Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Nehru's newspapers Qaumi Awaz, National Herald shut down in Congress regime

On April 1, Qaumi Awaz, the Urdu daily from national capital, New Delhi, which was founded by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, brought out its last copy.

The masthead, the photo of which is shown on the top left, will be remembered for a long time. Till its last day of publication, the words :"Baani: Jawaharlal Nehru" (encircled in red for those who can't read Urdu)", were printed in the same manner.

National Herald has also closed down. The papers were earlier published from Lucknow and nearly a decade back, the Lucknow edition was closed Pandit Nehru, the great visionary, and founder of modern India, had established these papers.

Ironically, the newspapers closed despite all possible resistance and the fact that Qaumi Awaz still used to sell and had a good circulation though there was no money.

And it all happened when Congress-led UPA is in the office and Sonia Gandhi's intervention would have saved the papers.

The English daily could also have been revived (Qaumi Awaz was doing well). But the Congress leadership preferred to look askance though they had a responsibility also. The party is not short of funds. Forever I will miss the newspaper that was once largely circulated in entire North India.

The last day of the National Herald editorial titled 'Herald hopes for a better tomorrow". This newspaper was founded in September 1938 and after 70 years, closed down.

The papers could have been given to private hands, which could have run them efficiently. Many people were interested in running Qaumi Awaz and restart its Lucknow edition, specially in view of Roznama Sahara's success.

Even today one could get Qaumi Awaz' late city edition in most Indian cities that reached in the evening. Employees have been given VRS and the era of National Herald, Qaumi Awaz, Navjivan, has gone.

Today BJP, which always needed a mainstream English daily, has acquired a newspaper after years of effort (The Pioneer) to propogate its policies and the Congress simply lost its established papers. The Hindi version Navjeevan was closed long ago. But who could have convinced the party! They have lost UP but can anybody put sense in their head.

I still remember it was once used to be published from Mumbai and Hyderabad also. And had tremendous circulation in Awadh. Qaumi Awaz, the nationalist voice, that got revived under Mohan Chiraghi's stint as editor, ultimately became history.

Nehru's dreams had died long ago. His papers also died. Alas!

[The other photo shows Qaumi Awaz (encircled) on the newspaper stands]