Sunday, May 11, 2014

Revolution in digital presence of Urdu newspapers in India: Over 50 Urdu newspapers from India alone on internet now

One of the oldest Urdu newspapers in the country, the Mumbai-based 'Roznama Hindustan', has also launched its internet edition.

Hindustan is now its 78th year. Along with Urdu Times and Inquilab, it has been an important voice of Muslims in Maharashtra and Western India.

An interesting aspect about this website is that ti also has the feature of 'live streaming' i.e. videos of news [and events].

The aim is that people who don't read Urdu but can understand it, will be catered through the audio-visual medium, and they can listen to Urdu news from the website, said Sarfaraz Aarzoo, the editor of the newspaper, at the website launch programme recently.

Among the 70 Urdu papers in India that are online, at least, 50 of these newspapers [including a couple of tri-weekly, weekly and fortnightly periodical papers], are well-circulated newspapers with substantial readership and their internet presence is adding to their brand.

Around 20-odd publications don't have good circulation but have websites. Anyhow, this is no mean achievement as till just a few years ago, Urdu newspapers lacked as far as modernisation and internet presence was concerned.

Now, Urdu dailies rival the other languages in the country, in terms of number of papers that are on web, and also the diverse layouts and presentation on their sites. Hindustan's website also has the children's and literary supplements online, and the readers away from Mumbai, can access the paper easily.

Let's stop being pessimistic about Urdu

It is good to see positive news emerging about Urdu. Let's stop talking in a depressing tone about Urdu. In fact, the most revolutionary changes are coming in the language in recent years. Those who are doing it should be praised and it should inspire others to take action, rather, than sitting and expressing sorrow.

From the oldest newspapers of Delhi like Milap, Pratap and Punjab's Hind Samachar, newspapers from all the major Urdu publishing centres viz. Srinagar, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Patna, Aurangabad, Ranchi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, are now available online.

Who had imagined till sometime ago that even cities like Beed (Maharashtra) would have Urdu newspaper, in print and also on web? If newspapers from Pakistan are added, the list will get too long. There are also Urdu papers published from Europe and America.

Here is an old list of Urdu newspapers that have websites. It doesn't have all the names though. A more comprehensive list is available at this LINK. But it also doesn't have all the newspapers published online in India. As far the Hindustan's website is concerned, it is available at and