The 116th Birth Anniversary of Ramnath Goenka, the renowned Indian newspaper publisher and crusader against government corruption, is on April 22, 2020.

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Ramnath Goenka Biography

Ramnath Goenka was born on April 3, 1904, at Darbhanga district in Bihar, India to Basantlal Goenka. After his schooling at Benares in Varanasi, he came to Chennai in 1922 as a dealer in yarn and jute. He worked as a despatch vendor with the Free Press Journal in Chennai and got a knack on the print media business. In 1934, he bought shares in a local company that owned Indian Express newspaper. In 1936, he took over the company and founded The Indian Express. He eventually transformed Indian Express as a national network with 14 editions and made it India’s largest English-language daily. The company also had six other newspapers in various Indian languages. In 1941, he was elected President of the National Newspaper Editors’ Conference. In collaboration with the Hindi Daily, Daily Tej in 1948, Goenka launched the English newspaper, the Indian News Chronicle in Chennai. When Lala Deshbandhu Gupta passed away, Goenka renamed the newspaper as The Indian Express.

Goenka has been a part of Mahatma Gandhi’s fight for independence from Britain during the 1930s. He later became a supporter of the Indian National Congress (INC) led by Jawaharlal Nehru. He was elected to Parliament in 1971 and served one term. He was also a member of the first Constituent Assembly, having put his signature on the Constitution of India.

Ramnath Goenka Achievements and Awards

The Indian Express opened its second office in Madurai, in 1933 by launching the Tamil edition, Dinamani. Goenka acquired the Telugu daily newspaper Andhra Prabha, in 1939 and the company came to be known as Three Musketeers representing the three dailies, Indian Express, Dinamani and Andhra Prabha. Goenka faced a crisis in 1940, as the whole premises of the Indian Express was destroyed in an accidental fire. The competitor of the company, The Hindu, came up to help Goenka in re-launching the paper, by opening Swadesimithran’s press for temporary printing and later offered their premises at 2, Mount Road, on rent to Goenka, which later became the landmark Express Estates. This shift to Mount Road favoured Indian Express with the space for setting up high-speed printing machines.

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In 1944, Goenka acquired English daily, Morning Standard, in 1944 and established his office as the landmark Express Towers at Marine Drive in Nariman Point. In 1946, Morning Standard was relaunched as the Mumbai edition of The Indian Express. He eventually launched other editions in several cities, Madurai edition in 1957, Bangalore edition in 1965, and the Ahmedabad edition in 1968. The company later launched Financial Express at Mumbai in 1961, the Kannada daily, Kannada Prabha at Bangalore in 1965 and the Bangalore edition of the Telugu Daily Andhra Prabha in 1952. In 1952, the company also launched Gujarati dailies Lok Satta and Jansatta, from Ahmedabad and Vadodara.

Goenka acquired the Tej Group’s Indian News Chronicle in 1951 and 1953, it was relaunched as the Delhi edition of Indian Express. In 1990, the Indian Express acquired the Sterling group of magazines and, along with it the Gentleman magazine. The Indian Express won the Vienna-based International Press Institute’s India Award for Outstanding Journalism in the Public Interest. It won most of the journalism awards in India and several international awards, including the Kurt Schork Award for International Journalism, Natali Prize for Journalism and the International Federation of Journalists’ Journalism for Tolerance Prize.

The company currently has the largest network of reporters in the country with The Indian Express and the business daily, The Financial Express, being published New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jammu and Chennai. The Group publishes the largest Marathi daily, Loksatta in Mumbai and Jansatta in Hindi. The company publishes a weekly entertainment magazine, Screen which is regarded as the most influential and authoritative magazine in the Mumbai film industry.

Ramnath Goenka Personal Life

Ramnath was married to Moongibai Goenka till his death on 5 October 1991 in Mumbai. In 1997, his grandsons divided the Indian Express Group with the northern segment under the control of Viveck Goenka and southern segment under Manoj Sonthalia. Ramnath Goenka was ranked amongst India Today magazine’s list of “100 People Who Shaped India” in 2000.

Ramnath Goenka had commissioned to build corporate headquarters of Indian Express Limited, Express Towers in Marine Drive Mumbai as the tallest building in South Asia at the time. The Express Towers which was completed in 1972, with a height of 105 metres, was also the first major building to be built in the reclaimed land of Nariman Point. The building also houses companies like McKinsey & Company, Blackstone Group, Ernst & Young, Mullen Lowe Lintas, ECGC, Wells Fargo Bank, IHCL and Warburg Pincus besides the Indian Express Limited.

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Ramnath Goenka Images on India Content Website

The India Content website has a good stock of Ramnath Goenka images. The high-definition images on the website are available in three sizes – small, medium and large.

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