|Owner(s)||Lok Sevak Mandal|
|Publisher||Niranjan Rath |
The Samaja is an Oriya daily newspaper published in Cuttack, Odisha, India; started in 1919, it is one of the oldest papers in this region. Utkalamani Gopabandhu Das, a prominent freedom fighter and social worker started it as a weekly from Satyabadi of Puri district of Odisha to facilitate the freedom struggle and to revive the moribund Oriya language. Under Gopabandhu's leadership, and with the support of local people, the paper grew into prominence. In 1928, just before the death of Gopabandhu, the paper was handed over to Lok Sevak Mandal (Servants of People Society), a non-profit organization started by freedom-fighter Lala Lajapatrai. Servants of the People Society still runs the paper.
In Odisha, Samaja is seen as a trusted and impartial newspaper. However, the newspaper is often accused of being too orthodox in its approach, which makes it less popular among the younger and urban generation. To reach out to the remotest readers, the Samaja has eight editions at Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, Rourkella, Kolkota, Vizag, Balasore and Berhampur, as well as an internet edition as well as an e-paper edition.
The founder of the Samaja, Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das, was a freedom fighter and social reformer. He was an ardent supporter of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation and was involved in the freedom struggle. Moreover, Gandhi is said to have been influenced by the simple life of Gopabandhu and after they came in contact with one another, Gandhi decided to follow a simple lifestyle. Gopabandhu took to journalism to facilitate reform. He published a monthly magazine called 'Satyabadi'. Later on October 10, 1919, he launched weekly Samaja. The day was chosen to coincide with Vijayadashami, one of the greatest Hindu festivals. He was the first editor of the weekly. With the support of Acharya Harihar Das, Pandit Nilakantha Das, Samaja continued to highlight the wrongdoings of British Government, and was imprisoned. In 1928, prior to the death of Gopababndhu, Samaja was handed over to the Servants of People Society (SOPS), a non-profit organization founded by Lala Lajpatrai. In his will, Gopabandhu stated that under SOPS, Samaja would continue to contribute to Societal, political, educational and economic development of Odisha.
- "Trust : Servants of the People Society". The Samaja. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- SoPS Website
- The Samaja Website