Brief note on Vernacular Press Act
The press became a powerful weapon in building the feeling of Nationalism in India. So Lord Amherst imposed restrictions on the Press in 1823 A.D. It was enacted very strictly in 1878 A.D. by Lord Lytton. He imposed some conditions by passing the ‘Vernacular Press Act 1878 A.D.”. The condition imposed were:
No government employee can edit any newspaper without prior permission of the government.
The editor as well as the publishers and the other associated persons will be arrested if any newspaper published in native language, reports anything against the British. The equipments and machineries will also be seized.
Many people called it ‘Gagging Act’ as it tried to strangulate the voices of the press. Large scale protests started against this act.
Before passing the Press Act of Lord Lytton ‘Somprakash’ and ‘Sahachar’ were banned.
‘Amrita Bazar Patrika’ of Sisir Kumar Ghosh was published both in English and Bengali. With the enactment of this Act, it was published in English only. The Press Act literally made the Indians anti-British.