First publication page
Title Aloka
Document Type Journal
Language Bengali
Publisher Name Sri Pramathanath Manna
Publisher Region Calcutta


Aloka, a Bengali literary monthly, was founded in 1345 B.S. (1938). Edited and published by Dhirendranath Sarkar, the journal carried novels, stories, plays and poems along with essays, commentaries, satires, travelogues, and book reviews. The articles, mostly accompanied by impressive illustrations, concentrated on some core subjects that included literature, history, society, religion and philosophy. The editorial pieces often dealt with contemporary affairs. A regular section of the journal was ‘Chalantika’, which offered critical commentaries on various issues.

Authors who contributed to the journal included Rabindranath Tagore, Girija Kumar Basu, Jatindranath Sengupta, Bhabani Mukhopadhyay, Gourgopal Bidyabinod, Kumudranjan Mallick, Saradindu Bandyopadhyay, Manindralal Basu, Asit Kumar Halder, Manik Bandyopadhyay, Charuchandra Datta, and Annadasankar Ray. Rabindranath Tagore’s classic speech delivered on the occasion of his 80th birthday at Santiniketan was published in the journal with the title ‘Sabhyatar Sankat’ (The Crisis of Civilization). The journal serially published Asit Kumar Halder’s poems (accompanied by illustrations) in seven issues of 1348 B.S. (1941). Other contributions included essays such as: Debaprasad Ghose’s ‘Adhunik Bangla Kabita’ (Modern Bengali Poetry); Ashok Guha’s ‘Somorottar Ingreji Sahitya’ (Post-war English Literature); Gopal Halder’s ‘Sanskritir Rupantar’ (The Transformation of Culture); Phanibhsuhan Ray’s ‘Indo-Chine Akromon Bhiti’ (Invasion-phobia in Indo-China); Biman Bihari Majumdar’s ‘Bharate Janamat’ (Public Opinion in India); Bhupendranath Datta’s ‘Purba Bharat o Asam’ (Eastern India and Assam); Nripendranath Raychaudhury’s ‘Gauriya Vaishnav Dharmer Prashar’ (The Spread of Gouriya Vaishnavism); Benimadhab Barua’s ‘Bouddha Manastattva’ (Buddhist Psychology); and Shuvo Thakur’s ‘Arter Alochona ebong Aro Kichhu’ (A Discussion on Art and More).

During the Second World War, which coincided with the first years of the journal’s publication, a series of reports and essays were published on the War along with exclusive photographs from the war front. Nripendranath Sarkar’s ‘Bartaman Juddha o Bharatbarsha’ (The Present War and India) and Indrasom Barman’s ‘Bartaman Juddha o Paschim Asiar Somosya’ (The Present War and the Problems of West Asia) were the best examples of such writings. Illustrations published in the journal comprised both photographs and paintings. The paintings were done by Sukumar Sen, Gaganendranath Tagore, Mukul De, Sudhir Kumar Ray, Gopal Ghose, and Lalit Mohan Sen.


social, life, society, satires, travelogues, women's, issues, Dhirendranath, Sarkar, Calcutta, India

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