KL NEWS NETWORK
Marking completion of its first year of publication, Monthly Urdu magazine Belaag Sahafat observed its first anniversary Sunday with people from various walks of life, including intellectuals and politicians, pledging to promote the “dying language.”
Veteran journalist Kuldeep Nayar who was the chief guest on the occasion said, “Urdu was dying as it was no more lucrative in terms of career opportunities.” “English has overshadowed Urdu though the former was a natural bond of communication between the neighbouring countries.”
Nayar who had migrated to India at the time of partition said he started his journalistic career in India from an Urdu daily but subsequently switched over the English as “there were little career opportunities in the other languages”. He, however, said, “given his love for Urdu he continues to write columns in the language.”
In his address, Justice Retd Bashir Ahmed Kirmani, who presided over the function said there was “need to keep Urdu alive” but that it was the responsibility of the government to take measures for conservation. “If language wise anything binds the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, who have their own regional languages like Dogri, Kashmiri and Ladakhi respectively, its Urdu which is the medium of communication. Otherwise these three regions are Greek to each other,” Justice Bashir said.
Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani addressed the gathering telephonically stating that “journalism was a challenging job in conflict zone like Kashmir while providing readers with insight news in Urdu was equally challenging given its fading commercial markets”.
Senior separatist leader and head priest Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who was also present on the occasion in his address said, “it was duty of Muslims of the subcontinent to conserve this language and work for its promotion.”
He, however, regretted that the “ruling right wing forces were hell bent to erode the fabric of Urdu which happens to be among sweetest in the world and has contributed a lot in the spread of Islam”.
Mirwaiz, hailed the Belaag team for “having produced a quality monthly magazine which upholds the significance and sensitivity in its literary manifestation”. “The young team deserves all accolades for their endeavour of taking up this challenging job.”
Noted writer G N Khayal said there was a “need for collective efforts for the promotion of Urdu language”.
Journalist Dr Syed Shujaat Bukhari in his address equally endorsed that “Urdu journalism had become more challenging as the people were switching over to languages like English”.
Complimenting the role of Belaag Editors, Tariq Ali Mir and Haroon Reshi, Bukhari said, “the duo has taken up a challenging task, while living up to the name of the magazine, Belaag Sahafat, meaning unblemished journalism, was equally challenging.”
On the occasion four prominent journalists Yusuf Jameel, GN Shaida, Riyaz Masroor and Tahir Mohi Ud Din were awarded for their contribution towards Urdu journalism. (KNS)