Dhaka Prakash

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Dhaka Prakash was the first Bangla newspaper published from Dhaka. Its first issue was published on 7 March 1861 from Bangala Jantra in Babu Bazar. The epigraph, siddhih s'a'dhye sam'a'mastu (success can be gained by ability), was inscribed under the title of the newspaper. It was published every Thursday. The yearly charge, including postage, was Rs 5. Initially, advertisements were placed on the left side of the first page. On the right there were editorials, important news and views on any special topic. Then, there was samv'a'd'a'val'i or miscellaneous news. In this section, news, collected from other sundry papers or through its own sources, was printed. Letters from readers were usually printed on the third page and occasionally on the last. Poet krishna chandra majumder was the first editor of Dhaka (Dacca) Prak'a'sh. Prominent directors were Brajasundar Mitra, Dinabandhu Moulik, Ishwarchandra Basu, Chandrakanta Basu. Dinanath Sen succeeded Krishna Chandra Majumder as editor. At this stage, the paper began to come out on Friday instead of Thursday. Dinanath edited the 23rd to 36th issues during the 4th year of its publication. He was succeeded by Jagannath Agnihotri and Govinda Prasad Roy. From the fifth year Dhaka Prakash began to be published on Sunday instead of Friday.

Initially, Dhaka Prakash was published as a mouthpiece of the Brahmos; but with a change in ownership the policy of the paper also changed. As a result, the paper sometimes supported the Brahmos and sometimes orthodox Hindus. On political issues the paper followed the middle course and tried to establish harmony between the ruler and the ruled. So it had to face numerous problems during the anti-partition movement and the swadeshi movement. Nevertheless, it was an influential paper whose opinion had considerable impact on public opinion. During the 19th century the Report on Native Papers used to quote news mainly from Dhaka Prakash. The paper began with a circulation of 250. In the nineties, circulation increased to 5000, indicating the paper';s popularity. It survived for nearly a century, exceeding in longevity all other newspapers of East Bengal. Indeed, it is not possible to understand fully the political, economic, social and cultural history of Dhaka or of East Bengal without the help of Dhaka Prakash. [Muntassir Mamoon] [Mamoon, Muntassir  Professor of History, Dhaka University]