ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Ten Years.

Editorial from Volume XI, No 1, January 3, 1959.

The Economic Weekly is now ten years old. ‘Light Without Heat’ was the modest caption for the editorial in its first issue which came out on New Year’s day, 1949. It has endeavoured to follow this motto all these years wit h what success, it is for ot hers to say. What it has set out to do, it did not know, for certain. It viewed its task vaguely as that of bringing to bear on the problems of the day the findings of disinterested thought and study of various people working in their respective fields. The impetus for bringing out the paper came from the realisation that the character of our economic problems had changed and that, whether we liked it or not, we were in for a mixed economy which could not be run successfully unless, more and more people applied their minds to the disinterested study of the economic problems of the day. This was too big an ambition perhaps, to help to create enlightened public opinion on subjects on which we are hardly ever led by reason or light. But that is how the paper viewed its task as the following excerpt s from the first editorial would suggest:...

The welcome extended to this humble venture, the generous and unstinted help that poured in, far exceeded the wildest hopes of its sponsors and has enabled the paper to survive all these years, particularly help from those who have genuine interest in the disinterested study of economic and social problems. ‘The Economic Weekly’ has many friends at home and abroad, and it is only by a shameless exploitation of such friends that this Adam Smith type of private enterprise has struggled and survived in a world of big business in which the organs of the press have either to conform to the prevailing pattern or go to the wall. It was also the secret belief of the sponsors, never loudly proclaimed, that a paper which serves a public function should also be able to pay its way and that Gandhiji was fundamentally right in thinking that no such publication deserved to be subsidised. This dictum, even in the case of publications undertaken by Gandhiji himself, was true only in terms of financial subsidy. The amount of labour of love of all manner of people, of friends at home and abroad, which has kept. ‘The Economic Weekly’ going these ten years cannot be recounted. Those who have stood by it and helped the paper to grow would not even like their names to appear in print. Ten years is a long time in the life of an individual and if the paper has actually served some purpose and deserves to live, it has to be put on a more secure foundation and sound business footing.

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