Qaumi Awaz, one of the pioneers of pre-Independence daily Urdu journalism and the pre-eminent Urdu newspaper of its time temporarily suspended publication in 2008. Its absence was always felt by Urdu readers across the country and now it hopes to fulfill the vacuum
ABDUL BARI MASOUD | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — After reviving the National Herald, the Congress on Friday also re-launched its historic Urdu daily Qaumi Awaz but in digital format. The Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the company that published the three publications, was forced to revive Urdu and English editions following a case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
The company was founded in 1937 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru that used to publish Hindi, Urdu and English dailies before these were folded up in February 2008. Now the revived Qaumi Awaz will be on digital platform like the National Herald.
The company announced the launch of the Urdu news website of Qaumi Awaz. Qaumi Awaz, one of the pioneers of pre-Independence daily Urdu journalism and the pre-eminent Urdu newspaper of its time, temporarily suspended publication in 2008. Its absence was always felt by Urdu readers across the country and now it hopes to fulfill the vacuum that it had left behind.
The Qaumi Awaz digital version will be live today i.e. August 12, 2017. The website url is: www.qaumiawaz.com.
Qaumi Awaz will soon regain the old glory that it had under the guidance of Panditji and with great editors like Hayatullah Ansari and Ishrat Ali Siddiqui, it will give voice to the voiceless, and be fierce in exercising its freedom of expression
Veteran journalist Zafar Agha has been appointed as Editor-in-Chief of Qaumi Awaz and digital properties in May 2017. He is responsible for building and leading the team of Qaumi Awaz and its digital and related assets.
On the launch, Motilal Vora, Chairman, AJL said, “I am confident that under the able leadership of Zafar Agha, Qaumi Awaz will soon regain the old glory that it had under the guidance of Panditji and with great editors like Hayatullah Ansari and Ishrat Ali Siddiqui, it will give voice to the voiceless, and be fierce in exercising its freedom of expression. I am glad to inform you that its print publication is also in the process of being revived.”
When the paper was folded up due to financial problems, its editor was Mohan Chiraghi, a Kashmiri Pandit.
Zafar Agha said in its new avatar, Qaumi Awaz will be the voice of reason for India’s democracy, freedom and progress currently challenged by the forces of irrationality and backwardness. He further said that it shall seek to give voice to the vision of Pandit Nehru and continue to occupy a liberal, progressive, secular space, and will remain committed to furthering the values it has always cherished and the best values of the Freedom Movement – that of building a modern, democratic, just, equitable, liberal and socially harmonious nation, free of sectarian strife.”
It is pertinent to mention that BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed a case against the National Herald in 2012 accusing Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, and others of conspiring to cheat the Congress in a land deal involving the National Herald English daily.
The amount of alleged cheating is about Rs 90.26 crore, which was loaned to Associated Journals Private Limited (AJL) that had three publications including the National Herald – founded by Jawaharlal Nehru before he became the first Prime Minister of India.
The AJL had launched its daily newspapers National Herald in 1938 and Qaumi Awaz in 1945. The newspapers served as the voice of India’s freedom movement. “During their halcyon days even in the decades after Independence, the National Herald, Qaumi Awaz and Navjivan lent their influential voice to the efforts of building a nation striving for world peace and imbued with rationality and scientific temper that its founder had inculcated,” Vora said.