'Urdu dailies could contribute to the promotion of the language if they are financially sound'

Press Council of India chairman Markandeya Katju has urged the State government to release more advertisements to small Urdu newspapers as they did not have financial resources as much as the big ones.

Speaking at a function organised by the Urdu Journalists Association to felicitate him here on Sunday, he said Urdu dailies could contribute to the promotion of the language if they were financially sound.

Otherwise, Urdu suffered from lack of patronage as it was given a communal colour post-independence.

A deliberate divide and rule policy was adopted identifying Urdu with Muslims and Hindi with Hindus.

But, the reality was that Urdu was not communal as seen from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s preference for the language.

The text of all his speech copies was in Urdu because he was poor at Hindi.

The Director of National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, Khwaja Mohammed Ikramuddin, said the council proposed to start photo and feature services for small Urdu dailies through a news agency because they could not afford to employ photographers or outsource feature articles. The dailies would get 50 per cent subsidy for availing the services of the agency.

Senior Urdu journalist Hadi Rahil said the death of former head of the Journalism Department of Osmania University, S. Abdur Raheem, had slowed down the activities of the Urdu Journalists Association.

He alleged indifference of the State government to small papers in the release of advertisements.

The former director of All India Radio, here, Aslam Farshori spoke and the association’s president, Syed Osman Rasheed, was present on the occasion.

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