Information and Persian Newsletters during Mughal India

Document Type: Research Article


Prof.Centre of Persian & Central Asian Studies, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies Jawaharlal Nehru University,New Delhi,India


History suggest that the system of information existed in structured manner during pre-Mughal period, and the role of Afghan ruler Sher Shah was vital to systemize it. With the establishment of the Mughal rule in India, the system developed to secure the flow of information from the Centre to the peripheries and vice-versa, besides between different centers in a more scientific and systematized way. This method of supplying information was probably taken from Abbasids, who had evolved it on the line of Romans and Iranians, and it was initially introduced in India by the Ghaznavids. The rulers' appointed news writers during the period between 16th and 18th centuries used to write  newsletters on daily, or bi-weekly basis; and this same system for collection and reporting of news in manuscript form continued to exist and even flourish in North India right until the uprising of 1857. These reports, rich in details about the social and cultural life of the subcontinent, provide significant material for historical research.
Inland trade in India increased in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries as a result of emergent urbanization. In the fifteenth century the network of local roads radiating out from the provincial capitals increased considerably. Nonetheless, the art of vaqaye nawisi and communication progressed to an extent during Akbar's period, which could be termed as the initial phase of the modern newspaper and postal system. These newsletters which were termed as Waqaye, Sawaneh, Roznamcha, Akhbar etc were suffixed by words like Huzur, Darbar, Darbar e Mo'alla etc.  



1. S.A.A. Rizvi, The Wonder that was India, Vol.II, Page-219

2. ibid

3. Tripathi, R.P., Emergence and Decline of Mughal Empire, Urdu...., ND, 170

4. Zamzamanama e Shershahi, p.104 qouted from Tarikhe Sahafat e Urdu by Maulana Imdad Sabri, Vol.1, p.38

5. Ibid, also Tarikh e Daudi, p.225 and Tarikh e Shershahi (Elliot and Dowson), 2nd Edition, Calcutta, 1952, p.141

6.Tarikh-e-Sher Shahi (Elliot & Dowson), 2nd Ed., 1952, page 141.

7.John Fampton, The Travels of Marcopolo and Nicholo De Conti., page 280.

8.A. S. Khurshid, Newsletters in the Orient, Islamabad, 1988, page 34.


10.Sir T.W. Arnold, Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. IV, page 283.

11.Tarikhe Sahafat e Urdu by Maulana Imdad Sabri, Vol.1, p.41

12.S.A.A. RIZVI, The Wonder that was India, Vol.II, Page-192

13.Abul Fazl, Ain i Akbari, Jamia Osmania, p.380

14.Abul Fazl, Akbar Nama (Translation by H. Beveridge), Vol. III, page 31.


16.Chanchal Sarkar, Samachar patroN ki kahani, NBT, Delhi, p.7

17.Maulana Imdad Sabri, Ibid,p.41

18.Abul Fazal,ibid,259

19.Elliot & Dowson, Memoirs of Jahangir, Vol. I, page 387.

20. Zakaullah, Maulan, Tarikh e Zakaullah, Vol.6, page.896 qouted from Maulana Imdad Sabri, Ibid, p.42