Source: Indian Who's Who 1935, ed. Waman P. Kabadi (Bombay: 1935), 227

B. G. Horniman

The journalist and nationalist leader Benjamin Guy Horniman was born in 1873. Schooled initially by his mother, Horniman eventually went on to enroll in the Portsmouth Grammar School and Queen’s Service House.

In 1894, he began his foray into journalism as a reporter for the Southern Daily Mail and subsequently became its editor in 1897. This was followed by stints at various other newspapers, such as the Daily Express and the Daily Chronicle. Eventually, he took up the position of News Editor and Assistant Editor at the Calcutta Statesman in 1906.

Horniman made a name for himself with his articles on the investigation of the Hindu-Muslim riots in Eastern Bengal. At the invitation of Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, he headed for Bombay to start The Bombay Chronicle in 1913 and ran the journal until 1919 when he was deported under the Defence of India Act. Undeterred, he returned to Bombay in 1926 to the hearty welcome of the Bombay public. Upon his return, he reentered the ranks of the Bombay Chronicle as its editor but resigned in March 1926. He later returned again as its editor in 1932 though this was again to be a short stint as he left his post upon the release of Mr S.A. Brelvi from jail.

He also founded several newspapers, such as the Indian National Herald (1926), the Weekly Herald (1930) and The Bombay Sentinel at the behest of Mr M.N. Cama. The latter two carried articles that were particularly pertinent to the Civil Disobedience Movement.

In 1934, he began a fervent crusade against Sutta Khel gambling in Bombay and was arrested shortly while investigating it. Though he successfully won his acquittal, this was not to be the last time that he would be embroiled in legal proceedings for his work. He was accused of defamation in 1934 by a man who he had accused of being a “notorious bucket-shopkeeper” though this was again resolved with his acquittal.

Source: Indian Who’s Who 1937-38, ed. Waman P. Kabadi (Bombay: Yeshanand & Co., 1937), 303-304

 

Works

A Friend of India : Selection from the Speeches and Writings of B.G. Horniman (Bombay: Lakhmidas Rowjee Tairsee and R. Venkat Ram, 1918)

Amritsar and Our Duty to India (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1920)

Ideas of IndiaIdeas of India