Gujarati literature

Era or Yug
Such factors as the policies of the rulers, the living style of the people, and the worldwide influence on society are important for any literature to flourish. In Gujarat, due to the development of trade and commerce, the religious influence of Jainism as well as Hinduism, and also due to the safety and encouragement of rulers like Siddhraj, Solanki and Vaghela Rajputs, literary activities were in full force from the 11th century. Literature in Gujarati is sometimes also classified into two broad categories, namely poetry and prose, the former savouring and basking in its long lineage, dating back to the 6th century. Poetry as a perception was a medium for expressing religious beliefs and judgements, a stronghold of medieval Indian times. In this context of gradual evolution, the history of Gujarati literature is generally classed into three broad periods, consisting of the Early period (up to c. 1450 AD), the Middle period (up to 1850 AD) and the Modern period (1850 AD. onwards). However, Gujarati literature and its tremendous maturation and proficiency in contributing to culture is retraced back to sultanate days (referring to the Muzaffarid dynasty, which had provided the sultans of Gujarat in western India from 1391 to 1583).
Gujarati literature is divided mainly into two eras or 'Yug', the medieval and modern, with these eras being further subdivided.
The medieval ara (1000 AD-1850 AD) is subdivided into 'before Narsinh' and 'after Narsinh' periods. Some scholars further subdivide it as 'Rasa yug', 'Sagun Bhakti' and 'Nirgun Bhakti'.
The modern era (1850 AD to date) is divided into 'Sudharak Yug' or 'Narmad Yug', 'Pandit Yug' or 'Govardhan Yug', 'Ghandhi Yug', 'Anu-Ghandhi Yug', 'Adhunik Yug' and 'Anu-Adunik Yug'.
Madhyakalin Sahitya (Medieval literature)
Praag Narsinh-Yug (1000 AD to 1400 AD)
The distinguished Jain monk and scholar Hemchandracharya suri was one of the earliest scholars of Prakrit and Apabhramsha grammars and the mother of the Gujarati language. He had penned a formal set of 'grammarian principles' as the harbinger of the Gujarati language during the reign of the Rajput king Siddharaj Jayasinh of Anhilwara. This treatise formed the cornerstone of Apabhramsa grammar in the Gujarati language, establishing a language from a combination of corrupted forms of languages like Sanskrit and Ardhamagadhi. He authored "Kavyanushasana": poetics, a handbook or manual of poetry, "Siddha-haima-shabdanushasana": Prakrit and Apabhramsha grammars, and "Desinamamala": a list of words of local origin.
It is generally accepted by historians and researchers in literary genres in Gujarati literature that the earliest writings in this very ancient language were by Jaina authors. These were composed in the form of Rasas, Phagus and Vilasas. Rasas were long poems which were essentially heroic, romantic or narrative in nature. Salibhadra Suri's "Bharatesvara Bahubalirasa" (1185 AD), Vijayasena's "Revantgiri-rasa" (1235 AD), Ambadeva's "Samararasa" (1315 AD) and Vinayaprabha's "Gautama Svamirasa" (1356 AD) are the most illustrious examples of this form of literature in Gujarati. Other notable Prabandha or narrative poems of this period include Sridhara's "Ranamalla Chhanda" (1398 AD), Merutunga's "Prabodhachintamani", Padmanabha's "Kanhadade Prabandha" (1456 AD) and Bhima's "Sadayavatsa Katha" (1410 AD). The phagus are poems that pictured the blissful and cheery nature of the spring festival (Vasantha). Rajasekhara's "Neminatha-phagu" (1344 AD) and Ajnat (Unknown) Kavi's "Vasantha-vilasa" (1350 AD) are unsurpassed instances of such texts. "Neminatha Chatuspadika" (1140 AD) by Vinayachandra is the oldest of the baramasi genre of Gujarati poems. The earliest work in Gujarati prose was Tarunaprabha's "Balavabodha" (1355 AD). "Prithvichandra Charita" (1422 AD) of Manikyasundara, which essentially served as a religious romance, is the most paramount illustration of Old Gujarati prose and is reminiscent of Bāṇabhaṭṭa's Kadambari.
Due to flourishing trade and commerce in Ahmedabad and Khambat (Cambay), entertainment activities started to develop, and the Jain saints, story-tellers, puppet shows, and Bhavai (dramas) also revived literature. This gave birth to ancient literature and the 11th century noted poet Hemchandra (1088–1172).
Narsinh-Yug (1400 AD onwards)
During the 15th century, Gujarati literature had come under the tremendous sway of the Bhakti movement, a popular cultural movement to liberate religion from entrenched priesthood. Narsinh Mehta (1415-1481 A.D.) was the foremost poet of this era. His poems delineated a very saintly and mystical sense and bore an intense reflection of the philosophy of Advaitism. Narasinh Mehta's "Govind Gaman", "Surat Sangram", "Sudama Charitra" and "Sringaramala" are stupendous and exceptional illustrations of this devotional poetry.
'Bhakti-Yug (15th-19th century)
This is the age when Jain and Hindu poets produced Gujarat literature in abundance. The prose and poetry created were mostly to encourage religion and worship. The Gita, Mahabharat, Vedas, and Bhagvat were instantly popular, and worshiping and offering love to God through them stayed in the hearts of people for long. Narsinh Mehta's creations are considered the best. There were also creations of prayers, Jain history, etc. During this period of the influence of the Bhakti Movement on Gujarati literature, the Ramayana, the Bhagavad Gita, the Yogavashistha and the Panchatantra were all translated into Gujarati. This period also experienced the colossal Puranic revival, which led to the rapid growth and maturation of devotional poetry in Gujarati literature. This era is divided into two parts, "Sagun Bhakti Dhara" and "Nirgun Bhakti Dhara".
"Sagun Bhakti Dhara"
In this "Dhara", the God is worshiped in physical form, having some form and virtues like Ram and Krishna.
Narsinh Mehta, Meera, and Dayaram were foremost contributors of this "Dhara". Bhalan (1434-1514 AD) had furnished a meritorious representation of Bāṇabhaṭṭa's "Kadambari" into Gujarati. Bhalana composed other substantial and irreplaceable works like "Dasham Skandha", "Nalakhyan", "Ramabal Charitra" and "Chandi Akhyana". Meera supplied many "Pada" (Verse). Premanand Bhatt, who is deemed the most important of all Gujarati poets, was absolutely involved in taking and elevating the Gujarati language and literature to new peaks. Amongst Premananda Bhatta's umpteen authorships, the most crucial are "Okha Harana", "Nalakhyana, "Abhimanyu Akhyana", "Dasham Skandha", and "Sudama Charitra".
Shamal Bhatt was an extremely creative and productive poet who gave birth to unforgettable works like "Padmavati", "Batris Putli", "Nanda Batrisi", "Sinhasan Batrisi" and "Madana Mohan" in Gujarati verse writing. Dayaram (1767–1852) had given rise to religious, ethical and romantic lyrics referred to as 'Garbi'. His most authoritative works comprise "Bhakti Poshan", "Rasik Vallabh" and "Ajamel Akhyan". The "Ramayana" was authored by Giridhara in Gujarati during the middle of the 19th century. Parmanand, Brahmanand, Vallabha, Haridas, Ranchhod and Divali Bai were other authoritative 'saint poets' from this period of poetry predomination in Gujarati literature. Poets from the Swaminarayan sect contributed immensely.
"Nirgun Bhakti Dhara"
The God has no physical form in this "Dhara".
Narsinh Mehta and Akho were the foremost contributors of this "Dhara". Akho's "Akhe Gita", "Chittavichar Samvad" and "Anubhav" Bindu" have always been illustrated as being 'emphatic' compositions on the Vedanta. Yet another poet, Mandana, had given form to immortal works like "Prabodha Battrisi", "Ramayan" and "Rupmangal Katha". Other contributors are Kabir-Panthi, Dhira Bhagat, Bhoja Bhagat, Bapusaheb Gaikwad, and Pritam.
Arvaachin Sahitya (Modern Literature, 1850 AD - To date)
With the British Government and the new technology of printing and press, education in the English language began. The new age brought many newspapers and magazines, which spread awareness in society. Because of this, there was much more literature, and it included forms other than the ancient religious style of poetry. The creations reflect social welfare, criticism, plays, new-age thinking, worship of the country, the values of life, etc. This era is subdivided into 'Sudharak Yug' or 'Narmad Yug', 'Pandit Yug' or 'Govardhan Yug', 'Gandhi Yug', 'Anu-Gandhi Yug', 'Adhunik Yug' and 'Anu-Adhunik Yug'.
Sudharak Yug or Narmad Yug (1850-1885 AD)
From the middle of 19th century, Gujarati, like other regional Indian languages, came under strong western influence, precisely due to colonial residence and colonial reign. Dalpatram (1820–1898) and Narmad (1833–1886) are the trailblazers of modern Gujarati literature. Dalpatram's "Vinacharitra" portrays his incredible command over hilarity and wittiness. The very first Gujarati dictionary, known as "Narmakosh", was composed and compiled by Narmad; it is essentially a history of the world, and also an authority on poetics. Narmad attempted many varieties of poetry and smoothly adapted English verses into Gujarati. His "Rukmini Haran" and "Virasinh" are considered to be masterpiece compendia of poems. The other great works in Gujarati literature in this era are Bholanath Sarabhai's "Ishvara Prarthanamala" (1872), Navalram's "Bhatt nu Bhopalu" (1867) and "Veermati" (1869), and Nandshankar Mehta's (1835–1905) "Karana Ghelo" (1866), which was the first novel of Gujarati literature. Ranchhodlal Udayaram Dave (1837–1923) is almost always respected as the groundbreaker and trailblazer in the art of play-writing in Gujarati with his "Lalita Dukh Darsak" Natak (Play). Other significant dramatists were Dalpatram, Narmad and Navalram.
Modern studies of Gujarat and its language began with the British administrator Alexander Kinlock Forbes shortly after the British occupation of the region. Alexander Forbes carried out an extensive investigation of Gujarati culture and literature over the previous thousand years and amassed a large collection of manuscripts. An organisation named after him, called the Farbas Gujarati Sabha, dedicates itself to the preservation of Gujarati literature and language and history from its headquarters in Mumbai.
Pandit Yug or Govardhan Yug (1885-1915 AD)
Govardhanram Tripathi is the main author of this age. The work of others includes Narsinhrao Divetiya's "Smarana Samhita", "Kusumamala", "Hridayavina", "Nupur Jhankar" and "Buddha Charit"; Manishankar Ratanji Bhatt or Kavi Kant's "Purvalap" ('Devayani', 'Atijnana', 'Vasanta Vijay' and 'Chakravak Mithuna') and Balwantray Thakore's "Bhanakar". Nhanalal was another important poet of this period in Gujarati literature, who had outshone incredibly in his "Apadya Gadya" or rhyming prose. Nhanalal's recognition and reputation is based on two poetic compilations, namely "Vasantotsava" (1898) and "Chitradarshan" (1921), an epic referred to as "Kuruksetra", and numerous plays like "Indukumar", "Jayajayant", "Vishva Gita", "Sanghamitra" and "Jagat Prerana".
Govardhanram Tripathi (1855–1907) was among the dazzling and stupendous novelists of Gujarati literature, whose celebrated and well-admired novel is "Saraswatichandra (novel)".
Gandhi Yug (1915-1945 AD)
During this period, the Gandhiji and Gujarat Vidyapith became the nerve-centre of all literary activities, where new values emerged and more emphasis was given to Gandhian values, Indianisation and simplification. Novels, short stories, diaries, letters, plays, essays, criticisms, biographies, travel books and all kinds of prose began to flood Gujarati literature.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Gandhiji, Ramnarayan Pathak, Kanaiyalal Munshi or K. M. Munshi, Swami Anand, Umashankar Joshi, Sundaram, Jhaverchand Meghani, Pannalal Patel, Jyotindra Dave, Chandravadan Mehta, Zinabhai Desai ("Snehrashmi"), Manubhai Pancholi ("Darshak"), and Ishwar Petlikar are the main contributors of this age.
Modern Gujarati prose was ushered in with a bang by Narmada, but K.M. Munshi and, of course, the legend and nationalist himself, Mahatma Gandhi, gave it prominence in this age. Gandhiji's autobiography, An Autobiography of My Experiments with Truth ((Gujarātī "સત્યના પ્રયોગો અથવા આત્મકથા")), Satyagraha in South Africa about his struggle there, Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule, a political pamphlet, and a paraphrase in Gujarati of John Ruskin's Unto The Last are his most well-known works. This last essay sets out his programme on economics. He wrote extensively on vegetarianism, diet and health, religion, social reforms, etc. Gandhi usually wrote in Gujarati, though he also revised the Hindi and English translations of his books.
Gandhiji was a prolific writer. For decades he edited several newspapers including Harijan in Gujarati, Hindi and English; Indian Opinion while in South Africa and, Young India, in English, and "Navajivan", a Gujarati monthly, on his return to India. Later, "Navajivan" was published in Hindi. He wrote letters almost every day to individuals and newspapers.
During the 1940s, there could be witnessed a rise in communistic poetry and this inspired a movement for progressive literature in Gujarati too. Meghani, Bhogilal Gandhi, Swapnastha and others began to preach class conflict and hatred of religion through their writings. K.M. Munshi is deemed one of the most multi-talented and flexible and looming literary figures of Gujarati literature of contemporary times. K.M. Munshi's voluminous works include dramas, essays, short stories and novels. His famous novels are included in the list of "Patan ni Prabhuta", "Gujarat no Nath", "Jay Somnath" (1940), "Prithvi Vallabh", "Bhagavan Parshuram" (1946) and "Tapasvini" (1957).
Indeed, after the rise of Mahatma Gandhi's prominence in a steadily strengthening struggle for independence and social equality, a great volume of poetry, written by poets like Umashankar, Sundaram, Shesh, Snehrashmi and Betai, amongst others, centred on the existing social order, the struggle for independence and the travails of Mahatma Gandhi himself. Highly inspired by Rabindranath Tagore's dialogue poems, Umashankar Joshi enriched the existing Gujrati literature by penning in the same manner. Two such poems are his "Prachina" and "Mahaprasthan". For his poem "Nishith", he received the Jnanpith Award in 1967. Pannalal Patel received the Jnanpith Award in 1985 for his novel "Maanavi Ni Bhavaai".
The Gujarati novel was also made a household name by G.G. Joshi ('Dhumaketu'), Chunilal V. Shah, Gunvantrai Acharya, Jhaverchand Meghani, Pannalal Patel and Manubhai Pancholi.
Significant dramatists of this age are Chandravadan Mehta, Umashankar Joshi, Jayanti Dalal and Chunilal Madia.
Amongst the important essayists, citation can be made of Kaka Kalelkar, Ratilal Trivedi, Lilavati Munshi, Jyotindra Dave, Ramnarayan Pathak.
Anu-Ghandhi Yug (1940-1955 AD)
In this era there is a dominance of poetry. The main contributors of this age are Rajendra Shah, Niranjan Bhagat, Venibhai Purohit, Prahlad Parekh and Balmukund Dave. Rajendra Shah won the Jnanpith—the Indian government's most prestigious literary prize—for the year 2001. The judges noted, "his intensity of emotion and innovation in form and expression which set him apart as a poet of great significance. The mystical tone of his poetry stems from the tradition of great medieval masters like Kabir, Narsinh Mehta and literary giants like them". He authored more than 20 collections of poems and songs, mainly on the themes of the beauty of nature, and about the everyday lives of indigenous peoples and fisherfolk communities. In his poems using Sanskrit metrics, he was influenced by Rabindranath Tagore. He was one of the giants of the post Gandhi-era, called 'Anu-Gandhi Yug' in Gujarati literature.
Adhunik Yug (1955-1985 AD)
Post-independence Gujarati poetry displays a higher form of subjectivity and explores newer philosophies and lines of thought and imagery. The poems became more subjective and brutal, discarding old imageries and symbols and replacing them with new ideas. Prominent Gujarati poets of the post-independence era include critically acclaimed poets like Suresh Joshi, Gulam Mohamed Sheikh, Harinder Dave, Chinu Modi, Nalin Raval and Adil Mansuri, among others.
Post-independence prose literature in Gujarati had two distinct trends, traditional and modern. The former dealt more with ethical values and its main writers were Gulabdas Broker, Mansukhlal Jhaveri, Vishnuprasad Trivedi and others. Existentialism, surrealism and symbolism influenced the latter. The modernists also wanted to do away with moral values and religious beliefs. Eminent writers of this trend comprise Chandrakant Bakshi, Suresh Joshi, Madhu Rai, Raghuvir Chowdhury, Dhiruben Patel , Saroj Pathak and others. There was also a noticeable segment of Popular writers like Vithal Pandya ,Sarang Barot , Dinkar Joshi , Harkisan Mehta , Ashwini Bhatt whose novels found a place in the hearts of common people . Their novels reached every corner of Gujarat and also to vast Gujarati readers outside Gujarat thro Newspapers and Magazine . Gujarati prose has recorded growth and literary feats quite rapidly in less than two hundred years and now can be counted among the front benchers in Indian literature.
Anu-Adunik Yug (1985 - to date)
Bhagwatikumar Sharma , Vinesh Antani , Dhruv Bhatt , Yogesh Joshi , Bindu Bhatt , Kanji Patel brought freshness in narration in novels . Same can be said for Bholabhai Patel , Manilal H . Patel, Anil Joshi for essays .
In this age the other outstanding themes are Dalit literature and 'Feminist literature'.
Literary Forms
  • Rasa
  • Pada (Verse)
  • Padya-Vaarta
  • Aakhyan
  • Chhappa
  • Khand-Kavya
  • Bhavai
  • Natak (Play)
  • Navalkatha (Novel)
  • Navlika (Short story)
  • Urmi-Kavita (Lyric)
  • Aatma-Katha (Autobiography)
  • Jivan-Charitra (Biography)
  • Nibandh (Essay)
List of Gujarati Authors/Poets ( A to Z )
  • Adil Mansuri
  • Akho
  • Alexander Kinlock Forbes
  • Amrut Ghayal
  • Anandshankar Dhruv
  • Anantray Rawal
  • Ardeshar Khabardar
  • Bachubhai Ravat
  • Bakul Dave
  • Bakul Tripathi
  • Balmukund Dave
  • Balwantray Thakore
  • Bhagwati Kumar Sharma
  • Bhalan
  • Bhanuprasad Pandya
  • Bholabhai Patel
  • Bhupat Vadodariya
  • Bindu Bhatt
  • Botadkar
  • Chandrakant Bakshi
  • Chandrakant Shah
  • Chandrakant Sheth
  • Chandrakant Topiwala
  • Chandravadan Mehta
  • Chunilal Madia
  • Chinu Modi
  • Dalpatram
  • Darshak or Manubhai Pancholi
  • Dayaram
  • Dhiru Parikh
  • Dhiruben Patel
  • Dhirubhai Thaker
  • Diva Pandya
  • Dhruv Bhatt
  • Dhumketu or Gaurishankar Joshi
  • Gandhiji or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
  • Gani Dahiwala
  • Gaurav Pandya (Ek Hati Tamanna)
  • Geeta Parikh
  • Gijubhai Badheka
  • Govardhanram Tripathi
  • Gulabdas Broker
  • Gulam Mohammad Sheikh
  • Gunvant Shah
  • Harilal Upadhyay
  • Harindra Dave
  • Harikrishna Pathak
  • Harivallabh Bhayani
  • Harshad Chandarama
  • Harshad Trivedi
  • Hasmukh Pathak
  • Heera Pathak
  • Hemchandracharya (A.k. A Kalikalasarvagnya)
  • Hemen Shah
  • Indu Pawar
  • Indulal Gandhi
  • Ishwar Petlikar
  • Jagadish Joshi
  • Jawahar Bakshi
  • Jaya Mehta
  • Jayant Pathak
  • Jayanti Dalal
  • Jaydev Shukla
  • Jayendra Shekhdiwala
  • Jayshree Merchant
  • Jhaverchand Meghani
  • Jyotindra Dave
  • Kaka Kalelkar
  • Kalapi or Sursinhji Takhtsinhji Gohil
  • Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi or K. M. Munshi
  • Kavi Kant or Manishankar Bhatt
  • Kanti Bhatt
  • Karsandas Luhar
  • Karsandas Manek
  • Keshav Harshad Dhruv
  • Kishore Shah
  • Kishorelal Mashruwala
  • Kismat Kureshi
  • Krishnalal Shridharani
  • Kunal Pandya
  • Kundanika Kapadiya
  • Labhshankar Thakar
  • Lalji Kanpariya
  • Madhav Ramanuj
  • Madhukar Randeriya
  • Madhu Ray
  • Mafat Oja
  • Mahesh Yagnik
  • Mahesh Shah
  • Makarand Dave
  • Mala Kapadia
  • Manhar Modi
  • Manilal Desai
  • Manilal Nabhubhai
  • Manoj Khanderia
  • Mansukhlal Jhaveri
  • Mariz
  • Meghbindu
  • Mehul
  • Mirabai
  • Mohammad Mankad
  • Dr. Mohan parmar
  • Mukesh Vaidya
  • Mukesh Choksi
  • Mukundrai Parashya
  • Nagindas Parekh
  • Nalin Pandya
  • Nalin Rawal
  • Nandshankar Mehta
  • Narmad
  • Narsinhrao Divetia
  • Narsinh Mehta
  • Naushil Mehta
  • Navalram
  • Nayan Desai
  • Nhanalal
  • Niranjan Bhagat
  • Nitin Mehta
  • Pandit Sukhlalji (Pragnyachakshu)
  • Panna Nayak
  • Pannalal Patel
  • Dr.Pratapsinh B. Jadeja
  • Pinakin Thakar
  • Praful Pandya
  • Prahalad Parekh
  • Pranjivan Mehta
  • Pratap Rathod
  • Pravin Darji
  • Premanand Bhatt
  • Priyakant Maniyar
  • Pujalal
  • Radheshyam Sharma
  • Dr Raghuvir Chaudhary
  • Rajendra Shah
  • Rajendra Shukla
  • Ramanbhai Nilkanth
  • Ramanlal Desai
  • Ramesh Parekh
  • Ramnarayan V Pathak
  • Ranchhodlal Udayaram Dave
  • Ranjitram Mehta
  • Rasik Mehta
  • Rasiklal Parikh
  • Ramprasad Bakshi
  • Ravji Patel
  • Saif Palanpuri
  • Sanjay Pandya
  • Sarup Dhruv
  • Shahbuddin Rathod
  • Shamal Bhatt
  • Shayda
  • Shekhadam Abuwala
  • Shilpin Thanki
  • Shivkumar Joshi
  • Shirish Panchal
  • Shobhit Desai
  • Sitanshu Yashashchandra
  • Snehrashmi or Zinabhai Desai
  • Sunderji Betai
  • Suresh Dalal
  • Suresh Joshi
  • Sundaram or Tribhuvandas Luhar
  • Swami Anand
  • Swami Sadchidanand
  • Tarak Maheta
  • Udyan Thakkar
  • Umashankar Joshi
  • Utpal Bhayani
  • Vadilal Dagli
  • Vaju Kotak
  • Varsha Pathak
  • Vatsal Vasani (Vaidhya)
  • Venibhai Purohit
  • Vinesh Antani
  • Vinod Adhvaryu
  • Vinod Bhatt
  • Narsinh Mehta
  • Vinod Joshi
  • Vipin Parikh
  • Vishnu Prasad Trivedi
  • Vithal Pandya
  • Yuvraj Jadeja
  • Yahwant Shukla
  • Yashwant Trivedi
  • Yogesh Patel
  • Yousef Mekwan
  • Bhagwandas Patel
Gujarati journalism
As Gandhi’s birthplace and the scene of the celebrated salt march 1930, Gujarat generated a press even more influenced by nationalist causes than elsewhere. Gandhi himself started the magazine Navjivan in Gujarati at the time he broke into India’s national politics in 1919. Gujarat Samachar and Sandesh, the two great rivals of the 1990s, both originated during the struggle against the British: Gujarat Samachar in 1932 in the heat of Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement and Sandesh in 1923, immediately after his non-cooperation movement. The Bombay evening daily, Janmabhoomi ("Native Land"), carries under its masthead the slogan in Gujarati, ‘Mother and Motherland are greater than Heaven’. Founded in 1934, Janmabhoomi is part of the Saurashtra Trust, which publishes a variety of Gujarati newspapers and magazines in Bombay and Gujarat. These include one of the first business magazines in an Indian language, Vyapar, founded in 1948, and Kutchmitra (friend of Kutch), a daily published from the town of Bhuj since 1955, and which, the Trust claims, "Kutchhis, a large community of astute businessmen in Mumbai rest of India, make it a point to use ... as their link with their home state".
Until the creation of a separate state of Gujarat in 1960, the heart of Gujarati culture and politics was divided: Mumbai was as much a Gujarati centre as Ahmedabad. Indeed, in the early 1960s, the largest Gujarati daily newspaper continued to be published in Mumbai. Bombay Samachar, founded in 1822 and the oldest still-publishing newspaper in India, had a circulation of 51,000 in 1962, and its Mumbai rival, Janmabhoomi, 24,000. The two Ahmedabad dailies that came to dominate the Gujarati daily press, Gujarat Samachar and Sandesh, had circulations of 45,000 and 42,000, respectively. Once the state of Gujarat was created, however, the focus of Gujarati life turned increasingly towards Ahmedabad and the provincial towns of the new state. Education and administration in Gujarati grew, and with both, the number of potential readers of publications in Gujarati.
Major newspapers
Janmabhoomi and Janmabhoomi Pravasi
Reputed Newspapers published from Mumbai by Saurashtra Trust.
Gujarat Samachar:
Founded 70 years ago, published from Ahmedabad. Editions from Ahmedabad, Vadodara (Baroda), Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Mumbai and New York. Owned by the Lok Prakashan Ltd Group. Publisher: Shreyansh Shantilal Shah.
Divya Bhaskar
Published by the Bhaskar Group. Launched in 2003. Has a North American edition for NRIs in Gujarati. Published from Ahmedabad, Badodara, Surat, Rajkot. Sections are National, International, Sport, Business, and MUMBAI. City supplements for Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Uttar Gujarat, Dakshin Gujarat, Madhya Gujarat, Kutch, Saurashtra. Magazines are Woman Bhaskar, Bal Bhaskar, Dharma Darshan, Utsav, Aha! Zindagi.
It has a literary supplement with features like Navalkatha, Navalika, Gazal ane Kavitha, Kahaveto, Hasya Lekh.
The Sandesh Limited has its headquarters at Ahmedabad. in 1923 Shri Nandlal Bodiwala started a Sandesh daily on a small scale, but by 1958 the late Shri Chimanbhai Patel was at the helm of affairs. His unique contribution to journalism was the Sunday Sanskar Poorti in Gujarati, which included many celebrities as columnists. He thus pioneered Sunday supplements in Gujarati journalism. Until 1984, Sandesh was a single edition newspaper published from Ahmedabad. Then under an expansion programme new editions were launched: Baroda, Surat, Rajkot and Bhavnagar in 1985, 1989, 1990 and 1998, respectively.
Gujaratmitra Darpan
Established 1863. A bi-weekly named 'Gujaratdarpan' was amalgamated in 1894 with the 'Gujaratmitra' and thereafter the paper was known as 'Gujaratmitra & Gujaratdarpan'. Initially started as a weekly in 1936, the paper was later converted into a daily. Founder: Shri Dinshaw Ardeshir Talyarkhan.
Bombay Samachar
Launched in 1822 by Parsi priest Fardoonji Murazban. Its first issue had 14 pages. Its first page consisted of advertisements, two columns about things lost and one about the sale of some property, all relating to Parsis. Then follows what may be called an article on "Ourselves". Then there are four columns of short paragraphs about Government and Court appointments and changes and powers of attorney taken from court sources; about the arrival and departure of ships and of Europeans from Mumbai; a list of European deaths; and the ships loading in the harbour. Six columns are devoted to Kolkata news taken from the Indian Gazette and the Calcutta Chronicle; one column to Chennai news from the Government Gazette of that city; two columns to London news, whilst a short paragraph of ten lines is devoted to news from Canton in China, giving the prices of opium. Of local Bombay news there is very little, except the short paragraph about appointments mentioned above.
A weekly until 1832, a bi-weekly until 1855 and a daily thereafter, the paper contained articles and letters by freedom fighters like Gandhi and Patel. The paper passed through various hands before coming into the ownership of the Cama family, its present publishers, in 1933.
Akila Daily
Akila Daily is a 16-page Gujarati-language evening daily newspaper published from Rajkot, Gujarat. It appears in black and white with spot colour ads.
Sambhaav and Sambhaav Metro
Sambhaav was earlier a broadsheet morning Gujarat paper brought out by the Sambhav media group, but in March 2005 it was modified into an afternoon tabloid, Sambhaav Metro. It is published from Ahmedabad only, six days a week, not Sunday. It was changed ostensibly because the broadsheet was heavily dependent on agencies and there was a wish to focus more on local news and features. The Sambhaav media group is a franchise of The Asian Age for Gujarat, and publishes a socio-political weekly magazine, Abhiyaan.
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