Saturday, July 23, 2005

Is Urdu Ready for the Information Superhighway?

July's cover story in Spider magazine (the Dawn Group's Internet Magazine) is titled "Sifting Scripts: Is Urdu ready for the information superhighway?". One of the stories, by yours truly, covers how the blogosphere is evolving:

It mentions this blog rather prominently.

Highlights of the whole edition, including the full articles on Urdu on the 'Net are available off the Spider web page. The other stories in that package actually do a good job of rounding up what's been going on with the Internet and Urdu. And mine gives you a flavour of how Urdu is starting to transcend borders for a new generation.


Sunday, July 17, 2005

20th Volume of Urdu Lughath (Dictionary) Released

It seems the Urdu Dictionary Board has released Volume 20 of the dictionary they are compiling. They are halfway through "Noon", I think. This volume covers from "Nashaath" to "Nh. So I guess we will now know precisely what Faiz Saahab was talking about when he said "Chandh kaliyaaN Nishaath kee chun kar..."...or was it Sahir? But I wonder what "Nh" means? Is that just the "Nah", as in No?

I don't want to just steal a story from a news site and post it here, so please read the story on the sites that published them. I will post any other information I can get. For now, I just remember that back when I was in High School (late 80s), a friend of my father's, Professor Ikhlaque Akhtar Hamidi, mentioned contributing to the discussion. I am not even sure whether it was as a formal part of the Urdu Dictionary Board or not. Anyway, here are the stories:

* Story at "PakPositive" that quotes and links to a Gulf Times story.
* Story in Dawn.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Urdu News Channel by Prasar Bharti

India shall soon have a dedicated TV news channel in Urdu. This channel shall be a good source of news and information for the Urdu speaking populace of India. Besides, I believe this step shall also be instrumental in keeping the language more agile.

In India, most of the regional Doordarshan channels broadcast news in Urdu. Some private channels like Sahara TV runs Urdu news bulletin, as well. But having a complete channel for Urdu news would add great value to the Urdu media, and I believe, would to an extent conjugate Urdu and Urdu speaking people to the mainstream national life.

Talking about Urdu channels, Hyderabad based Enadu TV launched the first 24 hours Urdu channel: E TV Urdu. This is essentially a channel that has current affairs programs, news, and family entertainment. The channel is gradually gaining popularity among the masses.

Media has always been instrumental in creating and establishing cultures. So, with channels like E TV Urdu and to-be-launched Urdu channel from Prasar Bharthi, Urdu as a language is bound to become relatively more commonplace. And, this way, Urdu shall not be wrongly associated with any particular community or religion, and shall gain more reorganization as the language of India and all Indians - something that it always has been.

Following is the news about the channel.


Prasar Bharati to launch Urdu TV Channel in January next

New Delhi, June 24 (UNI): A new Urdu television channel is to be started by Prasar Bharati from January one next year, which Information and Broadcasting Minister S Jaipal Reddy said would be a new year gift to 100 million viewers in the country.

An amount of Rs 65.7 crore had been set aside to prepare the software for the new channel, Mr Reddy said at a press meet here.

He said that Prasar Bharati had accepted a request to this effect made by the Central Government.

The channel will beam at lest seven hours of programme every day to begin with, he said.
The Minister said there was no dearth of Urdu journalists in the country to help develop the channel.

While the channel was not being started keeping commercial viability in view, attempts would be made to earn revenue