20th September 1878: The Hindu is published for the first time as a weekly newspaper in Chennai


On 20th September 1878, The Hindu, an English language daily was published for the first time as a weekly newspaper. By 1889, The Hindu had begun publishing as an evening daily.


The Hindu newspaper was founded in Chennai by law students P. V. Rangachariar, T. T. Rangachariar, D. Kesava Rao Pantulu and N. Subba Rao Pantulu, a school teacher G. Subramania Iyer and a college lecturer M. Veeraraghavachariar. The Hindu was established to support Sir. Muthuswami Iyer at the Madra High Court for a judgeship and to make amends for the propaganda against Iyer by the Anglo-Indian Press. The newspaper was the first of its kind to protest against the discrimination practiced by the British in India. Its first issue was published in Georgetown, Chennai and Subramania Iyer became the first managing director of The Hindu.


When it began, the newspaper had a liberal outlook and supported the British rule in the country and one copy of the paper cost four annas. By 3rd December 1883 The Hindu had moved to 100 Mount Road, a rented office. It was from here that the newspaper started their own press called The National Press. In 1892 the building came to be known as the Hindus after the King of Vizianagaram gave the press a loan, not only for the building, but also for any required future expansion. Owing to its editorial standing, The Hindu has been nicknamed the Maha Vishnu of Mount Road.


In October 1898 the partnership between Subramania Aiyer and Veeraraghavachariar and came to an end, with Aiyar leaving the paper. Veeraraghavachariar became the only owner of the company and he hired C. Karunakara Menon as the editor. But by the 1900’s the popularity and circulation if the newspaper began to decline and when it was down to selling 800 copies, Veeraraghavachariar decided to sell the newspaper. The newspaper was purchased by S. Kasturi Ranga Iyengar, The Hindu’s legal adviser from 1895. Iyengar was a lawyer, a profession he switched for journalism, something in which he had great interest.


By the 1980’s once the ownership of The Hindu had passed down to the younger members of the family, the newspaper was observed to acquire a political inclination. Readers even began to complain that the newspaper had lost its objectivity. But gradually over time the younger editors of the newspaper have ensured that the newspaper has gone back to the success it enjoyed in its early days. The Hindu today has foreign bureaus in Islamabad, Colombo, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Beijing, Moscow, Paris, Dubai, Washington, D.C., London, and Addis Ababa.  


The Hindu is a family run newspaper and the current editor of the newspaper is Siddharth Varadarajan. The newspaper has been a pioneer is many things, such as being the first newspaper to introduce colour print (1940), first newspaper to own airplanes to distribute newspapers (1963) and in 1995 The Hindu was the first newspaper to go online.


Also on This Day:


1388: Sultan Feroz Tughlaq Shah III of Delhi passed away.


1819: Jose Custodio Faria, Goan scientist-revolutionary passed away.


1856: Sri Narayana Guru was born.


1857: British Troops captured Delhi from the mutineers.


1871: John Paxton Norman, the officiating Chief Justice of Bengal was stabbed to death by a Wahabi fanatic.


1983: APPLE Satellite stopped working.

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