The History of the Indian Press

The history of the Indian press:-

functions of press

The History of the Indian press
  • To convey government policies to the public
  • Keep government informed of public needs and reaction to give policies
  • Keep government and public informed of events happening at home and abroad

Printing press introduced by Portuguese. The first book published in India was by “Jesuits of Goa” in 1557. In 1684 the English East India company set up printing press in Bombay. Author of considerations on Indian affairs in 1772 by William bolts.

The first newspaper in India by “James Augustus hickey” in 1780 and the Bengal gazette or Calcutta journal advertiser. Hickey press seized in 1782.

Hickey’s press seized due to :-

  • His outspoken criticism of government officials.
  • Scurrilous attacks on the governor general and chief justice.

other publications :-

  • The Calcutta gazette in 1784.
  • The Bengal journal in 1785.
  • The Oriental magazine of Calcutta for Calcutta amusement in 1785.
  • The Calcutta Chronicles in 1786.
  • The Bombay Herald in 1789.

Press Acts :-

  • The censorship of the Press Act 1799.
  • The licensing regulations 1823.
  • The Liberation of the Indian press 1835.
  • The licensing act 1857.
  • The registration act 1867.
  • The Vernacular Press Act 1878.
  • The newspaper act 1908.
  • The Indian press act 1910.
  • The Indian press emergency Powers Act 1931.
  • The press enquiry committee 1947.
  • The press objectionable matters Act 1951.

the censorship of the Press Act 1799.

  • Imposed by Lord Wellesley, Apprehending a French invasion in India.
  • Engaged in the struggle for Supremacy in India.

features of censorship was :-

  • The newspaper to print name of the printer editor and proprietor.
  • The publisher to submit all material for pre-censorship to the secretary of the government.
  • In 1807 it extended to journals, pamphlets and even books. Relaxation came under Lord Hastings.
  • Further, In 1818 pre-censorship of the press dispensed.
  • the editor of the Calcutta journal was James Buckingham.

the licensing regulation 1823:-

  • Imposed post by John Adams acting governor general.
  • To obtain a licence for starting a press.
  • The penalty of printing any literature was rupees 400.
  • The governor general had the right to revoke a licence for cal for a fresh application. “The History of the Indian Press”
  • John Adams was against the Indian languages or edited by Indians.
  • In addition to, Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s mirat-ul-Akhbar had to stop Publication due to the above conditions.

the Liberation of Indian press 1835:-

  • Likewise, Lord William Bentinck adopted the liberal nature but did not revoke the John Adams formula.
  • The liberator of the Indian press is Lord Metcalfe ,officiating governor general from 1835 to 1836.

the registration act 1867:-

  • It was not a restriction on printing press on newspapers.
  • But every printed book on newspaper should maintain the name of the publisher printer and editors name on it.
  • A copy of publication sent to government
  • Finally, Act later amended in 1890 , 1914 1952 and 1953.

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The Vernacular Press Act 1878 :-

  • Imposed by Lord lytton.
  • Considered the newly rising intellectual class in India as a deadly Legacy from Macaulay and Metcalfe —- by Lord lytton.

Features of Vernacular Press Act 1878 :-

  • Not to public against the government, DM appointed.
  • Magistrate action, final no appeal could be made above.
  • Vernacular newspaper could get exempted.
  • Discrimination between the English press and Vernacular Press.
  • No right to appeal to a court of law given.
  • Preceding where initiated against the som-prakash , the Bharat , the Decca Prakash, and the Sahchar.
  • The Vernacular Press Act was repealed in 1882 by Lord Ripen.

the newspaper act 1908 :-

  • Magistrates where appointed.
  • Annual copy of the newspaper was regulated through 1867.
  • Newspaper and editor were given 15 days to appeal to High Court of the order of forfeiture for the press. “The History of the Indian Press”

Indian Press Act 1910 :-

  • furthermore, Local government demanded at the time of registration security of not less than rupees 500 and not more than 2000.
  • Could appeal to a special Tribunal of the High Court against orders of forfeiture within two months.
  • Two copies of the printed newspaper should be given to the local government free of cost.

A press committee was appointed under the chairmanship of sir Tej Bahadur Sapru in 1921 to review the working of the press laws.

the Indian press emergency Powers Act 1931 :- the Act sought to punish words , signs or visible representation against the government.

the press enquiry committee appointed in the year 1947 :-

  • Its duty of examination of the press laws in the light of the fundamental rights formulated by constituent assembly of India.

the press objectionable matters Act 1951 :-

  • Government could declare certain Publication forfeited.
  • Prohibit transmission by post of objectionable documents.
  • to seize and destroy an authorized newspapers or press.
  • Newspapers and press Where are allowed the right to demand trial by jury.

Press Commission was appointed in the year 1952, to this act remained till 1956 .

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