Anandabazar Patrika had a humble beginning in a village called Magura at Jessore District in British India. It was started by Sisir Kumar Ghosh and his son Tushar Kanti Ghosh in 1876 and was named after one of their relatives, Anandomayee. This newspaper did not fare well and the father-son duo came up with another newspaper in 1886 named Amrit Bazar Patrika which went on to be a success. Later on, in 1922, Anandabazar Patrika was revived and re-launched by Suresh Chandra Majumdar and editor Prafulla Kumar Sarkar.
The first edition of Anandabazar Patrika was of four pages and came out on the evening of 22nd March, 1922. From the very beginning, Anandabazar Patrika had a patriotic spirit and had a nationalistic approach. Multiple times, till 1947, the editors and publishers were jailed by the British authorities for showing great courage and patriotism. In 1931, the newspaper was out of circulation for a few months due to a Government ordinance.
In 1923, the four-page evening paper of Anandabazar Patrika turned into a six-page daily morning newspaper. Anandabazar Patrika was the first newspaper in the country to introduce offset printing and pioneered Bengali linotype. It helped in Bengali typewriting and later played an important role in introducing Bengali Word Processing. Anandabazar Patrika played a pivotal role in codifying Bengali grammar, spelling and punctuation. In 1965, Anandabazar Patrika started reporting in colloquial Bengali so that it can reach out to the masses.
By 1954, Anandabazar Patrika became the largest circulated newspaper in India published from one location. Its popularity and high readership since the day of its inception were due to its patriotic spirit and ability of worldwide coverage. It covered the Bihar earthquake of 1934 and was the lone Indian newspaper to cover the Berlin Olympics of 1936. It was also the only Indian newspaper to cover Amartya Sen’s Nobel award ceremony. Apart from that, Anandabazar Patrika was the first newspaper to inform the Bengali people of Subhash Bose’s escape from Calcutta in 1941.
In the year 1992, Anandabazar Patrika weathered a 51 days strike but it emerged out of it and launched in 1993 its district edition pages. Anandabazar Patrika came up with a unique distribution strategy and made local shops as selling points to increase its readership. By 2005, it crossed 1 million circulations and presently Anandabazar Patrika has a daily circulation of 1.3 million and a readership of 5.8 million which makes it practically the largest single edition regional language newspaper in India.
Anandabazar Patrika dominates the Bengali newspaper arena which is estimated to be over Rs.900 Crore. In 2001, it went online with its first-ever internet edition which expanded its reach around the world. Because of its huge circulation and readership, Anandabazar Patrika is a favourite for advertisers who want to market their goods and services. It was the first Bengali daily to win the SNAP (Specifications for Newsprint Advertising Production) in 2005.
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