Conceived as the mouthpiece of India’s freedom
movement, Mathrubhumi is one of the front-runners among
the Malayalam newspapers. The first copy of Mathrubhumi was published on 18th of March 1923 -- the day before the
first anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s arrest for the first
time by the British police.
Led by K.P.Kesava Menon, the prominent freedom
fighter, as Editor and K. MadhavanNair as Managing Director, Mathrubhumi was envisaged for spreading the message
of the great National Movement. In the beginning, the paper
was published a week and had just one edition from Kozhikode
(Calicut). A newspaper born out of relentless passion of freedom
fighters, Mathrubhumi went on to become an inalienable
part of Kerala's social fabric.
Now with fourteen editions, including the
ones at New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai it has an
impressive circulation of over one million copies.
The history of Mathrubhumi is synonymous with the history of the state's freedom movement,
and that of Indian National Congress. Before Mathrubhumi came into being, there were four Malayalam News Papers (‘Kerala
Patrika’, ‘Kozhikodan Manorama’ , ‘Kerala Sanchari ’ and ‘Mithavadi
’) and three English News Papers (‘Champion’, ‘West Coast Reformer
‘and ‘Spectator’), which were being published from Kozhikode. But
none of these papers favoured the freedom movement spearheaded by
the Congress. Instead, they supported the British Rule.
K.P Kesava Menon, who
was then Secretary of Kerala State Congress Committee, realized
the urgent need for a pro-freedom movement publication from the
Malabar region. And he, along with his confidants like K.Madhavan
Nair, Kuroor Neelakandan Nampoothirippad, K. Kesavan Nair and P.
Achuthan, resolved to register The Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing
Company Limited with an authorized capital of Rs.1, 00,000/-
in 20,000 shares of Rs.5/- each. However, the Company was able to
collect an amount of Rs.15, 000/- only. And the registration took
place on 15th of February 1922.
K. Madhavan Nair became
the first Managing Director of the Company. But, months later, he
resigned from the position due to reasons very personal, replaced
by K.P Kesava Menon. On 13th of November 1922, the Company acquired
the Empress Victoria Press owned by Kuruppathu Kesava Menon.
The first edition
of the paper carried a strong message of support for the National
Movement and a pledge to unify the un-organized Malayalees. The
editorial had an intense patriotic tone; stressing on the need for
real freedom from disparity, divisions and distortions. Moreover,
it expressed a willingness to stand with the commoners during their
trials and tribulations in life. Built on strong journalistic ethics
and high aesthetic outlook, Mathrubhumi soon excelled all
other newspapers of that time; and in the process rewriting the
history of Malayalam newspapers.
Great Poets like Vallathol
Narayana Menon often expressed their patriotic feelings through
the columns of the Mathrubhumi, inspiring the freedom fighters.
Many patriotic songs, stories and features were popularised among
the commoners as well as the news and facts about the freedom movement.
Since then the Mathrubhumi has not looked back. All along the line, it has consistently played
crucial roles in social reformation movements such as the 'Vaikom
Satyagraha' and the 'Guruvayur Satyagraha'. The day the Vaikom Satyagraha
began (April 1, 1924), the Mathrubhumi came out with a harsh
and sharp criticism against the social discrimination practiced
in Kerala. Moreover, while actively participating in the Satyagraha,
K.P Keasava Menon was arrested and sent to the Pujappura Central
Jail at Thriuvananthapuram. Eminent personalities like P. Ramunni
Menon, K. Kelappan, P. Narayanan Nair, C.H. Kunjappa, V.M Nair,
K. A Damodara Menon and so forth served as Editors of the paper.
On a number of occasions Mathrubhumi had run into trouble for supporting the National
movement. The Madras Government ordered to endow a bail of Rs.2000/-
for an editorial piece that appeared on 7th September 1932, which
reprobated the British rule. As a result the paper was forced to
publish without the editorials until January 11, 1933. Similarly,
during the Quit India movement in 1942 the Mathrubhumi had
to abandon the editorial column. And for publishing a feature on
the European soldiers' misbehaviour with women in Kochi, the Government
had the Mathrubhumi banned. But strong protests against the
decision made the Government cancel the order. Similarly, the newspaper
was banned in the Travancore region for nine years for a series
of articles it wrote against the dictatorship of Diwan Sir. C.P
In 1932, with the
launch of 'Mathrubhumi Illustrated Weekly', the company entered
a new era that nurtured the careers of most titans of Malayalam
literature, like Jnanpith laureates G.Sankara Kurup, S.K.Pottakkad,
Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai and M.T Vasudevan Nair. And it still
is the premier literary magazine in Malayalam, publishing some of
the most exciting voices in the poetry and fiction.
In 1940, the Mathrubhumi launched a humorous magazine, Viswaroopam, with Sanjayan
(M.R.Nair) as the Editor. Yugaprabhat, a bi-monthly in Hindi,
was also published with N.V Krishna Warrier as Editor. These two
publications are no longer in print.
In 1979 the Company
launched Grihalakshmi, a magazine exclusively for the women
of Kerala. Chitrabhumi in 1982, a magazine catering the interests
of the Malayalam movie buffs, followed it. The weekly for job prospects Thozilvartha was launched in 1992. After two years, it was
the turn of Mathrubhumi Sports Masika, a monthly exclusively
for the sports lovers. Balabhumi for children came out in
1996 and in 1997 the health magazine in Malayalam, Mathrubhumi
the publishing house, has already made a mark of its own in Malayalam
Publishing industry. The house has published both the fictions and
non-fictions of almost all the well known writers in Malayalam.
On 5th September, 1997
the Company launched the online edition www.mathrubhumi.com
for the global Malayalees. And in the month of June, 2005 the internet
edition was upgraded as a portal with many channels.
Today, the Mathrubhumi
Group is not only a fast growing publishing house of repute
but also a corporate entity in the mass communication industry,
and has struck deep roots in the hearts of Malayalees wherever they
are. It has also put an indelible stamp on the art and cultural
horizons of Kerala with annual mega events such as 'Mathrubhumi
Kalotsavam' and 'The Mathrubhumi Film Award Functions'.
YUVOG stands for YOUR VIDEO BLOG. It is a vibrant and dynamic video sharing site. Users themselves can upload their videos and YUVOG team too creates videos, which can be of genres like news, feature, entertainment, information, politics. First of its kind from any media house.
The company entered
the world of television and telecasting with a significant production
house, MBTV (Mathrubhumi Television), which has been producing
Serials and Telefilms of the highest quality. Taking a step into
the world of broadcasting, the group has launched FM stations in four major districts of Kerala, namely Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kannur. The stations guarantee great music and greater fun -- an effective blend of soul-stirring melody and fast numbers for the youth. Round the clock it enchants you with scintillating music, peppered with tips of fitness, fashion, beauty, quiz and lot more. The latest addition to our wings is Mathrubhumi Music, which is a meaningful step into the world of enchanting music.