The Little Magazine Movement originated in the fifties and the sixties in many Indian languages like Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Hindi, Malayalam and Gujarati, as it did in the West, in the early part of the 20th century. The Little Magazine Movement is considered as a mass literary movement. Little magazines generally publish short stories, poetry and essays together with literary criticism, book reviews, and biographical profiles of authors, interview and letters).
Little Magazine Movement had sowed its overwhelming roots in Bengali literature. It had all started with Kallol, a modernist movement magazine, launched in 1923. The most popular activists amongst the group were Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899 - 1976) and Mohitlal Majumder (1888-1952), Achintyakumar Sengupta (1903-1976), Satyendranath Dutta (1882-1922), Premendra Mitra (1904-1988) and several other free-minded revolutionists. Since the mid 1980s Bengali literature faced a new form of Bengali poetry called New Poetry. From the early 1990s a Kolkatabased poetry journal Kabita Campus, has begun to gain immense acclaim from the young contemporary poets of Bengal.
The names of some little magazines are-
* Avidhanantar- Marathi little Magazine
* Baundule-Bengali little magazine
* Abhiyakti - Hindi literary magazine Online
* Aadorer Nauka-Bengali little magazine
* Aanubhuti - Monthly Hindi poetry and literary magazine
* Aikya-Quarterly Bengali Literary and Cultural Magazine
Marathi literature was dominated by the little magazine movement in 1955-1975. It blended modernism and the Dalit movement. In the mid-fifties, Dilip Chitre, Arun Kolatkar and their friends started a cyclostyled Shabda. The little magazine movement spread wildly in the sixties and borne relatively longer lasting magazines like Aso, Vacha, Lru, Bharud and Rucha.
The overwhelming little magazine movement explosion in West Bengal took place after 1961, when the Hungry generation Movement transported the cultural establishment to a stormy and uncomfortable domain. Post-independence Bengal was one of utmost disillusionment and hopelessness in every domain in education and career. The youth were disturbed, which was executed by blood, clashes, curfews and bombings. There had arisen a situation of extreme dichotomy. This was reason enough for the Bengal youth to give birth to literature of their own. Some of these writing section revolutionists include - Shakti Chattopadhyay, Malay Roy Choudhury, Samir Roychoudhury and Debi Roy (also admired as Haradhon Dhara).
Further changes seeped into Bengali little magazine movement around 1970s chiefly around Kaurab, a literary and cultural magazine. Prime personnels of Kaurab were: Swadesh Sen, Kamal Chakraborty, Barin Ghosal, Debajyoti Dutta, Pranabkumar Chattopadhyay, Shankar Lahiri, Shankar Chakraborty and Aryanil Mukhopadhyay (present editor).
The Sahitya Akademi (Indian Academy of Letters) publishes two literary journals, known as, Indian Literature in English and Samkalin Bhartiya Sahitya in Hindi. But they cannot be considered as 'little magazines' because of their state support and regular appearance.
Little magazine movement also flourished in other states of India. But West Bengal was mostly influenced by it. There still exist at least 1000 surviving Bangla Little Magazines throughout West Bengal, Tripura and Barak Valley of Assam. The little magazines and their movements exemplify the constant metamorphosis of Bengali 'reality and relativity' and 'contest centres of authority' and imposed tenets in their own field. Until the little magazine movement phenomenon exploded, Bengali literature was controlled and canonised by Kolkata-based bourgeois class. Little magazines keep themselves forever triggered as de-centring process. The peripheries of urban and suburban locales of topographical Bengal, as well as rural West Bengal are thronged with the culturally homeless. Indeed, most of the little magazine editors and their contributors to such inciting movements come from such social segments.
Thousand such little magazines are published every day, ranging from 16-page Sahitya Setu edited by Jagabandhu Kundu, to four hundred page Kabitirtha, edited by Utpal Bhattacharjee. The little magazine movement boom and their further publication also range from being published fortnightly to annually, which are generally edited by inexperienced teenagers to experienced eighty year olds. Most of the magazines print both poetry and fictions, including even novels and drama. However, particular magazines publish fiction, drama or poetry only.