29 May 1865|
Bankura, Bengal, British India
|Died||30 September 1943
Kolkata, Bengal, British India
Ramananda Chatterjee (Bengali: রামানন্দ চট্টোপাধ্যায়) (29 May 1865 – 30 September 1943) was founder, editor, and owner of the Calcutta based magazine, the Modern Review. He has been described as the father of Indian journalism.
Chatterjee was born in a middle class Bengali Hindu family, the third child to Srinath Chattopadhyay and Harasundari Devi in the village of Pathakpara in the district of Bankura. He received his primary education in a Bengali medium school, even though primary education the English medium had become available by then in Bankura. As a child he liked poetry and soon he was drawn to patriotism through the poems of Rangalal Bandyopadhyay. He passed the Entrance from Bankura Zilla School in 1883 arrived at Kolkata to pursue higher education. In 1885, he passed the F.A. from the St. Xavier's College and took admission in the City College. In 1888, he appeared in the B.A. from City College and stood first class first in the University of Calcutta. He won the Ripon Scholarship of rupees fifty per month. Pleased at the success of Chatterjee, professor Heramba Chandra Maitra offered him the post of assistant editor at the Indian Messenger, the mouthpiece of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, of which he was the editor at that time. This offer opened up Chatterjee's future career in journalism. In 1890, he completed his Masters in English from University of Calcutta.
In 1893, he joined the City College as a lecturer. He along with Jagadish Chandra Bose founded the children's magazine Mukul with Sivanath Sastri as the editor. In 1895, he decided to move to Allahabad with a teaching job at the Allahabad Kayastha Pathshala. In 1897, he became the chief editor of Bengali literary magazine Pradip. He, however left Pradip with difference in opinion and launched Prabasi in 1901. In 1907, Chatterjee launched the English magazine Modern Review.
He gave a talk on March 10, 1934 to a group of young students summarising his view of the role of newspapering: He spoke of the gathering of news, ideas and facts drawn from by thoughtful people from the world over; it needs to be put down in a language that a person in the street can understand; the faithful coverage of public opinion must be matched by the boldness to challenge it should that opinion not be pointing in the right direction. A good knowledge of politics and governance is required as well as the history of the rise and fall of nations, economics, social sciences and even insurance. Other issues are the worldwide struggles of labour, the trials that beset women and varying religious beliefs. These need to be properly displayed on the pages with the postings of special correspondents, book reviews, letters and pictures.