JANMABHUMI: "The voice of the NATION & The mission of NATIONALISM"
Kerala’s social, cultural and political scenario has got its own uniqueness and significances. Communalism coupled with pseudo secularism has gained an upper hand in all spheres of life, which in turn deteriorated the ethics and standards of social living. Though the people attained complete literacy and achieved social status in terms of material gains, the equations in public life became so rigid and pathetic that it leads to tension and unrest.
The reason for such a negative result visibly seen in Kerala is the orchestrated and organized media psyche which always targeted to defame and belittle the nationalistic and spiritual factors and movements in order to gain selfish motives. Though the print media has a long history of service in the publishing field, they generally keep away our culture, heritage, tradition, way of living and stood for protecting the interests of organized semitic religions. Hence Kerala became a fertile land for communalism, corruption, animosity, terrorism etc which got deep roots in social life. The vernacular newspapers utterly failed to single out or expose those elements which tampered with the secular and dharmic fabrics of Kerala.
The general election of 1967 was a turning point in Indian politics. For the first time 8 states have elected non-congress parties to power and Bharathiya Jana Sangh began to emerge as a clear alternative to Congress Party. The Jana Sangh held its 14th All India Plenary session in Kozhikode in 1967 and proved to be a historical success in Kerala. At the same time a left lead coalition swept the Kerala elections and Congress was routed with its number reduced to single digit in assembly. The alliance of Indian Union Muslim League and the Congress cast a shadow of a new dangerous potent in the formation of Muslim minority district in Kerala.
The state council of the Jana Sangh held at Thalassery in 1968 considered a proposal by Sri. K. Raman Pillai, for starting a daily news paper in Malayalam. The discussion in this matter carried on at various levels. The All India Secretary of Jan Sangh Sri. P. Parameswaran, State leaders Sri. O. Rajagopal, Sri. P. Narayanan, Sri. K. Raman Pillai, Sri. U. Dathathreya Rao and Sri. K.G. Wadhyar interacted with many people. Freedom fighter Sri. K.V. Vittappa Prabhu possessed the declaration of the Rashtra Vartha, which he transferred to Sri. K.G. Wadhyar. Sri. Kummanam Rajasekharan who was a student of journalism then, held the responsibility of Rashtra Vartha.
Meanwhile at the initiative of Sri. U. Dathathreya Rao as chief promoter and Sri. C. Prabhakaran, Sri. Punnath Chandran, Sri. M. Sreedharan, Sri. K.C. Sankaran, Sri. V.C. Achuthan as co promoters, Mathruka Pracharanalayam Ltd was registered in January 1973 with the objective of publishing a Malayalam news paper. Subsequently the Rashtra Vartha was taken over by that company.
The intention of the promoters and other supporters was to make maximum participation of common people in the form of share subscriptions. Knowing that it was a very difficult and tiresome task. Sri. P. Narayanan was entrusted with this work. By the beginning of 1975 title JANMABHUMI was acquired from its owner at Thrissur. Sri. P.V.K. Nedungadi veteran journalist of Kannur consented to be the editor, Sri. Dathathreya Rao printer and publisher and a few others took charge as staff sub editors and reporters.
JANMABHUMI was launched as an evening tabloid from Kozhikode as on 28th April, 1975. Prominent personalities like , Sri. P. Parameswaran , Sri. V.M. Nair (Managing Editor, Mathrubhumi), Sri. Murkoth M. Kunhappa (Resident Editor, Malayala Manorama), Sri. V.M. Korath were among the dignitaries who participated in the inaugural function.
In the editorial column of the very first edition itself it was explicitly declared that JANMABHUMI is a totally independent national daily. It will approach each problem on the basis of national unity, moral sense, patriotism and public welfare and think, evaluate and formulate our opinion. To err is human and we also commit mistakes, our capacity is limited. We considered this as a small step to the noble cause and great moment and appealed the co-operation of all.
Only a handful of members were working as staff. Within a very short period the paper caught the imagination of the general public. But within two months, the declaration of emergency rule fell like an axe on JANMABHUMI. The Managing Director Sri.Dathathreya Rao, Editor Sri. P.V.K. Nedungadi and Sri. P. Narayanan were arrested by the police from their residences and kept under detention. Sri. Nedungadi was let of after a few days. Even though there was no ban on the paper the administration created conditions which did not allow it to continue. Rao was severally beaten at the police station. He was released only after the emergency was lifted. Sri. P.Narayanan was acquitted of all charges by the court and released after four months. After the restoration of democracy and establishment of a new government at the centre, we restarted our efforts for publication of JANMABHUMI from Ernakulum. Sri. P Narayanan as printer and publisher and Sarvodaya leader Prof. M.P. Manmadhan as Chief Editor. Prof. Manmadhan was the chairman of the Jan Sangharsh Samithy which carried the agitation against emergency rule.
On 14th November 1977 JANMABHUMI was launched from Ernakulam by Noted educationalist and economist Dr. K N Raj. The Veteran journalist Sri. Manjana Madom Balagopal was associated with the editorial department. Once again Sri. Kummanam Rajasekharan was there to train a few youngsters who were new to the press world. Sri. Puthoormadom Chandran took charge of the news desk.
After one year Prof. Manmadhan wanted to leave the responsibility because of health problem. Sri. P.V.K. Nedungadi became chief editor. Sri. P. Sundaram took charge as Manager .Sri. K.G. Marar took charge as Managing Director, when Sri. Dathathreya Rao retired.
The printing of JANMABHUMI was in the old method of hand composing and sheet-fed printing. Printing technology was undergoing revolutionary changes. Under the initiative of Sri P. Sundaram, a new company was formed; Ayodhya Printers Pvt Ltd and it acquired a plot at Elamakkara. All latest technologies like photo composing and offset printing were installed there. JANMABHUMI was shifted to the new premises on 21st April 1987. JANMABHUMI was among the first few newspapers to have these facilities. The press and paper was inaugurated by the leader of opposition in the Parliament Sri. L.K. Advani, at a festive function which was attended by the top personalities of the press, politics and illustrious audience.
Mathrubhumi former Deputy Editor Sri. V.M. Korath took charge as Chief Editor. Some youngsters were enlisted as trainees, sub editors who have shown their calibre in the field during the years to come. After one year Sri. V.M. Korath’s health failed and was not able to continue. Sri. Kummanam Rajasekharan took charge as Editor. When he turned his attention towards social and religious activities, Sri. K.V.S. Haridas to be the Editor. After Sri. Sundaram Sri. M. Mohanan, Sri M. Mahadevan,Sri P.Sivadasan were took charge as the General Managers respectively.
When Sri. Korath finally relinquished charge as chief editor in 1993, Sri. P. Narayanan was given the charge. In 1995 Sri. K.G. Marar passed away and Sri. P.P. Mukundan was appointed as the Managing Director. He took initiative to expand the base of JANMABHUMI by starting new editions. Sri. N.S. Rammohan became the Managing Editor and Sri. T.M.V. Shenoy took charge as printer and publisher. Sri . K. Kunhikanann as Resident Editor. On 21st March 1996 when a fire engulfed the Ayodhya printers, JANMABHUMI faced a big crisis. But the staffs of both institutions took challenge boldly and continued to bring out the paper without even a day’s break. With the heart felted help of well wishers the press was re started by commissioning a new machine which could print 12 pages. Photo composing gave way to DTP.
In January 2000 Sri. P.Narayan retired and Prof. Thuravur Viswambharan took charge as Chief Editor. After a year Sri. Hari S. Kartha succeeded him. Sri. Kummanam Rajasekharan once again took charge as Managing Editor. After Sri P P Mukundan Senior R.S.S Pracharaks Sri. V K Chandrashekaran, Sri. K. Sethumadavan and Sri. K Purushothanan where the Managing Directors respectively. On 26th June 1995, BJP National President Shri.L. K. Advani inaugurated the evening edition at Thiruvananthapuram.
On 12th April 1996 JANMABHUMI started its 2nd edition from Kozhikode. Mahakavi Akkitham lighted the lamp. JANMABHUMI started two editions in 2005. On 13th April at Kottayam and 24th October at Thiruvananthapuram. Both were inaugurated by Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram Director Shri P Parameswaran.
R S S Sarkaryavah Shri Mohan Bhagwat inaugurated Kannur Edition on 2008 January 17th.
After Hari S Kartha, veteran women journalist Smt. Leela Menon became the Chief Editor.
The 6th edition of JANMABHUM from Thrissur was inaugurated on June 20th 2014 by Union Minister Sri. Prakash Javdekar. JANMABHUMI started it’s operations outside Kerala, by launching Edition in Bangalore on April 27th 2018 by Actor and Parliament Member Sri. Suresh Gopi. The 8th edition of JANMABHUM was launched from Kollam on September 27th 2018 by Union Minister Sri. Rajnath Singh. 9th Edition Pathanamthitta was inaugurated by Union Minister V Muraleedharan on 12th February 2020.
JANMABHUMI ONLINE, the Digital Media division, was launched on 22th February 2009 by spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Sri. Sri. Ravi Shankar.
www.janmabhumidaily.com is a comprehensive and popular news website well-received by the Malayali Diaspora around the world. The website brings the latest local, national and world news, politics, weather, entertainment, science and health coverage. The website is updated round-the-clock. Sri P Sreekumar is the editor in charge of online. JANMABHUMI is marching ahead under the leadership of Sri. M. Radhakrishnan as Managing Director, Sri. K. R. Umakanthan as Managing Editor, K.N. Raman Nampoothiri as Editor, and Sri. K. B. Sreekumar as General Manager.
JANMABHUMI is in the forefront of the struggle against all anti national, anti cultural, anti human tendencies anywhere. When Christian missionaries planted a cross at Nilakkal near Sabarimala temple and claimed it to be from the era of St. Thomas apostle, it was JANMABHUMI who exposed the conspiracy, which kick started a great Hindu upsurge under the leadership of Sanyasins. To suppress the agitation the UDF government resorted to lathicharges and arrested Sri. P. Narayanan and Sri. Kummanam Rajashekeran. Subsequently the state government’s attempt to nominate a Christian convert to the Gurvayur Devaswam was also exposed by JANMABHUMI.
JANMABHUMI brought out behind the curtain activities to acquire only the lands owned by the Hindus to establish the Naval Academy at Ezhimala. The mysterious circumstance in which Chekannur Maulavi was eliminated was brought to the public by JANMABHUMI. When there was a plan to a build a cemetery very close to Tv Puram temple and Vaikom temple, and political parties of all shades supported it, it was JANMABHUMI which supported local Hindu people in the struggle to stop the savilege. In the struggle of Swami Prakasananda in Sivagiri Madom issue it was JANMABHUMI which gave him unstinted support.
JANMABHUMI played a big role in the protection of the tradition of Aranmula village against the anti environmental mafia in the name of pseudo developmental activities like airport construction. Almost all other media were directly or indirectly in favour of the corporate big guns. But from the very beginning to the abandoning of the Airport project JANMABHUMI was with the people of Aranmula to protect the environment and culture. In the issue of protecting the wealth of Lord Sreepadmanabha and rituals in Sabarimala, the stand taken by JANMABHUMI was very significant and it echoed the general psyche of the people of Kerala. While other media are running only behind the commercial culture, JANMABHUMI alone is against the wind with commitment to the culture of the land and to the nation.