New Delhi: ``Der aaye, durust aaye (though late, it has come)," said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he launched Doordarshan's Urdu channel on Tuesday.

In a lighter vein, he asked why it took so long for Doordarshan to start the channel (since Independence.) "From slogans to ghazals, from poetry and writings to sufi songs, Urdu has been a part and parcel of the rich Indian culture," he said.

The rich historic and cultural traditions expressed by Urdu has bound people together across the length and breadth of the country. The language played a major role in promoting Indianness and secularism, Dr. Singh said.

Quoting renowned poets, he said Urdu literature, jokes and vocabulary got a boost by incorporating values from languages such as Awadhi, Brajbhasha, Telugu and Punjabi, besides drawing vividly from the rich Persian language.

Recalling the role played by Urdu in the Freedom struggle, Dr. Singh said the slogan `Inquilab Zindabad' (long live revolution) gave a major boost to the movement.

Similarly, revolutionaries took strength from couplets like `sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil me hai, dekhna hai zor kitna bazu-e-qatil me hai.'

United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Ministers Arjun Singh, Shivraj Patil, P. R. Dasmunsi, S. Jaipal Reddy, Saifuddin Soz, E.Ahamed and Prithviraj Chavan were present. PTI