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Bengali Alimanac An Uncharted Area of Indian Mass Communication

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Item Code: BAB647
Author: Nilay Kumar Saha
Publisher: KHAMA PUBLISHERS, Delhi
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9788195331222
Pages: 640
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 940 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description
That Bengali almanac may be a subject of research was completely beyond my imagination till 1997 though I completed my research work on 'Social Audit of Advertising' in 1997. Dr Sanat Kumar Mitra, Founding Secretary of Loksamaskriti Gabeshana', a quarterly research journal on folklore, inspired me to write an article on 'Advertisements in Bengali Almanac and Its Impact' for the July-August-September, 1998 issue of his said journal. With an object to write an article on that subject I started to explore the pages of Bengali almanac. I realised what an important source of advertisement escaped my attention during the period of my research. That guilty feeling inspired me and during the last two decades I have been searching the pages of Bengali almanac with a view to establishing how immensely Bengali almanac contributes to the Indian society as one of the oldest media of Mass Communication system in our country.

Bengali almanac was highly popular in our society at the early stage of civilisation when it was hand written. At that time was designed to calculate time mainly for religious purposes. After the introduction of printing technology in India the rich men of Bengal initiated to change the form of almanac from hand written to print one and finally in 1818 the printed Ben- gali almanac came into being. So for a period of more than two hundred years (1818-2022) the continuous flow of Bengali almanac in Indian society makes life more interesting and diverse. At the early stage of the nineteenth century the increasing demand of printed Bengali almanac motivated the publishers to incorpo- rate multidimensional information in their publications only for capturing the largest portion of the interested users of Bengali almanac. The publishers got results and they engaged in a battle for incorporating information on different fields viz, agriculture, industry, health, education, transport - water, road, rail, post and telegraph, registration and stamp revenue, judiciary, banking, insurance, administration - social, civil, local, police, employment etc along with the basic information in their publications at their own cost. Advertisers also realised that among the print media Bengali almanac was the best medium for their announcements and advertisements from the mid-nineteenth century to mid-twentieth century owing to its wide circulation and cost effectiveness. The joint efforts of publishers and advertisers widened the acceptance level of Bengali almanac in our daily life and finally it became a unique guide book. For a period of two hundred years including the modern age of information and technology the contributions of Bengali almanac have upgraded the country as a whole and helped us recognize the role of the publishers of Bengali almanac as pioneer social reformers of Indian society.

This book, comprising twenty one chapters, covers all most all areas of civil society which were published in different Bengali almanac either in the form of information or in the form of advertisement. Analysis of information and advertisement on different fields will assist the interested readers to introspect the socio-economic changes on that time. More than one hundred pictures on agricultural growth, industrial development, transport facilities, support on health sectors, educational scenario, postal services, and administration in practice etc. makes this publication a source of social history.

Dr. Nilay Kumar Saha has completed this important study as part of the Indian Council of Historical Research 'Senior Academic Fellowship' scheme. In fact, the publication is a part of the Council's monograph series which was started many years ago. Bengali almanac was quite popular even when it was hand written. It was designed to calculate time mainly for religious purposes in those days. Its printing started in 1818 and it continues to this day. This volume comprising 21 chapters covers almost all areas of civil society that were published in different Bengali almanac either in the form of information or in the form of an advertisement.

The analysis of information and advertisement on different fields will assist the readers to introspect the socio-economic changes over the time. More than 100 pictures on agricultural growth, industrial development, transport facilities, support on health sector, educational scenario, postal services and administration in practice etc. further enrich this fascinating volume.

As stated by the author he has tried to fill gaps of in- formation and advertisements lost due to various reasons mainly, sheer negligence. These gaps have been filled from the collections of some public and private interested groups who have preserved these with their own efforts. Dr. Saha's hard work and sound research methodology had made a major contribution. The ICHR stands well rewarded with regard to having supported the study as part of its Senior Fellowship programme. I congratulate Dr. Saha for this very good publication.

I also compliment Prof. Kumar Ratnam, Member Secretary, Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Director (Journal, Publication & Library), and Dr. Md Naushad Ali, Deputy Director (Publi- cation), for their sincere efforts put in during the process of this publication. I must also thank Mr. Anupam Banerjee of Khama Publishers for having published this volume.

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