First publication page
Title Onward
Document Type Journal
Language English
Publisher Name S. Banerji
Publisher Region Calcutta


Onward, a monthly journal, was first published in 1933 from Calcutta. The publication was a current affairs magazine, and published articles and essays on various subjects ranging from history, culture and politics to sports and entertainment. Some of the articles published were even critical of iconic figures such as Mahatma Gandhi. For example, an article entitled ‘The Situation of India’ published in August 1933 declared: ‘As has been remarked in these pages on former occasions, the Mahatma does not know when to begin and where to stop. Different times need different policies and now that the country will not for a long time to come have the occasion to get the benefit of his advice and the mandatory irresponsibilities of those who drew their inspiration from him, the time has come to put our house in order …’

In the very same issue the journal published an article on the nature of the theater industry in Bengal, which stated that the cinema, a relatively new import, ‘was getting overwhelmingly popular, and to all intents and purposes is killing the theater business and the obvious remedy would be for all the theater managers to out their heads together once and for all and evolve and put into practice at once a common scheme whereby their interests may be best served’.

Another issue of Onward published in late 1933 made some pertinent observations about the forthcoming MCC cricket tour to India in December–January 1933/34. Commenting on the English decision to not send some of their best players, like Herbert Sutcliffe, it was mentioned that the decision was part of the plan to keep these players fresh for the Ashes, which was scheduled soon after the tour to India. The same article, however, went on to say that the Indians had the potential to spring a surprise with a number of talented players in their ranks.

An interesting feature of the journal is the publication of a variety of advertisements in its pages. There are frequent advertisements for the Indian Silk House, a shop selling silk sarees, for insurance certificates and bonds and for ‘strawboards manufactured by City Paper and Board Mills, Calcutta’.

Finally, Onward also published critical tracts on the status of women, written by well-known contemporary Bengali writers such as Lila Mazumdar.

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