Monday, March 17, 2014

Holi Mubarak: How the Urdu newspaper celebrates Holi on the front page

See the front page of the Urdu newspaper on the left.

The masthead is quite colourful. It reflects the mood of the day.

Holi is the festival of colours, and the top part of the paper, is tastefully designed, with the message, 'Holi Mubarak'. The Sunday edition too has multiple photographs, with reports about traditions of Holi in different regions.

Apart from photographs, there are articles too on Holi, in other Urdu newspapers. An overwhelming majority of readers of these Urdu newspapers are Muslims. This is true for most papers, except, those in Punjab, Delhi and J&K.

Many national English newspapers don't bother to wish readers on Eid-ul-Fitr of Eid-uz-Zuha, despite the fact that they have substantial Muslim readers. In the case of vernacular papers too, you find it quite common.

In states, where due to hawkers' pressures, papers are shut on Id, they do mention about 'chhutti', that the paper won't be printed on the day. However, these things matter a lot. We have a shared culture and it is our tradition to be inclusive.

That's what Indian-ness is all about. Isn't it. Now three links on the Holi day for you. Spare a few minutes. I am sure, most of you would be astonished.

1. Holi as Eid-e-Gulabi [Pink Eid] in an Urdu Nazm that places Prophet Muhammad in a distinct Indian cultural milieu. Abida Parveen renders it in 'Raqs-e-Bismil' album. "Hori hor rahi hai Ahmad jiyo ke dwaar....Hazrat Ali ka rang bano hai, Hasan Husain khilaar....."Listen at this LINK

2. How Sufis, Mughal kings and Muslims on the street play Holi. Read, 'Holi, a shared colourful heritage of Hindus, Muslims ' at this LINK

3. Listen this amazing 'Thumri' (sung by Sardari Begum) that was penned by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah [Awadh].  LINK