14 April 2013

TOI's strange love affair with Urdu

The English media is particularly fond of casting the Muslims in a certain stereotype adopted by the British to divide Indian society into two warring camps which eventually led to partition.

Recently there was a report in Times of India in which it had hyped up as news the relay of a programme in an Urdu TV channel which had shown a recipe involving pig meat. The news item harped on this as being offensive to Muslims. In doing so the paper unthinkingly reinforced the falsehood that Urdu is the language exclusively of Muslims and the Urdu language should pander only to their sensibilities. Anyone who knows the background of Urdu needs no telling that Urdu is an entirely secular language used extensively by all communities.

Curiously enough, this very paper is also running a campaign Aman ki Aasha which purports to bring together the societies of India and Pakistan. The first step towards making Aman ki Aasha a success is to undermine the divisive tactics practised by the British which the English-speaking elite of India which collaborated with colonialism and imperialism have also internalized, a clear example of which are the likes of Times of India.

Readers would also have noted how this paper routinely quotes Urdu newspapers on matters concerning Muslims - such as the hanging of Afzal Guru or the sentence of Sanjay Dutt to five years in jail, and never quotes Urdu papers on other matters, thereby also signalling that Urdu is the language of Muslims.

The paper should immediately stop such anti-national propaganda and do more to understand the linguistic dynamics of the country.

हिन्दी ब्लॉग टिप्सः तीन कॉलम वाली टेम्पलेट