Two-Day Seminar on Urdu Journalism Concludes

Aligarh : “Urdu newspapers used emotive language to inform people during the period from 1857-1947. However, nowadays, media is presenting fact-free information, that too in a mixed language, even though, people know what fact is, and what media is presenting”, said Prof Shafey Kidwai (Department of Mass Communication, Aligarh Muslim University), while delivering the valedictory address in the two-day 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, Government of India.

The seminar coincided with Urdu journalism completing 200 years of its existence in March, 2022.

Prof Kidwai, said, there is no right and wrong use of language, however in terms of Urdu journalism one may choose better lexicon and better translation because sometimes there is meaning-loss in translation.

Prof Kidwai also discussed the regional variation of Urdu and how regional languages have impacted Urdu.

While delivering the Special address Prof Arif Nazir, (Department of Hindi, AMU) said “language should be easy and informative in journalism. Language should be chosen very consciously in newspapers because it represents the culture and traditions of the society. Urdu language is getting worldwide popularity because it borrows lots of words from other languages like Persian, Arabic, Hindi and English”. Illustrating with examples he recited several couplets of renowned Urdu and Hindi poets.

In his special remarks Prof Mohd. Ali Jauhar (Chairman, Department of Urdu) said Urdu newspapers play a crucial role in the development of language. Earlier Urdu journalism was very informative and words were selected carefully, particularly during the times of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Abdul Majid Daryabadi etc. Presently, Urdu journalism is losing its charm owing to various factors like lack of training for journalists and reporters and wrong translation.

Delivering the presidential remarks, Prof Quamrul Hooda Faridi said we become a little worried when non-standard language is used in newspapers. However, change in language is a natural phenomenon because if it does not change it will die with time.

In his welcome address, Prof M J Warsi (Chairman, Department of Linguistics and Director of the Seminar), said the seminar coincides with the bicentennial celebration of the Urdu print media. He said the department will try to conduct a workshop to train Urdu journalists in collaboration with the Department of Urdu, Department of Mass Communication and NCPUL, New Delhi in the near future.

A total of 30 papers were presented by scholars from various parts of the country including University of Kashmir, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Madras University, Assam University, Punjabi University, Patiala and from many other institutions.

Dr. Shamim Fatma and Dr. Saba Parween conducted the programme, while Dr Sabahuddin Ahmad presented a report of the seminar, and proposed the vote of thanks.

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