The Times of India
20 August 2013 front page of the Kolkata edition of The Times of India
|Owner(s)||The Times Group|
|Founded||3 November 1838|
|Headquarters||The Times of India Building, Dr. D.N. Road, Mumbai-400001, India|
|Circulation||3,321,702 Daily (as of December 2013)|
|Sister newspapers||The Economic Times
The Times of India (TOI) is an Indian English-language daily newspaper. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world according to Audit Bureau of Circulations (India). According to the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) 2012, the Times of India is the most widely read English newspaper in India with a readership of 7.643 million. This ranks the Times of India as the top English daily in India by readership.
It is owned and published by Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. which is owned by the Sahu Jain family. In the Brand Trust Report 2012, Times of India was ranked 88th among India's most trusted brands and subsequently, according to the Brand Trust Report 2013, Times of India was ranked 100th among India's most trusted brands. In 2014 however, Times of India was ranked 174th among India's most trusted brands according to the Brand Trust Report 2014, a study conducted by Trust Research Advisory.
- 1 History
- 2 Editions and publications
- 3 Controversies
- 3.1 Promoters Scandals
- 3.2 Editorial controversies
- 4 Times Group Network
- 5 Notable employees
- 6 Recent updates
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
The Times of India issued its first edition 3 November 1838 as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce. The paper published Wednesdays and Saturdays under the direction of Raobahadur Narayan Dinanath Velkar, a Maharashtrian Reformist, and contained news from Britain and the world, as well as the Indian Subcontinent. In 1850, it began to publish daily editions.
In 1860, editor Robert Knight (1825–1892) bought the Indian shareholders interests, merged with rival Bombay Standard, and started India's first news agency. It wired Times dispatches to papers across the country and became the Indian agent for Reuters news service. In 1861, he changed the name from the Bombay Times and Standard to The Times of India. Knight fought for a press free of prior restraint or intimidation, frequently resisting the attempts by governments, business interests, and cultural spokesmen and led the paper to national prominence. In the 19th century, this newspaper company employed more than 800 people and had a sizeable circulation in India and Europe.
Bennett & Coleman Ownership
Subsequently, The Times of India saw its ownership change several times until 1892, when Thomas Bennett and Frank Morris Coleman, who drowned in the 1915 sinking of the SS Persia, acquired the newspaper through their new company, Bennet, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
In 1946, they sold the company to sugar magnate Ramkrishna Dalmia, of the then-famous industrial family, Dalmiyas, for Rs 20 million.In 1955 Vivian Bose Commission of Inquiry found that Ramkrishna Dalmia in 1947 had engineered the acquisition of the media giant Bennett, Coleman by transferring monies from a bank and an insurance company of which he was the Chairman. In the court case that followed, Ramkrishna Dalmia was sentenced to two years in Tihar Jail on charges of Dalmia was prosecuted for embezzlement and fraud.
But for most of the jail term he managed to spend in hospital. Upon his release his son-in-law Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain to whom he had entrusted running of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. rebuffed his efforts to resume command of the company.
Jain family (Shanti Prasad Jain)
In the early 1960s, Shanti Prasad Jain was imprisoned on charges of selling newsprint on the black market. And based on the Vivian Bose Commission's earlier report which found wrong doings of the Dalmia - Jain group, that included specific charges against Shanti Prasad Jain, the Government of India filed a petition to restrain and remove the management of Bennett, Coleman and company. Based on the pleading, Justice directed the Government to assume control of the newspaper which resulted in replacing half of the directors and appointing a Bombay (now Mumbai) High Court judge as the Chairman.
Under Government of India
Following the Vivian Bose Commission report indicating serious wrong doings of the Dalmia - Jain group, on 28, August 1969, the Bombay High Court under Justice J.L.Nain passed an interim order to disband the existing board of Bennett Coleman and a new board under Government be constituted. The bench ruled that “Under these circumstances,the best thing would be to pass such orders on the assumption that the allegations made by the petitioners that the affairs of the company were being conducted in a manner prejudicial to public interst and to the intrests of the Company are correct”.  Following that order Shanti Prasad Jain ceased to be a director and the company ran with new directors on board appointed by the Government of India, barring a lone stenographer of Jains.
Back to Jain Family
In 1976, during the emergency in India, the government transferred ownership of the newspaper back to Ashok Kumar Jain (Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain's son and Ramkrishna Dalmia's grandson and the father of Samir Jain and Vineet Jain). The Jains too often landed themselves in various money laundering scams and Ashok Kumar Jain has to flee the country when the Enforcement Directorate pursued his case strongly in 1998 for alleged violations of illegal transfer of funds to a tune of US$1.25 million to an overseas account in Switzerland.
Editions and publications
The Times of India is published by the media group Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. The company, along with its other group companies, known as The Times Group, also publishes Ahmedabad Mirror; Bangalore Mirror; Bangalore Times, Delhi Times; The Economic Times; Ei Samay, (a Bengali daily); the Maharashtra Times, (a Marathi-language daily broadsheet); Mumbai Mirror; the Navbharat Times, (a Hindi-language daily broadsheet); and Pune Mirror.
The Times of India has its markets in major cities such as Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Calicut, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolhapur, Kolkata, Madurai, Patna, Puducherry, Pune, Kochi, Lucknow, Nagpur, Nashik, Panaji, Mysore, Hubli, Mangalore, Raipur, Ranchi, Surat, Trichy, Trivandrum, Varanasi , Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.
||This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject. (June 2015)|
FERA Violation charges and arrest of Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain
- In 1958 during Nehru's regime, when the trade with other countries and the foreign currencies were strictly regulated, Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain was caught, and subsequently arrested, at Palam airport in New Delhi for bringing in foreign currency beyond permissible limits. The event was blacked out by the Times of India even though other newspapers carried the story.
Subsidised Newsprint black marketing and Government take over
- Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain, the then new owner of the Times Group, was found guilty of selling subsidized newsprint obtained from the government in black market in the 1960s. This was illegal and a breach of trust. Not only this resulted in Jain going to jail, but the ownership was taken over by the government of India for almost a decade. Later during the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi in 1976, the Government returned the ownership of Times Group to Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain’s son Ashok Kumar Jain.
Enforcement Directorate charges of illegal fund transfer on Ashok Jain
- On 3 July 1998, Ashok Kumar Jain, then Chairman of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd, parent company of The Times of India was arrested in his Mumbai residence, after 18 months of legal wrangling with Enforcement Directorate for alleged violations of illegal transfer of funds to a tune of US$1.25 million to an overseas account. Shortly after arrest Ashok Jain complained of chest pain and was taken to hospital. He later fled to USA where he died 4 February 1999, following heart surgery.
One of the main allegations were that Ashok Jain maintained an illegal account with Handelsbanken, a swissbank in Zurich and transferred $150,000 from Handelsbanken to the account of N.S. Hoon in Bank Rothschild AG, Zurich for which he received an undeclared $1.25 million from Keshav Bangur in lieu of shares in Bank of Rajasthan. Apart from that allegations of holding shares in many Mauritius-based companies and the ED claimed in courts that Ashok Jain was feigning sickness to avoid interrogation and detention.
Mocked for worst headline ever
- In July 2014 TOI was mocked by Twitter users abroad for running a headline on Colombian footballer James Rodriguez, named after James Bond in a sport section headline that read 'The name is Bond, James Rodriguez' and 'left the World Cup shaken and stirred'. It was picked up before it went online, where the story has the slightly more logical 'Hot Rod: Young James has license to thrill' headline, but not before the print original exploded on Twitter where it was branded the 'worst headline ever'.
Deepika Padukone controversy
- Actress Deepika Padukone, in 2014 lashed out at TOI for using a titillating headline to describe an almost year-old footage of hers in a plunging neckline, by posting a strongly-worded statement on her official Facebook page defending her decision to call out blatantly sexist coverage of women stars in media. Describing in her words “Digging out an old article and headlining it "OMG: Deepika's Cleavage Show!" to attract readers is using the power of influence to proliferate recessive thought”.
The day after TOI retaliated in a article claiming itself as "As one of the largest media houses in the world " went on to point out that the actress has modeled voluntarily with racy and more glamorous photo shoots and published a few images, and advised the actress "Deepika, just for the record, we do not zoom into a woman's vagina or show her nipples. As a newspaper, we take every care to ensure that we pixelate them if they show up in a picture, but your cleavage is as sexy as Shah Rukh Khan's '8-pack' abs".
Responses from other Media
The rival The Hindu a day later published an editorial titled "An open letter to Times of India" mocking TOI claims and summing up with the following "You don’t need a censor board TOI, but yes, perhaps a few editorial discussions before publishing such stories may not be a bad idea.... Please understand that apart from ‘ownership’— the treatment of a person as an object owned by another — being a characteristic of objectification, ‘denial of subjectivity’ or the lack of consideration for the person’s feelings in question is another.... All you could have done was considered her response and feelings and apologised. Or really, just kept quiet."
This was followed by an article on Livemint that described the affair as "The editorial sends out the clear message to Padukone that unless she apologises profusely and publicly, she will be made to stand in a corner. She might also be expected to forgo any dreams of Filmfare covers or awardsg . And what about the promotions for her upcoming multi-star movie, Happy New Year? Unless there are back-channel diplomatic manoeuvres in progress, which Bombay Times readers will not be privy to, just in the way that they are not privy to which article in the supplement is the result of journalism and which follows a handshake and a contract".
BuzzFeed the popular American Internet news site ran a quiz page "Who Said It: The Times Of India Or An Eve-Teaser?" comparing TOI's response to an Eve-teaser in its site page.
'Body shaming' outrage
- In 2014 a photo article 'Hot babes with ugly legs' in a Times of India article sparked international outrage as the article described the legs of Bollywood and Hollywood actress in rather disgraceful manner. Describing Britney Spears legs as "more at home at the wrestling ring", Angelina Jolie’s "skinny arms and legs with bulging elbows", and Katie Holmes as "skinny on top, but has rather thick legs with muscular calves."
Louise Court, Editor-in-Chief of British women's magazine Cosmopolitan, was horrified by the piece describing it as "This Times of India article actually made my jaw drop" to The Independent. Susan Ringwood, Chief Executive of a leading eating disorder charity Beat, similarly condemned the irresponsibility shown by the Times of India in the publication of the article.
Emergency era scandals
- On 26 June 1975, the day after India declared a state of emergency, the Bombay edition of The Times of India carried an entry in its obituary column that read "D.E.M O'Cracy beloved husband of T.Ruth, father of L.I.Bertie, brother of Faith, Hope and Justica expired on 26 June". The move was a critique of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's 21-month state of emergency, which is now widely known as "the Emergency" and seen by many as a roundly authoritarian era of Indian government.
But elsewhere during Emergency, the opposition and other press mocked the newspaper as “The Times of Indira”, where editorials in praise of Sanjay Gandhi, who was ruthless during Emergency, were published.
Dismissal of Editor
- In 1998, the summary dismissal of editor H.K. Dua, was attributed to his pursuit of an independent editorial policy that did not suit the interests of the promoters of the group. The People's Union for Civil Liberties filed a complaint in this matter with Press Council of India (PCI). The PCI censured The Times of India. H.K. Dua later claimed that his dismissal was retaliation for his refusal to comply with Ashok Kumar Jain's request to help him out of his FERA violation case by ED, using his editorial position to build public support besides lobbying with politicians. H.K. Dua later was press advisor to Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee.
Times Group Network
- Zigwheels: A website focused on cars, including reviews, road tests, and other special features.
- Speaking Tree: A spiritual network intended to allow spiritual seekers to link spiritual seekers with established practitioners.
- Healthmeup: A health, diet, and fitness website.
- Cricbuzz: In Nov 2014, Times Internet Acquired Cricbuzz website. A website focused on cricket live updated, news etc.
- Sham Lal, Editor and Scholar
- Samir Jain, Vice-Chairman & Publisher
- Vineet Jain, MD, current Chairperson
- Jug Suraiya (associate editor, columnist, "Jugular Vein," cartoonist, "Dubyaman II")
- Swaminathan Aiyar (columnist, "Swaminomics")
- R. K. Laxman ("You Said It" editorial cartoon, featuring the famous Common Man)
- Alfred D'Cruz, foremost Chief Sub-Editor from 1947-1982
- Shobha De, columnist
- M J Akbar, Columnist, "The Siege Within" and former Editorial Team
- Chetan Bhagat, Columnist, Sunday TOI
In late 2006, Times Group acquired Vijayanand Printers Limited (VPL). VPL previously published two Kannada newspapers, Vijay Karnataka and Usha Kiran, and an English daily, Vijay Times. Vijay Karnataka was the leader in the Kannada newspaper segment then.
The paper launched a Chennai edition, 12 April 2008. The paper's main rivals in India are Hindustan Times, The Indian Express and The Hindu, which are second, third, and fourth by circulation, respectively. It launched a Kolhapur edition, February 2013.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Times of India.|
- Official website (Mobile)
- The Times of India ePaper (E-Paper – Digital replica of the newspaper)
- Times Syndication Service Content licensing and syndication wing of The Times Group.