Determinant and Conveyor of Muslim Opinion

Urdu Newspapers in India

The declining fortunes of Urdu newspapers seem to be reversing as major media houses are beginning to invest in Urdu media. Largely catering to the Muslim population in the country, its impact in terms of representing Muslim interests and shaping Muslim opinion is enormous. Domestically, almost all Urdu media outlets regularly highlight the theme of Muslim victimhood at the hands of the Indian state. Internationally, these outlets are consistently critical of Israel, the United States and the West for their propaganda vis-à-vis international Islamic terrorism and adverse foreign policy towards Muslim nations.

The Urdu press is the third-largest language press in India, after Hindi and English, in terms of reach and influence. Urdu newspapers and periodicals are published across India in 16 states and one union territory, the most important being Telangana, Bihar, West Bengal, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir(J&K), Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh (UP). Geographically, the most important centres for Urdu newspapers are Delhi, Lucknow and Srinagar in the north, Bhopal in central India, Mumbai and Aurangabad in the west, Hyderabad and Bengaluru in the south, and Kolkata and Patna in the east. While other vernacular newspapers, including those in Hindi, are generally confined to particular linguistic belts, Urdu dailies are published in scattered pockets throughout India. 

Urdu papers continue to stay afloat and politically important in India’s media landscape despite their limited reach. Urdu was among the leading languages, and attracted poets and commoners alike in many parts of India for most of its pre- and post-independence history. However, the last two decades have seen a sharp decline in its popularity. Of late, the trend seems to be changing as major media houses have started investing in Urdu newspapers and television channels.

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Updated On : 12th Jun, 2018

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