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Amravati violence, Delhi pollution, Kangana’s remarks — what Urdu press focussed on this week

ThePrint’s round-up of how the Urdu media covered various news events through the week, and the editorial positions some of them took.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court pulling up the Delhi government over air pollution, the proceedings in the Tripura violence case where two women journalists were arrested, and Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut’s remarks on “freedom” — these were the major issues India’s Urdu press covered this week.

ThePrint brings you a wrap of what the papers wrote on daily news events, and what their editorial stands on some of them were.

SC on hunger deaths

The Supreme Court’s strictures to the government on community kitchens was an issue consistently highlighted by the Urdu press on its front pages. Both Inquilab and Siasat carried reports on this issue on their front pages on 17 November. In an editorial on the same day, Inquilab highlighted the top court’s observations and argued that the problem highlights the importance of a scheme to ensure food security. It also wrote that the indifference of successive governments has led to starvation deaths despite a sharp increase in foodgrain production.

The next day, it wrote that hunger is an indicator of the dismal state of the economy and the growing unemployment. It said that the government’s stand that when big businesses do well, the fruits of their labour percolate down to everyone, has been proved wrong several times in the past, and will not lead to any different results this time.

Delhi pollution

The issue of Delhi pollution and the possibility of a lockdown to curb it remained on the front pages of Urdu dailies for almost the entire week. They also covered every development in the Supreme Court on the issue.

In an editorial on 17 November, Roznama Rashtriya Sahara welcomed the Delhi government’s decision on implementing work from home for its employees, and a ban on construction work, saying the initiatives, even though they have come a little late, would make a difference in reducing the level of air pollution. It also carried a report on its front page on the list of most polluted cities in India.

Meanwhile, Inquilab’s lead story on 18 November was a wrap of the SC proceedings in three cases — Tripura violence, Lakhimpur Kheri incident, and Delhi pollution.

Also read: Why November has brought back Delhi pollution with a vengeance after ‘cleaner’ October

Amravati and Tripura violence

Even as fresh clashes with communal undertones erupted in Maharashtra over a bandh call by the Raza Academy on the Tripura incidents, Urdu newspapers’ focus remained on both incidents and the ramifications thereof. In an editorial on 13 November, Roznama Rashtriya Sahara wrote that governments, in general, have taken to oppressive methods in order to suppress freedom of speech and the right to protest. It also said that had Tripura Police been vigilant after the Bangladesh incidents, the violence in the state could have been prevented. However, the Tripura Police almost gave their permission to communal elements to create tension in the state and is now targeting those people who are giving a glimpse of the ground situation to the world, the editorial added.

The Amravati violence was on the front pages of Urdu newspapers almost throughout the week. On 16 November, Inquilab carried a report on the arrest of BJP leader Anil Bonde in the rioting case. The report quoted a policeman as claiming that the Amravati violence was part of a “conspiracy”. The newspaper also carried the statement of NCP leader Nawab Malik alleging that the Amravati violence is a result of a conspiracy by the BJP. The next day, it carried a report on NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s remarks that communal tensions are being stoked in Amravati with an eye on Uttar Pradesh elections.

On 18 November, Inquilab published a report on the case being registered against 14,673 people in connection with Amravati violence.

Also read: Tripura mosque attacks: Ground report on what really happened during those 8 days in October

Priyanka Gandhi in UP

Not much is being read into Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s announcements about women-centric policies in Uttar Pradesh, thanks to scant support for her party on the ground. However, her movements are making it to the front pages of Urdu dailies frequently.

On 15 November, Siasat’s front page carried her announcement that the Congress would contest the upcoming assembly elections in the state without an ally. The newspaper’s lead report on 17 November was on the Congress’ UP gambit of 40 per cent reservation in tickets for women and her Chitrakoot rally where Priyanka urged women to seek their rights in politics. The second lead was a report on Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s rally in Ghazipur.

Ordinance on CBI/ED directors

The recent ordinances extending the tenure of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials, and the Opposition’s protests against it, found a place in the edit pages of Urdu dailies. In an editorial on 15 November, Roznama Rashtriya Sahara said while it is somewhat justified for governments to want their own people at the helm in these important agencies, it is a matter of concern when the same agencies are accused of partisan positions and there is a perception that Opposition leaders are being targeted.

Kangana Ranaut and “freedom”

Kangana Ranaut, the Bollywood actor with a penchant for provocative statements, made it to the front pages of Urdu dailies several times in the last two weeks. In its 16 November editorial, titled ‘Efforts to raise suspicions over history‘, Inquilab argued that it is the responsibility of not only the educated people but also the government to issue statements on the factual positions whenever attempts are made to raise suspicions on history. Without timely chastisement, the propensity of issuing such statements will not go down, it said.

In another editorial on November 19, Inquilab wrote that the lack of penal action for comments against freedom fighters and Mahatma Gandhi encourages others to commit the same kinds of offences.

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)

Also read: IB, home, RAW, defence officers’ tenure can be extended for 2 yrs — Modi govt issues notification


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