Mumbai's one of the oldest newspapers The Free Press Journal celebrated it's 93rd anniversary today. From India’s freedom struggle to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — we have chronicled events big and small since the first issue of the newspaper rolled off the press on July 24, 1928.
FPJ has seen India shine over the past nine decades. And through thick and thin, our readers have extended constant support to the newspaper. Well, it's the faith our readers have in us that keeps us going. Even today, readers exulted as FPJ celebrated it's 93rd anniversary.
Here's a look at some of our readers' responses to FPJ's journey.
Today is the 93rd anniversary of FREE PRESS JOURNAL. I wish that this journal goes on for generations to come. My late father who retired as Deputy Collector from revenue department was regular reader of the journal from 1940. The journal is even now the first to arrive at my home early morning. I studied in Marathi and joined K.C. college in Mumbai. My father told me to read editorials of FPJ every day and he once asked me to write all editorials of the month. He provided me Oxford dictionary. It helped me in my life and was able to write in English in the newspapers. I am 79 years of age and first thing in the morning is to go through editorial page of FPJ. In your special 93rd edition you have written about East Indians. There is mention of Samvedi Catholics from Vasai. I am a Samvedi Catholic. However, Marathi , although a little different from official Marathi language, is our mother tongue. Portuguese and the missionaries who came with them did not interfere in our ancient way of life. You will be surprise to know that the late Guru Gowallakar, first president of RSS and famous scientist Jayant Narlikar are Samwedis. Their ancestors migrated to Chiplun in Ratnagiri during Portuguese rule. I also want to inform you that today we have many well-known Marathi writers in our community. Catholic Fr. Francis Debrito is well known Marathi writers with dozens of books. Today he is the president of MARATHI SAHITY SAMELAN. The first to be at that position from Samwedi community. I once again thank you for mentioning East Indian Catholics and Samwedi, Wadwal Catholics from Vasai.
You have very rightly included ‘Gujarati‘ community as one among nine communities that define “MUMBAI”. To further supplement I may add here that Bhatia Caste people from Kutch were more prominent among Gujaratis from various parts of Western India. They had broad vision with far sight, as they created many charitable trusts that invested in education, health system, community residential complex and halls, commercial markets etc. Even today Bhatia people’s earlier vast contribution is visible to one and all in so many structures in South Mumbai area. To name a few : Gokaldas Tejpal ( GT ) hospital, Bhatia Hospital, Tejpal Hall, Mathuradas Vishanji Hall, Kanji Khetsi Wadi, Tejpal Boarding & hostels for students, & also some big wholesale markets at Kalbadevi. (Congrats to FPJ for bringing out wonderful special edition of Bombay to Mumbai.)
My father was a regular reader of FPJ and that put me also into the avid reading of the newspaper since 1976 when I was 12. It is a comprehensive and concise reading of all the latest news which even these days I enjoy. FPJ has been a part of my daily reading ever since I was a child and now I am proud to see my daughter work for the organization. On FPJ's 93rd anniversary, I congratulate the team for the glorious nine decades and wish good luck for many more to come.
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