Development of Indian press during British Rule-PART 1

In this article Development of Indian press during British Rule-PART 1 we cover development of Indian press post 1870. Further in the continuing post we will be continuing with period post 1870 till Independence.

First newspaper of India was establish in 1780 by James Augustus Hickey started Calcutta General Advertiser or The Bengal Gazette.

Read here : Important News Papers and Journals of Freedom Struggle Era India

Later this newspaper was seized by the government in 1782.

However,development of Indian press during British Rule continued and more newspapers were published like Calcutta Chronicle, Bombay Herald, The Bengal Journal and Madras Courier.

Apart from reaching Indian masses the served purpose of uncovering misdeeds of Govt officers,who were wary of it reaching London.

Regulations on Press –

1.Censorship of Press Act (1799) 

By Lord Wellesley during the French invasion in India. It was done with a view to prevent French from spreading rumors which could harm British.

It was relaxed by Lord Hastings who was progressive in views. The pre-censorship of newspapers was dispensed with in 1823.

2. Licensing Regulations (1823) 

Brought in by John Adams,acting governor-general,it made starting of press without license an offence. 

These restrictions were mainly for Indians newspapers published in Indian language or edited by Indians like Mirat-ul-Akbar which was published by Rammohan Roy,who had to stop its publication.

3. Press Act (1835) or Metcalfe Act 

Also called Liberator of Indian Press,Charles Metcalfe,repealed 1823 rules by John Adams,freeing Indian press discriminating clutches.

Act continued till 1856 which was lead to the growth of the newspaper in India.

4. Licensing Act (1857) 

Emergency caused by the revolt of 1857, government imposed licensing restriction on the Procedure which was laid in the Press Act of 1835.

Government reserved the discretionary rights to grant the licence to any Indians.

Government could stop any publication or distribution of any newspaper or books or anything related to printed matters.

5. Registration Act (1867) 

Replaced Press act of 1835 or Metcalfe’s act.

This act was in regulatory in nature.

Every newspaper and book should have the name of the publisher , place of the publications and the name of the printer.

Within a month a copy of the book should be submitted to the local government by the publisher.


Continue reading here : Development of Indian press during British Rule-PART 2

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1 Response

  1. Thank for sharing such a wonderful information.

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