DANISH REYAZ | Mumbai, January 24, 2012 13:02
Urdu Kitab mela | Mumbai | literary festival | books sold out | broke records | India |
It is believed that the popularity of Urdu language is dying in India but the All India Urdu Kitab Mela held recently at Saboo Siddique ground in Mumbai from Jan 14 - Jan 22, showed a changed scenario for Urdu lovers. The Kitab Mela was organized by National Council for Promotion of Urdu Languages, Ministry of Human Resources Development and the turnover of this festival proved that there is a significant rise in number of Urdu lovers in India.
Books worth Rs 54 lakhs sold out in this literary festival which continued for nine days in Mumbai. Hameedullah Bhatt, Director, NCPUL said “ Rs 54 lakhs worth books sold out in this festival which means that we have sold 54 billion English books. Mumbai Urdu Kitab festival has broken all records acheived in India. Also we learnt that if the cultural institutions involve in the promotion of Urdu language then a great success can be achieved in promotion of this language.”
Educationist P.A. Inamdar said “Government of India has done enough work for minorities, now the NCPUL work should also be appreciated and instead of criticizing the Urdu literature, we should focus on its positive aspects.” Also it was noticed in the recent reports that the readership of Urdu newspapers has been decreasing because of the language barrier.
Hasan Kamal, a known lyric and advisor to Sahara Urdu daily said “Now the companies are entering into Urdu journalism as they are aware about current marketing trends. English media market has reached saturation and to increase their business they are now trying to expand their reach with the help of regional newspapers.”
In last decade, we have already seen the crisis faced by Urdu journalism but the scenario at present seems to be changed now and I hope future of Urdu journalism will be bright” added Hasan Kamal.
Sarfaraz arzu, Editor, Hindustan Urdu daily said “Government doesn’t want to resolve our day-to-day issues. While the government is paying well for advertisements in English dailies and other regional papers, the Urdu newspapers suffer lack of proper funding by government and hence the advertisement ratio of these newspapers is very poor.”
“In terms of readership we are less in number than English readers but as far as population covered by newspapers is concerned, we are better than others”, added Mr. Arzu while giving a comparison between Urdu newspapers and others.
Qutubuddin Shahid, Sub-editor of daily Inquilab, commented on the readership of Urdu newspapers said, “It has become complicated as no one wants to read Urdu newspapers. Number of readers have been falling day by day and in such scenario how a company or any person will give advertisement in Urdu newspapers? As a result we get very less advertisements.”
In spite of the facts stated above, one has to opine that languages have their own cultural and literary values and just marketing figures are not sufficient to predict the future of any language.