The Samaja

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The Samaja
The Samaja.jpg
Owner(s) Lok Sevak Mandal
Founder(s) Gopabandhu Dash
Publisher Niranjan Rath [1]
Editor Bamapada Tripathy [1]
Founded 1919
Political alignment Independent
Language Odia
Headquarters Cuttack
Circulation 3,50,000
Website thesamaja.com

The Samaja is an Odia daily newspaper published in Cuttack, Odisha, India; started in 1919, it is one of the oldest papers in India. 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 Odia 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.[2] Servants of the People Society still runs the paper.[3]

In Odisha, Samaja is seen as a trusted and impartial newspaper. To reach out to the remotest readers, the Samaja has ten editions at Balasore, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, Rourkella, Kolkota, Vizag, Koraput, Angul and Berhampur, as well as an internet edition as well as an e-paper edition. Mr. Bamapada Tripathy,an eminent journalist is the editor of the newspaper. Besides,it publishes a popular weekly named 'Samaja Saptahika'.

History[edit]

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.

References[edit]