Updated Wednesday, July 23, 2014 05:23 PM IST

 

One bright morning, more than a century ago, Malayala Manorama came into being. Founded by Kandathil Varghese Mappillai on March 14th 1888 , Malayala Manorama has had a stimulating effect on the minds of the malayalees. It spurred social progress, defined cultural sensibilities. It has been an overwhelming presence while reflecting and exploring the life and times of Kerala. Manorama has had good times and hard times; it has known tyrant’s thunder and human tenderness. Encounters with extinction were part of its exciting evolution. It has been a saga of courage and endurance, of triumph and excellence, of dedication and commitment to the people and their aspirations. The years have not blunted our mission; we breathe the ideals of our illustrious founder and his visionary successors. The long list of best-selling products  

1.The WEEK
2.Bashaposhini
3.Karshakashree
4.Manorama Weekly
5.Manorama Annual
6.Vijayaveedhi
7.Vanitha
8.Vanitha Hindi
9.Kalikkudukka
10.Magic Pot
11.Balarama
12.Balarama Digest
13.Amarchitrakatha
14.Thozhilveedhi
15.Knowledge Adventure CDROM
16.Hindi Year Book
17.English Year Book
18.Tamil Year Book
19.Malayalam Year Book
20.Bengali Year Book
21.MalayalaManorama Newspaper

-- is a testimony to this fact.

Our field of vision has expanded, our horizons have widened. As the world goes digital, we are stepping into cyberspace. For long ago, our destiny became interlinked with yours.

A SACRED TRUST WAS BORN
For more than a century Malayala Manorama has had a stimulating effect on the mind of the Malayali. It spurred social progress, defined cultural sensibilities, and even set political agenda. It has been an overwhelming presence while reflecting and exploring the life and times of Kerala. Manorama has had good times and hard times; it has known tyrant’s thunder and human tenderness. Encounters with extinction were part of its exciting evolution. It has been a saga of courage and endurance, of triumph and excellence, of dedication and commitment to the people and their aspirations. Long ago, our destiny became interlinked with theirs. This link is thicker than the printing ink. It transcends language. Banegaon, in earth-quaked Latur, was a heap of crushed sunflowers. Fifteen months later, we sang the story of its rebirth. We rebuilt the village and saw sunflower smiles on rustic faces. Hearts beat for us in Kerala. Hundreds of hearts for whom we ensured free surgery. For the good earth, we honour the unsung farmer with the 'Karshakashree' Award. Our field of vision has expanded, our horizons have widened. We have publications in five languages, and from print we have stepped into television and cyberspace. The years have not blunted our mission; we breathe the ideals of our illustrious founder and his visionary successors. The following pages tell the story of Malayala Manorama-and how it has gone beyond journalism.

FROM ONCE A WEEK TO EIGHT A DAY
One bright morning, more than a century ago, the first joint stock publishing company of India came into being. It was founded by Kandathil Varghese Mappillai at Kottayam, a small town in the princely state of Travancore, on March 14, 1888. The great poet Kerala Varma named it Malayala Manorama. It turned out to be an enchanting, enduring name. The company started with one hundred shares of Rs.100 each. The investors paid in four equal instalments. The first instalment was good enough to buy a press. It was a small hand press, a Hopkinson & Cope, made in London. The press was installed in a vacant building, which would later become a school chapel. A local craftsman, Konthi Achari, made the types for the imported press. It was a Herculean task. Being phonetic, the Malayalam script had a few hundred letters for the 53 vowels and consonants and their different combinations. The first issue of Malayala Manorama appeared on March 22, 1890, while Kottayam was hosting a highly popular cattle fair. It was a four-page weekly newspaper, published every Saturday. There were a few other newspapers around, mostly organs of Christian churches. But most people in Travancore did not have basic human rights. As Varghese Mappillai was a man of letters, there was a profusion of poetic outpourings and literary debates in Manorama. But its heart was with the underdogs. Its very first editorial was a fervent plea for education of Pulayas, untouchables who could not even walk on public roads. It was the voice of human dignity. Thus began Manorama's unflagging fight against injustice and iniquity, and people grew close to it. Manorama grew with them, too. From a weekly it grew into a bi-weekly in 1901, a tri-weekly in 1918 and a daily in 1928. Today, the daily is published from eight centres in Kerala: Kottayam, Kozhikode, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad, Kannur, Kollam and Thrissur. The new unit at Malappuram was inaugurated in February, 2001. Manorama Online, the Internet portal was inaugurated in 20 June, 2003. The march goes on, winning hearts every step of the way.

A ROYAL GIFT TO THE PIONEER
Kandathil Varghese Mappillai was only 31 when he founded Malayala Manorama. Already, he was an accomplished writer. A high thinker. And very enterprising. He was a shroff like his father. But, unlike his father, he had no head for figures. His head was full of dreams and poems. He quit the job and become Editor of Kerala Mitram, a Malayalam newspaper run by a Gujarati businessman called Devji Bhimji, in Kochi. Later, he taught Malayalam at C.M.S. College, Kottayam, an early cradle of English education in India. He launched Malayala Manorama while he was a teacher. Even the Maharajah of Travancore, Sree Moolam Tirunal, held him in esteem. The Maharajah gave Manorama the Royal Coat of Arms. With a slight variation, it adorns the newspaper's logo. It was an honour from a ruler who established the first legislative council in India in 1888, the year Manorama was born. Varghese Mappillai campaigned, through editorials, for greater power for the legislature. He sparked many a political debate. And he spent reams on literature, throwing the pages of Manorama open to the finest poets and writers. He also nurtured new talent. Soon after its birth Manorama triggered a war over alliteration. It was the fiercest literary debate in the history of Malayalam. Literature was intoxicating stuff those days. In 1891 Varghese Mappillai formed a literary club, Bhashaposhini Sabha. It brought together the tallest poets and writers from Travancore and Cochin States and the British-ruled Malabar. Locking creative horns, they shed awkward angularities of dialects. The Sabha held keen literary contests. Once, the challenge was to churn out, within five hours, a verse drama of one hundred stanzas in four acts. Poet Kunhikuttan Thampuram did it in four hours. He simply dictated it. An offshoot of the Sabha was Bhashaposhini magazine, which Varghese Mappillai started in 1892. It remains the greatest literary journal in Malayalam. A poet himself, Varghese Mappillai was a social visionary. He inspired the building of several schools and libraries. Shortly before his untimely death at the age of 47 he did something unthinkable in hidebound Travancore: he established a residential girls’ high school at Thirumoolapuram in 1904. The whoosh of it can still be heard in the strides Malayali women have made.

HE BUILT AN EMPIRE IN HUMAN HEARTS
The fifty years from 1904 were eventful for Malayala Manorama. Those were years of evolution, struggle, oblivion and glorious rebirth. After the death of Kandathil Varghese Mappillai in 1904, his nephew K.C Mammen Mappillai was the natural choice as Editor. The uncle had groomed the nephew, who too was a teacher. And he proved a worthy successor. Mammen Mappillai built into Manorama the kind of grit and determination Indian journalism had never witnessed before. He maintained the secular and literary tradition set by his uncle. And he infused it with a new vigour, setting a lively style, starting columns for women and children, and initiating debates on politics and industry. He made Manorama a powerful catalyst of social change. He straddled diverse fields. He was a teacher, writer, legislator, social reformer, banker, farmer, planter, industrialist, insurance baron..... He lived a full life many times over in 80 years. The National & Quilon Bank under his chairmanship was one of the most successful banks in India in the 1920s. The new Guardian of India Insurance Company, which he founded, had an enviable reputation. Popularising rubber cultivation, he gave Kerala's economy a new bounce. Rubber became the economic backbone of Kerala's midlands. The champion of rubber was a man of steel in the Sree Moolam Legislative Assembly and in the stormy conflicts in the Syrian Church. He played a pivotal role in the abstention movement and struggle for civil rights and responsible government. To break him, Travancore Diwan (prime minister) Sri C.P Ramaswamy Iyer broke his bank by engineering a run on it in 1938. Everywhere his voice throbbed with the spirit of freedom. Malayala Manorama was sealed and Mammen Mappillai jailed. All his property was confiscated. The immediate provocation: Manorama had published a news item of deaths in Neyyattinkara following a cruel Police firing by Sir.C.P's goons. He walked out of jail two years later. His brother K.C. Eapen, who was arrested with him, was carried home dead. Mammen Mappillai built Manorama all over again. It eventually became the best-read newspaper in India. Inaugurating Manorama's belated Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1951, Indian President Rajendra Parasad said: "I was much pleased to have an opportunity to participate in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Malayala Manorama. It was because I thought it was not a celebration of the paper only, but a Diamond Jubilee celebration of the services of its soul and life, Sri Mammen Mappillai." Mammen Mappillai breathed his last on the last day of 1953. The Chief Minister of the united Travancore-Cochin State, A.J. John, and his cabinet ministers led the funeral procession. And the people raised in his memory the K.C. Mammen Mappillai Hall in Kottayam. It was poetic justice that the Memorial hall came up where a park in the name of the Diwan had stood. Built in 1957, and rebuilt in 1997, this beautiful edifice stands in perpetual tribute to a man who built an empire in human hearts.

SACRED DICTUM
Five days after K.C. Mammen Mappillai's death, his son K.M. Cherian published his last dictum. "By God's grace, Manorama is in a position to create and garner a forceful public opinion. This may be used for the good or the bad. But, we should consider it as a public trust bestowed upon us for the selfless service of humanity." "You will have no qualms to use Manorama as a sacred public trust or an institution God has trustingly bestowed upon us to be used without fear or favour from anyone. You should always work with this in mind. God has placed in our hands a mighty weapon. To use it for our personal, vindictive and vitriolic ends will be an unpardonable and immoral act injurious to the faith bestowed on us by a large number of people. God does not want that. And hence our eternal vow should be to tirelessly work for the success of fairness, justice and morality." It remains a sacred, inviolable dictum for Malayala Manorama.

INDIA'S FREEDOM CAME ON AUGUST 15, 1947. OURS TOOK ANOTHER 15 WEEKS
For nine long years Malayala Manorama lay in chains. By any estimate, it was the stiffest price paid for freedom of expression in Indian journalism. The 1930s were tempestuous years of India's struggle for freedom. Malayala Manorama was in the forefront of the struggle in Travancore. It was actively involved in the civil rights agitation, the formation of the Travancore State Congress and the historic campaign for responsible government. Mammen Mappillai's trenchant articles in Manorama invited the wrath of the all-powerful Diwan Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer. He believed that Manorama was bankrolling the State Congress. "I will crush them," he swore in wild rage. He did not wait too long. He banned Manorama for carrying a brutally frank report on firings and military atrocities at Neyyattinkara on September 1, 1938. On September 10, 1938, armed police confiscated the Manorama office in Kottayam and sealed its doors. Later, K.C. Mammen Mappillai was arrested. The vengeful Diwan was out to crush Manorama. This he did. And the civil liberties it championed. The day Manorama was banned was the saddest in the life of Mammen Mappillai. It was the champion of press freedom. Overnight, it lay inert with an iron hand clamped over its mouth. This he did. Words lay dead in the throat for nine years. India won freedom on August 15, 1947. In less than three weeks, the Diwan fled Travancore in ignominy. His stratagems to keep Travancore out of the Indian Union failed. And on November 29, 1947 there was jubilation: Malayala Manorama was back. It was a glorious rebirth.
 
FROM TRAVANCORE TO NATIONAL
As Malayala Manorama was struggling to break out of its nine-year-long banishment, a 50 Years-old former professor came forward to strengthen K.C. Mammen Mappillai's aged elbows. It was his eldest son, K.M. Cherian. He teamed up with his father as Managing Editor. It was Cherian who paved the way for Manorama's magnificent comeback. On Mammen Mappillai's death, Cherian took over as Chief Editor in 1954. His immediate goal was the emotional integration of the people of Travancore, Cochin and Malabar, which were uniting to form Kerala State. He won great acclaim for the excellent effort. Cherian kept his father's last dictum close to his heart. And he cherished lofty ideals. Under his inspiring leadership Manorama went from strength to strength and launched an edition from Kozhikode in 1966. Cherian also started a few other successful publications. The circulation of the newspaper soared from 30,000 to 300,000. And that of Manorama Weekly, which he had revived, rose to 329,000. Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, while visiting an allied concern, remarked: "I shall confess that part of the reason which made me agree (to the visit) was also the fine record of Mr. K.M. Cherian and his family in every business they have undertaken." Cherian was Chairman of Press Trust of India and President of the Indian & Eastern Newspaper Society (now Indian Newspaper Society). He won several national honours, including the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. He died on March 14, 1973. If Kandathil Varghese Mappillai conceived Manorama and K.C. Mammen Mappillai moulded its character, K.M. Cherian gave it the Midas touch. And he won it national glory.

THE PROFESSIONAL TOUCH
'Keep the family out and bring in the professionals!’ is one way. There's a better way. Keep the family in but make them professionals first. That's the way things are working out at Malayala Manorama today and nobody could wish for anything better. The man who thought up the better way, K.M. Mathew, joined Manorama as General Manager in 1954. As a true professional, Mathew proved his mettle before he became Managing Editor under his eldest brother, K.M. Cherian. When Cherian died in 1973, Mathew took over as Chief Editor. He nurtured the newspaper and made it branch out like a giant banyan tree. It has truly been a phenomenal growth. Mathew could find competent lieutenants within the family to run Manorama. Until 1981, his well-trained nephew Mammen Varghese assisted him. He helped K.M. Mathew launch M.M Publications, which brings out Balarama and Vanitha, the best-selling Indian magazines for children and women. Today, Vanitha has a Hindi edition. And Balarama has had several offshoots. Mammen Varghese continues to be Printer and Publisher of Malayala Manorama newspaper. Another nephew K.O. Kurian, holds that responsibility in Manorama Weekly. Mammen Mathew, eldest son of K.M Mathew, is Editor & Managing Director. Another son, Philip Mathew, is Managing Editor and the youngest, Jacob Mathew, is Executive Editor. George Jacob, Grandson of K.M. Cherian, is Director. All in the family, maybe, but each one has a track record of professionalism. Professionalism that K.M. Mathew infused in them in his quest for excellence. Yet, Mathew is best known for his caring, nurturing brand of journalism. While spurring Manorama into circulation conquest and spawning a dozen other best-selling publications he gave journalism a human face of compassion. Who else would have sent a team of reporters to war-torn Kuwait and asked them to concentrate, not on the war, but on helping frantic expatriates return to Kerala? His initiatives often went beyond the ken of conventional journalism. Once he built a hundred houses for the poor. Then he rebuilt an entire village in the distant Maharashtra. Later, he gave poor heart patients a new lease of life. Mathew liked to build and heal. He triggered a host of development projects in Kerala by initiating a series of seminars on industry and environment. In the 1980s he set an easy-to read writing style for the mass circulated Manorama Weekly. It sustained the reading habit of neo-literate adults. Down to earth, he honoured the farmer-with a biannual award and a monthly magazine. He has won several awards himself, including Padma Bhushan. Mathew regularly sharpened Manorama's managerial and technological edge. And he honed its news gathering skills. But has excelled himself in building emotional bonds with the readers, giving them information with the human touch.

OUR CHILDREN'S CLUB
A year after Malayala Manorama became a daily it gave birth to a children's organisation. It is called Akhila Kerala Balajana Sakhyam. Founded in 1929, the Sakhyam aims at the full flowering of children's talents. It unleashes creative energy and builds leadership qualities. It was K.C. Mammen Mappillai's baby. And he nourished it through the columns of Malayala Manorama. Over the years, it has grown into the largest democratic institution of its kind in Asia. Its motto: Service. It has a branch in almost every village in Kerala. The members, in the age group of 6-18, elect leaders to run the Sakhyam. In the process they breathe in the spirit of democratic discipline. It has become a great movement, unique in very respect. While developing physical, mental and aesthetic abilities, the Sakhyam initiates the children to community work. The whole approach is constructive. The Sakhyam has constructed a hundred houses for the poor, built roads, dug canals and distributed food during natural calamities. The children build and create. And care. The Sakhyam is helping children shape destinies- their own and the nations’.

FROM STONE AGE TO CYBERSPACE
Growth…multifaceted and on target. It sums up Manorama's progress over the years. Today, the Malayala Manorama daily is published from eight centres: Kottayam, Kozhikode, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad, Kannur, Kollam and Thrissur. With a combined circulation of more than 11, 00,000 copies a day. A unit at Malappuram was inaugurated in February 2001. That's growth, smooth and sustained. The Kozhikode edition got rolling in 1966 and the Kochi edition in 1979. Manorama became the first language daily in India to have a facsimile edition, from Thiruvananthapuram, in 1987. The second edition from the Malabar region, after Kozhikode, was launched at Palakkad in 1992. The Kannur edition arrived in 1994 and Kollam the next year. The Thrissur edition was born in 1998. A new edition was commissioned in Malappuram. In 1982, Manorama launched The Week, a news features magazine in English. It is among the best-read English magazines in India. Manorama has grown into a highly successful publishing house with a slew of other immensely popular periodicals. Besides the daily newspaper, there is Manorama Weekly for the common man. It is the largest selling weekly in India. The weekly Balarama is the best-selling children's magazine in India. Children of school -going age have two other playmates from Manorama: Balarama Amarchitrakatha and Balarama Digest. For pre-schoolers, there is the delightful Kalikudukka.. Plus there is its cuddly English version, Magic Pot. For women, there is Vanitha, the largest circulated women's magazine in India. Vanitha's Hindi edition, launched in 1997, became an instant hit. School students have found a reliable study aid in Vijayaveedhi. And job seekers have a guide in Thozhilveedhi. Karshakashree- a bold experiment in farm journalism - has won over the farming fraternity. Bhashaposhini, the literary journal, is sought - after by the high-brow reader. For lovers of literature, there is also the Manorama Annual. For the scholar and the knowledge - seeker, choices come in five languages: Manorama Yearbook is published in Malayalam, English, Hindi, Tamil and Bengali. And in CD-ROM, too. It is called Manorama Knowledge Adventure. Publications for different age-groups, different tastes and needs. But all for the family. Besides, Manorama has a vibrant presence on the Electronic Media. Manorama Vision, its television software division was launched in 1993 producing quality television serials and news and current affairs programmes for Malayalam television channels. Its music division, Manorama Music, was started in 1995. On the Web, Manorama Online has a magnetic pull. And it has exciting plans in cyberspace. Watch this space!

TECHNO - LEAP
Malayala Manorama has always relied on appropriate technology. From hand - composing of cold type and treadle presses, it moved to hot metal composing and rotary letter presses. And then to photo-typesetting and web offset presses. All at the right time. It has been a continual adaptation to change. Today all eight units of Manorama are connected on a high speed Wide Area Network using fibre-optic cable network, the first newspaper in India to be so lined. In 1986, the then ultramodern facsimile system connected Kottayam to the other units for transmission of the newspaper pages. Today a more modern, more flexible and faster editorial system links all the centres. There is a computer on almost every desk in the organisation. It's a wired world out there in Manorama. And the newspaper's home on the Web is just a small part of it.

NO ONE READS MALAYALA MANORAMA IN BANEGAON THEY ONLY LOVE IT
Far away from Kerala, a village of golden sunflowers has taken a new name. It calls itself ' Malayala Manorama Banegaon.' No one there reads Malayala Manorama, India's largest selling language newspaper. They only love it. A love that bloomed after the heartbreak of September 30, 1993 when the earth shook in tectonic terror. The quake flattened more than forty Maharashtrian villages, killing thousands of people, their cattle and their fowl. Among them lay Banegaon in Latur, in grim ruins. In that hour of inconsolable grief, we set up relief fund with Rs.10 lakh and turned to our eight million readers. We appealed to them. "Let us reach out and touch the frozen face of Latur." Our readers had no bonds with Latur: most of them had never even heard of the place. Yet, within 45 days, the fund swelled to Rs. 2.39 crore. It was more than what any other newspaper in India could ever collect for relief work. We could have handed over the money to the relief agencies and sat back. But Banegaon had become an obsession. We were determined to rebuild it ourselves, keeping even the contractors out. Renowned architects spent a gruelling month in Banegaon, studying the milieu. They visualised a holistic village. Then a team from Manorama took over. An entire village came up in just 15 months. It is a complete village: 163 houses, roads, a library, hospital, a panchayat office, an open air theatre, a unique village parlour called chavady, a gymnasium, a big pond to collect rainwater, and even a Hanuman temple. The layout is aesthetic. Each house has a courtyard, two rooms and a bathroom and space to keep the cattle. For privacy, there is the compound wall: for togetherness, eight houses form a cluster, which suits the joint families.

THEY ALSO SERVE WHO HOLD THE SPADE
When Manorama announced an award for the most innovative farmer in Kerala in 1992 there were ripples of amusement in the land of backwaters. Why honour a hick? Why not a technocrat, social reformer, artist or academic? People wondered. But then, the century - old newspaper had always stood by the underdogs and voiced their throttled aspirations. Fighting for their social and political rights, it remained close to the good earth. It encouraged the people, who had been relying mainly on paddy and coconut, to grow tea, coffee and rubber as well. Eventually, agro-industries and exports bloomed. Though Kerala is just 1.2 percent of India's total area, it produces more than 90 per cent of India's rubber and pepper, 60 per cent of tapioca, 45 per cent of coconut and almost the entire lemongrass oil. It is abundant in tea, coffee and spices, and is the largest producer of a number of other crops such as banana and ginger. The Malayali farmer has worked wonders cultivating more than a hundred crops on five million tiny holdings. People savoured his fruits, not his labours. They took him for granted, and even looked down upon him. College educated new generation would not hold a spade. Little was done to honour the farmer until Manorama instituted the biennial 'Karshakasree Award', the first of its kind in south - east Asia. It carried a citation, a gold medal and Rs.1 lakh in prize money. The prize money would later be raised to Rs.1.50 lakh. The search for the best farmer was systematic. Research organisations, government agencies, NGOs and Manorama news bureaus sent in resumes of several farmers. An expert team pruned the list and video-taped the work of select farmers. Then, a panel of judges, including World Food Prize winners Dr. M.S.Swamintathan and Dr. V. Kurian, chose Velayudhan for the 1992 award. Velayudhan had yoked modern technology to traditional wisdom and changed the rocky face of Mulayam hamlet in Thrissur District. It was sweet success for him: he had started off with just one beehive. It grew into a colony of coconut palms, rubber, pepper, plantains, herbs, fish, fowl and pigs. "I am very pleased to learn.' said Nobel - winning agriculture scientist Dr. Norman Borlaug, "that Malayala Manorama is sponsoring an award for excellence in agriculture.' Manorama went further. In 1995 it came out with a monthly magazine exclusively for farmers, aptly called Karshakasree. The award, given every two years, has invested the half-naked farmer with the dignity he deserved.

AN AFFAIR OF THE HEART
While an Internet-savvy world was grabbing eyeballs, Malayala Manorama went for the heart. It did a random survey of cardiac cases in Kerala in 1999 and realised that many patients were in misery because they could not afford surgery. Most poignant was the plight of children with congenital complications. All that their parents could do was bite down quivering lips, sigh and wait for death. It was cruel irony: they were dying young when Kerala boasted high literacy, high life expectancy, low birth and death rates, and a high concentration of hospitals. Their bleak lives were far removed from glowing statistics. The survey made good copy. It also opened valves of compassion in Manorama. The newspaper set apart Rs.25 lakh to bear the full cost of surgery for 30 patients. Heartened, Madras Medical Mission offered to do free surgery for 20 others. The endeavour was called 'Hridayapoorvan', meaning 'from one's heart'. As it announced five medical camps to pick 50 patients, Manorama faced an avalanche of 8,000 applications for admission. Manorama was in a predicament: it would be heartless to pick only 50 and forget the rest. It doubled its contribution and appealed to its readers for help. The readers responded soulfully. Some sent in cheques for lakhs of rupees. Some others handed over a hard day's earnings, salty with sweat. Children broke their piggy banks and dropped tinkling coins into the fund. So that hearts would keep ticking. Hope rose in many hearts as the medical camps opened in October 1999. Renowned cardiologist Dr. K. M. Cherian led a team of 11 doctors from Madras Medical Mission at the camps held at five 'K' towns - Kollam, Kannur, Kozhikode, Kottayam and Kochi . They examined 6201 patients. Before the year ended, the fund grew to Rs. 3 crore, just enough for 395 heart surgeries. Living up to its name, the Medical Mission made it 500, offering 105 free surgeries. Thirty more patients benefited thanks to assistance from the Prime Minister's Relief Fund. All the operations were over by December 2000. Except a dozen all were successful. In their hen-scratched letters thanking Manorama, there was a refrain: "You have given us a new life." For the first time in the world a newspaper had offered the ultimate gift - the gift of life.

LANDMARKS
1888 Malayala Manorama Company founded by Kandathil Varghese Mappillai on March 14.

1890 The first issue of Malayala Manorama appears on March 22. It is a weekly newspaper.

1892 Publication of Bhashaposhini.

1901 Manorama becomes a bi-weekly on August 7.

1904 Kandathil Varghese Mappillai passes away on July 6. K. C. Mammen Mappillai becomes Editor.

1915 Manorama starts publishing daily World War supplements.

1918 Manorama becomes a tri-weekly on July 2.

1928 Manorama becomes a daily on January 16.

1929 Akhila Kerala Balajana Sakhyam formed on May 29.

1930 Manorama commences publication of Annual Numbers.

1937 Publication of Malayala Manorama Weekly on August 8.

1938 Manorama proscribed in Travancore on September 10. It makes a surprise appearance from Cochin State on September 14 but folds up after three months.

1939 Mammen Mappillai convicted and jailed.

1941 Mammen Mappillai released from jail.

1947 Manorama restarts on November 29.

1950 The first rotary press installed.

1951 President Dr. Rajendra Prasad inaugurates Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

1953 Mammen Mappillai passes away on December 31.

1954K. M. Cherian becomes Chief Editor on January 1. K. M. Mathew joins Manorama as General Manager. 1956 Manorama Weekly restarts.

1957 Mammen Mappillai Memoriall Hall at Kottayam opened.

1959 Publication of Manorama Yearbook in Malayalam.

1965 Publication of Manorama Yearbook in English. K.M.Cherian awarded 'Padma Shri.'

1966 President Dr. S. Radhakrishnan inaugurates Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Kozhikode Edition started on December 1.

1970 President V.V.Giri inaugurates Balajana Sakhyam state convention.

1971 K. M. Cherian awarded 'Padma Bhushan.'

1972 Balarama launched.

1973 K.M.Cherian passes away on March 14. K.M.Mathew becomes Chief Editor. Mammen Varghese becomes General Manager.

1975 Vanitha launched.

1979 Kochi Edition started on January 15.

1982 President N. Sanjeeva Reddy inaugurates Balajana Sakhyam Golden Jubilee celebrations on January 31. The Week magazine started on December 26.

1986 President Giani Zail Singh formally commssions the facsimile transmission system at Manorama, Kottayam, on August 30.

1987 Kerala Chief Minister K.Karunakaran inaugurates Thiruvananthapuram Edition on February 16.

1988 President R. Venkataraman inaugurates Centenary celebrations at Kottayam on March 23. Commemorative Postage released. Scheme launched to build 104 houses for the poor and the handicapped. Mammen Mathew takes charge as Editor & Managing Director on September 1.

1989 Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is chief guest at the Centenary celebrations valedictory in New Delhi on March 18. Manorama Yearbook in Hindi released. Tarzi Vitachi, columnist, delivers the First K.C. Mammen Mappillai Memorial Lecture on m March 19.

1990 Tamil Nadu Governor Dr. Bhishma Narain Singh releases Manorama Yearbook in Tamil on March 15.

1992 Chief Minister Karunakaran inaugurates Palakkad edition on April 22. Bhashaposhini celebrates its Centenary on April 25. Union Agriculture Minister Balram Jakhar presents the first Karshakasree Award to K. K. Velayudhan on August 1. Vice President K. R. Narayanan inaugurates the computerised digital photo transmission unit on September 27. President Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharrma dedicates Manorama's 104 houses for the poor on October 27. The President hands over the 525th house built under K. M. Cherian Memorial Housing Scheme for Manorama employees, on October 27. Kerala Governor B. Rachaiah is chief guest at the valedictory function of Diamond Jubilee celebration of Balajana Sakhyam on October 27.

1993 Manorama Vision, the electronic media division, formally launched on October 18. Manorama takes on the task of rebuilding Banegaon, a quake - hit village of Latur, Maharashtra, with 'Bhoomi Puja' by Chief Minister Sharad Pawar and Editor Mammen Mathew on October 24. Governor Dr. P. C. Alexander unveils a commemorative plaque. Bernard Levin, chief columnist of The Times, London, delivers the second K. C. Mammen Mappillai Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on November 10.

1994 Vijayaveedhi launched on January 5. Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil presents the second Karshakasree Award to A. J. Joseph on April 12. Chief Minister Karunakaran inaugurates Kannur Edition on December 17.

1995 'Manorama Music' launched on January 1. Columnist Nikhil Chakravarthy inaugurated Kollam Edition on March 27. Publication of Karshakasree magazine on September 2. Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao hands over 'Malayala Manorama Banegaon' to the villagers on December 8.

1996 Manorama Yearbook in Bengali released in Calcutta on April 18. Union Agriculture Minister Chaturanan Mishra presents the third Karshakasree Award to S.J. Rasalam on August 11.

1997 President K. R. Narayanan inaugurates the rebuilt K. C. Mammen Mappillai Hall on September 18. Prince Philip of the United Kingdom inaugurated the Internet Edition of Malayala Manorama, Kochi, on October 17. Publication of Vanitha, Hindi, on December 10. Gene Roberts, Managing Editor of The New York Times and Chairman of IPI, delivers the Third K.C. Mammen Mappillai Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on December 16.

1998 A.P. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu presents the Fourth Karshakasree Award to K. C. Kuriakose on November 20.

1999 Malayala Manorama knowledge Adventure CD-ROM released on March 4. Publication of Balarama Digest on November 13. Hridayapoorvam camps for heart patients during October - December.

2000 Publication of Magic Pot on March 1. Union Minister Suresh Prabhu presents the fifth Karshakasree Award to M.M.Subrahmanyan Nair on March 26. Malappuram Unit inaugurated. 

2002 Manorama Online launched on June 20.

 

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