About us

Foundation of The Billion Press

We are a non-profit (section 8 company under The Companies Act, 2013, in India) noted for our edit page columns in leading newspapers. We write with a focus on everyday people and with the objective of bringing to light people less seen, voices less heard and perspectives less argued. The Billion in our name refers to the billion and more who make up India, and particularly the disadvantaged. 

A focus on people less seen, voices less heard, perspectives less argued

We hold that the era of journalists employed to do the bidding of employers and advertisers has passed. Traditional business models are under challenge. Change is is at hand, and it is messy. Journalists can, must, and indeed are in many remarkable cases, leading this change.  

This view [They who know not what the media is] by our Editor Jagdish Rattanani in the EPW [Dec. 2022] discusses how and why the future of the news media cannot be in large, "established" names who give in or get taken down rather easily. 

We seek to play our part in experimenting with and scripting new models that are free of vested interests, models that can inform, educate, help build a well-reasoned, fact-based point of view rather than ideas bandied about on channels like WhatsApp. In doing so, we hope to promote a better understanding of the complex issues that face us today.

We are ad-free, self-funded and have exciting, innovative projects that are under execution, an example of which is an initiative called 'Gosh!' This project asks the question: "Gosh, what have we done to Gandhi?" 

'Gosh!' will work to debunk the misunderstandings and a new wave of misinformation that is being spread to misinterpret, denigrate and even demonise Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. 

Not by GDP alone

It has not taken long for India to become a nation obsessed with growth as measured by the Gross Domestic Product. But GDP is not everything. A growing GDP can be good, but is not always so.  Growth can be skewed, sometimes with misplaced priorities that can focus on the glitz and hide away the grime. Development cannot be only about fancy malls, glamorous airports or gated communities. 

We like to argue that GDP growth is not a panacea and should go hand-in-hand with good governance, a justice system that works for all citizens and a responsive administration that can promote well-being to enable all people, irrespective of caste, creed, gender, religion, region, language, dialect, lead happy, fulfilling and enriching lives.  

We believe the way to do that is to invest in areas like primary health and primary education, and broadly in investments at the grassroots that can, for example, provide clean drinking water and sanitation, and safe, efficient, affordable public transport that all sections of the people can use. India also needs a special focus on uplifting the "backwards", and some of our poorest and most vulnerable groups. Our writings try and present these arguments in the context of everyday developments.

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We are columns

We have more than a million words of contemporary commentary published on the edit and op-ed pages of several English and Indian language newspapers that serve local area aspirations and audiences. We also write for national papers and the "pink" press with a focus on the aspirations of ordinary citizens.

We are diverse

A wide range of writers support The Billion Press and write columns for us on the issues we together hold dear. We like to have a more diverse base of people critiquing policy and reflecting on our times.

We are reflections

Our diaries open up spaces to reflect. These pages are free from the limits of structure, length, or time. They are an opportunity to roam free and reimagine our world to enable us explore new connections.

We are conversations

Our diaries sometimes report conversations with a range of practitioners, policy leaders and professionals who are ready to revisit the past, examine the present and look ahead with a critical eye and a sense of common good.

Mr. Tarapore was the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1992 to 1996. An economist, a central banker and a columnist, he stood tall as a champion for the rights of ordinary citizens.
S S Tarapore (1936-2016) mentored us and helped launch the Foundation of The Billion Press
Mr. Tarapore was the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1992 to 1996. An economist, a central banker and a columnist, he stood tall as a champion for the rights of ordinary citizens.

Dr. N A Mujumdar

Dr. N A Mujumdar (1930-2014) was an early supporter of the idea of a news service to focus on the issues of common citizens. He was the acclaimed editor of the Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics. In his later years, he wrote for the Free Press Journal and seeded ideas for The Billion Press. He was noted for his writings on the philosophy of financial inclusion.

Who is the common person?

Political and economic institutions in a healthy democracy are expected to function centered on the interests of common people. Both the Mahatma and Swami Vivekananda undertook a long journey to find out the problems of common people, writes K Kanagasabapathy.