The Internet and smartphones have opened up a new world of news and information for Indians. However, quality information in Indian languages is still woefully difficult to find. This is not because of a lack of audience interest. It didn't take long for Tehelka Hindi, a magazine I started, to gain more readers than the English edition and other similar Hindi publications because of the high quality of its stories.
As the number of Indian Internet users expands, the appetite for credible journalism in Indian languages will only increase. Already, roughly 35 million of Facebook’s 125 million users in India read Hindi articles. Yet today, few new voices are experimenting with the unique capabilities of the Internet to speak to this large audience in its own language.
We believe that the economics of digital media allow even small teams like ours to set up high-quality news platforms with strong, original articles. On a good day, our stories reach as many readers as a large newspaper or a TV show does.
We chose to call ourselves Satyagrah because the word reflects the passion and intent of the team. We started with the idea of doing a few consistently strong stories everyday. Merely seven months later, Satyagrah has a larger audience than many better-funded and better-publicized English and Hindi news websites that started much before us.
Based on this enthusiastic feedback from readers, we believe the time is ripe for Satyagrah to expand its current offering for existing readers, and to reach out to new ones. We are, therefore, excited to join forces with the team at Scroll, with whom we share many common goals, not least of which is the aim is to rigorously report on and analyze the forces shaping our fast-changing country.