(Last Updated on : 02/06/2012)
Ramnath Goenka, the renowned newspaper baron of India, launched The Indian Express and formed the Indian Express Group along with several other English as well as regional language publications. The services and life of this noble man, is a landmark in the history of famous personalities in India and all over the world.
Ramnath Goenka was born in the 3rd of April, 1904 in the district of Darbhanga in Bihar
state. Goenka finished his primary level education at Varanasi
. When he was fifteen years old, Goenka came to the city of Chennai
to get educated in the ropes of the business by getting into the trade of jute and yarn. He got married to Moongibai. In the year 1932, Ramnath Goenka took charge of the unprofitable Chennai (Madras) edition of 'The Free Press Journal' and himself drove the newspaper delivery van to supply the papers. He established the Indian Express
in the year 1936, and in the year 1941, Goenka was elected the President of the National Newspaper Editors' Conference. Subsequent to this, both Ramnath Goenka and the Indian Express frankly challenged the British Raj.
Daily Tej in the year1948, partnered with Ramnath Goenka to issue the Indian News Chronicle, English daily from New Delhi. After the demise of Lala Deshbandhu Gupta, Goenka changed it as 'The Indian Express'. After India's independence, Goenka was nominated to the Constituent Assembly of India
. Ramnath Goenka will be remembered forever due to his role at the time of the 'Emergency' in India and his campaign against Indira Gandhi
. R. Ramakrishnan, who used to work with Goenka, was also acclaimed by Jayaprakash Narayan
for arranging meetings to oppose the emergency. The bitter relations between the business tycoon Dhirubhai Ambani and Ramnath Goenka is remembered still today. The critics of Goenka believe that his obsession towards politics was the fire which moved the newspapers from Indian Express Group on a burning trail.
Ramnath Goenka was only six years old when his mother died. His aunt adopted him, who was Basant Lal Goenka's widow. Basant Lal Goenka died in the year 1901, and left a several estates and a large business to look after. Ramnath Goenka was thus adopted by his aunt who was then the owned of a large estate and business. After completing his graduation from the Kashi Peeth, Goenka joined the huge business of his maternal uncles Babu Sagarmal Dalmia and Babu Prahlad Rai Dalmia, who were the brothers of his adoptive mother, in Kolkata
. His uncle later sent Dalmia to Sukhdevdoss Ramprasad's firm in Kolkata, which is considered to be the largest Indian Firm which deals with piece goods and yarn. As Sukhdevdoss Ramprasad's agent, Ramnath Goenka came to Chennai in the year 1922. Towards the end of 1925, Goenka ventured into a business partnership with Murliprasad Mohanprasad of Hyderabad
. The partnership firm started its business in the form of a piece goods merchant at the Godown Street in Chennai in January 1926. This partnership went through the year 1932 to 1933.
Ramnath Goenka was nominated to the Chennai (Madras) Legislative Council by the then Governer in the year 1926. As chief salesman, Goenka joined the Bombay Co. Ltd. and he held the post till the end of 1936. An acute racing enthusiast as a youngster, Goenka sacrificed his pastime activity in the year 1935-36 and ventured into journalism seriously. During the later half of 1934, Goenka became a debenture, the bearer of the Free Press of India (Madras) Ltd., the-then owners of Indian Express. Afterwards, Goenka bought the company's all shares at a cost of two lakh and fifty thousand rupees. Ramnath Goenka left for the heavenly abode on the 5th of October, 1991 in the city of Mumbai
after suffering from a prolonged illness. BG Verghese, the renowned journalist wrote his biography 'Warrior of the Fourth Estate' which was published by Penguin.