Seminar on Urdu Journalism in the Changing Linguistic Context


Aligarh : “India has great linguistic diversity, and Urdu is the language of all communities, symbolizing our composite culture. There is a need to popularize Urdu particularly in North India”, said Prof Tariq Mansoor, Vice-Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), while addressing the inaugural session of the National Seminar on ‘Urdu Sahafat: Zaban kay Badaltay Pas-e-Manzar kay Hawaly Say’ organized by the Department of Linguistics, AMU in collaboration with National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), Ministry of Education, New Delhi.

Prof Masoor said: mother tongues have special value in the lives of communities, so Urdu-speakers must focus on propagation of their mother tongue, primarily by teaching the language and its script to their children.

Emphasizing the importance of Urdu teachers’ training the Vice Chancellor pointed out the Urdu Academy at AMU was supposed to impart training to Urdu teachers from the schools of Uttar Pradesh, and other states. The Departments of Linguistics and Urdu among others can take up this task after managing funds and resources.

“There are some languages and dialects facing danger of extinction. There is a need to do research, and work for preservation of such languages”, pointed out Prof Mansoor. He congratulated the Department of Linguistics, a flagship department of the University for organizing a seminar on Urdu Journalism with reference to linguistic evolution and challenges.

He also highlighted the key role of conventional universities in doing advanced research and quality teaching in traditional and oriental subjects in the Faculties of Arts, Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages.

Earlier Prof M J Warsi (Chairman, Department of Linguistics and Director of the Seminar) welcomed the guests and resource persons of the seminar, and introduced the theme of the seminar.

“The interplay of media and language is the key reference point for linguistic studies and Urdu journalistic language and idiom has evolved and undergone changes-a natural linguistic phenomenon”, pointed out Prof Warsi.

He mentioned the role of Sir Syed, Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar and others in the development of Urdu journalism, and also mentioned old Urdu newspapers like Jam-i-Jahan-Numa etc.

Delivering the keynote speech, Prof Ehtesham A Khan (Dean, School of Mass Communication and Journalism, MANUU, Hyderabad) said students of journalism and mass communication learn technical part of news and script writing in universities and colleges but there is not much focus on improving their language skills. “Training in content and script-writing with focus on language should be the part of the curriculum”, he added.

Prof S. Imtiaz Hasnain (Department of Linguistics, AMU) presented a linguistic analysis of some of the popular serials, which present complex intricacies of human relations.

Prof Syed Mohammad Hashim (Dean, Faculty of Arts, AMU) said bicentennial observations of Urdu journalism are important as Urdu press played critical role in the independence movement and promoted language and literature. “Urdu must be taught to children with correct pronunciation and script”, he emphasized.

Prof Shabana Hameed read the message of Prof Aquil Ahmad, Director, NCPUL, New Delhi, highlighting the programmes and schemes of the Council.

Dr Sabahuddin Ahmad, Organizing Secretary of the Seminar proposed the vote of thanks.

The two-day National Seminar will conclude on March 6.


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