The Times of India

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The Times of India
The times of india.svg
The Times of India cover 03-22-10.jpg
20 August 2013 front page of the Kolkata edition of The Times of India
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) The Times Group
Editor-in-chief Jaideep Bose
Founded 3 November 1838
Language English
Headquarters The Times of India Building, Dr. D.N. Road, Mumbai-400001, India
Circulation 3,321,702 Daily[1] (as of December 2013)
Sister newspapers The Economic Times
Navbharat Times
Maharashtra Times
Ei Samay
OCLC number 23379369

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).[1][2] 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.[3]

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.[4][5]


Times of India Buildings, ca. 1898


The Times of India issued its first edition 3 November 1838 as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce.[6][7] 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.[8] In the 19th century, this newspaper company employed more than 800 people and had a sizeable circulation in India and Europe.

Bennett & Coleman Ownership[edit]

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.

Dalmiya Ownership[edit]

In 1946, they(who)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.[9]

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.[9][10]

Jain family (Shanti Prasad Jain)[edit]

In the early 1960s, Shanti Prasad Jain was imprisoned on charges of selling newsprint on the black market.[11][12] And based on the Vivian Bose Commission's earlier report which found wrongdoings 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[edit]

Following the Vivian Bose Commission report indicating serious wrongdoings 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 interest and to the interests of the Company are correct”. [13] 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[edit]

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).[14] 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.[15][16][17][18]

Editions and publications[edit]

TOI‍ '​s first office is opposite the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai where it was founded.[7]

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,[19] 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.[citation needed]


Promoters Scandals[edit]

FERA Violation charges and arrest of Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain[edit]

  • 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.[20][21]

Subsidised Newsprint black marketing and Government take over[edit]

  • 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.[11][13]

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.[11]

Enforcement Directorate charges of illegal fund transfer on Ashok Jain[edit]

  • 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.[15][16][17][18]

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.

The then BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee accused the then Prime minister I. K. Gujral of shielding the Jains due to family relations.[15]

Editorial controversies[edit]

Mocked for worst headline ever[edit]

  • 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'.[22]

Deepika Padukone controversy[edit]

  • 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”.[23][24]

The day after TOI retaliated in an 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".[25]

Responses from other Media[edit]

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."[26]

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".[27]

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.[28]

'Body shaming' outrage[edit]

  • 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.[29]

Emergency era scandals[edit]

  • 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".[30] 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.[31][32]

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.[11]

Dismissal of Editor[edit]

  • 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.[33] 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.[34] 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[edit]

  • 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.

Notable employees[edit]

A set of Indian Newspapers dated February 27, 2015 with The Times of India, New Delhi on display.

Recent updates[edit]

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.[35]

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.[36] It launched a Kolhapur edition, February 2013.


  1. ^ a b "Details of language wise most circulated dailies for the audit period July-December 2013". Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  2. ^ "National Newspapers Total Circulation". International Federation of Audit Bureaux of Circulations (IFABC). 2011. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  3. ^ "Indian Readership Survey – World's Largest Survey" (PDF). 30 June 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "India's Most Trusted Brands 2014". TRA. November 2013. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  5. ^ "Samsung named India's most trusted brand". Times of India. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  6. ^ "The Times of India". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 April 2013. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  7. ^ a b "The Times of India turns the Times of Colour". 30 April 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  8. ^ Hirschmann, Edwin (2008). Robert Knight: Reforming Editor in Victorian India. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-569622-6. 
  9. ^ a b "Citizens Jain - The New Yorker". The New Yorker Magazine. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  10. ^ Auletta. Page 55.
  11. ^ a b c d "This is why Times of India is pro-Congress, Jain brothers owe their wealth to Gandhis". 15 December 2014. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  12. ^ "Indian Millionaires arrested". Reuter (The Herald (Glasgow)), May 5, 1964. Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b P. Menon Malhan, Sangita (2 August 2013). THE TOI STORY: How A Newspaper Changed The Rules Of The Games. Noida: HarperCollins Publishers India. p. 212. ISBN 9789350296646. Retrieved 2015-05-03. 
  14. ^ Subramanian, Samanth (1 December 2012). "Supreme Being: How Samir Jain created the modern Indian newspaper industry". Caravan. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  15. ^ a b c "Trying times: Editorial changes in The Times of India raise disturbing questions". India Today. 7 July 1997. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  16. ^ a b "Ashok Jain arrested". The Indian Express. 4 July 1998. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  17. ^ a b Mahalingam, Sudha (18–31 July 1998). "Ashok Jain is arrested by the Enforcement Directorate". Frontline. 15, No. 15. ISSN 0970-1710. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  18. ^ a b "A newspaper scandal: Editorial changes in The Times of India raise disturbing questions". Fontline. 15, No. 12. 6–19 June 1998. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  19. ^ "Online Mumbai Newspaper". Mid Day. 24 April 2014. 
  20. ^ White-Collar Crimes - Girish Mishra, Braj Kumar Pandey - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  21. ^ Udupa, Sahana (2015). News, Publics and Politics in Globalising India: Media, Publics, Politics. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press. p. 208. ISBN 9781107099463. Retrieved 2015-05-03. 
  22. ^ "James Rodriguez: Is this the best worst headline ever? - International - Football - The Independent". The Independent. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  23. ^ "IBNLive - 'Are we not human?': Deepika Padukone posts a strong statement on Facebook on controversy over titillating headline". IBNlive. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  24. ^ "The Independent- Deepika Padukone branded a 'hypocrite' by Times Of India following outrage over 'cleavage show' tweet - People - News". The Independent UK. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  25. ^ "Dear Deepika, our point of view... - The Times of India". The Times of India. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  26. ^ "An open letter to Times of India - The Hindu". The Hindu. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  27. ^ "Livemint - Lounge Web Opinion - Deepika vs Times of India: Round two". Livemint. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  28. ^ "Who Said It: The Times Of India Or An Eve-Teaser". Buzzfeed. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  29. ^ "Angelina Jolie and Bollywood stars targeted: 'Hot babes with ugly legs' Times of India article sparks 'body shaming' outrage - People - News - The Independent". The Independent. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  30. ^ Austin, Granville (1999). Working a democratic constitution: the Indian experience. Oxford University Press. p. 295. ISBN 978-0195648881. (subscription required (help)). 
  31. ^ "New book flays Indira Gandhi's decision to impose Emergency". IBN Live News. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  32. ^ Desai, Akshayakumar Ramanlal (17 November 1986). Violation of Democratic Rights in India. Bombay: Popular Prakashan. p. 208. ISBN 978-0861321308. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  33. ^ Mahalingam, Sudha (6–19 June 1998). "A newspaper scandal: Editorial changes in The Times of India raise disturbing questions". Frontline. Retrieved 16 September 2011. [dead link]
  34. ^ Know PUCL. People's Union for Civil Liberties. October 2010. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  35. ^ "Times Group acquires Vijayanand Printers". The Times of India. 15 June 2006. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  36. ^ "TN CM launches Chennai edition of Times of India". The Economic Times. 13 April 2008. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Auletta, Ken: "Citizens Jain – Why India's Newspaper Industry is Thriving". The New Yorker, 8 October 2012, Pages 52 to 61.
  • Hirschmann, Edwin. "An Editor Speaks for the Natives: Robert Knight in 19th Century India," Journalism Quarterly (1986) 63#2 pp 260–267
  • Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp 330–33

External links[edit]