Urdu Literature and Journalism: Critical Perspectives (Shafey Kidwai) | Book Review

This is the first attempt to put together the story of Urdu journalism and Urdu literature. In Urdu Literature and Journalism: Critical Perspectives Shafey Kidwai has made space for Ghalib and Faiz, Firaq Gorakhpuri and Manto, Premchand and Rabindranath Tagore. Talking of Tagore, Kidwai puts an entirely new spin to the stalwart’s image. He treads new territories, talks of Tagore’s influence on contemporary Urdu writers and poets and, through famous poet Josh Malihabadi, makes bold to say something not oft-heard in literary quarters.
That Tagore had another not-entirely-laudable side. Kidwai reproduces what Malihabadi wrote in his autobiography, Yaadon ki Baraat. Recalling the six months he spent in Santiniketan at the Tagore’s invitation the poet wrote: “He was obsessed with a thing that left me completely annoyed. It was his penchant for publicity…Whenever a foreigner came for his interview, he would sit at a high-up place after getting himself fully spruced up.... he would give the interview in such a manner that the interview seeker would get the impression that he was speaking to a divinity.”

Potential to polarise a society | The Hindu Readers' Editor

Did The Hindu get its story on the population by religion, based on the census figures for 2011 released on August 25, 2015, wrong? Why is its report different from the reports in other publications? Is there a bias in its reporting? What is the need for talking about the numbers in terms of religion? These were some of the questions we received over the past few days.

A Poet, A Revolutionary | Mohammad Asim Siddiqui

Kaifiyaat | The Hindu

"Kar Chale Hum Fida Jan-o-Tan Saathiyo , Ab Tumhare Havale Watan Saathiyo", wrote Kaifi Azmi for Chetan Anand’s 1964 film “Haqeeqat”. The patriotic song, immortalized by the inimitable voice of Mohammad Rafi, inspires everyone in the country on the Independence Day and the Republic Day. His song “Chalte Chalte Yunhi Koi Mil Gaya Tha” (“Pakeezah”) captures all possible elements of old world romance, uncorrupted by the speed of our information age. His poetic voice could even deconstruct the beautiful action of smile in songs like “Tum Itna Jo Muskara Rahe Ho” (“Arth”).

The Logic of Giving | Hasan Jowher

Giving implies losing or foregoing in simple logic. Why Give, then? And how does losing bring “joy”? Let’s, rephrase this as “purchasing happiness by giving a little of what we have”. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs explains that after we satisfy our basic physical needs we need esteem, and self actualization, which he calls the ‘higher needs’.
Muhammad moved from the prosperity of his calling to the cave of Hira to ponder the ills of Arabia, Ram gave up his throne and took to the jungle, Sidhartha bartered the comfort of his palace for the shelter of a tree, Mohandas turned his back to Britan transforming himself to the naked fakir. They were basically satisfying their higher needs.

Meaningful, Not Preachy | Deepak Mahaan

Muhammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar | Firstpost

Hindi films may be faulted for a thousand crimes but you cannot blame them for lacking in secularism. Our screen tales may be sordid, indecent or even ludicrous at times yet one has to admit that even in the worst periods of frenzied violence and senseless polarisation, their message has explicitly been in favour of equality, friendship and harmony. Today, when the best of intellectual minds and groups are bent on tearing apart the fabric of secularism, Hindi cinema is one of the few institutions resisting the brutal forces of religious and communal divide.