Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi, hero of all Urdu newspapers for the last one year is now an editor of an Urdu newspaper ‘Qaumi Salamti’. At a time when many persons distanced themselves from him as an alleged accused in the Israeli bomb blast case, Kazmi received extraordinary support from Siraj Paracha, the father of his counsel in the case. “The case against Kazmi is not a disqualification but a qualification for making him the editor because he has personally undergone the pains of arrest which thousand of Muslims have undergone,” says Siraj Paracha. Overjoyed by the support from all quarters, Kazmi says that the fact so many persons attended the launch of the newspaper, and in particular the presence of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit “has given me hope and strength to work for the nation”.
For Siraj Paracha, this newspaper is a dream come true. “It was in my mind for long to bring out a daily newspaper. During the Emergency I published a newspaper named ‘Iqdaam’ and this paper remained at the stalls for five years. I had in my mind that a newspaper for Muslims can help in organizing the community. It is for this cause I brought out this newspaper”.
For any new venture, funding is an important aspect Kazmi explains,“There is no political funding and it is totally a personal funding of Siraj Paracha thus this newspaper would be fully independent from any political or otherwise pressure. As far as the arrangement is concerned I am an editor and Mr Paracha is the printer, publisher and proprietor of the newspaper. Siraja Paracha’s and our family is very close thus we have not discussed on financial arrangements till date.
Kazmi is grateful for the opportunity to “do something big”. He believes that it is important to ensure that the secular fabric of the country remains intact, and communal harmony is promoted between all religions and communities. Siraj Paracha who was a member of the BJP is now not particularly inclined towards any political party. “I am of the view that all political parties and politicians are same and I am not inclined towards any party. I was a member of BJP but after the Gujarat riots I was so disturbed that I left the party,” he adds. He strongly refutes suggestions that the newspaper is a platform to enter politics. “I will never fight any election and my advice to my kids would also be not to join politics”, he insists.
It is to be seen that how the paper does in the already saturated Urdu newspaper market in these highly competitive times. For Kazmi, it is an endeavour of passion and commitment, with his long years in journalism being put to good use.