Shah Rukh Khan at a summit in New Delhi | Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg
Shah Rukh Khan at a summit in New Delhi | Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg
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New Delhi: With the realisation that it has fallen behind private players in competition to promote the Urdu language, the Modi government is finally waking up to the power of Bollywood.

Looking to rope in superstars like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, now wants to take a more proactive role in what it’s meant to do — promote the Urdu language.

The NCPUL has been facing a tough competition from private players that organise events for promotion of Urdu and draw massive crowds of young people.

“The council has been tasked with the job of promoting Urdu as a language but all that we have been doing so far is producing literature in the language. We want to now focus more on promoting the language and not just the literature,” Aquil Ahmed, director, NCPUL, told ThePrint.

“We are going to approach Bollywood actors, prominent names like Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan and make them say a few lines in Urdu, we will then use these videos in our events,” said Ahmed.


Also readA birthday tribute to Mirza Ghalib, the poet who took Urdu to the zenith of glory


Role for Bollywood

Ahmed said Urdu has been “popularised by art and cinema” and NCPUL wants to use this as a medium to further popularise the language.

“Right now, only lyricist Javed Akhtar and actor Shabana Azmi are coming forward in support of the language from the film fraternity. We want more to join in,” he added.

Ahmed added that the government body will approach the Film and Television Institute of India urging them to “make the actors endorse use of the language”.

Competition

The NCPUL director admitted to competition from private players, especially Rekhta Foundation, which have popularised the language among young people.

The non-profit Delhi-based Rekhta Foundation regularly organises Urdu events, featuring Bollywood celebrities like Akhtar, lyricist Gulzar and filmmaker Imtiaz Ali. It also runs popular social media accounts — its Twitter handle has a following of 3,78,000.

On a simple Twitter search, the NCPUL doesn’t even show up.

The government body received a budget of Rs 332.76 crore from the Modi government for 2014-19, almost double of what it received during the previous UPA-II government, where it received Rs 176.48 crore.

The NCPUL publishes books in Urdu language, organises conferences at national and international level and runs diploma courses in Arabic and Urdu to promote the language.


Also read: Urdu sounds are disappearing from Bollywood songs


 

For ThePrint's smart analysis of how the rest of the media is doing its job, no holds barred, go to PluggedIn


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8 Comments Share Your Views

8 COMMENTS

  1. بھلا وہ کیا جانے اُردو۔ کےبارےمیں۔ میں۔
    میرے خیال۔ میں اس سے زیادہ مستحق شعراء اکرام ہیں۔

  2. Kat is good only in her boom role! Alas she can no more play that due to age constraint. Sharukh khan is hanging on to his name/surname for a bit long now! He needs a name change before the nation gets a new name! The best couple that can promote Urdu language would be Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie. Only they can save Urdu language from extinction!

  3. First these actors have to learn urdu, what fo they know of urdu literature. By reading hindi written dialogue one can’t command urdu language.

  4. Katrina Kaif to promote Urdu language😬😬even Ghalib saheb’s soul would have committed suicide hearing this news😂😂😂

    • On my YouTube Channel (Desi Comments, Zindabaad!), you would win our weekly prize of $10 for that comment…for sure…heck, I’d probably give you more than $10 for that comment…near busted a gut from laughing…thank you for the hilarious comment…peace!

    • On my YouTube channel (Desi Comments, Zindabaad!), you would win the weekly $10 for that hilarious comment…heck, I would probably give you more…thanks for the laugh…peace!

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