Copyright 1990 Sajid Mansoor Qaisrani All Rights Reserved First Edition: February 1990 Price Rs. 95.00 Cover: Designed by Najaf Syed Published by Mashal Publications P.O. Box 1208, Islamabad Printed at Sun Printing and Packaging P-987 Saidpur Road Rawalpindi ISBN 969 8094 00 8

the memory of my father who not only inspired his children but also all those around him to think and progress.


Page List of illustrations and tables ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS PREFACE CHAPTER ONE: INITIAL PHASE 3 5 7 9 9 13 17 21

Urdu in the land of English The first Urdu periodicals The official Urdu press of World War I CHAPTER TWO: EMERGENCE OF THE MODERN URDU PRESS

The long gap The new wave of immigrants The birth of the immigrant Urdu press The first modern Urdu paper CHAPTER THREE: THE CONTEMPORARY URDU PRESS

21 22 26 28

35 35 38 43 49 49 51 57 59 61 63

Growth of the weekly press “Scissors editing” or the daily Urdu press The fringe press CHAPTER FOUR: CONTENT ANALYSIS

From immigrants to settlers Distribution of pages Tackling the community’s problems: How serious is the Urdu press Quality of news Editorial policy Advertisements



71 71 73 77 77

Advertisement revenue Distribution Circulation Katibs CHAPTER SIX: Now Tomorrow APPENDIX I: List of current Urdu papers PROSPECTS

83 83 86 89 92 94

APPENDIX II: List of Interviewees APPENDIX III: Bibliography


List of Illustrations and Tables
Page 1. 2. Title page of Ainah-e-Angrezi Saudagari Editorial page of January-April 1896 issue of the Ainah-e-Angrezi Saudagari Photograph of Frederic Pincott Title page of Al-Haqiqah Map of South Asia showing areas to which most of the British Indian immigrants belong Table showing contents of the Urdu papers Office of daily Jang at Lant Street, London Advertisement of a hakim Miscellaneous advertisements Table on ratio of advertisements Office of weekly Mashriq at Caledonian Road, London Katibs at work in a London Urdu paper’s office A sample of Urdu script 11 12

3. 4. 5.

15 16

23 55 56 67 68 75 76 79 80

6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My thanks are due to Richard Keeble, lecturer at the Graduate Centre for Journalism, City University London, who guided and supervised this research right from the preliminary stages to its completion, and to Robert Jones, also lecturer at the Graduate Centre for Journalism, for his encouragement and useful suggestions. I am also grateful to Amin Moghul and Shahid malik for reading and re-reading the script and giving valuable advice at the time of its writing. Also to my wife Ibtesam Hasan with whose assistance I have been able to get this book published in its present shape. I am also grateful to Dr. Tariq Siuddiqi and Dr. Adam Nayyar for their guidance and encouragement for initiating research work. I am indebted to the Overseas Development Administration of the UK and the British Council for their financial assistance to carry out the research in Britain and to the national Book Council of Pakistan whose co-operation and support has enabled me to publish it.


PREFACE The present study is an attempt to look at the Urdu press of Britain and various stages of its development. With one daily paper, four weeklies and about two dozen fortnightly, monthly and quarterly publications, it was a sizeable foreign language press of the United Kingdom when this study was undertaken in 1986. In spite of its magnitude and history – the first Urdu periodicals date back to the 1880s – no serious study of its evolution, content and trends has been undertaken so far. The present attempt is not an academic treatise and should not be taken as such. It is rather a piece of journalistic inquiry into the subject with a view to assess the content and style of the Urdu press and together with the pressures and problems facing it today, and to throw some light on its history to put it in its right context. The methods of research used include the techniques that an investigative journalist would normally employ. All the printed material available on the subject has been thoroughly used. Additionally, researchers and working journalists, including editors – current and past – were interviewed to elicit information on various aspects of the subject. The study was undertaken in 1986 primarily for the thesis I had to submit to the Graduate Centre for Journalism, City University London as part of the MA in International Journalism and should be read in that context. Some developments may have taken place since then and some facts may not correspond to those given in the book. Sajid Mansoor Qaisrani Islamabad 11 November 1989 7


Urdu in the land of English It is a common misconception that Indian immigrants arrived in Britain only after the World War II. On the contrary, settlers from different parts of the Indian sub-continent had made Britain their home as early as the 1870s. Trade between India and Britain had been well established by the middle of the 19th century and British shipping companies were employing a growing number of Indians as seamen. A fraction of these seamen came ashore to Britain partly to flee their brutal officers and partly attracted by the economic 9

incentives: ” ...a man who signed on in London got higher European rates of pay, as opposed to the Asiatic rate he would have earned if he had taken the same job in Bombay. Asian seamen could, however, only sign on in London when the supply of European seamen was exhausted.”1 The Asian immigration which started in this way gradually increased and the seamen started settling down in London and at various other sea ports of Britain such as Hastings, Plymouth, and Aberdeen. In 1873, Joseph Salter, in his book The Asiatic in London refers to a well-established Asian settlement in the East End of London.2 Some of these seamen cut their links with the sea and took up shore-based occupations. They soon established regular contacts with one another. As Ballards put it: “These settlers had developed a specialized economic niche for themselves as well as a social network of their own, both to sustain themselves and to exploit that niche.”3 Salter describes the situation in these words: “The Asiatics residing in London, as well as those residing in all provincial towns are like the links in a long chain; if one link is found, the others soon come into view.”4 By the 1870s, a sizeable number of Indian intellectuals, businessmen, and students were also present in Britain. The Muslim writer and reformist Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who founded the well known Aligarh University in India, visited Oxford in 1874, and the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore was studying English literature and music at the University College, London in 1878. It was against this background 10



that the first Urdu paper, a quarterly with the title Ainah-eAngrezi Saudagri (Mirror of British Merchandise), appeared from London in the 1880s.

The first Urdu periodicals Strangely enough, Ainah-e-Angrezi Saudagri does not find mention in reviews of publications that have appeared on the subject so far, nor is there a complete file of its issues currently available in any of the British libraries. The earliest issue(no 36) found in the British Library is, datelined January-April 1896, on the basis of which the start of its publication can possibly be traced back to somewhere in 1886-87. The paper was launched by a British firm Gilbert & Rivington Limited from St John’s House, Clerkenwell, London. Evidently the paper laid special emphasis on trade news. It normally consisted of 52 pages of trade news, advertisements, and pictorial features. News about trade relations with India obviously got prominent treatment. The January-April 1896 issue opens with an editorial note on the subject of “reduction in cost of telegrams to India”, a matter of obvious concern not only for the trading community but also for the other Indians residing in Britain. There is also some news about discoveries and inventions in a popular style. One of the topics covered in the issue is the “speed of the vehicle that runs without horses”, an obvious reference to a car for the benefit of the Indian reader. Another article on the subject is titled “An exhibition of vehicles that run on their own without horses.” Besides six articles on the state of industry and agriculture in India, the issue contains an article on oil trade 13

with Persia, and a government announcement regarding competitive examinations for the Indian Civil Service. The July 1897 issue carries a news item on the discovery of Buddha’s birth place in Nepal and includes a section on book reviews. More than one third of the paper is reserved for advertisements of various commodities, equipment, furniture, and medicine. For instance, Frazer’s sulfuric tablets, Burroughs, Wellcome & Co’s pure compressed tea, ENO’s fruit salt and vegetable moto are mentioned in the advertisement pages side by side with L & L gas tubes, knitting machines by Harrison, and disintegrators by Carter. The pictorial catalogue of Indian style furniture by Fitter Bros. & Clarke could be had from the leading traders of London and Birmingham while Edward Pearce & Co’s cutlery catered fully to the needs of Indian homes, butchers and barbers as “the proprietor Edward Pearce Sahib had acquired a first hand knowledge of Indian requirements by long residence in that country.” In Ainah-e-Angrezi Saudagri there is no discussion of the social and political conditions of India. Also the paper does not give any information about its editor. The January-April 1896 issue, however, informs the readers about the death of its editor, Frederic Pincott, Esq., M.R.A.S., which accounts for its belated publication. A short note says Mr Pincott who had acquired mastery over Indian languages died at the age of 60, while on a visit to Lucknow in India. However, the paper remains silent about the appointment of a new editor. Unlike modern Urdu papers, Ainah-e-Angrezi Saudagri was printed in type. Each page was divided into two columns with the headlines accompanied by their English equivalents. From the catalogue maintained at India Office Library it appears




that the paper probably ceased publication after 1898. Though concurrent Urdu publications of a similar nature, if any, do not find mention in the records, the British Library does have the English edition of Vol. II of a monthly, the AngloOriental Trade Messenger, datelined January 1901. The journal which probably started publication in 1900, was envisaged as “a medium of communication between makers and sellers of machinery, hardware, agriculture implements, and general industrial products in the United Kingdom, and users and buyers of the same in the East.” The magazine was published in English, Greek, and some Oriental languages including Hindustani (another name for Urdu) and claimed to have circulation in the principal cities of the East, reaching a large number of institutes, chambers of commerce and industry, local government offices, and shipping companies operating in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Persian Gulf, and to and from India. The magazine also claimed to include illustrated notices of inventions in machinery, articles on industry and agriculture, and reports on trade in the East, besides information on current prices and financial rates drawn from “official and other authentic sources.” Apparently the paper could not continue for long. When precisely it stopped publication is, difficult to ascertain.

The official Urdu press of World war I The second generation of Urdu press rose when World War I had already entered its third year. From India to the British


Isles the atmosphere was polluted with the smoke of gunpowder, the air echoed with painful human cries and the earth became a scene of unending human misery. The Urdu press which appeared in the 1910s was brought out by the British Government as part of its war efforts. The first paper that appeared in this connection was Al-Haqiqah (The Truth). It started its publication from London in March 1916 as a fortnightly pictorial newspaper . It consisted of eight pages of pictures relating to the war with captions in Urdu, Persian, Arabic and Turkish. Some of the common themes of these pictures were: war fronts, commanders inspecting troops, and defeated enemies on their retreat. The issue of 10 March 1916 carries on its title page the picture of a British plane intercepting a German fighter, and the caption says: “An English plane has downed a German plane.” On other pages, there are pictures of the King inspecting troops, the Indian cavalry on the move, a British plane on a runway ready to take off and a camel regiment of the British army. Pictures of the ordinary soldier and their senior commanders on the same pages, and their captions were apparently aimed at conveying the impression of solidarity in the ranks of the armed forces and the nobility of the cause for which they were fighting. The paper continued being published in this fashion till July 1917, but from 8 August 1917, the Urdu captions suddenly disappeared without any prior notice. This coincided with the launching of Jangi Akhbar (The War Journal) on that date. This new journal was, in effect, the Urdu and Hindi version of Al-Haqiqah. Apparently the British authorities had thought it expedient to incorporate Hindi in the new edition as a means of mobilizing a large number of the


Hindu soldiers who, unlike the Muslims and Sikhs could not read Urdu. Jangi Akhbar breathed its last probably in 1919—the war having ended, there was no need to continue the journal in that format. It gave way to another propaganda paper Taswiri Akhbar (The Pictorial News), which was not different from its predecessor in style, approach or format except that it was published on tabloid size unlike Al-Haqiqah and Jangi Akhbar which were broadsheet journals. Taswiri Akhbar consisted of 16 pages and occasionally carried pictures not related to war. “A beautiful scene of Scotland”, and “an airship flying over Westminster”, or “scenes of British factories busy in production”, now started finding space in this government publication, which like Jangi Akhbar was published fortnightly. Taswiri Akhbar printed captions in Urdu, Hindi, Tamil, and English and occasionally carried some advertisements. Whether Al-Haqiqah, Jangi Akhbar, and Taswiri Akhbar were available for sale to the general public, or their circulation was restricted to the troops alone, is not known. The papers also do not provide any information as to their editors. We only know that they were government publications and were printed at a printing house at Milford Lane, London.


References 1 Roger Ballard and Catherine Ballard, The Sikhs: The Development of South Asian Settlements in Britain, quoted in Between Two Cultures, edited by James L. Watson, Oxford, 1978, P.23. Joseph Salter, The Asiatic in London, London, 1873, P.221. Ballards, P.23. Salter, P.24

2 3 4




The long gap There is little or no information available about Urdu publications in the period between the 1920s and 1960s. Apparently there were some publications which because of their occasional nature failed to reach the libraries. During the period between the two world wars, the independence movement gained strength in India. It is generally believed that some Indians who were mostly students produced some clandestine issues of certain papers that supported the Indian


independence struggle, but these are no longer traceable. Sultan Mahmood, in his book, Urdu Journalism in Britain, refers to the publication of one such periodical, Hind (India), in 1920. Reportedly it continued its tottering survival journey till 1930. it was published in English and occasionally had some pages in Urdu.1 However, the sources of this information are obscure.

The new wave of immigrants The emergence of the modern Urdu press in Britain followed the influx of immigrants from India and Pakistan during the postindependence period. Compared with the earlier press, the modern Urdu papers were characterized by a different approach and different pattern of ownership and coverage. And to understand the emergence of this press, it is essential to have a look at the patterns of immigration into Britain from South Asia during the 1950s. The arrival of the earlier Indian seamen in Britain was followed by a number of other people from the subcontinent mainly from Punjab, Kashmir, and Gujerat. Most of these people came after World War I and according to Ballards, “began to make a living by hawking suitcases of clothing from door to door, mostly in rural areas.” Ballards add that word about the opportunities available in Britain began gradually to circulate in their home districts, so that many more adventurers set out for Britain. By the end of 1930s, small colonies of these pedlars could be found in almost every British city.2 Ballards say that the secret of the new immigrants’ success



seemed to have lain in their skilful manipulation of prices and credit. They quote an ex-pedlar as saying: “We were always ready to knock a few pennies off the price, because we always put it up beforehand. We always sold on credit too, `a bob now, love, and the rest next month.’ That way we had chance to come back and sell something else.”3 The migration in this way continued to grow in size. However, large-scale migration to the British city centres only became possible in the 1950s, the reason being the boom experienced by the British economy after World War II and the almost total exhaustion of its traditional sources of unskilled labour - the countryside and Ireland. As a result, a large number of South Asian and West Indian workers were recruited. Almost all the immigrants from South Asia belonged to the rural families of medium wealth and status - the rich had no reason to move out and the poor did not have means to go abroad - and none of them regarded their stay in Britain as permanent and final. They thought of their migration as a temporary phase and continued to regard themselves as members of their families [living back in Pakistan and India]. Their chief objective was to earn money to improve their prestige and status back home.4 “They sought high wages and were prepared to do tedious jobs for very long hours - often 12 hour shifts, six days a week. They also sought to minimize their living expenses in order to maximize their savings, and this could most easily be achieved by communal residence in all-male households. Life during this period was tough: all the niceties of normal social life were abandoned and all gratification deferred in the expectation of a rapid return home. The migrants regarded their villages of origin as the only meaningful arena of social interaction and tended to view


Britain as a social vacum, a cultural no-man’s land.”5 The means of communication were bad in those days, the visitors from home were few and the British media had little space to cover news about their homelands. These people always remained worried about the welfare of their families, especially in the event of a natural disaster or political upheaval. Their situation was not very different from that of the immigrants in the United States in the early 19th century, as described by Robert Park in his book on the immigrant press in that country. He states: “National consciousness is inevitably accentuated by immigration. Loneliness and unfamiliar environment turn the wanderer’s thoughts and affections back upon his native land. The strangeness of the new surroundings emphasizes his kinship with those he has left.”6

The birth of the immigrant Urdu press Newspapers from Pakistan were the main source of information for the immigrants from Pakistan and Azad Kashmir about developments back home. A paper brought by a visitor was the most precious gift. As Sultan Mahmood puts it: “When I alighted from the plane in London, instead of the usual greetings, I was asked if I had brought any newspapers with me. My affirmation was the greatest jubilation for my friend. He went through the newspapers line by line during the next week before passing them on to another friend as a cherished gift. In this way the newspapers brought by me circulated through many Pakistani homes and their reading continued until someone else brought a gift of fresh newspapers from Pakistan.”7 Of course, the immigrants wanted to know what was happening


in Pakistan, as Ina’am Aziz, a veteran Urdu journalist of Britain puts it. Their families and children being back home, they were affected more by economic changes in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir than by the similar changes in Britain. Ina’am Aziz says that a paper in their own language was also a cultural need: “However one talks of integration, practically it does not have any significance. The English remained in our country for centuries, but they were always separate. They never tried to learn Urdu; always read their own papers, looked towards their own culture and shaped their lives according to their own requirements.” The same was true about the migrants from Pakistan. They only came here temporarily to earn some money. Whosoever collected enough money went back. Even those who were staying wanted to go back some day and hence desired to remain in touch with their culture. Another reason why migrants wanted their own press was that the existing British press seldom looked beyond its frontiers, though the British journalists knew fully well that hundreds of thousands of migrants needed information about their homelands.8 It was against this background that a number of individuals and groups of Pakistani and Azad Kashmiri immigrants set out to work in their own peculiar ways to find means to fill the gap. The first effort in this direction was made by the Pakistani newspaper Nawa-e-Waqt (The Voice of the Time). Its management started sending a weekly overseas edition of the paper to Britain. It only partially satisfied the immigrants’ needs. The failure was partly due to non - availability of a proper distribution net work and partly due to non - availability


of a proper distribution network and partly because the paper could not fully cater to the specific requirements of the migrants. As a result the overseas edition of Nawa-e-Waqt eventually collapsed, leaving the field open for newcomers.9 The immigrants wanted to know what was happening in Pakistan, but they had certain specific requirements as well. They also wanted to know what was happening to their fellow countrymen living in Britain; where were they concentrated, what were they doing to earn their living and how they were coping with the problem of living in that society. Only a paper published in that country could fulfil all these requirements.

The first modern Urdu paper Mahmood Hashmi, a Pakistani studying for his Master’s in Education at the Birmingham University at that time, gave serious thought to this issue and decided to bring out an Urdu paper from Britain. Meanwhile a delegation of Pakistani journalists came to London on a visit. It was led by Inayat Ullah, the editor of a Pakistani Urdu daily paper Kohistan (The Mountain), who was an old friend of Mahmood Hashmi. After a thorough discussion the two came out with the plan to launch an Urdu paper from London to be called Mashriq (The East).10 The financing of the venture was achieved in a novel way. In the 1960s the immigrants from Pakistan and Azad Kashmir were mostly illiterate and knew little about the modern banking system. An immigrant would usually deposit his savings with a reliable fellow immigrant, who would act as a private banker for him. The money thus deposited could either be withdrawn


by the depositor in Britain or received by his nominee, usually someone in his family back home, from the private banker’s agent on receipt of the agent’s instructions. Khan Wali was one such private banker at that time residing with Hashmi. He overheard the conversation between Inayat Ullah and Mahmood Hashmi. He liked the idea and went to Hashmi with a sum of 500 pounds, the amount needed for bringing out the paper.11 Some other Kashmiri migrants followed suit and went to Hashmi with their contributions, with the result that soon he had double the amount required for the publication of the paper. On 8 February 1961, a publishing company, Loxton Publishers Limited, was created which produced the first issue of the weekly Mashriq on 1 April 1961.12 The Mashriq was an instant success. Almost all the Urdu speaking people welcomed it. It quickly won popularity and readership and retained this position for a long time. Sultan Mahmood says it was regarded as a novel experiment for the following reasons:13 It was the first positive source of contact among Pakistanis living in Britain. They not only became aware of the various common problems facing the community, but also started thinking about those problems as one community. The result was that in every British city with a sizeable Pakistani population, Pakistani religious, social, intellectual, and literary associations sprang up. Being not very well-versed in English, most of the Pakistani and Azad Kashmiri immigrants did not know anything about British law and its social welfare, health


and other systems. Mashriq printed columns on such matters to make its readers aware of their rights and responsibilities. It heralded a new era of the development of Urdu language in Europe. Encouraged by it, the reader’s interest in reading and writing in Urdu increased. The Asian traders also benefited from the publication of an Urdu magazine. The printing of their advertisements made their shops and products known throughout the Urdu-speaking community of Europe. Cinemas showing Urdu films also got a new and effective method of publicity, while Pakistani banks were introduced to the migrant workers for the first time. Mashriq also produced a new breed of Urdu journalists in Britain, who later played an important part in the development of Urdu journalism. It also played a key role in bringing immigrants from Pakistan and Azad Kashmir closer to their homelands.

Asif Jilani, a senior Urdu journalist, now working for the BBC External Services, acknowledges the contribution of Mashriq, but does not accept the view that its success was due to professional excellence. “Its editor Mahmood Hashmi belonged to Azad Kashmir and in those days most of South Asian settlers were from that area. They invested money in the paper, gave it advertisements and constituted the major part of its readership. Because of this, Mashriq’s approach was rather


narrow. It was full of stories from Azad Kashmir and the Pothohar region. The only columns offering some variety were a review of British papers and a column on international politics. There was no other coverage, neither of British news nor of the activities of Pakistanis in that country.14 The present managing editor of Mashriq, A. R. Bungish, says: “We were the first and for a long time the only link between the immigrants from Pakistan and Azad Kashmir and the local government institutions of Britain. It was through Mashriq that these institutions conveyed local government rules and regulations and other information to the immigrant community.” He also claims that the paper helped mobilize the Asian immigrants to extend help to the charitable institutions of Britain.15 Mashriq continued to play a dominant role in the Urdu journalism of Britain till the establishment of the daily press in the early 1970s. That is when its decline started, and with it a protracted battle for its existence. On a less busy corner of Caledonian Road near Kings Cross in London, Mashriq’s office in 1986 gave a deserted look. The rusted sign-board on a worn-out building told a casual visitor that it housed “Mashriq, the Urdu news weekly.” Inside the office the tube lights which lit up one of the ground floor rooms for about three to five hours in the afternoon were perhaps the only sign that the office was open. On ringing the bell, A. R. Bungish welcomed you with a big smile and showed you in where one or two of his friends were always present. Occupying one of three tables in a medium-


sized office room, Bungish told me that the paper had been appearing regularly, though he clearly sidetracked the question of showing me a complete set of the issues of any one month in the current year, as I had failed to find the paper with any of the news agents I had contacted. A sign saying “on sale” had then recently appeared on its office building and it would be no surprise to hear that Mashriq (The East) of the West had finally passed away. But it could also have happened that it may have reappeared with new vigour from some huge building somewhere outside London. If that happened, it would be only due to the extraordinary hardwork and optimism of a person from Azad Kashmir, A. R. Bungish.


References 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Sultan Mehmood, Urdu Journalism in Britain, Lahore, 1978, P.23. Ballards, P.28-29 Ballards, P.28. Ballards, P.25-27 Ballards, P.30 Robert E Park, The Immigrant Press and Its Control, Connecticut, 1970, P.49. Mahmood, P.25. Ina’am Aziz, An interview with the author, London, 19 July 1986. Mahmood, P.25-27 Mahmood, P.27-32 Mahmood, P.32 Mahmood, P.34 Mahmood, P.36-44 Asif Jilani, An interview with the author, London, 7 April 1986. A R Bungish, An interview with the author, London, 17 March 1986.




Growth of the weekly press Asia weekly was the second Urdu paper to appear from Britain. Its inception was due mainly to the efforts of a Pakistani journalist Habib-ur-Rehman, also from Azad Kashmir, who came to Britain in 1963. The first issue of the paper appeared from Birmingham on the first of May the same year.1 Habib-ur-Rehman chose Birmingham for the new weekly in view of the number of Pakistanis in that city. Instead of entering


into competition with the Mashriq from the very start, it was decided to let the paper take a solid footing first in Birmingham. Unlike Mashriq, Asia’s title page was printed in four colours which attracted the attention of the readers. But the main contribution of the paper was that it ended the monopoly of the Mashriq. To remain in the market the two papers were always in search of the latest news and the best writers. However, Asia could not create a market for itself. Its short span of life was turbulent; finally it was taken over by Mashriq in 1969. Its offices were moved to London in late 1970 and it became a daily paper in June 1971. This change, too, proved to be very short-lived; the paper became a weekly again in 1972, after changing its ownership once more, but very soon it disappeared for good.2 Since the 1960s a number of Urdu weeklies, monthlies, and fortnightlies have appeared and disappeared with equal ease. The similarity between the immigrant press of the United States, as described by Robert Park, and the Urdu press in the United Kingdom is indeed striking. He says: “A great many foreign language papers have been started, but a great many have died. It is easier to start a foreign-language than an English paper. Competition is not so keen and not so much capital is required. They die because they are not well conceived and not well conducted. The birth and death statistics of immigrant newspapers are a more or less accurate measure of the immaturity and instability of this press as a whole.”3 How accurate and prophetic his pronouncement or observation is can be judged from the description of the Urdu press in the following pages.


The process of birth and death in the Urdu press continues even today. There are only very few papers that promise to achieve a certain level of stability. As stated earlier, all the Urdu papers that appeared from Britain till 1965 were set up by the immigrants from Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. These papers naturally gave priority to news and views from and about Pakistan. It was against this background that Ramesh Soni, a young man from Indian Punjab, launched his plan to bring out a paper in Urdu which would not only cover the news from an Indian perspective but also extend detailed coverage to Indian Punjab which, according to Soni, was being neglected by the contemporary Urdu press. His efforts resulted in the publication of the weekly Milap (Reunion) on 15 August 1965.4 Though the paper, its office, and its editor lack the lustre of their Pakistani counterparts, it has managed to survive in its humble way. The paper’s office is located in the backyard of a building at North End Road in London. Ramesh Soni says the sole purpose of bringing out the paper is to keep the Indian community informed about happenings in India. “I felt the need to bring out this paper because the current Urdu papers did not cover even 1 per cent news of India. Now only I publish stories that are of some concern to my community”. He is convinced that the paper is not a business venture for him, “it is community service that I am doing.” 5 Akhbar-e-Watan (News from Home), launched in the late 1960s has proved to be the most stable of all the Urdu weekly papers of Britain. Like Mashriq it was also brought out with the


the collaboration and professional support of the veteran Pakistani journalist Inayat Ullah. The first issue of Akhbar-eWatan appeared from Gray’s Inn Road, London on 14 July 1969, and by 1972 it had become one of the established weeklies of London.6 It enjoys this status even today. In October 1975, the paper was moved to its present premises in Walthamstow, a part of London with the second largest concentration of Pakistani settlers after Bradford.

“Scissors editing” or the daily Urdu press The weekly Urdu press that developed during the 1960s, was quite efficient, but it could not satisfy the needs of the Pakistani community; it rather whetted their appetite for news about home and about their fellow immigrants living in Britain. And by the end of the first decade of Urdu journalism in the United Kingdom everybody connected with it in any way was talking about the feasibility of bringing out an Urdu daily paper from London. The efforts to launch a daily newspaper in Urdu in Britain date back to 1963, when a Pakistani immigrant Salim Farook started a paper, the daily Urdu Times in Glasgow. But the paper vanished before the Urdu reading public even became acquainted with its name. Urdu Times survived only for about a month and irregularly at that. Non-availability of experienced staff, inadequate flow of stories from Pakistan, and poor printing quality are stated to be the main reasons of the closure of the paper.7 Salim Farook is said to have been so much disappointed from his short-lived courtship with journalism that he decided not to enter its territory for a second time.


Jang (The War) is the first regular Urdu daily paper to start publication in Britain. Founded in the 1970s, it is owned by the largest group of Urdu newspapers in Pakistan. The group’s main newspaper in Pakistan which has the same name -Jang- is published simultaneously from the four main cities of Pakistan; Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Quetta, and has a total daily circulation of about 500,000 which is 200,000 more than its closest rival Nawa-e-Waqt’s. The group’s net profit in 1984 was close to US $2.5 million, while the paper’s assets were estimated at over US $6.2 million.8 To introduce the paper to British Urdu speaking immigrants and to create a market there, the publishers of the paper started sending an international edition of Jang Karachi on a daily basis in early 1970. It was the run-up period to a general election which was being held in Pakistan after 12 years of military rule. The immigrants were very anxious to be fully aware of the political developments. They were irritated when they had to wait for a week to get a copy of a weekly paper. Hence Jang was warmly welcomed and within days its circulation reached thousands.9 The first London issue of the daily Jang was published in March 1971, from 52 Hoxton Square in north London under the editorship of Ina’am Aziz. The staff included Asif Jilani as the news editor, Habib-ur-Rehman, responsible for advertisements, administration and public relations, and Mir Naser Mehmood in charge of printing and purchases. Two Katibs were also included in the team.10 Recounting the experiences of those days, Ina’am Aziz says: “There was no telex, and there were not many people to write stories. Mir Khalil - ur - Rehman*• was worried about ...................................................................
*Chief Editor of the Jang group of papers.


how things would work out. I asked him to depute someone in Karachi to ring us up every day and tell us about the important Pakistani stories of the day, and make arrangements to daily send us two copies of every Urdu newspaper of Pakistan.” “And then I started this novel experiment that I prefer to call `scissors editing’. I got the most important international news from the Reuters teleprinter that we had installed, the latest Pakistani stories from the Karachi office over telephone and for the rest of the stories I took a pair of scissors and the copies of the Pakistani Urdu papers of the previous day. With the scissors I literally cut the stories from those papers that suited my purpose and pasted them on my copies. That is how I brought out the paper. Most of the stories in the 12-page tabloid-size paper were the product of `scissors editing’. I had no control over these news stories, their content, their language, their headlines; I had no control over editorial and its topics etc. That is how I started it, and that is how the Urdu papers in Britain are being run even today.”11 In this way Jang was able to provide the immigrants with not only the important international and Pakistani news, but also a large number of stories from different regions of Pakistan from which most of the immigrants hailed. But the main reason for its establishment as a very successful paper was something else. As Ina’am Aziz relates: “When Jang was launched, Pakistan was passing through the most critical political and constitutional crisis of its history. On 23 March 1971, the day we launched our paper, the Bangladesh war began. People were worried about their homes, families, their country, and we were the only source of news. The Bangladesh war soon developed into a full scale war between India and Pakistan. The dependence of the people on Jang further increased with the deepening of the crisis. So when the war ended, Jang had become a well40

established paper - the crisis established the paper. In fact every paper needs a crisis to get itself established. This is the story of newspapers everywhere in the world.”12 Asif Jilani (the first news editor of Jang who later became its editor in 1973) adds, the paper had some other advantages over its competitors - those who were in the field and those who later entered the field. It had an established name with which most of the Pakistani immigrants were already acquainted; because of its link with a big newspaper group in Pakistan, a continuous flow of news was ensured from there; and then it had at its disposal a team of trained professionals; in the event of need London office had only to ring up Karachi and the written material or personnel could be despatched the next day.13 In 1973, Jang had taken firm root in the Pakistani community of Britain. At that time the federal minister Mr Abdul Hafiz Pirzada informed the country’s President Mr Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto that “Jang International seems to have monopolized the field. Vast majority of our community in England subscribe to this paper.”14 Jang is the only Urdu daily that has been published regularly since its inception, with only one interruption in 1976 because of a worker’s strike on a pay dispute which was resolved after intervention by SOGAT**. All the other Urdu dailies that appeared before or after Jang have by now wound up business.

Before the appearance of Jang, the most well established periodical in the market was the weekly Mashriq. So the publishers of Mashriq decided to challenge Jang. They had greater experience in the field ; they knew the problems

Society of Graphical and Allied Trades (A very powerful trade union of British press workers).


facing the Urdu press and were well aware of market trends. Confident of their success they launched Asia, which they had bought earlier, as a daily paper on 6 June 1971. Asia started under the auspices of Shahkar Publications Limited and Ali Kiani was appointed editor. Asia survived for almost a year; it was closed down on 12 March 1972 as a daily paper after it had run into considerable financial difficulties.15 The next challenge to Jang was posed by the daily Millat (Nation). It was brought about by Ina’am Aziz, who resigned from the editorship of Jang in August 1973. Millat started its publication from 333 Goswell Road, London on 27 September 1974.16 As Ina’am Aziz puts it: “The Urdu papers of Britain have been established by some individuals to earn money to fulfil their lust for personal publicity. They are used to advance petty personal gains. Their policy is what the government of Pakistan says or wants from them and their main concern is how much advertisement they can get and how.” “In this atmosphere,” he continues, “Millat was a unique paper of its kind. It faced every government of Pakistan. As a result Millat was the only paper which did not get any advertisement from the Pakistan government.”17 With approach of 1980 it went into a serious financial crisis mainly due to libel suits, one of which finally forced the management to close down the paper . Referring to its demise , Shakti of May 1982 wrote : “The daily Millat has ceased its publication , leaving a void in readership. It used to be an ardent Bhutto supporter . Before ceasing publication it paid a hefty sum to daily Jang in settlement of


a libel case, switched its allegiance to General Zia, changed its editors more than it changed its political loyalties - and then quietly passed out without a swan song.”18 Watan (The Homeland) was the latest edition to the club of Urdu daily papers of Britain. The plans to bring out the paper first came to light in 1973 when the management of Akhbar-e-Watan announced that the paper would become a daily from October that year with a new name Watan, but the project was shelved because of a difference of opinion within the board of directors of Watan Publications Ltd, the company that owns it.19 The plan was, however, revived after the closure of the daily Millat, and the first issue of the paper came to the market on 16 January 1984 under the editorship of Ali Kiani. It was a 6-page broad-sheet paper with almost the same pattern of coverage as that of Jang. The paper did not prove to be a financially viable proposition. A small advertisement appearing in Watan of 31 March 1986 on the lower half of the front page said: “The publication of the daily Watan is being temporarily suspended with effect from 1 April 1986. However, the publication of the weekly Akhbar-e-Watan will continue as usual, and it will continue to be published regularly every week...” The barely two and a quarter year infant had died. The fringe press Besides newspapers and weekly news magazines there are


a number of periodical publications in Urdu whose number has recently increased. They may broadly be divided into three categories: political papers, religious papers, and literary papers. The political papers can best be described as occasional papers because they only appear when the political climate is turbulent in Pakistan and disappear with the restoration of normalcy. As stated earlier, traces of the first political paper are said to have been found as early as 1920, when some Indian students in London started a small paper Hind to support the Indian independence movement. The modern political press, however, came into being in the early 1970s after the arrival in Britain of some exiled political workers in the wake of the military action by the Pakistan government in Baluchistan and banning of the National Awami Party. The Pakistan foreign secretary Agha Shahi in May 1975 referred to the publication of a paper People’s Front brought out in Britain by “Baluchistan Overseas Delegation.”20 However, the first half of the 1980s saw a mushroom growth of the Urdu political papers in Britain due to the presence of a number of political exiles who went there following the imposition of Martial Law in the country in July 1977. Amal (Action), Azad Baluchistan (The Independent Baluchistan), Front, and Jad-o-Jihad (Struggle) are some of the main political papers.* Talking about the contemporary political press, Amin Moghul, a Pakistani journalist and intellectual, currently residing in Britain says: “There may be some dissident papers such as Jad-o-Jihad which reach the working class segment of the Pakistani settlers, but on the whole, the ............................................................................

Please see appendix I for a list of papers being published in 1986.


circulation of the political press is limited, mainly confined to the exiled political workers in Britain and Europe.... The quality of these journals is poor. Much of the content is lifted from Pakistani publications and is usually much too outdated; while little interpretative material is given.”21 Religious papers constitute another genre of journalism which has flourished greatly during the last decade. Some of the religious papers even claim that they are the most widely-read Urdu papers. By 1986 about half a dozen religious papers were being published in Britain,** but it is interesting to note that almost all of them were being printed outside London. Most of the immigrants living in British cities other than London are workers who are not well educated and these papers mostly aim at them. Talking of religious papers, Shams Uddin, a Pakistani research scholar, says: “Most of the immigrants from Pakistan are from villages and they are barely literate. Their knowledge of religion is based upon hearsay and superstition. The publishers of religious papers are aware of this fact and are using it for exploiting these people. Most of the religious papers being printed in Britain are full of dogmatic ideas about religion, superstition and sectarian propaganda.”22 There are also a number of literary papers in Urdu being published in Britain. These papers are produced by persons who themselves are interested in creative writing. The papers mostly carry works of Urdu writers residing in Britain. However, so far no literary paper has been able to make its mark and the known Urdu writers of Britain even today prefer to get space in the established literary journals of Pakistan and India. The literary papers include Urdu Adab (Urdu Literature), Ma’ani (The Meanings), and Shafaq (Horizon).*

Please see appendix I.


There are some other papers which do not fall strictly into any of these categories. They are a mixture of two or more of the genres mentioned above. They are not very many and there names and the material they publish are indicated in appendix 1.


References 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Mahmood, P.45-49. Mahmood, P.50-62. Park, P.309. Mahmood, P.121-22. Ramesh Soni, An interview with the author, London, 16 July 1986. Mahmood, P.69-80. Mahmood, P.82. The Far Eastern Economic Review, Hongkong, 19 September 1985, P.28-31. Jilani, interview. Mahmood, P.87. Aziz, interview. Aziz, interview. Jilani, interview. The Government of Pakistan, White Paper on the Misuse of Media, Islamabad, August 1978, P.40. Mahmood, P.57-62. Mahmood, P.103. Aziz, interview. Shakti, London, May 1982, P.29-30. Mahmood, P.79-80. The Government of Pakistan, P.55. Amin Moghal, An interview with the author, London, 20 August 1986. Shams Uddin, An interview with the author, London, 20 August 1986.




From immigrants to settlers As stated earlier, the contemporary Urdu press in Britain was set up by Muslim immigrants from Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, primarily to keep their fellow migrants informed about developments in their homelands. This remains the basic function of the Urdu papers even today. In the meanwhile permanent settlement in Britain of a great majority of immigrants has led to a qualitative change in their status and consequently in their outlook on life. Ballards say: “Although migrants had started with the 49

assumption that the village of origin was the only social arena which really counted, they began to find that they were becoming involved in social obligations in Britain which they were bound to fulfil if they were not to lose face in the eyes of their fellows. To the South Asian villager, the maintenance and enhancement of his family honour, izzat, is perhaps the most important of all goals and it is the quest for greater izzat that often lies at the root of the decision to migrate. The most significant transformation in overseas settlements came about when these, too, became arenas within which izzat could be gained or lost. Once this occurred, all migrants had to compete or else lose face....”1 In this way their social relationships in Britain intensified. As a result viable ethnic colonies emerged and it became increasingly attractive for immigrant men to consider bringing over their families. As Ballards explain: “With their families reunited, guests could at last be entertained in proper style, for women were available to prepare the food. The presence of a wife and children meant that living expenses became higher and as time passed patterns of expenditure rapidly changed. In particular the competition for status and prestige with other settlers began in earnest and instead of virtually camping out, migrants began to spend more on furnishing and equipping their houses. Perhaps most important of all was the fact that it became possible to celebrate life-cycle rituals in Britain. Whole families and major parts of their kin networks had been reconstituted and all the traditional expectations and obligations could now be fulfilled. The prestige of each family ultimately depends upon the elaborateness of gift exchanges with affines and the arrival of women made the appropriate conspicuous consumption possible in Britain. This was a complete reversal of the situation prior to 1960: in the days of the all-male household, elaborate spending 50

in search for prestige had been restricted to the village and had been matched by conspicuous non-consumption in Britain.”2 A Pakistani novelist settled in Britain has presented this picture in these words: “Now-a-days things are completely different. Now we have settled in this country. We have our work, our families are with us, and we have a social life of our own. Temples and mosques have been established; committees of every conceivable type have been formed; in pockets we carry money and in hands keys of cars; television sets have been installed in our houses and we celebrate the birthdays of our children... time is passing very well.”3 The Asian migrant had now become the Asian settler. His priorities had changed accordingly. His focus of attention had moved from his ancestral village to the new locality he had chosen to live in. Notwithstanding the direction of this change, the Urdu papers, somehow, failed to change their character in terms of concept and style. Attempts were made by some publishers and editors to give a British look to their papers by allocating more space to the activities and problems of the Asian settlers and to present the news from the angle of the British Urdu-speaking community. Distribution of pages Asif Jilani says that he agreed to take over as editor of Jang in 1973 only after the management’s assurance that it would be developed as a community paper. “I was aware that the settlers’ knowledge of the English language was deficient as was their knowledge about the traditions and


customs of this country and its political institutions. I was convinced that the paper should educate the Pakistanis in all these things.” “As the editor I ensured”, says Asif Jilani, “that the local coverage was increased and more space was given to the activities of settlers and their problems. We made it a point to inform them about the politics and social system of this country and about the role and importance of local councils in British society. That is how our people started taking interest in local politics. The new awareness of the community was reflected in the 1974 general elections in which Asian people fully participated.” Recalling that period Asif Jilani says: “In 197374, Jang looked like a London newspaper.”4 Amin Moghul, however, contends that: “The local Urdu press, though shrewdly, merely fulfilled a need which already existed among Pakistani immigrants. Now that they had adopted England as their land of domicile it was inevitable that they should be forced by circumstances to take interest in local politics. The decision by Jang to cover local politics relevant to the immigrants, however, deepened and enhanced their understanding of it.”5 However, most of the editors of the Urdu papers, like Ali Kiani, take the view that “Pakistan politics is the basic consideration of the Urdu press, because most of its readers are Pakistanis”6 Shahid Nadeem, a former Pakistan Television producer who was working for Amnesty International in London in the mid- 1980s, agreed that dissemination of news about Pakistan remains a major function of the Urdu press in Britain. He said: “It keeps the link with home alive by


providing information about the socio-economic and political situation of Pakistan. Secondarily it acquaints the readers with the latest scandals, the latest movies and the latest poetry. One gets to know who is getting married and to whom, who has passed away and which new book is on the market - all this keeps your cultural links intact.”7 Stories from and about Pakistan form the bulk of the coverage of the Urdu newspapers of Britain even today and they virtually look like an extension of the Pakistan press. The pro-Pakistan bias of the Urdu press is institutionalized to the extent that some of the editors even view themselves as unofficial ambassadors of Pakistan in Britain. Ashraf Kazi, the managing editor of Jang London, while talking about his paper said: “Our policy is that we should work in the interest of our country[Pakistan] in Britain.... We give as much projection to our country as we can, and try to help our community to the possible extent - this is our role in Britain, and in broad terms, this is our policy.”8 The content analysis of the Urdu papers bears evidence to these trends. A study of the front page news of the six issues of Jang - the first two issues each from the months March to May 1986 - revealed that 74 per cent of the news items were from Pakistan or about Pakistan. The same can be said about the last page (page 8), more than half of which usually carries the remaining portions of the front page stories. Pages 6 and 7 of the paper are devoted to local and regional stories from Pakistan, which sometimes spread over pages 5 and 2. Pages 4 and 5 normally carry features on different social and political issues of Pakistan, articles on religious themes, and popular columns on health, psychology, and “true stories of women.” Page 3 is the editorial page, and besides editorial notes it carries five to six articles or columns mainly on political, social, or 53

economic problems of Pakistan. All the articles on pages 3, 4, and 5 are written by Pakistani journalists and writers in Pakistan for a Pakistani reader. Jang London simply reproduces them after lifting them from its Pakistani editions. In this way only one page, ie page 2, is left for stories about the local Asian community and its problems. Akhbar-e-Watan, the main Urdu weekly of Britain, claims to extend far more coverage to the Asian community than any other single paper. “We started highlighting the problems faced by the community in the 1970s”, says Ali Kiani, and I do not accept the suggestion that we lag behind in this matter. In fact a number of books have been written on the Asian community based on our features.”9 However, the fact is that out of a total of 36 pages of Akhbar-e-Watan only six carry news, pictures and features on or about the activities or problems of the Asian community, while ten or more pages are taken over by news and features from Pakistan every week. In this regard the weekly Mashriq is no different. One of the regular readers of the Urdu papers, Hamraz Ahsan, himself an experienced journalist from Pakistan, says that it is precisely for the coverage of Pakistan that he reads the Urdu papers. “For international news I read Guardian. But to know what is happening in Pakistan, I have to read Jang, I have no other choice.”10 Milap is the only Urdu newspaper owned by a journalist of Indian origin. But it is also no different in its coverage of local affairs. It normally devotes three to four pages out of a total of 16 for the local community and general news, while normally ten pages are reserved for news from or about the Indian state of Punjab. This pattern is more or less followed by other Urdu papers. 54


Tackling the community’s problems: How serious is the Urdu press Amarjit Chandan, the editor of Shakti London, says: “Urdu papers seldom make any efforts to cover stories about Asian settlers; they have never carried any investigative stories about racial attacks, immigration, and unemployment among Asians. A few stories on such issues that appear are invariably lifted from the local/regional English papers, or are based upon press releases and information handouts.”11 Hamraz Ahsan supports this point of view and points out that “even the well-established papers do not have permanent correspondents anywhere in Britain outside London. Asian community centres like Birmingham and Bradford are covered by free-lance reporters.”12 What a typical local page of an Urdu paper carries can be gathered from the random reading of one such page. The local page of Jang of 1 March 1986 had the following local stories: Announcements regarding Asian radio and television programmes. Timetable for prayers and fasting. A religious ceremony in Birmingham. Reading of the Quran in Wolverhampton. A religious leader protests over anti-Muslim riots in India. Poetry recital under the aegis of an Azad Kashmir political party. Two and a half kilo gold unearthed in London. Professor Nelson visits the offices of the UK Islamic Mission. Demand to introduce reforms in the Commons.



Congratulations on the creation of a seat for Overseas Kashmiris in the Azad Kashmir assembly. Demand to include Gilgit and Baltistan in Azad Kashmir. Fake doctor’s case transferred to Crown Court. Shopkeeper fined for illegally slaughtering chickens. Move to retain Sikander Hayat as the president of an Azad Kashmir political party. Appeal to observe the anniversary of the second Caliph Hazrat Ummer.

Some people are not happy over the existing pattern of Urdu papers’ coverage. They think that most of the local coverage is a public relations exercise. But Mazhar Tirmizi, an Urdu journalist of London has a different story to tell. He says that such stories are a means of ‘enhancing circulation’. “Political and religious conferences and meetings are prominently covered, because the editors enter into arrangements with the organizers, so that publication of stories in an issue ensures purchase of a specific number of copies of that issue for distribution at the meeting/conference.”13 Anwar Khalid, a former television and radio producer and journalist, says: “You will see a lot of coverage of the people who can advertise; and because of this qualification they are always in the Urdu papers whether they are newsworthy or not. On the other hand important events are not covered if editors do not see any financial benefit coming out of their coverage.” He recounted an incident in the early 1980s when the editor of a daily paper only agreed to cover an important event in Glasgow after he had received the assurance that his reporter and photographer


would be given free return tickets and provided board and lodging in Glasgow.14 Quality of news An analysis of the news and feature pages of the main Urdu papers reveals that they adhere to the same news values for which the Western commercial press has been under attack from the Third World intellectuals and the minority rights groups in the West. A random analysis of the front page news stories of the two issues of Jang (March 1 and 3 of 1986) showed that more than 60 per cent of the stories dealt with war, deaths, disasters and tensions. Some typical headlines of the 1 March 1986 issue are: India increases war spending by 11 per cent. Pakistan and Indian armies facing each other in Azad Kashmir. Fingers of a thief cut in Iran. If Benazir is arrested, no party worker will sit quiet.... says a Pakistan Peoples Party leader. Hosni Mubarak replaces his interior minister after rebellion by security forces. A 16-year old student hanged in Dacca. Reagan deputes security service guard to protect Marcos. In India a speeding train crushes 27 to death.

And the list goes on like this. In all, out of a total of 39 items on the front page, 24 are of this nature. Similarly the front page of 3 March 1986 issue opens with the lead story “The US has doubts regarding Pakistan’s atomic programme” and it is followed by such stories: 59


In Azad Kashmir 36 killed and 12 injured in a horrible bus accident. Hindu temples attacked in Pakistan to protest against anti-Muslim riots in India. Israeli-appointed mayor of occupied Nablus shot dead. Swedish premier Olaf Palme murdered.

Nineteen stories on this page out of a total of 32 are bad news. And as can be seen, almost all these stories are from the Third World, mostly from South Asia. A random sampling of the front page coverage of the Akhbar-e-Watan showed it was not much different either. The front page of its 11 June 1986 issue carried five stories, four of which are headlined: Prime Minister Junejo listens to the danger bell. Will Khalistan movement die after transfer of Chandi Garh to Punjab? Plot to blast a plane with a bomb. Will Benazir be arrested after Eid?

Similarly three out of four stories on the front page of the paper’s 16 July issue were of this nature. They were headlined:


Russia and Libya providing heavy sums to the Peoples Party.... says President Zia. Mid-term elections cannot be held on the demand of a single party. The people will reject appeal to observe protest day.

Milap also covers the news in a similar fashion, as is


evident from the 15 June 1986 issue of the paper. It carried four stories on its title page, which read: Punjab and Haryana disagree on the exchange of land. Pakistan installs missiles on Siachin glacier. In India, 900,000 suffer from VDs. Three extremists arrested in Amritsar.

Editorial policy Commenting on the success of the Jang group of newspapers the Far Eastern Economic Review said: “All Jang newspapers are commercial successes because they avoid taking positions on political and social issues and cater to a variety of tastes. `Our policy is not to have a policy’, said Mir Shakilur Rehman, Khalil’s* son and managing editor of Jang Lahore. `We believe in reporting on and reflecting all attitudes rather than sitting in judgement on them’, he said. The group has traditionally enjoyed good relations with governments and also covers opposition activities without annoying those in power.”15 Shahid Nadeem, while discussing the Urdu press in Britain, expresses almost the similar views about it. He says: “The Urdu press in Britain has no political or social point of view. Their only concern is that the reader’s sensibility should not be disturbed too much, so they do not touch upon the areas of political, cultural, and religious morality of their readers - these papers have no character and they lack any identity.”16 But Amarjit Chandan views them differently. He thinks these papers have a class morality and definite stand on .......................................................................
* Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman.


issues. He says: “The Urdu press by and large supports the bourgeoisie. No paper supports the cause of the workers. It is ironical that the Asians came to this country as workers, but the Asian press basically remained against workers. Asian workers waged a long struggle for their rights, and they suffered a a lot; but you will not find a single line in the press about them, their struggle, and their achievements. Rag trade, for example, is the business which is totally based on exploitation of Asian women. You will not find a single line on them in any Urdu paper.”17 Women’s activities is an area that is almost totally neglected. As Arjum Wajid, a female journalist of Pakistani origin working for the Romford Observer, puts it: “Their attitude toward women is very superficial and patronizing. They will never discuss women’s problems seriously, nor even ever interview a prominent woman social worker; they just fill their women’s pages with extracts from popular novels and stories based upon superstition.” But she gives them the benefit of the doubt, saying that they might be trying to cater to a number of tastes. “And of course, they have to be somewhere between popular and serious papers to have something for every reader”.18 Its allegedly conservative outlook is one general criticism of the Urdu press. It is said that Urdu papers tend to reinforce the outdated values adhered to by the old generation of settlers and it has nothing to offer to the new generation of Asians in Britain. Hamraz Ahsan says that about 90 per cent of the readers of the Urdu papers are from Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, who have now been living in this country for decades. The Urdu papers never tell them how to cope with the problems of living in Britain. Instead, they continue to teach feudal 62

ethics to these people living in the advanced capitalist system. The Urdu papers do not criticize their negative attitudes, rather they reinforce them. “They are, in fact, more conservative in outlook than even the Urdu press of Pakistan.” The result is that their readers are mentally and emotionally living in Pakistan. The readers columns of the Urdu papers are full of issues that are of no concern to the citizens of Britain at all, such as whether thieves’ hands should be cut and from where, and what is the significance of land reforms.19 Ali Kiani does not agree with the suggestion that the Urdu press is conservative. But he accepts the criticism that the new generation of Asian settlers do not read these papers partly because they do not carry anything that might interest them.20 Ashraf Kazi, though accepts that “may be, the issues facing the Asian community are not so much discussed in the columns of Jang as some other issues are” but he adds, “then the main reason might be that these people who face the problems do not write to us.”21

Advertisements Talking about advertisements appearing in the US immigrant press, Robert Park observes: “In many cases the advertisements reveal the organization of the immigrant community more fully than does the rest of the paper.... The advertisements also reveal to what extent an immigrant group has adapted itself to American ways.”22 In the same way the advertisements carried by the Urdu press give an interesting insight into the life-style of the Asian community settled in Britain.


Matrimonial advertisements are found in almost every Urdu paper, showing the concern of the community on this issue. Almost all such advertisements signify that marriages in the Asian community are still being arranged by parents/elders; and religion, caste, and even areas of origin are the main priorities. British nationality is one of the main qualifications and invariably finds mention in the advertisements. Two typical matrimonial advertisements appearing in Jang (9 August 1986) are: “Matrimonial We require matches for our son and daughter. Both are British nationals. The boy is the manager in a shoe company and is 28, while the girl is 23. For further details, please ring after 7.30 p.m. 0223-211328.” “Millan Marriage Bureau High quality life partner for the men and women of every religion, country, caste, and age. Special skill in Muslim marriages. Contact in Punjabi, Urdu, or English. Full confidentiality. Members of the bureau reside in more than 25 countries. 110 Bostall Lane Abbey Wood London SE2 OQS Tel: 01-310-8348" There are also a number of advertisements appearing in the daily press regarding the disposal of property. Jang’s 9 August 1986 issue carries six advertisements regarding the sale of small scale factories and restaurants. Some of the advertisements say that the owner is leaving the country or emigrating to Pakistan. If it is not some sort of business trick, then it means that an invisible process of remigration of the Asians has already begun.


The advertisements of travel/cargo agencies constitute an important part of the business of Urdu papers. Such advertisements take more than half of the advertisement space in Akhbar-e-Watan. “Air tickets: cash and carry” seems to be the most popular slogan among the advertisers, and the 16 July 1986 issue of the paper carries three advertisements opening with this phrase. All the advertisers also claim that they provide the cheapest return tickets and cargo services. However, the most interesting advertisements are those of hakims. Such advertisements appear almost in all the papers occasionally. Their common feature is that they carry Indian or Pakistani addresses of the hakims saying that the medicine can be had by post; or if at all they carry a London address, it is of some company which usually trades in such medicine. If an advertisement gives some clue about the availability of the hakim, it does not fail to mention that the hakim is on a private visit and will not do any business; but of course anyone could see him. The special feature of the advertisements is their claim that the particular hakim has some special treatment for impotency. But the Asian way of putting it is very discreet and the advertisements will only say that the hakim is a specialist in problems relating to the lack of power/energy, referring of course to virility. One such advertisement that finds its place in almost every issue of Akhbar-e-Watan is that of Hakim Hari Kishan Lal (see the issue of 6 July 1986, page 4). There is a picture of the hakim on the top left hand corner of the advertisement with the caption: “The emperor of the medicine for energy: Hakim Hari Kishan Lal (gold medalist) member of the government Tibbi Board, Delhi Estate. And the headlines on the right hand say: “Make your life


pleasant; Before marriage and after marriage; Are you worried?” The text of the advertisement says that if you have lost your youth and power because of your childhood misdeeds, then to get rid of your worries you had better avail yourself of the invaluable services of the internationally -known Khandani Shifakhana (registered) Delhi, and benefit from the compounds tested by four generations which brought so many honours and gold medals (to the hakim, of course). It goes on like this: “Ministers, judges, magistrates, nawabs, and MPs have also acknowledged the prowess of Khandani Shifakhana. Full treatment and correct advice, completely cured thousands of the people in the East and West who are now living very successful lives.” The advertisement lures you: “In old times only rajas, maharajas, nawabs, khans, and very rich people could use these expensive cures. Now-a-days you can also use these invaluable recipes to recover your health, power, and youth and completely enjoy the full happiness of a married life.” It never fails to add: “All the correspondence is kept confidential.” And of course you may order the most valuable pictorial book “The message of youth” free of cost. At the end you have the price list for various cures in US dollars: “Nawabi royal special treatment 2100 Nawabi royal treatment 1100 Khandani royal special treatment 550 khandani royal treatment 450 London royal special treatment 350 London special treatment 210 Africa special treatment 110 Note: Besides, nawabi royal super special treatment is available on order.”



Arjum Wajid strongly objects to the publication of such advertisements. She says they fully comment on the state of affairs of the Asian settlers and how the papers are serving them. “Instead of educating the people that these thugs are exploiting them and telling them about the medical facilities provided by the government, the papers are promoting these quacks for small monetary gains.”23


References 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 70 Ballards, p.32-33 Ballards, p.35-36 Abdullah Hussain, The Return Journey, included in the collection The Downs, Lahore, 1981, p.319 Jilani, interview Moghal, interview Ali Kiani, An interview with the author, London, 22 July 1986. Shahid Mahmood Nadeem, An interview with the author, London, 26 July 1986. Ashraf Kazi, An interview with the author, London, 21 July 1986. Kiani, interview Hamraz Ahsan, An interview with the author, London, 9 July 1986. Amarjit Chandan, An interview with the author, London, 3 September 1986. Ahsan, interview Mazhar Tirmizi, An interview with the author, London, 3 September 1986. Anwar Khalid, An interview with the author, London, 9 July 1986. The Far Eastern Economic Review, Hongkong, 19 September 1985, p.29 Nadeem, interview Chandan, interview Arjum Wajid, An interview with the author, London, 30 August 1986. Ahsan, interview Kiani, interview Kazi, interview Park, p.113-14 Wajid, interview



Advertisement revenue “The Urdu press is not economically self-sufficient”, says Naqi Ali, a senior journalist, “it does not get advertisements from government bodies, national industries or other big advertisers; nor does it have a sufficiently large readership to solve the papers’ economic problems. It is their ties with Pakistani newspapers and Pakistani politics which alone ensure their survival. And their desire to improve their resources reveals itself in continual political bargaining.”1


The modern newspaper industry depends primarily on advertisements for its survival, and it is precisely one area in which the Urdu press is badly lagging behind. A survey of the Urdu papers showed that the maximum ratio of advertisement to the printed matter for the daily papers was less than 15 per cent on weekends and for weekly papers it was less than 30 percent on average. The average space taken by advertisements in Jang on weekdays was only about 1.6 percent. On weekends this percentage increased to 14.5. In the case of Akhbar-e-Watan this average was 28.8 per cent, the highest among the Urdu papers; and in case of Milap it was 8.7 per cent, which also included full-page publicity advertisements of the weekly itself on almost every alternate week. The main reason generally given for the lack of advertisement is that the British advertisers do not patronize ethnic papers which have to look for advertising revenue almost exclusively from ethnic sources. Ashraf Kazi of Jang told The Sunday Times: “We are a national paper in Urdu but the advertising agencies refuse to recognize our national status. It would seem that our readers don’t buy toothpaste, soap, or detergents; that they do not use banks, building societies, the Post Office and British Rail. What does it take to open the agencies’ eyes?”2 Ashraf Kazi told me: “For the sake of advertisements we even got our paper registered with the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), but in spite of that we see that we do not get our rightful share of advertisements from the government and local government institutions.” He added: “Britain is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society and they claim that they provide equal opportunities. They have established a whole organization regarding race relations and they have a lot of legislation in this regard. We play a significant role in such things; we 72

inform them about their rules and regulations and we point out if there is any injustice. What we are doing is community service, but in spite of this the government and local government advertisements that we get are very few.”3 Akhbar-e-Watan is getting the highest number of advertisements amongst the Urdu papers. Its share is high but not satisfactory, and Ali Kiani complains that they are not getting enough advertisements from the government of Pakistan.4 In fact, because of the non-availability of a substantial number of advertisements from British sources, Pakistan government has come to be regarded as the main advertisement advancing agency. Ina’am Aziz points out: “The economic needs of the British Urdu papers are fulfilled by the Pakistan government in the same way as those of the Pakistani papers. The advertisements of Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistan Shipping Corporation, insurance companies and banks are the main source of income for the Urdu press; and all these advertisements are controlled by the government of Pakistan. If these advertisements are withdrawn, the paper automatically ceases publication.... In this way a paper’s existence is linked with the Pakistan government, and its policy depends on the whims of that government. If there is a change in government in Pakistan, the Urdu papers of Britain change accordingly.”5

Distribution Distribution of the Urdu papers posed a major problem initially and remains one of the main obstacles even today. Referring to the launching of Mashriq London, Dilip Hiro


writes that distribution of the paper proved to be the biggest stumbling block for its editor Mahmood Hashmi. “British newsagents would not touch his weekly. So he and his friends approached Indo-Pakistani grocers to stock his journal as they stocked flour and bread. Most of them did. Hashmi also concentrated on enrolling annual subscribers — a hard task to achieve for any nonexistent or fledgling weekly — and succeeded there too.”6 In this way a system was formulated. Most of the weeklies sent copies out to their agents in cities like London, Birmingham, Bradford and Glasgow in bulk. The agents in turn delivered them to Indo-Pakistani grocers’ and butchers’ shops, and to customers direct. Most of the Urdu papers are being distributed by this traditional network even today.

The battle continued for more than a decade before the Urdu papers could gain access to the newsagents’ shops. Ina’am Aziz says the newsagents initially refused to distribute Jang. It was only after considerable efforts that they agreed to accept the paper.7

The distribution of the Urdu papers is not very satisfactory to this day. The chain of well-established book-sellers and newsagents who have the monopoly over sales of newspapers at railway stations, airports and other main public places as yet do not sell any Urdu paper. Most of the other newsagents only supply Urdu newspapers on specific requests while some others express inability to oblige at all. A journalist living in High Barnet London says that he does not get a copy of his Urdu paper in the area while some Pakistani students residing in Brighton complained that they have failed to get an Urdu paper even after considerable efforts.



Circulation Urdu papers of London also cater for the demands of the Urduspeaking people living in Europe, the United States, Canada and some Middle Eastern countries. According to estimates there are about 300,000 Urdu-speaking people in Britain.8 Keeping in view this number, the circulation figures of the mainstream Urdu papers are very low. The circulation figures of some papers as supplied by their staff members are: Jang Akhbar-e-Watan Milap Mashriq 15,000 12,000 12,000 6,000

However insignificant they might seem, these figures are also contested. Most of the Urdu journalists term these figures as very optimistic.

Katibs Availability of katibs (calligraphers) is stated to be another problem facing the Urdu papers. Unlike any other paper in Britain, Urdu papers are hand-written by katibs before being reproduced by ancient lithographic process or by photo-offset printing technique. It is a slow process and on an average a katib writes only two newspaper columns in an eight-hour work day.9 In early days there were very few katibs in Britain and they were considered to be the most important workforce. Most of the early papers got the bulk of their material


calligraphed from Pakistan.10 The method, however, could not fulfil the demands of the Urdu press, which resorted to “scissors editing”, discussed earlier. The main Urdu papers are employing the method even today to fill in the bulk of their space. It is responsible to some extent for the excess of news about Pakistan and the scarcity of the local news in the Urdu papers. Arjum Wajid says: “... a constant shortage of calligraphers is the single biggest problem for the Urdu press. The editors are often forced to shorten the story not for the lack of space but for the lack of time needed to write it and for the shortage of calligraphers. The temptation of using cuttings from other papers is strong for smaller publications who cannot afford to pay to a large staff.” She also points out that katibs constitute the largest portion of a paper’s staff.11 However, not all the journalists subscribe to this point of view. Some think that katibs do not get their due respect, status or salary in a paper’s establishment. They are artists, but are treated as menial workers. A lot of katibs are available in Pakistan but no paper wants to spend money on their import. A good number of Pakistani newspapers have recently almost done away with katibs. They are using computers to compose the Urdu script. Jang was the pioneer in the use of computer in Pakistan, but the managing editor of Jang London says the equipment is still too costly to be set up in London for a small operation. “Our resources and our requirements at the present time do not permit us to install such a huge system here.”12


References 1 Naqi Ali, Urdu Journalism in Britain, quoted in Urdu in Britain, edited by Ralph Russell, London 1982, P.160 Quoted in The Sunday Times, London, 3 April 1983, P.7 Kazi, interview Kiani, interview Aziz, interview Quoted in New Society London, 22 June 1967, P.928 Aziz, interview The Sunday Times, London 3 April 1983, P.7 The Far Eastern Economic Review, Hong Kong, 19 September 1985, P.28 Ali, p.157-66 Wajid, interview Kazi, interview

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12




Now During the two and a half decades of its existence, the contemporary Urdu press in Britain has not been able to acquire the self-confidence necessary for it to have a sense of security and purpose and a distinctive character. The publishers and editors of the Urdu papers are as uncertain of the future today as they were twenty years ago. In 1967, an Asian journalist, while talking of Urdu and Punjabi papers of Britain, told Dilip Hiro: “I guess we’ll fold


up in about five, six years.”1 Most of the editors of the Urdu press would give the same reply even today. “Urdu journalism is not as bad today as it will be ten years hence”, says Ali Kiani.2 There are a few more optimistic voices but their number is not very significant. The main fear stems from the prospects of a bleak future. A great majority of the new generation of Pakistani and Indian settlers cannot read their own languages. And they are not interested either to learn the languages or to read the press in those languages. Ramesh Soni says his own children cannot read his paper - Milap.3 Most of the readers of the Urdu press belong to the old generation of settlers whose number is dwindling because of several reasons. They read the Urdu papers not mainly as a source of information, but for nostalgic reasons: “Most of the Pakistani community living in this country”, says Shahid Malik, a BBC External Services producer, “read the Urdu papers more than anything else for sentimental reasons, to read the stories about home. Whatever the quality, however subjective they may be, they have a feeling of being home...”4 There is a growing discontent even among the first generation regarding the existing Urdu press (see Chapter 3 on contents); and even to maintain its current readership, the Urdu press needs an overhauling. It is true that Urdu papers do not get enough advertisements, which are essential for their survival; there are problems with their distribution; katibs are not available; and there are pressures from different quarters. But there are many more and important factors responsible for the failure of the Urdu press to get a strong foothold in 84

Britain. One basic fact is that the people responsible for the running of the Urdu press have failed to grasp the dynamics of the Asian society in Britain, and as a result the press has become static. As discussed earlier the status of the South Asians in this country underwent a qualitative change when they opted to settle there, but Urdu press in its nature has remained an immigrant press throughout the twenty five years of its history. The Urdu papers are full of lengthy and detailed news reports about various developments in Pakistan and India, and articles and features about issues which do not have even a remote relevance to the British society. The coverage of local problems is inadequate. The Urdu press lacks the vital newsgathering facilities. As Hamraz Ahsan pointed out, no London based newspaper had permanent correspondents outside London.5 The result is that most of the readers read even the stories of utmost concern to the Asian community in the English press much before they appear in the Urdu papers. In most cases these stories in the Urdu press are lifted from the English papers. The much publicized case of Khurram Azad, the two year old foster child of a Bradford couple, is a good example. The story about his planned departure was carried by the British radio and television networks and all the leading English papers including Guardian, the Times and the Daily Telegraph on 8 September 1986, but it was missing in Jang’s issue of that day and Akhbar-e-Watan of that week. Jang only covered the story on the following day and its coverage was less prominent and less detailed than that of, say Guardian. Shahid Nadeem believes that the Urdu papers are understaffed and whatever staff they have are overworked; on top of it the salaries are very meagre. The proprietoreditors of these papers have a negative attitude toward


trade unions and except for one paper there is no trade union in any of the Urdu papers.6 Arjum Wajid says that most of these papers are being run like family-owned grocery shops.7 There is little effort on the part of the people at the helms of affairs in the Urdu press to rectify the situation. Khalid Hasan wrote in 1978: “There is not even an association of editors or publishers of Urdu newspapers and periodicals. They appear to work more against one another than together.”8

Tomorrow The future of the Urdu press in Britain mainly depends on the attitude and interest of the new generation of Pakistani settlers. Efforts are being made by the older generation to teach their children Urdu and their culture. Teachers of Urdu and religious instruction are on the top of the lists of recent imports. But how far these efforts succeed will become clear by the middle or end of the next decade. The Asian youth of Britain are beset with a host of problems of their own: there is growing unemployment; the racial problem; housing problem, etc. And learning Urdu helps them little in solving these problems, especially when everywhere they have to compete with English-speaking people. Yet they are also in search of their identity in the hostile world in which they are living. They are searching for their ethnic as well as their religious identity and that is an encouraging sign for the Urdu press. If at all the efforts to teach them Urdu succeed, will they be sufficiently interested in reading Urdu papers? One is not


certain. At any rate, the Urdu papers in their current shape stand no chance. They will have to change. Here the question arises, will it be apt to replace the Urdu papers with papers in English which would cater to the needs of the settler community for coverage of their problems and aspirations? Efforts have already been made in this direction and some Urdu papers are also publishing a page or two in English - Jang has one page daily. Are we going to have Jang in English?


References 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Dilip Hiro, The Asian Press in Britain, quoted in New Society, London, 22 June 1967, P.928 Kiani, interview Soni, interview Shahid Malik, An interview with the author, London, 12 July 1986. Ahsan, interview Nadeem, interview Wajid, interview Khalid Hasan, The Urdu Press, quoted in The Asian, London, May 1978, P.10


Appendix I

Current Urdu Papers Akhbar-e-Watan, London, weekly The only Urdu weekly that is being published regularly. Its contents include news features about developments in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, news items on the activities of Pakistani immigrants and regular columns on sports, films and religious subjects. Amal, London, fortnightly A mouthpiece of the Pakistan Peoples Party. Awaz-e-Haq, London, fortnightly Represents the Imamia Mission London, a religious organization belonging to Shia sect. Azad Balochistan, London, monthly A political paper representing the views of Baluch nationalists. Azan, Birmingham, monthly A religious and political magazine. Dawat-e-Haq, Huddersfield, monthly A magazine devoted to the propagation of Islam. Front, London, monthly The publication of Sind-Baloch-Pashtoon Front.


Gharana, London, quarterly The journal of Pakistan Women’s Welfare Association; publishes articles and educative material for women and children. Hayat-e-Nau, London, two monthly The organ of Urdu Association of the United Kingdom; carries a section for the Urdu-English reader. Jad-o-Jihad, London, two monthly The title page of the magazine says it represents the socialist forces in Pakistan Peoples’ Party and the labour movement. Jamhoor, Oxford, fortnightly A political news magazine; mainly covers Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Jang, London, daily The only Urdu daily of Britain; covers extensively Pakistani issues; also extends coverage to Asian settlers of Britain. Khyber, Leeds, monthly A cultural and news magazine. Mashriq, London, weekly The pioneer of modern Urdu press in Britain; extends coverage to Pakistani issues and problems of Asian community. Milap, London, weekly The only Urdu paper in Britain that covers stories from the Indian point of view.


Nasim International, London, monthly A religious magazine printed in Jhelum, Pakistan, and distributed in Britain. Paikaar, Birmingham, quarterly Journal of the Pakistani Workers Association of Britain; publishes political news and literature. Ravi, Bradford, weekly A regional newspaper of Britain which has also a regular literary section. Roohani Digest, Salford, monthly Publishes articles on religious subjects. Sawaira, Birmingham, monthly Publishes articles on religious themes, short stories and poems. Shafaq, London, monthly A well-produced Urdu magazine with a multi-coloured title; covers films, literature and sports. Sirat-e-Mustaqeem, Birmingham, monthly Discusses various issues in the light of religious teachings. Urdu Adab, Glasgow, quarterly A literary magazine being published under the aegis of Pakistan Art and Literary Circle, Glasgow.


Appendix II

List of Interviewees Ahsan, Hamraz: A journalist from Pakistan, currently doing research work for the BBC television and Channel 4. Aziz, Ina’am: The first editor of the daily Jang London; later edited the daily Millat London; also worked for the BBC External Services. Bungish, A R: The managing editor of the weekly Mashriq London. Chandan, Amarjit: The editor of Shakti London; author of a book in Punjabi on the Asian community press of London. Jilani, Asif: A former editor of Jang London; currently working for the BBC External Services. Kazi, Ashraf: The current managing editor of Jang London. Khalid, Anwar: A director of the Pak-UK Cultural Foundation; a former Pakistan Television and BBC External Services producer; also worked for Jang London.


Kiani, Ali: The editor of the weekly Akhbar-e-Watan London; the former editor of the daily Watan London. Malik, Shahid: A BBC External Services producer; formerly assistant professor of English, Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad, Pakistan. Moghal, Amin: A seasoned journalist and intellectual from Pakistan residing in Britain; also taught English literature for more than a decade at various Pakistani educational institutions. Nadeem, Shahid: A former Pakistan Television producer; currently working for Amnesty International. Soni, Ramesh: The editor of the weekly Milap London. Tirimzi, Mazhar: An Urdu journalist of London; also a Punjabi poet and intellectual. Uddin, Shams: An assistant professor of Journalism at Karachi University; currently doing doctoral research at City University London. Wajid, Arjum: A British journalist of Pakistani origin; currently she is working for a British paper Romford Observer.


Appendix III

Bibliography 1 Anwar, Muhammad, Race and Politics: Ethnic minorities and British political system, London, 1986. Anwer, Muhammad, The myth of return: Pakistanis in Britain, London, 1979. Ballard, Catherine, Culture conflict and young Asians in Britain, paper presented to the international congress on transcultural psychiatry, Bradford, Britain, 1976. Ballard, Roger; and Ballard, Catherine, The Sikh: The Development of South Asian settlement in Britain, quoted in Between the Two Cultures, edited by James L Watson, Oxford, 1977. Chandan, Amarjit, The Marginal Experience: The Asians in Britain, Delhi, under print. Desai, Rashmi, Indian Immigrants in Britain, London, 1963. Hartman, Paul; Husband, Charles; Clark Jean, Race as News, Paris, 1974. Hasan, Khalid, The Urdu Press, quoted in The Asian, London, May 1978, p.10 Hiro, Dilip, The Asian Press in Britain, quoted in New










Society, 22 June 1967, p.926-28 10 11 Hussain, Abdullah, The Downs(in Urdu), Lahore, 1981. Hussain, Agha Iftekhar, Urdu in Europe(in Urdu), Lahore. Khan, Verity Saifullah, The Pakistanis: Mirpuri Villagers at home and in Bradford, quoted in Between the Two Cultures, edited by James L Watson, Oxford, 1977. Lakhnavi, Sehba, Afkaar(in Urdu), a special issue on Urdu in Britain, Karachi, April 1981. Mahmood, Sultan, Urdu Journalism in Britain(in Urdu), Lahore, 1978. Pakistan, The Government of, Whitepaper on the misuse of media, Islamabad, 1978. Park, Robert E, The Immigrant Press and Its Control, Connecticut, 1922. Quraishi, Salim; Shaw, Graham Wilson, The Bibliography of South Asian Periodicals, Brighton, 1982. Russell, Ralph, Urdu in Britain, London, 1982. Sharma, Ursula, Rampal and His Family, London, 1971. Wilson, Amrit, Finding a Voice: Asian Women in Britain, London, 1978.





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Comprising of about two dozen Daily, weekly and monthly Publications, the Urdu press of The UK has been largely ignored In media studies. Urdu Press In Britain is an enquiry into the subject assessing the content and style of the Urdu press together with the pressures and problems facing it today. While discussing various stages of the development of Urdu press in Britain the book also traces the story of Indian immigration into the United Kingdom …. And the style all along is interesting, vivid and lively, making it one of the most readable books on media. Sajid Mansoor Qaisrani is a Journalist by profession and is currently working as News Editor of Pakistan Television’s Islamabad Centre. Before joining the profession he did his Masters in English Literature from Government College Lahore. His second Masters in International Journalism is from Graduate Centre for Journalism, City University London. ISBN 969 8094 00 8