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Newspapers of Old Kashmir

Journalism is what maintains democracy. It’s the force for progressive society change.” –Andrew VachssJournalism is one of those professions that educates the society, brings information out to the world. The history of Journalism in the state of Jammu and Kashmir started in the year 1924. There was a birth of weekly newspaper called RANBIR. It was named after Maharaja Ranbir Singh and was first published 24 June 1924. In this paper, only the things about king and his highness used to publish. It was in Urdu language. Government Press printed the newspaper. Lala Mulk Raj Saraf was the publisher and editor of RANBIR and also known as Father of Journalism.

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Till 1929, this paper continued. The state inclined towards some development when Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah and his friends started their reading room group. They used to assemble and read books. Journalists like Abdul Majeed Salik and Maulana Abdus Salam Meher who used to run INQALAAB and Zafar Ali khan who edited ZAMINDAR tried to cover the news about common people too. They got sympathy from the common people and created a great buzz in the society. Government became suspicious and imposed a ban on them. In 1932, Prem Nath Bazaz did some negotiations with the government and started VITSAS. It used to published weekly and mostly had facts about Kashmir. But unfortunately it lasted only for a year, but Bazaz’s efforts was encouraged.

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During the rule of Hari Singh, the evolution of journalism in Jammu & Kashmir began. He allowed the publication of several newspapers and magazines. The newspapers published during this time were Jahangir, Rehbar, Sadaqat, Hamdard, Millat, Tawheed, Hidayat, Vakil, Khalid, Albarq, Khidmat, Khalsa Gazette, Roshni, Noor, Jyoti and Kashmir. English papers like KASHMIRI TIMES and KASHMIRI CHRONICLE also came to the limelight but had a short life span.

Some of the most prominent newspapers were:


Balraj Puri was the editor of this paper. Before Pukar, he started Kashmir Sansar. The main policy of the paper was to support nationalist movement in India. As he was a minor, he got the declaration in the name of somebody else. Six months were quite smooth then his publisher demanded 50% of his income which he refused. Then through his brother in law, he got another declaration under the name of Pukar. That’s how it all got started.


This was started in July 1964 by Shameem Sahib. It was effectively accepted in the society. It highlighted some important issues of the society. The first page of the paper was called ‘Tabsara’ and was given space for important issues. In the next column, there were letters from the people. It was very popular among the people and used to called mirror of society.

Print media has continued to maintain its place though has a rough draft of history. People who contributed to the journey of print media, were from different walks of society and made a change through their writings. Today if we talk about newspapers of modern times, people are doing quite well in their stream and that’s what we need in our valley. A positive change through writing!