Manoranjan*, in its Diwali Special issue, published a separate section ‘Striyance Lekh’ (Articles of women writers). The enthusiastic editor Kashinath Raghunath Mitra, is responsible for the creation of a whole generation of women short-story writers [X].
Almost everyone must be familiar with the Diwali/Deepavali special issue that were produced in regional languages for much of the 20th century in India (and are still around today). In the East this was the Pujo special (pic 4). The special magazine was a compendium of features (which were typically on religion, history and travel), short stories, poems, cartoons and artwork. Often a children’s section was included, as an example Deepavali Malars in Tamil included a section called Papa Malar (A Child’s Garland). The magazine provided enough reading material over the holidays for a family and one could return to it through the year until the next one came along.
Their history appears to date back to the early 20th century and they also appear to have provided many women with their first taste of literary success, as with Manoranjan.
*Manoranjan was a Marathi magazine first published 1909. The Diwali issue appears to be 1911/1912. For more on the magazine here.
Happy Deepavali! .
The magazines, Loksatta (Marathi), Dharmyug (Hindi), Ananda Vikatan (Tamil) and Arunachal (Bengali).