MSF is a Public Trust, set up in 1995 in the memory of Shri Mayaram Surjan

Maya Ram Surjan
(1923 - 1994)

Shri Mayaram Surjan was born to Shri Ganeshram & Smt. Champa Surjan on 29th March 1923 at Khaparkheda in district Hosangabad (MP). Khaparkeda was a small village in the fertile plains of River Narmada.

When he was 6, his father, a low-paid cahier in a land-holding firm, suffered a paralytical stroke. This rendered him jobless & young Mayaram had great difficulties in continuing his studies. The middle school was at Piparia, the nearest railhead 8 kms away & he would cover the distance every day to be able to continue his school education. In the village & nearby areas he was The First "Middle Pass." Later he moved on to Wardha to continue higher studies. He could do so only by some educational grants & by living in "Swavlambee Chatraavas"( a cheaper Self-cooking hostel). It was here that he came into contact with Mahatama Gandhi, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru & other stalwarts of the freedom movement. This had a defining impact on his life.

It was here that he got interest in Journalism. He was elected as the Editor of the hand written journal "PRADEEP" published by Wardha Town Students Hindi Literary Society. Some old issues of Pradeep available in Deshbandhu Library show his flair for writing & his direct involvement in the Freedom Movement of India.

Mayaram Surjan started career in journalism proper in 1945 with Hindi Daily Nav Bharat published from Nagpur as a clerk in the advertising departmant.

One of the pioneers of the journalism in the state of erstwhile Madhya Pradesh, late Shri Maya Ram Surjan was both a Dreamer & An Achiever; an idealist with his feet on terra firma. He was a popular political commentator & author of many books. He had five decades of experience in journalism (1944-94). He served with many social & literary organisations including Madhya Pradesh Hindi Sahitya Sammelan of which he was president for 18 years.

This was only a stepping stone in his career spanning over almost five decades. He took keen interest in all departments of the newspaper, editorial being his forte & first love, and was entrusted with more & more responsibilities by his employer & mentor the late Ramgopal Maheshwari.In 1950 he was sent to Jabalpur to launch a new edition of Nav Bharat & was designated as its editor & publisher. He not only successfully launched the edition, but within two years time, in 1952, also started a satellite edition of the paper from Bhopal. After the creation of the new state of Madhya Pradesh on the 1st Nov. 1956 with its capital at Bhopal the satellite edition was converted into a fully fledged edition. Mayaram Surjan moved to Bhopal as General Manager & Editor. Once in Bhopal , he saw the space for starting an English Newspaper & within a year this because a reality in the shape of "Madhya Pradesh Chronicle". However, his association with the group did not last long thereafter.

In December 1958, he severed ties with the newspaper, which he had nursed for almost fifteen years & shifted to Raipur - a place without any previous association - then laid back town in the State. At that time, there was only one flaqqering daily newspaper in entire Chhattisgarh region, providing scope for quality newspaper.

On 17th April 1959, Deshbandhu commenced publication from Raipur. This was the beginning of a newspaper that would soon break new grounds, set new standards in Hindi jounalism; & come to be recognised for its unfliching commitment to decorative value system & its pronounced bias for development journalism regardless of commercial considerations.

Mayaram Surjan lived life dangerously. He never compromised on principles & was ever willing to pay the price for adhering to the values he cherished. Indeed, he had to suffer time and again, in financial & emotional terms , but he never allowed his personal feelings to dictate upon his professional commitment. His was a life free of animosity, bitterness & revenge. He breathed his last on 31st December 1994, befittingly watching the 8.30 PM news bulletin of Doordarshan.

This is but a short biography. Interested readers are recommended to peruse his autobiography