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  History and Significance of Indian Opionion
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Address to Conference on the Alternate Media to Commemorate the Centenary of the Founding of Indian Opinion, 4 June 2003, Durban
On 4 June 1903 a very tired but fired up young man worked till 3am in the morning in the central business district of Durban. He then walked to his home in Sydenham as the last tramcar had long departed. On 5 June again he worked till 11pm - there was an urgency with which he worked. His goal was to get a new newspaper before the public. The first issue of Indian Opinion was dated 4 June but it was only on 6 June that it could be released. The young man was relieved but he could not relax. He had the next issue to think about and it was due in five days time. He wrote `I am now anxious about the second number. With a small staff, and lack of materials - types, etc., and facilities, we have to keep the paper up to the mark!'
This man was M.H. Nazar, a secretary of the Natal Indian Congress. His letters for this early period indicate that there were two other key individuals involved in the production of this new journal. Madanjit Viyavaharik, the owner of the International Printing Press and Mohandas Gandhi, the Johannesburg lawyer. Nazar and Madanjit saw to the practicalities of producing the newspaper - this was no mean task for the paper was to be produced in four languages - English, Hindi, Gujarati and Tamil. The translation of the articles was difficult as individuals proficient in two languages were required. Nazar would report `The translators are not particularly clever, and they will not work at day time'. Some translations were simply `shocking'. Then there was a shortage of types. Virji Damodar Mehta (who would one day found his own printing press, Universal Printing Press) asked Nazar not to use too many of the Gujarati letter `a'. The editor himself did not know Tamil and had to explain the spirit of articles to translators whose English was not too good. Madanjit in the meanwhile had been running around getting the licence, advertisers and subscribers. The first issue which was some two months in the planning was finally out.