With subtlety in accent, royal touch in approach and tenderness in pronunciation, Urdu language has the capacity to impress and leave a firm impression on the hearts and minds of anyone who hears it. Such is the charm of Urdu that understanding becomes secondary.
This is precisely why the lovers of Urdu around the country treat the language and the customs associated with it as sacred. Yet a language that has more than five crore speakers in India seems to be losing its charm and glory.
A major catalyst in the struggle for India's freedom, Urdu journalism has lost its flair and dignity post independence. The conditions at present are not positive. Delving on the future of Urdu journalism, eminent personalities gathered at the India Islamic Cultural Centre recently to express their concern and offer suggestions to improve the current state of the Urdu language in general and Urdu journalism in particular.
Eighty five-year-old renowned Urdu journalist, G. D. Chandan was present on the occasion along with Shahid Siddique, the editor of Nai Duniya. Columnist Zafar Agha also lent his voice.
Chandan highlighted the role of Urdu press in the freedom struggle. He spoke about the dignity and strong character of Urdu press in early decades of independence. Chandan also urged people to buy Urdu newspapers so that the circulation could increase. This in turn would bring back Urdu language and its customs and traditions to a new life.
Zafar Agha came up with a different approach. He made the listeners realise the strength of Urdu press as a whole. Talking about advertisements, he said, “We do not know how to sell ourselves.” He maintained that the press should not beg for advertisements, it is in a state to demand them.
Shahid Siddique asserted, “Only the lovers of Urdu can bring back its lost glory.” He pointed out that it was journalism that kept Urdu alive, post independence. He said that Urdu has become the language of the ordinary people and has become a dynamic language and added that the approach should not be advertisement centric. Earlier Masoom Moradabadi initiated the talks by highlighting the diminishing number of Urdu medium schools in the country. Member of Parliament, Ahmed Syed Malihabadi, suggested forming an all India body for the cause and support of Urdu journalism.