Hundred Years of Mooknayak
January 31, 2020
Why should I feel shy?
I have laid aside hesitation and opened my mouth.
Here, on earth, no notice is taken of a dumb creature;
No real good can be secured by over-modesty.
On this day a hundred years ago, BR Ambedkar founded his first newspaper Mooknayak. Today, to celebrate the newspaper's centenary, Dalit Dastak Magazine has organised an event at the Dr Ambedkar International Centre in Delhi. (For details of the event, watch this.)
Mooknayak, literally translates to the leader of voiceless. It was a fortnightly newspaper in Marathi, and although Baba Saheb was never officially associated with the newspaper, he worked as the editor for at least six months before leaving India to continue with his doctoral studies at the London School of Economics.
The cover page of the first issue of Mooknayak
Mooknayak ran only for three years but had a great impact on its readers. The newspaper had regular publications of open letters from common dalits which not only helped give them a voice, but also highlighted the need for organisational dalit politics.
It is important to remember Mooknayak today because even though the newspaper was founded in 1920, its content is still relevant in our contemporary times.
Mooknayak (1920) and Bahishkrit Bharat (1927)
All images courtesy Wikimedia Commons
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