Friday, May 20, 2011

The Musalman and its fossilised dream

It is the only Urdu Newspaper being published in the entire state of Tamil Nadu. It is the only Urdu Newspaper being published for the past 82 years without any interruption. It is The Muslaman. Here is an enchanting, heartening and amazing short film on it. It is possibly the last hand-written newspaper of the world. Don't forget to hear the soul searching comments of Usman Ghani Sahib.

More Here and Here and Here and Here

1 comment:

Afsar Shaheen said...

Urdu uses Arabic script. However, Arabic has fewer alphabets. Urdu has many more alphabets for accommodating sounds of Indian languages such as th, dh, ph, etc. Urdu also is a calligraphic language that combines alphabets; shape of its many alphabet changes depending its position in a word.

Shapes of an alphabet occurring in beginning of a word and in middle of a word are different.

Urdu employed a huge cadre of calligraphers who hand wrote Quran, books, poems, and newspapers, magazines etc. When printing press was invented, those calligraphers called “kuttab” (Sing. katib) put resistance adopting typesetting.

Urdu type setting was very difficult; also, typeset work looked ugly in comparison to handwritten work.

Therefore, Urdu resorted to lithography while other languages adopted typeset. Lithography is a cumbersome process. It is difficult to correct spelling and other errors in lithography.

With the advent of computer, Urdu writing got great boost. It allowed calligraphic writing without the problems of lithography. Yet, a book or newspaper written by a good katib and properly lithographed is very pleasing and beautiful; computer written Urdu is no match.

Nowadays, lithographic work has become very expensive and it is becoming obsolete; kuttab are becoming extinct.

I find typing in Urdu on a computer very easy in comparison with Hindi or Gujarati; because in Urdu short vowels are not necessary which cuts down lot of typing. Again, computer program automatically changes shape of the alphabet according its position in a word.

In spite of all that, it is amazing that Musalman from Chennai is still adhering to calligraphy and lithography.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...