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Development of Indian Press, Introduction, During British and Early Regulations

Development of Indian Press

The British are attributed with introducing participatory journalism or an independent press to India during the colonial era. The British government, however, made more of an attempt to control the Indian press in order to stop the spread of nationalistic sentiments through it. Developmental difficulties, illiteracy, colonial restrictions, and repression complicated the growth of the Indian press. It propagated liberation ideologies and emerged as a crucial tool in the fight for independence. This article will cover the evolution of the press and how it relates to preparing for the UPSC exam.

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Development of Indian Press during British Rule

The “Bengal Gazette or Calcutta General Advertiser,” established in 1780 by James Augustus Hickey, was confiscated in 1872 as a result of its outspoken criticism of the ruling class. Hickey’s initiatives set the foundation for the Indian press. Later, more publications like The Bengal Journal, Calcutta Chronicle, Madras Courier, and Bombay Herald started to emerge. The Company’s executives were worried that these newspapers would get to London and reveal their transgressions. They recognized the necessity of press restraints as a consequence.

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Development of Indian Press Early Regulations

1. Censorship of Press Act, 1799

To stop the French from printing anything critical of the British, Governor-General Richard Wellesley passed the Censorship of Press Act in 1799. All newspapers were now reviewed by the government before publication as a result of this legislation. Later, in 1807, this act was extended to cover all forms of press publications, such as newspapers, magazines, books, and pamphlets. The regulations were loosened when Francis Hastings (1813–1923) assumed office in 1818.

2. Licensing Regulations, 1823

The Licensing Regulation Ordinance was presented by Governor-General John Adams. This law made it illegal to operate a press without a permit. The majority of the newspapers targeted by the prohibition were those published in or edited by Indians. Raja Ram Mohun Roy, who started publishing his Persian newspaper “Mirat-ul-akhbar” in 1822, stopped doing so as a result.

3. Press Act 1835 (Metcalfe Act)

The 1823 Licensing Regulations were abolished by the 1835 Press Act, also referred to as the Metcalfe Act. In India, Metcalfe gained notoriety as the “liberator of the press.” A printer/publisher was required by the act to give a detailed account of the location of a publication and to stop business activities if a declaration of a similar nature was made. As a result of a liberal press strategy, newspapers have grown quickly.

4. Licensing Act, 1857

The Licensing Act of 1857 was passed by Governor General Canning (who would later become Viceroy in 1858) to place stricter limitations on the press following the Revolt of 1857. This law established licensing requirements and granted the government the right to prevent the publishing and distribution of any book, newspaper, or other printed material.

5. Registration Act, 1867

The Registration Act of 1867 replaced the Metcalfe Act of 1835. It was claimed that the legislation placed regulations but not limitations on the press. The print media now needed to include the name of the printer, publisher, and location of release, and a copy needed to be submitted to the government.

6. Vernacular Press Act, 1878

It was put in place to “better manage” the popular press and it successfully repressed and punished seditious writing. The district judge had the authority to require the printer and publisher of any vernacular newspaper to sign a bond with the government promising not to use published material to incite hatred between members of various castes, religions, or races.

Additionally, the printer and publisher might be asked to put up protection that could be taken if the offences recurred. There was no right of appeal to the magistrate’s judgment in a court of law. Documentation from a regional newspaper could be accepted by a government censor to excuse it from the Act’s application.

7. Newspaper (Incitement to Offences) Act, 1908

The Newspaper (Incitement to Offense) Act of 1908 gave judges the authority to seize press assets that published offensive content that might incite homicide or other violent crimes. This act was brought about by extreme nationalist action both during and after the Swadeshi movement of 1906.

8. Indian Press Act, 1910

This act replaced the Vernacular Act, which gave local governments the authority to request a security from publishers or printers upon registration and forfeit or deregister an offending newspaper. Additionally, printers of newspapers were required to provide local governments with two copies of each issue.

Read about: Indian Independence Act 1947

Development of Indian Press UPSC

The Indian press experienced difficulties under British control due to factors like illiteracy, colonial pressure, and repression. Later on, though, it emerged as a crucial weapon in the fight for freedom. Media played a significant role in shaping and increasing national consciousness among Indians. The invention of printing papers led to a large-scale nationalist campaign in India. For all the information regarding the Development of Indian Press for UPSC Exam preparation, read the article.

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What is press development?

In 1550, Portuguese introduced the printing press to India, and in 1557, they released their first book. In 1780, James Augustus Hickey published Bengal Gazette, also known as Calcutta General Advertiser, which earned him the moniker of "Father of Indian Press."

What do you know about the development of Indian press during British rule in India?

As the Indian press developed under British control, it faced challenges like illiteracy, colonial pressure, and repression. But as time went on, it emerged as a crucial weapon in the fight for freedom. The Bengal Chronicle or General Advertiser. He is referred to as the "Founder of the Indian Press."

What is Indian press in modern history?

The Vernacular Press Act was updated in the Indian Press Act of 1910. It allowed local governments the authority to request security from printers and publishers in the range of Rs. 500 to Rs. 2,000. The law could forbid publications considered to be anti-government.

What are the three types of press?

There are three main types of news media: print media, broadcast media, and the Internet.

What is the role of the press?

There are three main types of news media: print media, broadcast media, and the Internet.

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