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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Closure of Biswin Sadi: End of an Era in Urdu journalism

The closure of Biswin Sadi, one of the most popular social-semi-literary Urdu magazine, has come as a shock for Urdu-walas in the country.

It was probably the oldest surviving Urdu magazine in India*. It was just ten years ago that the debate had begun whether the magazine should change its name as the Beeswin Sadi [20th century] was coming to an end.

But it was later decided that the old name would be continued and even after the arrival of the new millennium and the New century, the magazine continued to be published under the same name [It didn't become Ikkiswin Sadi]. Under the late Khushtar Girami, it had already became a great institution.

After his demise, Z Rahman Nayyar, brought out the magazine with the same passion. Until recently it was doing fairly well. Though Shama, Ruby and other similar magazines closed, Biswin Sadi remained the market leader in its own segment.

The satirical Teer-o-Nashtar, the Afsanas (Short stories) and selection of ghazals-nazms, apart from the columns 'selection on couplets based on topics' and the 'Replies to readers' columns were all unique. Ziaur Rahman Naiyar, despite his frail health, and age, was bringing out the magazine.

Stalwarts like Kashmiri Lal Zakir, Izahr Asar, Kailash Mahir and umpteen such names were still visible on the pages of this magazine that gave literary taste to several generations. It was in a different league: much above Khatoon-e-Mashriq and Pakiza Anchal in terms of literary standard.

Once, the great Ram Lal, used to write in Biswin Sadi. Though he was not seriously taken by literary world for the same reason, but he got immense popularity across the sub-continent, because his stories were published in Biswin Sadi.
Over the years it has become a rare sight to find an Urdu magazine outside ghettoes. But apart from Jaraem and Islamic digests, Biswin Sadi was found on AH Wheeler stalls at railway stations across the country. It didn't have religious overdose either and was in a true sense a social magazine.

The owner-editor Rahman Nayar is now quite old. But a magazine of such great history that was published for over seven decades, shouldn't be closed because of the mere reason that one of his kins, whom he trusted, ditched him financially. It must be revived. Otherwise it will be a big blow. A void that can never be filled.
[*I am not sure whether Delhi/Haryana/Himachal Pradesh-based Mastana Jogi and Nirala Jogi are still published. ]


mummyjaan said...

That's a surprise; I remember copies of Biswin Sadi, Bano and Khatoone Mashriq in several Urdu-speaking homes in the past.

I wasn't aware that Shama had gone out of circulation; and what about Bano? Is that still in print?

indscribe said...

Bano was closed long long back. I think it was early 90s. Nearly 15 years have elapsed.

Though there are magazines like Pakiza Anchal, but standard social magazines for women, are now extinct in Urdu. And this is a big loss.

Sahara's Bazm, monthly, is a new family magazine.

indscribe said...

Khatoon-e-Mashriq is still published.

Anser Azim said...

Huma, Shabistan, Beesveen SAdi, NOOR, Nidaemillat, Qaumi Awaaz,Blitz, Ibne safi kai Novel, AR khatoon, Nasim Hijaazi kai novels all these magazines are part of my memory. Its sad to know that their publications have become extinct in the last 30 years or so? How to reverse this trend? Are they being taken over by better magazines? I doubt that!!
anser azim

indscribe said...

Huma is still published and is quite popular. And so is Noor, probably the best magazine for kids.
Qaumi Awaz delhi is on verge of closure. But things are not that bad. The Urdu publication scene is looking up, due to non-Muslim business houses that have begun quality magazines. I plan to do a post on it soon.

Ibn Safi novels are still published in the form of digests and are sold but I don't think a paise of royalty has gone to his kin.

حیدرآبادی said...

یہ ہمارے لئے ایک انتہائی افسوس ناک خبر ہے۔ یقین جانئے کہ ابھی دو منٹ قبل اردو کے درد سے بےتاب ہو کر ہم نے اپنے بلاگ پر۔۔۔ اک دل کا درد ہے کہ رہا زندگی کے ساتھ ۔۔۔۔ مصرعہ لگایا تھا۔
کیا معلوم تھا کہ ایک دھچکہ اور لگے گا۔ آہ بیسویں صدی ‫!!
ہمارے بھی چند افسانے نوے کی دہائی میں بیسویں صدی میں شائع ہو چکے ہیں۔ لگتا ہے ہمیں بھی اس غمناک اطلاع پر تعزیت کرنی ہوگی اپنے بلاگ پر۔

Anonymous said...

m so surpriz ... when u r talking about biswin sadi n ruby n rehman naiyer sb....u don know about AFSAR JAMSHED SB n his contribution..plz discs with Rehman Naiyer sb about this page..(khizar)

shamshad ali sagar said...

sachchey-jhoote qisse kahaniyon ka dor ab lad cuka hai.

Shoeb Khan Yusufzai said...

you *&%$&*, which kin are you talking about?

indscribe said...

Mr Yusufzai. First learn decency and avoid abusing others. Anything can be said but with civility.


well Mr. Anonymous, this blogger doesn't know much about the artists of biswin sadi. Mr. Afsar Jamshedpuri sb is such a great name.
On behalf of
Dr. Shama Afroz Zaidi
(Editor, Biswin Sadi)

indscribe said...

Mr Shoeb.

First you use write abuses and then justify it. Perhaps, it's your culture.

This blog has my email. You could have told me if there was something you disagreed with.

But you write obscene words and thren threaten to sue me. First you become Yusuf Zai and then become Khan.

I wonder if a prominent litterateur like Dr Zaidi approves of using this language. And learn t differentiate between blogger and persons who write comments on a post.

Hyderabadi said...

Is "Biswin Sadi" still alive under editorship of Dr.Shama A. Zaidi?

Anonymous said...

I am looking for the cover pages of Shama and Biswin Sadi. Does any one know where I can get old copies of the magazines or atleast copies of these covers. I was a regular reader of these magazines until last 30+ years.


Hyderabadi said...

I have few issues of 80's & 90's "Shama" & "Biswin Sadi". But currently I am away from my home country.
Most probably I will scan and post at my blog after Ramdhan Eid inshaAllah. So please wait till then. or u can in contact with me thru my email.

navishta siddiqui said...

my nana Mr. Musa Majrooh has written many books and ghazals in beeswin sadi.... most popular being "KAANTE"., "ADJOORA MAJISMA"..AND "AANKHE"..any! remembers??? but unfortunately he is no more and i dont have a personal copy.. can any!help...