The Indian Express is an English-language Indian daily newspaper. It is published in Mumbai by Indian Express Group. In 1999, eight years after the group’s founder Ramnath Goenka’s death in 1991, the group was split between the family members. The southern editions took the name The New Indian Express, while the northern editions, based in Mumbai, retained the original Indian Express name with “The” prefixed to the title.
The Indian Express is published at eleven locations: Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Kolkata, Vadodara, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, and Tirupati.
A brief history on The Indian Express :
• In 1932, the Indian Express was started by an Ayurvedic doctor, P. Varadarajulu Naidu, at Chennai, being published by his “Tamil Nadu” press. Soon under financial difficulties, he sold the newspaper to Swaminathan Sadanand, the founder of The Free Press Journal, a national news agency.
• In 1933, the Indian Express opened its second office in Madurai, launching the Tamil edition, Dinamani. Sadanand introduced several innovations and reduced the price of the newspaper. Faced with financial difficulties, he sold a part of his stake to Ramanath Goenka as convertible debentures.
• In 1935, when The Free Press Journal finally collapsed, and after a protracted court battle with Goenka, Sadanand lost ownership of Indian Express.
Later Goenka bought the remaining 26% of the company held by Sadanand. The newspaper then came under Goenka’s sole control, taking the already anti-establishment tone of the paper to greater heights. Also at that time, it faced stiff competition from the well established The Hindu and the Mail, as well as several other prominent newspapers. In the late 1930s the newspaper’s circulation was no more than 2000.
In 1939 Goenka bought Andhra Prabha, another prominent Telugu daily newspaper. The name Three Musketeers was often used for the three dailies namely, Indian Express, Dinamani and Andhra Prabha. In 1940 the whole premises was gutted by fire. The Hindu, a rival newspaper, helped considerably in re-launching the paper, by getting it printed temporarily at one of its Swadesimithran’s press and later offering its recently vacated premises at 2, Mount Road, on rent to Goenka, which later became the landmark Express Estates. This relocation also helped the Express obtain better high speed printing machines. The district judge who did inquiry into the fire concluded that a short circuit or a cigarette butt could have ignited the fire and said that the growing city had inadequate fire control support.
In 1952, the paper had a circulation of 44,469.
In later years, Goenka started the Mumbai edition with the landmark Express Towers as his office when he bought the Morning Standard in 1944. Two years later it became the Mumbai edition of Indian Express. Later, editions were started in several cities; the Madurai edition in 1957, the Bangalore edition in 1965, and the Ahmedabad edition in 1968. The Financial Express was launched in 1961 at Mumbai, Kannada Prabha (Kannada daily) at Bangalore in 1965 and a Bangalore edition of the Telugu daily Andhra Prabha, Marathi daily Loksatta from Mumbai in 1948 and Gujarati daily Jansatta, from Ahmedabad and Vadodara in 1952.
The Delhi edition started was when the Tej group’s Indian News Chronicle was acquired in 1951, which in 1953 became the Delhi edition of Indian Express. In 1990 the group bought the Sterling group of magazines, along with it the Gentleman magazine.
After Ramnath Goenka’s death in 1991, two of the grandsons, Manoj Kumar Sonthalia and Vivek Goenka split the group into two. Indian Express Mumbai with all the North Indian editions went to Vivek Goenka, and all the Southern editions which were grouped as Express Publications Madurai Limited with Chennai as headquarters went to MK Sonthalia. A trust was started for MK Sonthalia’s brother, Anil Kumar Sonthalia, the third grandson of RN Goenka, who was said to be mentally retarded, with a deposit of Rs. 1 crore following the Madras High Court Judgment on 9 March 1995.
Indian Express began publishing daily on the internet on 8 July 1996. Five months later, the website expressindia.com attracted “700,000 hits every day, excepting weekends when it fell to 60% of its normal levels”.
It is a popular newspaper among UPSC CSE aspirants along with The Hindu.
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