Sangbad Prabhakar

Sangbad Prabhakar weekly newspaper was launched by ishwar chandra gupta (1812-1859). It first appeared on Friday, 28 January 1831 (16 Magh 1237 BS). Yogendramohan Thakur of Pathuriaghata was of great help in this venture, and his death caused the paper even to suspend its publication after the 69 issues, dated 25 May 1832. Iswarchandra Gupta revived the Sangbad Prabhakar after four years. It appeared as a tri-weekly from 10 August 1836. Again the Thakurs of Pathuriaghata extended their help. The Sangbad Prabhakar became the first daily newspaper in Bangla from 14 June 1839. A monthly edition started appearing from 1853, in which Iswarchandra collected the lives and works of early Bengali composers and Kabiyals. After Iswarchandra's death, his brother Ramchandra Gupta became its editor. He was unable to continue for long because of ill health and was succeeded by Gopalchandra Mukhopadhyaya. Probably Manindrakrishna Gupta was the last editor of the paper. The Sangbad Prabhakar lasted up to the early years of the twentieth century.

The Sangbad Prabhakar was a first-rate newspaper of the day, containing articles on religion, society and literature besides news items on India and foreign countries. Illustrious and learned men of the time like Raja radhakanta deb, Jaygopal Tarkalankar, Prasannakumar Thakur, Ramkamal Sen were among the contributors. Early works of bankimchandra chattopadhyay and dinabandhu mitra were published in the Sangbad Prabhakar. The group of writers centering around Iswarchandra Gupta later dominated the literary scene in Bengal. Its early conservatism was somewhat modified in later years. In the 1840's and 1850's, it supported women's education and widow-remarriage, and raised its voice against kulinism. Supported by the Zamindars, its stance was always pro-British, barring a few criticisms. The Sangbad Prabhakar played a very important role in creating public opinion against Indigo Planters. In short, it reflected the ideas of the nineteenth century bengal renaissance. Unfortunately, the complete file of the paper is not to be found in any library. A few volumes can be seen in the vangiya sahitya parishad, and the National Library, Calcutta. [Indrajit Chaudhuri]