Oriental Press Service


61 Fleet Street
London, EC4Y 1
United Kingdom
Date began: 
01 Jan 1926
Precise date began unknown: 
Date ended: 
01 Jan 1938
Precise date ended unknown: 

The Oriental Press Service was established in 1926 by Pulin Behari Seal, a journalist and radical political activist. He was assisted in this venture by M. G. Desai and Gurdit Singh Dara, both of whom had, like Seal, Communist connections. In 1928, there were plans to amalgamate the Service with a similar news service run by Vishnu R. Karandikar, but this did not appear to have come to fruition. The Service’s stated purpose was to supply Indian news to the British, and British news to Indians. However, surveillance reports claim that Seal set up the business mainly for political ends, securing interviews with Indians on official business in London then proceeding to critique them in radical newspapers in both Britain and India. According to reports, the office on the premises of the Oriental Press Service was used mainly for the meetings of Indian ‘extremists’. It was not a lucrative business and was eventually liquidated in 1938.

Key individuals: 
Key Individuals' Details: 

Gurdit Singh Dara (assistant), M. G. Desai (assistant), Pulin Behari Seal (founder/manager).


Reginald Bridgeman (supplied Seal with news about China), Vishnu R. Karandikar (head of a rival news service), B. Khalid Sheldrake.

Secondary works: 

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto, 2002)


L/PJ/12/186, India Office Records, African and Asian Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras, p. 63


This Indian Political Intelligence file contains reports on the movements and activities of the journalist and radical political activist Pulin Behari Seal, who founded the Oriental Press Service. The following extract is from a New Scotland Yard report dated 29 April 1931.


 [Seal] still rents an office at Chronicle House, Fleet Street, E.C., in the name of the 'Orient Press Service'…


It would appear that his office is more used as a rendezvous for Indian extremists than a legitimate business address. Almost daily a number of Indians resort there, and as many as seven have been seen to be present and, with Seal, carry on a heated discussion.


This excerpt, which maintains that the Oriental Press Service combined journalism with politics, is suggestive of the role of journalism, or the dissemination of alternative reportage, as a potentially powerful tool of resistance.

Archive source: 

L/PJ/12/186, India Office Records, African and Asian Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras