The India Gazette or Calcutta Public Advertiser

This was the second newspaper to be started in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent in 18th century. .This was launch by Mr. P. Reed and Mr. B. Messink in November 1780. Its file containing issues from January 6, 1781 to December 29, 1781 being No. 8 to 59, is lying in the library of the University of the Punjab.

This paper consisted of four pages, each divided into three columns. The type was bold and printing was fair enough. The editor was addressed as the “Monitor”. In most of the issues, nine or ten months old news from England were reproduced, because for Europeans in India these were “latest news”.

In some of the issues affairs of different princely states were discussed, mostly condemning the Nawab or Raja of the state. News of British “victories” over various Nawabs were also published prominently.

In one of the issues of the India Gazette a correspondent, Samuel Profit asked the Monitor to use simple language and confessed, that he did not know the meaning of “Impromptu” and “as terish”. He said:

“On the whole you are rather more intelligible than

your rival publisher………….. that I protest I have given

over all hopes of being.able to make plain sense of his paper”.

The Editors of the India Gazette, in the next issue dated February 3, 1781, thanked Mr. Samuel Profit for pointing out the printing errors, and expressed determination “to render their paper correct, useful and entertaining”. However, they said that similar errors are also found in British newspapers and as a proof published a four , column article entitled “Humorous Structure^ on the Incorrectness of Newspapers; Addressed to all the publishers of Newspapers in Great Britain and Ireland”.

A constant criticism of Hickey’s Gazette was seen in almost every issue of the India Gazette and the correspondents charged Mr. Hickey’s paper of “endeavours of malcontents to effect a total subversion of peace and harmony amongst us”. Hickey’s Gazette was also condemned for publishing personal scandals in its columns. Extracts from various newspapers of other parts of the nbcontinent were also published. The newspapers also published accounts of battles between Haider Ali and the British .irmy. Regarding the battle fought between Haider Ali and Co. William Bailey, near Conjeveram on September 10, 1780, Colonet Asser gave an account to the Governor of Goa, an extract from that is published in the issue of March 31, 1781.

“He (Hyder Ally) had exact and constant intelligence of everything, that was done in the English Camp. He knows the hour-that Col. Flatcher to march to reinforce Baiiley; the strength of his detachment, and that he had no cannon”.

Extract from the Delhi Gazette in the form of a. newsletter goes,    ‘

“The King observed, that the Mahratta power was at an ,

end; that Haider Baig would most likely soon pay

dearly for his invasion of the Karnatic” P

Tipue Sultan’s “Death” news in 1781 was appeared in the issue of February 10, 1781, in letter from Ganjam has been quoted saying that an engagement between the British and Hyders’ army commanded by “Tippy Sahib, his eldest son”, “Tippy Sahib, was killed in the engagement” though, this report cannot be absolutely depended on, yet it is generally believed, and we are in hourly expectation of its being confirmed”. The paper also published scandals, and pieces of poetry, which were sometimes obscene.

“The following is an account of the ships belonging to Hyder Ally, taken and destroyed by Admiral Hughes; At Calicut, one 26 gun Frigate taken, one 22 guns, driven on shore. At Mangalore two 10 gun ketches taken three ships of 30 guns each and one of l/2 burnt; one of 15 guns sunk, and two store ships of 16 guns each, driven on shore”. Extracts from various newspapers of other parts of the subcontinent were also published. The newspapers also published accounts of battles between Haider Ali and the British army. Regarding the battle fought between Haider Ali and Co. William Bailey, near Conjeveram on September 10, 1780, Colonet Asser gave an account to the Governor of Goa, an extract from that is published in the issue of March 31, 1781.

“He (Hyder Ally) had exact and constant intelligence of everything that was done in the English Camp. He knows the hour-that Col. Flatcher to march to reinforce Baiiley; the strength of his detachment, and that he had no cannon”.

Extract from the Delhi Gazette in the form of a. newsletter goes,    ‘

“The King observed, that the Mahratta power was at an ,

end; that Haider Baig would most likely soon pay

dearly for his invasion of the Karnatic” P

Tipue Sultan’s “Death” news in 1781 was appeared in the issue of February 10, 1781, in letter from Ganjam has been quoted saying that an engagement between the British and Hyders’ army commanded by “Tippy Sahib, his eldest son”, “Tippy Sahib, was killed in the engagement” though, this report cannot be absolutely depended on, yet it is generally believed, and we are in hourly expectation of its being confirmed”. The paper also published scandals, and pieces of poetry, which were sometimes obscene.

“The following is an account of the ships belonging to Hyder Ally, taken and destroyed by Admiral Hughes; At Calicut, one 26 gun Frigate taken, one 22 guns, driven on shore. At Mangalore two 10 gun ketches taken three ships of 30 guns each and one of l/2 burnt; one of 15 guns sunk, and two store ships of 16 guns each, driven on shore”. two copies of the “Courier” were sent by the Bombay ‘ government to the Bengal Government with the remarks that it would be useful to exchange “Government newspapers”.

The contents of the press in the 18th century reveal the miluence of James Augustus Hickey. Foreign news, parliamentary.’debates of England, extracts from English newspapers, social news, letters to the editor and “poets I orders” furnished most of the reading material. Government notices suggested that the pre fulfilled an accepted function in administration. There were advertisements and fashion notes also. Editorials dealt mainly with subjects of interest to the European Community. The newspapers, as a matter of fact, were organs of local British opinion and, if in a subdued way unlike that of Hickey’s Gazette, reflected the views of those outside the privileged official circle on the administration. Though the merchants, the lawyers, and the doctors were looked down upon by the administrators, there were occasions when these views were listened.

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