NCPUL seminar journeys through 200 years of Urdu Journalism


Srinagar:  Kashmir University’s Gandhi Bhawan on Saturday turned into a time machine momentarily where speakers from the State and outside took the audience back into time to highlight the unparalleled contribution of Urdu journalism beginning almost 200 years ago.

Scores of noted dignitaries from the literary circle including poets, journalists and writers participated in a two-day seminar organised by the National Council for Promotion of Urdu language (NCPUL), Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Highlighting the importance of holding the seminar, Director NCPUL, Prof. Irteza Karim in his keynote address highlighted the contribution of Urdu Journalism and the ‘step-motherly’ treatment being meted out to this beautiful language. “Urdu is a beautiful language that doesn’t belong to a particular community,” he said. “It is unfortunate that Urdu language is being identified with Muslims only.”

He said that Kashmiri Pandits were as adept in Urdu as anybody else and it testifies the fact that Urdu accommodates everyone in its vast bosom. “Urdu welcomed every stranger into the bosom of its beauty and sweetness,” he said. “It’s a well-woven conspiracy to call Urdu a Muslim language. It was Urdu that united the Muslims and Hindus of the greater India and gave them the direction to fight against the imperialist Britain.”

He said that 45 Urdu poets were executed by the British whose prose and poetry pierced into imperialistic designs like venomous barbs. 

Lamenting on the ‘backwardness’ of Muslims which he described as the main cause of downfall of Urdu in India, Prof Irteza said that India owes its freedom to Urdu but Muslims couldn’t take the mantle forward:  “Unfortunately, Muslims kept sinking into an abyss of backwardness and thus, trampled upon the vast literature that the like of Mir Taqi Mir, Mirza Ghalib, Daag Dahalvi, Faiz Ahmad Faiz had left behind,” he said. 

However, buoyed over the contribution and support that Kashmir offered to Urdu, Vice-Chancellor Kashmir University, Prof Khursheed Iqbal Andrabi said the loyalty that the State of Jammu and Kashmir offered to Urdu is incomparable.    

Tracing the history of Urdu journalism in Kashmir, the speakers informed that the journal ‘Rafeeq’ was the first Urdu newspaper published in 1902. “Unfortunately, only two of its issues were published and the editor was exiled from Kashmir as it began to viewed as a potent threat to the autocratic rule then,” Ayaz Rasool Nazki, one of the speakers said.

The speakers unanimously agreed that the vast literature available in Sanskrit and Persian must be translated into Urdu to serve a twin purpose. “It’ll sure infuse a new soul into Urdu and also help the present generation of the compositeness of various cultures that existed in Kashmir,” they said.

A host of senior journalists, authors, writers and educationists including Professor Javid Qadoos, Professor Mehraj-u-Din, Muzaffar Hussain, Prof Khurshid Andrabi, Ghulam Nabi Khayal, Farooq Nazki, Prof Zaman Azurda, Dr Mushtaq Hyder, Nasir Zamir, Ayaz Rasool Nazki, Haroon Reshi, Prof Shafiaq Parvin, Syeda Nasreen Naqash participated in the seminar.

KU Left Out

SRINAGAR:  Director National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) which organized a 2 day seminar on 200 years of Urdu Journalism in Kashmir University on Saturday neither invited the professors neither from the Urdu Department nor from Mass Communication Department to speak on the topic.

“A seminar on Urdu Journalism is taking place in my University and I do not know about,” Mansoor Ahmed, Head Urdu Department of Kashmir University complained. “I was neither informed nor invited by the NCPUL organizers.”

An embarrassed Professor Irteza Karim apologized for the ‘gaffe’ when the participants raised the issue and asked the organisers why the important people from the Varsity were not invited to the occasion. 

 “This could be a mistake but it wasn’t deliberate,” he said. 

“You are organizing a seminar on Urdu and talking about the promotion of this language and still you don’t bother to inform and invite the people form Urdu faculty,” fumed one of the participants.

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