Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Viqar-e-Hind: A fresh Urdu news magazine in India

Viqar-e-Hind is published from Hyderabad
When I visited the bookshop, the owner of the shop handed me Viqar-e-Hind, a news and current affairs magazine.

Though I was familiar with it, but hadn't seen it on stands yet. I bought it instantly. The contents and the quality of printing impressed me. This 68 page magazine is published from Hyderabad.

For years, Urdu speaking populace expected a magazine that would be of the standard of English magazines like Outlook and India Today.

In terms of paper quality, it not only matches them but, in fact, its printing quality seems better. The magazine clearly looks chic and smart.

Apart from politics, there are analyses, sections on women, culture, history, society, health, business & sport. What most newspapers and magazines ignore is the important segment--Children.

Viqar-e-Hind has two pages for kids that have stories and colouring activity. I congratulate them. But I would suggest that they should add at least one or two pages for children and include certain cartoons and activities.

These brain teasers or activities [as in English magazine, Magic Pot] draw the children and preteens towards the magazine. It is this young generation that will later become a dedicated reader.

After corporate groups had turned attention towards Urdu, the standard of printing also improved. In the last few years, there have been several new magazines. Readers today are aware because they get news from diverse sources including 24/7 TV channels.

What they really need is more neutrality stand and objectivity in articles. That the written word shouldn't inflame passions [or increase sense of persecution], rather, give the readers a food for thought and awaken them. The editor Mr Azim-ur-Rahman has done commendable job in bringing out such a magazine.

Already, it has carved a niche for it in the last few months. The magazine has a section on international news, as also column by famous satirist-humorist Mujtaba Husain.

We hope that Viqar-e-Hind would continue its forward march. There is no dearth of weeklies or periodicals in Urdu.

They include Nasheman to Nai Duniya and The Sunday Indian to Alami Sahara or the more political Afkar-e-Milli and Chauthi Duniya.

But this new magazine that comes twice a month looks promising and adds to the growing number of news and current affairs magazines in India.

We need media that is positive and constructive, rather than plain emotive. If you are an Urdu reader, do subscribe it, rather than getting content by reading the online edition [website].

Viqar-e-Hind is a fortnightly magazine and is priced at Rs 20. The annual subscription is Rs 480 within the country, and is not much, if one goes by the standard of the magazine.