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The Origin And Development Of Urdu Journalism

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Pertaining to Urdu language, the general misconception is that it is a language of Muslims and only the Muslims of subcontinent region speak it. Although the speaker of the Urdu language are majorly Muslims however, there are speakers of other faiths as well and these people have played a great role in the evolution and development of Urdu language.

Development and origin of urdu journalism

Urdu was initially abhorred as a vulgar language by the Muslim rulers of Mughal empire and they rejected it because of the fact that it was the language of masses and people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds used it to communicate with each other. Therefore, Muslims cannot be called the only caretakers of the language.

The role of people of other faith in the development of language aside, initially it were the people of other faiths who started Urdu journalism. The lines below give a brief history of the start and development of Urdu journalism.

 The first Urdu newspaper was published in Kolkata in the year 1822 to by a Hindu journalist called Harihar Dutta. The newspaper was named Jam-i-Jahan-Numa. It was the first of its kind and it laid the foundation for using Urdu as a means of journalistic writing. The founder of the newspaper was the grandson of the renowned Bengali journalist Tara Chand Dutta. Initially it was a paper consisting of three pages and was published on weekly bases. The paper continued on being published till the year 1888 when because of Urdu becoming a renowned and established writing it gave up to the competition.

The second renowned Urdu newspaper was also started by a Hindu, Munshi Harsukh Rai in the year 1850. The paper was named Kohinoor and like its predecessor it was also a weekly however, compared to the predecessor it had a bigger market and it produced almost 350 copies every week, which is quite a high number as per the standards of those days. In the year 1858, it was the first Urdu daily that started publishing. The name of the paper was Urdu Guide and it was published by Manbiri Kabiruddin which was also published in Calcutta.

From that onwards, Urdu journalism started moving towards the northern region of the subcontinent and it was in Lahore that the daily Urdu newspaper by the name of Roznamha-e-Punjab started pu8blishing. It also began publishing in the year 1858.

It was after the rebellion of 1857 that the Muslims of subcontinent started understanding their distinct identity and to make sure that they had everything distinguished compared to people of other religions in subcontinent, they started using Urdu as a means of communication as well as for the purpose of journalism. Hence, it was then that the Muslims extensively started using Urdu in newspapers and magazines and it started becoming a language of Muslims.

In a nutshell, Urdu being a language or Muslims is wrong, rather the origin and development of language in general and Urdu journalism in particular shows that the Muslims were the ones who later adopted Urdu, where as it were the people of other religion and beliefs who started using Urdu and then Muslims increased its use and made it their language.


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