Janata, a weekly journal, began its publication in January 1946 when Indian political consciousness was in its nascent emergence. It was started by a group of socialist intellectuals, political workers and trade unionists, as an organ of the Congress Socialist Party, with the purpose of disseminating democratic socialist thought, stimulating discussion of national and international problems from a democratic socialist perspective, and promoting struggles of the down-trodden for radical social transformation.
Janata’s desire was to bring to Indian politics a breath of fresh air and an enlightened articulation of modern thoughts so that along with nationhood the country could attain political maturity too. In all modesty, Janata would like to claim that providing a forum for the expression of new political thought, Janata has helped, week after week, in creating a climate for growth of secular and progressive forces.
If a platform like Janata was necessary during last seven decades, it is even more necessary today for the awakening of a greater awareness of social responsibility among people.
Under the able stewardship of such national leaders and dedicated socialists as Acharya Narendra Deva, JP (Jayaprakash Narayan), Achyut Patwardhan, Rammanohar Lohia, Yusuf Meharally and Asoka Mehta and editorship of such eminent socialists and journalists as Edata Narayanan, Aruna Asaf Ali, Purshottam Tricumdas, Rohit Dave, S. Natarajan, N.G. Goray, Dr. H. K. Paranjpe, JD Sethi, Prem Bhasin, Prof. Madhu Dandavate and Surendra Mohan the weekly has pursued these purposes with perseverance and without fear.
It was edited, printed and published by Edata Narayanan at Roxy Press, New Delhi. Achyut Patwardhan became its Editor in January1949. It was shifted to Bombay in May 1949 and was printed and published by G.S. Bhargava at Western Printers and Publishers Press, 15-23 Haman Street, Fort, Bombay. The decision to transfer it was taken in view of certain advantages which the party journal could derive by closer association with the Central Office of the Socialist Party, and better facilities as regards production and circulation.
During all these years since its inception as the official organ of the Socialist Party and later of Praja Socialist Party or as an independent pro-socialist journal, the Janata has raised its challenging voice of principled dissent against all conduct and practice — detrimental to the cherished values of nationalism, democracy, secularism and socialism, while upholding the integrity and the ethical norms of healthy journalism. At the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Praja Socialist Party in August 1971, it was resolved that G.G. Parikh should continue the running of the Janata weekly and was authorised to determine its form of management, and to form a trust if considered necessary. Hence a trust, namely, Janata Trust, was created on October 17,1977 by well known socialists of the country like Shri N.G. Goray, Shri Rohit Dave, Shri Prem Bhasin, Shri Surendra Mohan and others.
Achyut Patawardhan was the first Editor of Janata. It continues to publish articles on politics, economics and related subjects. It was banned during Emergency during 1975-77. It has the envious reputation for continuous publication since its inception though the Socialist Parties and Socialist movements had reached a stage of atrophy. Among its esteemed editors were N.G. Goray, Madhu Dandavate, Prem Bhasin, J.D.Sethi, Surendra Mohan etc. G.G.Parikh is its Editor since the demise of Surendra Mohan in 2010.