Wednesday, November 3, 2010



In Malayalam, as in Tamil, the printing press was introduced by Christian missionaries towards the end of the 15th century and the first publications were missionary tracts and religious propaganda literature and although considerable printing must have been done in the interval, the first book printed and published in Malayalam in 1772 came from Rome and regular types in place of the earlier woodcuts followed. The only newspapers published in the early period were Vignyana Nikshepam (1840) published from Kottayam and Paschima Tharaka (1862) from Cochin. No newspapers were published until a much later period when newspapers had appered in Punjabi, Oriya and Assamese.

Malayalam Publications

Still in publication today as a weekly is the Sathyanadam started as a fortnightly in 1876 in Ernakulam, the then capital of Cochin state. It was edited by Father Louis and associated with it was C. Varkey who brilliantly served the paper and remained connected, therefore, with journalism in Kerala for almost half a century.
Other important papers and periodicals of Kerala are:
Kerala Patrika was started in Kozhikode (Calicut) by C. Kunchirama Menon. The Kerala Sanchari with C.P. Govindan Nair as proprietor editor. The Manorama edited by Kunhikrishna Menon. Well remembered in Kerala is K. Ramakrishna Pillai for his fearless writing as editor . of the monthly Kerala and the weekly Malayalee and later, the Swadeshabhimani. He was deported from Travancore in 1910 and lived thereafter in Malabar and died there in 1916.
The Malayala Manorama of Kottayam, one of the leading dailies of Kerala today, was founded 135 years ago by Kandathi Varghese Mappilai who brought an instinct for news, keen business acumen and wide experience of men and affairs to bear on the conduct of the paper.
Started in Quilon as a weekly about this time was the Malayalee which is now published as a daily. It was started by K. Ramakrishna Pillai. The Kayana Kaumudi was started in 1905, which published news, views and correspondence all in verse. The Nasrani Deepika and the Kerala Kesari edited by Pallath Kunjunni Achan and the Yogaksheman edited by V.S. Nambudiripad were well known publications. The Mathrubhumi was started as a triweekly in 1923 and is now being published as daily and weekly (illustrated) and commands the largest sale in Kerala. The paper was founded by K. Madhavan Nair and P. Achutan. A weekly of importance published from Quilon in 1922 was Swarat edited by A.K. Pillai. Another paper which had a brief existence during this period but which gained popularity was the Al Amin published from Kozhikode (Calicut) and edited by Janab Abdur Rahiman. The Malayala Rajyam was also started from Quilon at the same time and it is still in publication.
Malayali journalism has had the advantage and support of brilliant band of writers from the earliest times, the prominent among them, whose names have been mentioned in this brief review, are still remembered with appreciation by the people of Kerala. It has not been possible in this brief review to refer to all the newspapers published in Kerala, which include 23 dailies, some 50 weeklies and other periodicals. Journalism in Malayalam is not confined to Kerala, but extends to countries where there are concentrationg of Malayali residents. Like Gujaratis, the Malayalese business men also went to different countries.

Mathrubhumi (Kozhikode, 1923); Proprietors:
Mathrubhumi Papers and Publications Ltd. It is the leading paper in that language.
Chandrika (Kozhikode),, Proprietor: Abu Baker. Malayala Manorma (Kottayam, 1888), Proprietors: Malayala Manorama Co. Ltd. Deepika (Kottayam, 1887); Proprietor: St. Joseph's Monastery. Kerala Kaumudi (Thiruvananthapuram, 1911); Proprietor: K. Sukumaran. Malayala Rajyam (Quilon, 1929); Proprietor: L.N.S. Nair. Powradhwani (Kottayam, 1939): Proprietor: C.M. Karuvelithra.
Express (Trichur), Proprietor: K. Krishnan. Deshbhimani (Kozhikode); Proprietors: Communist Party of India. Deshbhimani (Kozhikode); Proprietors: Swaraj Industries Ltd.
Malabar Mail (Ernakulam, 1936); Proprietor: Archbishop of Ernakulam. Powrashakti (Kozhikode, 1944); Proprietors: United Printers Ltd. Powrakshalam (Thiruvananthapuram); Proprietor: K.M. Chacko. Kerala Bhushanam (Kottayam, 1944); Proprietor: A.V. George.Deenabandhu (Ernakulam, 1942); Proprietor: K.P, Madhavan Nair. Deepan (Ernakulam, 1931); Proprietor: Thomas Cheryan. Prabhatham (Quillon, 1934): Propreitor: Thangal Kunju Mudaliar.
Four other papers, the Gomathi, the Malayati, the Navalokam, and the Veerakesari, complete the list of daily papers published in Malayalam.

Malayalam Weeklies

Malayalam weeklies are the smallest in number as compared with those published in other important Indian languages. The circulation average is higher in this language, than in the others and some 16 of a total of 37 are listed below:

Name                    Place                     Proprietor
Dakshina Bharati       Thiruvananthapuram B. Narayana Pillai
Deepika Illustrated Kottayam                   V. Rev. Friar, St. Jopseph
Dosamitran             Cannanore               Desamitran       Printing
Publishing Co. Ltd.
Janasakthi                      Fort Cochin              P.K. Kannan
Jayakeralam                  Chennai                      Janatha Printing & Publishing
Co. Ltd.
Kaumudi                 Thiruvananthapuram K. Balakrishnan
Labour                   Pattanakad              R. Anthony
Nava Sakthi            Balaramapuram         G. Raman Pillai
Navayugam            Trichur                            K. Damodaran
Neethiman             Mauvattupuzha          K. Kunjunni Pillai
Sahakaranayugam Thiruvananthapuram Travancore               Co-operative
Institute Ltd.
Sakhav                  Allepey                   G. Gopinathan Nair
Thozhilali                        Trichur                              V. Rev. Fr. Zacharia Vazhpilly
Vikasam                Cannanore                K. Govindan
Yuva Keralam          Kozhikode                C.K. Abubacker


  1. Hello ,

    Where can I get Malayala rajyam journals published in years 1954 - 1957 . I am in search of an article published in the same . If anybody can help me please help me find the article . The article's name in "Himalayathilekkoru Theertha yatra "

  2. Hello Smrithi,

    I am sorry, I can't help in getting you something dated back that old and especially something in specific from that newspaper. That all maybe corroded and those things may not be even existing in the Earth. But, if you want it desperately, I think in somewhere, or some newspaper offices, there might be a chance.