Statesman, The a leading newspaper of Calcutta (Kolkata). It commenced its publication in 1875 as a one anna daily. Initially, it was designed to suit the needs of the Europeans and the western educated Bengali elite. The office of the daily was established at 3, Chowringhee Road, and the paper was regularly sold at all the principal ghats (small river port), railway stations and at every prominent transit points of the city.
The colossal success of The Statesman was principally due to a galaxy of brilliant editors like Robert Knight down to Roy Emerson who adorned its offices, together with very competent editorial staffs. Advertisements of varied character also graced its columns. This, again, brought forth good revenues contributing to its speedy and stupendous success. The editorials published in the paper were not only highly informative and incisive but covered a wide range of subjects. To this was super-added the variety of news items which lent interest to the reading clientele.
These items included the agitation against the Age of Consent Bill in 1891, the government famine policy of 1943, engine-run trams in Calcutta, the programmes of the moderates and extremists in indian national congress, sister nivedita's views in cleaning of Calcutta streets, witchcraft, Kulin polygamy even after government interdiction of the custom, the quit india movement, the birth of the muslim league, the two Bengal partitions of 1905 and 1947, the birth of Pakistan and India's independence, Aurobinda's implication in the Maniktala bomb manufacturing case, dissensions in the brahma samaj after the death of keshab chandra sen, Widow remarriages in Calcutta and its outskirts, the prosecution of surendranath banerjea, Gandhiji's assassination, etc. As for foreign news, the paper dealt extensively with the theme of Russia's ambitions in the Balkans, and the factors leading to the outbreak of both the First and the Second World Wars, the abdication of the English throne by Edward VII following his resolution to marry Mrs Simpson, a commoner and a divorcee, had also been vividly featured.
The photographs that appeared on the paper were vivid portrayals of contemporary political and social life both in India and abroad. Interesting items like rabindranath tagore's disillusionment with Gandhi's programme of Ahingsa, the latter's concern for Indians in South Africa, and the faulty education policy of the calcutta university were also given prominence in the columns of this daily which today has become a leading newspaper in India. [Abhijit Dutta]