Abolition of Censorship –Lord Hastings

One of the important events during the tenure of Lord Hastings was abolition of Censorship. This was basically because of his dislike towards “unnecessary” imposition of restrictions on Press. But as a precaution, he issued some guidelines prohibiting company’s policies in the newspapers.

  • The result was that many fresh newspapers came up.
  • India’s first Vernacular newspapers Samachar Darpan was started in 1818. However, some scholars note that “Bengal Gazetti” was published even prior to this Vernacular magazine by Ganga Kishore Bhattacharya.
  • Then in 1818 only “Calcutta Journal” was started by J S Buckingham.
  • 3 years later Raja Ram Mohun Roy started national press in India. He published “Sambad Kaumudi” in 1821. This was one of the pre-reformist publications that had actively campaigned for “Abolition of Sati“.
  • There was a growing public outcry for Sati and it “inspired” Lord William Bentinck to abolish “Practice of Sati” in 1829.

However, this liberal policy of Lord Hastings could not continue further. The successors of Lord Hastings took harsh actions against the press people.