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Mainstream, VOL L, No 38, September 8, 2012

Mainstream’s Journey from September 1, 1962 on

Thursday 13 September 2012


Dear Reader,

Mainstream first appeared fifty years ago—on September 1. 1962. The first issue contained, besides a letter from the editor (C.N. Chitta Ranjan) to the reader “Demolishing the Wall”, regular columns—New Delhi Skyline, the Week, Economic Notebook—and several articles (‘Taxes and Disparities’ by V.K.R.V. Rao, ‘The Truth About DMK’ by S. Mohan Kumaramangalam, ‘New Tasks in Agriculture’ by Bhowani Sen, ‘Monopoly Trends in the Press’ by J.P. Chaturvedi, and ‘Winds of Change Over Pakistan’ by A Correspondent) apart from Scribbler’s Scrap Book and a review of D.F. Fleming’s The Cold War and Its Origins, 1917-1960 captioned ‘Historian Who Defies Cold War’.

The editor’s letter spelt out the objectives and purposes of the publication: “Mainstream owes allegiance to no political party or group. Its loyalty is wholly to India and socialism... It shall be our endeavour to try relentlessly to demolish the wall of misunderstanding, mutual suspicion and even personal pique that divides progressive sections in the country one from another.”

And it concluded with these words:

From week to week, Mainstream shall strive to bring to your table varied, informative and instructive fare, neither sensational nor dull but honest and objective in presentation. There will be no glossing over friends’ defects for fear of hurting, even as no quarter will be given in exposing whatever is rotten and harmful in society. In this difficult task, dear reader, we seek your support, material and intellectual.

Mainstream’s journey was not uninterrupted. Fourteen years after its birth it had to cease publication during the Emergency in December 1976 (the last issue was on December 25, 1976) for reasons that are so well known that they do not bear repetition. Nikhil Chakravartty, in his Editor’s Notebook “Good-by to all that”, clearly stated in that issue:

Today Mainstream closes its present chapter with the proud satisfaction of having tried to serve the right cause in the right spirit and with no dearth of dedication.

Yet the editor did not fall prey to pessimism. He boldly announced:

There is no room for depression. As winter has come, spring cannot be far behind. And with the first sproutings of spring shall Mainstream reappear.

And he ended with the stirring words: “We shall overcome.”

...And it did reappear. After closing down for four weeks—there were no issues on January 1, 1977, January 8, 1977, January 15, 1977 and January 22, 1977—the weekly resumed its voyage on January 29, 1977. Since then it has been appearing regularly for close to thirtysix years.

However, technically it has yet to complete fifty years, since it is still in its 50th year of publication. It will do so by the year-end with its 50th Annual Number 2012 when it steps into its 51st year.

We extend our warm greetings to you on this occasion and express our sincere gratitude for having steadfastly stood by us through all our trials and tribulations.

The Editor

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