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Emigration magazines, 1st number, 1308 BS

Prabasi [প্রবাসী] was a monthly Bengali-language literary magazine.

History and profile[edit]

Prabasi was founded by Ramananda Chatterjee in 1901 and ran for over 60 years.[1] It published many important Bengali authors, the most significant being Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore who published regularly in it from 1914 until his death.[1] "It is no exaggeration to say that [Tagore's] major creations reached Bengali homes through [Prabasi]."[1] There were over 350 contributors during its existence, including most of the major poet and prose writers of the day.[1] The National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh said "Prabasi's fame remains almost unsurpassed by any other Bengali periodical."[1]

When Prabasi first appeared, it pioneered a mix of book excerpts, poetry and one-act plays, alongside reviews and essays.[2] It also included serialized fiction, including Rabindranath Tagore's Gora (1907-1909).[2] It also included articles on history, art, archaeology, sociology, education, literature and literary theories, scientific topics, and travelogues.[1] The magazine was known for its art and illustrations. It was the first ever periodical in Bengali to feature a reproduction of a photograph on its cover purely for the sake of illustration. [3]Prabasi gave the chance to women to prove themselves as writer.[3]

"Prabasi" literally means a "Bengali living outside Bengal",[4] which can be translated as "Exile". Chatterjee wrote in 1903, "In truth, we are Indians first and Bengalis next."[4]

The sister magazine of Prabasi was Modern Review. Because of the initial poor sales of Prabasi, Ramananda Chatterjee launched Modern Review in 1907, targeted to English-speaking Indians.[5] Modern Review was a great success and was read nationwide.[5]

Authors and works[edit]

Some of the authors and works featured in the magazine include:


  1. ^ a b c d e f Chaudhuri, Indrajit (2012). "Prabasi". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. 
  2. ^ a b Asha Kasbekar (2006). Pop Culture India!: Media, Arts, And Lifestyle. ABC-CLIO. p. 118. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Nantu Acharjya (2016). Women writers in Prabasi, a Bengali periodical: 1901-1920. Partridge India. Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Indian Book Reporter, volume 3, pp. 6-7
  5. ^ a b Partha Mitter (1994). Art and Nationalism in Colonial India, 1850-1922: Occidental Orientations. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 20 November 2012.