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24 June 2013

Communalism a major threat says Urdu newspaper editors

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Govt sets up panel to review DAVP norms

IMO News Service

New Delhi: Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari Sunday, June 23, 2013 informed that that a committee has been set up to review the existing DAVP norms for releasing government advertisement to different newspapers and periodicals

Tewari, who was addressing the All India Urdu Editors’ Conference organized by the Lucknow based Jadeed Markaz weekly, urged the editors present to place their views before the panel.

On the demand for capacity building for staffers of Urdu newspapers, the Minister said that the Director of Indian Institute of Mass Communication Sunit Tandon was formulating a scheme for language specific capacity building. He urged the editors to follow up Tandon.

On the issue of Urdu newspapers being discriminated in disbursement of government advertisement, the General Secretary of the Congress party, Dijvijay Singh said “after 1977 people with a different mindset have infiltrated the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and these people are creating problems.”

He said that communalism was the biggest threat to the country. There are communal elements amongst both Hindus and the Muslims, he said.

The Lok Janshakti Party leader and MP, Ram Vilas Paswan urged that at 25% of the government advertisement should be reserved for Urdu and small newspapers. He said that most of the Urdu newspapers cater to specific regions of the country and therefore “there is an urgent need for a national Urdu daily.”

Paswan was of the view that if Urdu develops Hindi would also develop as both the languages are interlinked.

The Conference condemned all acts of violence emanating from communalism and terrorism.

It lauded the National Investigating Agency (NIA) for carrying out proper investigations in Malegaon and Makkah Masjid blast cases as a result of which several innocent people were released from custody.

NIA has also proved its fairness and objectivity in the case of Liyaqat Shah of Kashmir which resulted in his release, the resolution said.

The editors urged the government to set up a mechanism to check irresponsible journalism and sensational reporting.

The Conference urged the government to reserve a quota for disbursement of advertisement to Urdu newspapers.

As the Urdu newspapers in Kashmir are facing threats from the militants and harassment by the police, the Conference urged the Government to provide security to journalists and allow newspapers to work in a free and fair atmosphere.

The Government should encourage universities, major Madarsas, seminaries and other leading institutions to start courses in Urdu journalism, page-making and designing.

Several Urdu editors also addressed the conference and highlighted there grievances.

Conference also observed 2minute silence in the memory of those who died in the Uttarakhand natural calamities.

Resolutions adopted at the All India Urdu Editors Conference organized by the Jadeed Markaz, Lucknow

June 23, 2013

1. Editors of Urdu Press condemn all acts of violence either through the acts of terrorism or communalism and resolve to continue fight against these menaces with full might.

2. Urdu Press has always highlighted the issues and voices of the poor, the downtrodden, the Dalits and the Muslims vigorously. It has also raised the pitch whenever innocents are victimised merely on the basis of suspicion and on the basis of fabricated cases are made to spent years in jails. It must be noted that after the constitution of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) by the central government, such arrests have come to a halt. It has resulted in the proper investigation of Malegaon and Makkah Masjid blasts and several innocents were released.

Recently, the NIA once again proved its fairness and objectivity in the case of Kashmiri citizen Liyaqat Shah. The NIA played a pivotal role in highlighting his innocence that led to his release.

This conference commends government for making Shah’s release possible; at the same time it demands that other innocent youths, rotting in different jails should also get justice and a fair play so that they could be released at the earliest.

3. It must be recognised that Urdu newspapers are fighting the battle for an independent and free media since British colonial era. While Urdu editors are against any undue interference in the affairs and working of media, still we believe that to stop sensationalisation on the part of a section of media, government should sit with media representatives to set up a mechanism to stop irresponsible journalism and sensational reporting. This is necessary in the interest of both the public as well as the country.

4. Urdu editors conference feels that Urdu media faces discrimination at the government levels. Therefore, this conferencedemands from both central and state governments to exhibit fairness and justice towards Urdu media. Not only should the government, increase allocation of its advertisements, but also it should reserve a quota specifically for Urdu press, within the budget allocated for the advertisements and publicity.

5. It has come to our notice, that Urdu papers in Kashmir are facing extreme hardships at the hands of government, police, security agencies as well as from militant groups. Instead of giving them a sense of security, the government uses every effort to put them in trouble, to the extent that at many times, circulation of newspapers has been banned illegally. Therefore, this conference demands that in future government must desist indulging in such acts and provide a complete sense of security to journalists to allow newspapers to work in a free and fair atmosphere. It must be borne in mind, that in conflict situations like prevailing in Kashmir, media is the primary means to reach out to general public and provide an interlocution between the government and the masses.

6. The government should encourage and lure public and corporate sectors to issue advertisements to Urdu press. This would go a long way to make Urdu press financially viable and ensure its independence and freedom.

7. It is also a known fact that the number of Urdu papers are increasing day by day. But still Urdu newspapers lack competent and trained staffs. Therefore, government should encourage universities, major madrassas, seminaries and other leading institutions to start courses in Urdu journalism, page-making, computers and designing etc.

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