Arun Purie launched India Today magazine in 1975 as a strategic move to keep the printing press busy in a time of emergency. It is probably the fact that he is still the Editor that the magazine has retained such a distinctive style. So many global magazines have chopped and changed to keep pace with technology that they very often lose the magic formula that made them stand out in the first place. Time has shown that India Today has one of the strongest backbones in the business.
As soon as it was launched its never-seen-before brand of journalism without fear or favour transformed the landscape of Indian journalism. This is not only because it became so popular so quickly (with editions in five languages it is the most widely read publication in India - a position it has held for over a decade - with a readership of over 11 million) but also because it set the tone for the largest and most respected magazine publishing group in India. India Today group also founded in 1975 by Purie now includes 13 magazines, 3 radio stations, 4 TV channels, 1 newspaper, a classical music label (Music Today), book publishing and India's only book club. It even runs the Indian edition of Cosmopolitan magazine.
With the publication of its 30th Anniversary issue in December 2005 India Today is clearly now a national treasure. However, it continues to show its fierce independence from the Government as in March 2009 when it arranged the visit of former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf to the country where he delivered a lecture on the "Challenges of Change". Musharraf thanked the magazine for the reception and protocol it had offered him during his trip there.
India Today has done so much on so many levels to ensure the largest democracy in the world has a free press. So it richly deserves mention in our reading room.
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