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Rangapur Bartabaha, The


Rangapur Bartabaha, The first Bangla weekly newspaper published from East Bengal. The Rangpur Bartabaha was first published in August 1847 (Bhadra, 1254 BS) with the financial support from Kalichandra Ray, the zamindar of Pargana Kundi in Rangpur. It continued publication up to 1854 without any major interruption. Gurucharan Sharma Roy was its first editor, and after his death Nilambar Mukhopadhyaya purchased its ownership. It used to come out every Tuesday from the Jantralay' and had a circulation of about 100 copies. The yearly subscription was Taka six; and Taka four if paid in advance.

In the beginning, the Rangapur Bartabaha published news garnered from other newspapers, mostly from Calcutta. Later it started publishing local news. The most important section of the paper contained deliberations on the prose pattern of Bangla. Initially its tone was pro-government and its appreciation of landlords was a common item. Later it became critical of alien rule and its disastrous effect on the people. Its publication finally stopped in 1857. The Rangapur Bartabaha throws light on the socio-economic and educational conditions of mid-nineteenth century northern Bengal. [Ratan Lal Chakraborty]