|This article may rely excessively on sources too closely associated with the subject, potentially preventing the article from being verifiable and neutral. (August 2014)|
The weekly was launched on 14 January 1948, the day of Makara Sankranthi. Its first editor was Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The inaugural cover page carried a picture of Lord Krishna with its objective to pursue idealism based on patriotism and to uphold the cultural heritage of India.
Political thinkers and literary figures such as Dr. Sampurnanand, Purushottam Das Tandon, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, Jai Prakash Narayan, Hazari Prasad Dwivedi, Mahadevi Verma, Amritlal Nagar, Kishori Das Bajpai and many other were among the galaxy of writers for Panchjanya.
Panchjanya has made efforts to generate a debate on national issues by publishing long interviews of political leaders representing different viewpoints such as Morarji Desai, Chowdhary Charan Singh, Chandra Shekhar Singh, Mulayam Singh, Sharad Yadav, A. B. Bardhan, Late M.A.Farooqi, D.Raja, Vasant Sathe, V.N.Gadgil, K. Karunakaran, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan etc. Experienced administrators such as Jagmohan and J.N.Dikshit, prominent journalists Arun Shourie and T. V. R. Shenoy and reputed names in literature and art like Narendra Kohli, Yamini Krishnamurthy and Sharda Ghate are regular contributors in Panchjanya.
After Atal Bihari Vajpayjee moved on to politics, he was succeeded by eminent editors like Rajiv Lochan Agnihotri, Gyanendra Saxena, Girish Chandra Mishra, Mahendra Kulashrestha, Tilak Singh Parmar, Yadav Rao, Vachnesh Tripathi, K. R. Malkani, Devendra Swaroop, Dinanath Mishra, Bhanu Pratap Shukla, Ram Shankar Agnihotri, Prabal Maitra and Baldeobhai Sharma. It is now edited by Hitesh Shankar.
In 1995, the Audit Bureau of Circulation credited the magazine with a circulation of 85,000, a figure which Mr Tarun Vijay has claimed that it has crossed the 1 lakh. However, its current circulation is 50,000.
- Jaffrelot 1996, p. 124.
- "Deendayal Upadhyaya". Bharatiya Janata party. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
- "Editors of two RSS weeklies lose jobs over pro-Modi stand". Times of India. 6 April 2013. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
- New editor for RSS Hindi weekly Indian Express, 15 February 2013