Sainik Samachar, the fortnightly journal of India’s Armed Forces has turned 100 . The journal started its journey, rather tentatively, as a sixteen page Urdu Weekly on January 2, 1909, to provide to Army personnel ‘a summary of news with a military bias’. Considering the level of extant technology for printing, communication network for collection of material and infrastructure for distribution of the product, it is not surprising to note that Fauji Akhbar received instant popularity among its clients as a single window for vital information that mattered to them. The English edition made its debut 14 years later in 1923.
During its chequered history, Fauji Akhbar has travelled from Shimla, where its office was originally located and published from Allahabad, to Lahore, back to Shimla and then to Delhi. Its popularity was at its peak during the World War-II when an overseas edition was also brought out from Cairo for the benefit of Indian troops deployed in far-off theatres. The print order of Fauji Akhbar and its special bi- weekly supplement Jang Ki Khabarein was in excess of three lakhs at that time. The publication of Fauji Akhbar suspended temporarily immediately after Indpendence due to sudden migration of Muslim staff and the printers. However, it bounced back with renewed vigour in no time. The magazine turned into a fortnightly on April 4, 1954 and rechristened as Sainik Samachar. Published by the Directorate of Public Relations (DPR), Ministry of Defence, the magazine is now brought out in 13 different Indian languages including English.
To commemorate the occasion, the DPR is coming out with a coffee table book titled ‘Soldiering On’. It’s a compilation of articles published in the magazine in the last one hundred years on the momentous events witnessed by the nation. The book will also contain some rare pictures taken out of the stable of the Photo Division under the Ministry for the first time.