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
Now with thirteen editions, including
Gulf the ones at New
Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai
it has an impressive circulation of over one million
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
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.
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.
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 Ramaswami
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
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 ArogyaMasika
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 of the (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'.
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 launched Club
FM stations in four major districts of
Kerala, namely Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, 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.