ownership of Dyanodya was with Trimbak Ranade. Later it transferred to his nephew Wamanrao Ranade, then Hari Narayan Gokhale. Last owner was Bharat Sevak Samaj of Gopalkrishna Gokhale, This ownership was for 40 years. Justice Mahadev Ranade also helped to this newspaper. Acharya Atre published special edition of his Navyog (1951) & charged that some people murdered Dyanprakash.
After the end of Dyanprakash, many newspapers started. Christen Missionaries were forcefully converting Hindu people in Christian religion So, to give strong reply to this and make awarness amongst the people, many newspapers were started. At Pune, Vichar Lahari was started in 1852. It was fortnightly. Hetu was another newspaper. Vartamandeepika was started on 9th April 1853 to give strong answer, Christen Missionaiies. F. Bhawani Vishawanath was the founder of this newspaper. After one month of Vartamandeepika, Vitthal Mahajan of ‘Prabhakar‘ started ‘Dumketu‘. It was from Bombay. For attacking on Christen religion, ‘Swadharmadeepika‘ was launched in 1855, in Bombay. Bapu Sadashiv Sheth was the owner. In June 1854 Jaganmitra started from Ratnagiri. Dambhaharak, Updesh Chandrika, Prabodh Chandrodya, Nityasar Sangraha (1855), Hindu Hitechuu (1856), Shimpy Hitechu-Bombay (1855), Dyanprasarak & Vartaman sangrah (kolhapur 1853) were the prominent newspapers at that time.
Kesari is the oldest marathi newspaper in marathi which is still in existence It was started in 1881 which has completed more than 120 years. Bal Gangadhar Tilak gave new face to this newspaper. Before independence, Kesan was the inspiration for other newspaper in marathi.
Cartoon Based First Newspaper In Marathi
‘Hindu Panch‘ started in 1907 is the first marathi newspaper which used to publish cartoon on various subject It used to publish from Thane Due to cartoon & other news, this newspaper got good response.
The period of 1900 to 1930 was hard for Newspapers. British Government put many restritions on Newpapers. Propaganda of religion was the main aim of the above newspapers. Some wind up the business in very few years due to increase in cost of production.