You are on page 1of 2


Conceived as the mouthpiece of India’s freedom movement, Mathrubhumi is one of the
front-runners among the Malayalam newspapers. The first copy ofMathrubhumi 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, Mathrubhumiwent on to become an inalienable
part of Kerala's social fabric.

Now with thirteen 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

K. In 1979 the Company launched Grihalakshmi.Chitrabhumi in 1982. a magazine exclusively for the women of Kerala. fashion.Nair) as the Editor. 1997 the Company launched the online edition of the (www. Viswaroopam. Round the clock it enchants you with scintillating music.R. the Mathrubhumi launched a humorous magazine. Mathrubhumi ArogyaMasika happened. and has struck deep roots in the hearts of Malayalees wherever they are. Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai and M. beauty. the company entered a new era that nurtured the careers of most titans of Malayalam literature. S. quiz and lot more. a bi-monthly in Hindi. 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'. which is a meaningful step into the world of enchanting music. Today. The latest addition to our wings is Mathrubhumi Music. Ernakulam. the Mathrubhumi Group is not only a fast growing publishing house of repute but also a corporate entity in the mass communication industry. a magazine catering the interests of the Malayalam movie buffs.P Ramaswami Iyer. it was the turn of Mathrubhumi Sports Masika. MBTV (Mathrubhumi Television).Travancore region for nine years for a series of articles it wrote against the dictatorship of Diwan Sir.Pottakkad. These two publications are no longer in print. publishing some of the most exciting voices in the poetry and fiction. The company entered the world of television and telecasting with a significant production house. the group has launched FM stations in four major districts of Kerala. Thrissur and Kannur.mathrubhumi. followed it. After two years.Sankara for the global Malayalees. a monthly exclusively for the sports lovers. The stations guarantee great music and greater fun effective blend of soul-stirring melody and fast numbers for the youth. which has been producing Serials and Telefilms of the highest quality. was also published with N. the publishing house. Balabhumi for children came out in 1996 and in 1997 the health magazine in Malayalam. like Jnanpith laureates G. peppered with tips of fitness. On 5th September. with Sanjayan (M. In 1932. . Taking a step into the world of broadcasting. In 1940.V Krishna Warrier as Editor. has already made a mark of its own in Malayalam Publishing industry. C. Mathrubhumi Books. The house has published both the fictions and non-fictions of almost all the well known writers in Malayalam. 2005 the internet edition was upgraded as a portal with many channels. And it still is the premier literary magazine in Malayalam. namely Thiruvananthapuram. The weekly for job prospects Thozilvartha was launched in 1992. Yugaprabhat. And in the month of June.T Vasudevan Nair. with the launch of 'Mathrubhumi Illustrated Weekly'.