National Herald (India)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

National Herald
Freedom is in Peril, Defend it with All Your Might
Owner(s)Associated Journal Limited[1], Shiva Publications
Founder(s)Jawaharlal Nehru
EditorZafar Agha [2]
Founded9 September 1938; 80 years ago (1938-09-09)
Relaunched01 June 2017
HeadquartersNew Delhi
CityNew Delhi and Lucknow
Sister newspapersQaumi Awaz (Urdu) and Navjivan (Hindi)[3]

National Herald is an Indian newspaper published by The Associated Journals Ltd. It was founded by India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938 as a tool to win independence.[4] The history of journalism in India is closely linked to the history of the struggle for independence from British rule. Most of the freedom fighters and social activists were journalists and they worked to rid India of foreign rule and fight the social prejudices as well.[5] It was banned by British government in 1942 during Quit India movement. After independence, the newspaper was briefly shutdown in 1940s and 70s. Owing to financial crunch, the operations were temporarily stopped in 2008. In 2016, board of directors of Associated Journals Limited (AJL) took the decision of relaunching the newspaper.[6]


National Herald was established in Lucknow on 9 September 1938 by Jawaharlal Nehru.[7] The paper carried on its masthead the words ‘Freedom is in Peril, Defend it with All Your Might' taken from a cartoon by Gabriel from Brentford, Middlesex that Indira Gandhi had forwarded to Nehru.[8] Jawaharlal Nehru was an early editor of the newspaper and until his appointment as Prime Minister was the Chairman of the Herald's Board of Directors.[9][10] In 1938, K. Rama Rao was appointed the paper's first editor. Following the Quit India Resolution of August 1942, the British Raj clamped down on the Indian press and the paper was shut between 1942 and 1945.[11] The Herald reopened in 1945 and from 1946 to 1950, Feroze Gandhi served as the paper's Managing Director, helping restore its financial health.[12] From 1946 to 1978, Manikonda Chalapathi Rau served as its editor.[11] Nehru gave Rau a free hand in running the paper and ensured its editorial independence even saying that though people thought the National Herald to be his paper, it really belonged to Chalapathi Rau who had made it what it had become.

Nehru had served as the paper's international correspondent for a while and after becoming Prime Minister was able to use the paper to espouse unpopular views and to sidestep the press corps in conveying his thoughts on various issues to the reading public as in 1954 when he wrote a scathing piece on the Bikini Atoll nuclear tests titled 'The Death-dealer'.[13] The paper had editions from Lucknow and New Delhi, the latter begun in 1968.[11][14] In Delhi, the paper was based out of Herald House on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, known as Delhi's Fleet Street while in Lucknow it was based out of the Nehru Bhawan and Nehru Manzil buildings.[15] The National Herald also had Hindi and Urdu editions named Navjeevan and Qaumi Awaz.[16]

In January 2008 discussions about closure began.[17] On 1 April 2008 the paper's editorial (of its sole remaining edition, New Delhi) announced that it was temporarily suspending operations. The paper had failed to modernise its print technology and had not computerised at the time of suspending operations and had been making losses for several years owing to lack of advertising revenues and overstaffing. At the time of its closure T V Venkitachalam was its editor-in-chief.[7]

Indore Edition[edit]

Mumbai based businessman Vishnu Goyal said his involvement with the National Herald dates back to 1998, when Shiva Publications (a partnership firm) bought rights to publishing the National Herald in Indore & Mumbai. Goyal launched the Indore edition in 2009, months after The Associated Journals decided to shut the Herald’s publication subsequent to settling dues of the staff. Designated as Chief Editor of National Herald & Global Herald Newspapers, Goyal is also the Chairman & Managing Director of Alpha Vision Overseas India Ltd, a company listed on the BSE. [18]

Plans for revival[edit]

National Herald, before its closure was being run by Associated Journals.[1] There were reports that the paper was being revived under journalist Suman Dubey, technocrat Sam Pitroda and the newly incorporated Young India Company headquartered at Herald House.[19][20] However, Rahul Gandhi, a member on the board of Young Indian Company denied of such movement and mentioned that it is a not-for-profit company and cannot have any profitable business.[21][22]

In March 2016, The Associated Journals Ltd. decided to revive the media outlet in digital form. On October 1, 2016, it announced the appointment of Neelabh Mishra as the Editor in Chief of the National Herald Group [23]. On November 14, 2016, an English website was launched.[24] Simultaneously, it also announced that the print publications under suspension, namely National Herald in English, Navjivan in Hindi and Quami Awaz in Urdu, would be revived in due course. In its press release dated November 14, 2016 [25] the National Herald group pledged its commitment to furthering the editorial vision and principles of its founder Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and India’s Freedom Movement – that of building a modern, democratic, just, equitable, liberal and socially harmonious nation.

Official re-launch[edit]

On June 12, 2017, Rahul Gandhi re-launched National Herald at an event in Bengaluru. Vice President of India Hamid Ansari was the chief guest and said, "The duty of the state is clear - free media is necessary for free society. When faced with unjust restrictions, censorship in the media can aid covering of abuses."[4]

Commemorative edition[edit]

The commemorative edition of National Herald was launched on July 1, 2017, by the then President of India Pranab Mukherjee.[26]


The relaunch of the National Herald resulted in an ongoing case related to allegations that Young India Limited had been created to use public money (the congress loan) to acquire control over AJL assets

A defamation suit of Rs 5000 crore was filed by Reliance Group, against National Herald claiming an article published by it was "libellous and derogatory".[27][28]


  1. ^ a b Court dismisses Swamy’s plea in National Herald case
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Rahul Gandhi In Bengaluru For Re-Launch Of National Herald
  5. ^ Addresses the event to launch commemorative edition of National Herald
  6. ^ Congress set to revive National Herald newspaper after 8-year break
  7. ^ a b "National Herald shuts down after 70 years". Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  8. ^ Hasan, Mushirul (16 May 2012). "In another era, a wit that pulled no punches". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 16 May 2012.
  9. ^ Rau, M. Chalapathi (1964). "The Press after Nehru" (PDF). Economic and Political Weekly (July): 1247–1250. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 June 2014.
  10. ^ Dayal, John (2007). A Matter of Equity: Freedom of Faith in Secular India. New Delhi: Anamika Publishers. p. 129. ISBN 9788179751770.
  11. ^ a b c "In Memorium M. Chalapathi Rau (1908 - 1983)". Archived from the original on 26 June 2014.
  12. ^ Bhushan, Shashi (2008). Feroze Gandhi: A Political Biography. New Delhi: Frank Bros. p. 52. ISBN 9788184094947.
  13. ^ Vadakut, Sidin (27 June 2014). "A Nehruvian tragedy". HT Mint. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  14. ^ General Knowledge Refresher. New Delhi: Bright Publications. p. 51. ISBN 9788171994717.
  15. ^ "National Herald fights for survival". The Indian Express. 14 November 1998. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  16. ^ "New look national herald all set for relaunch". Hindustan Times. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  17. ^ "Nehru's paper, The National Herald, may close". Hindustan Times. 31 January 2008. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "National Herald may be revived through 'Young Indian'". Business Standard. 9 October 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  20. ^ "New look national herald all set for relaunch". Office of Adviser to Prime Minister. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  21. ^ "National Herald newspaper eyes revival after four years of closure". NDTV Profit. 28 October 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  22. ^ "'No plans to revive National Herald'". The Pioneer. 11 October 2012. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012.
  23. ^ Correspondent, Special. "Neelabh Mishra to be editor of National Herald". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  24. ^ "Tribute to Jawaharlal Nehru- National Herald revived in digital form - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  25. ^ "National Herald revival on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru birth anniversary". The Asian Age. 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  26. ^ President Pranab Mukherjee talks about spate of lynchings at National Herald event
  27. ^ "Rafale Row: Anil Ambani Sues National Herald for Rs 5k Crore". The Quint. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  28. ^ "Anil Ambani Files Rs 5,000 Crore Defamation Suit Against 'National Herald'". Headlines Today. Retrieved 26 August 2018.