New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement repealing the three farm laws and the revival of debate on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and Article 370 made headlines throughout the week in Urdu newspapers.
In UrduScope this week, ThePrint brings you a wrap of what the papers wrote on daily news events, and their editorial stand on some of them.
After PM Modi announced the repeal of the farm laws last Friday, Roznama Rashtriya Sahara pointed out that this is only the second time in its two terms that the Narendra Modi government has rolled back a bill, the first being the land acquisition ordinance.
In its editorial titled ‘Jai Kisaan‘ on 20 November, Inquilab described the repeal of the laws not just as a victory of the resolute farmers, but also of democracy, a stand that Sahara also took in its editorial the same day. But Sahara also talked about the 700 lives that had been lost in the course of the farmers’ agitation and the economic losses over the past one year. Inquilab also wrote that had it not been for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections, the government would have preferred to thrash the matter out in court.
In another editorial on the issue on 21 November, Inquilab wrote that the resolute farmers had managed to bring down the “arrogant dispensation” that has never cared either about the opposition parties or for street protests. It also added that there is a lesson for Muslim organisations in the way the farmers’ agitation was run, with a central committee comprising leaders from across farmers’ organisations. The editorial asked Muslims to adopt that model to take up their own issues.
All newspapers continued to give prime space to announcements related to the three laws all through the week — from the farmer’s declaration that protests will continue to the Modi cabinet’s approval to repeal the laws.
In another editorial on 23 November, Inquilab praised farmer leader Rakesh Tikait’s leadership and his ability to “turn the tide” when the “biggest supporters of the protest thought its days were over”.
Article 370, CAA
As the rollback of the farm laws continued to make headlines, demands for repealing of the CAA and the restoration of Article 370 also made a return to the prime space.
In its front page on 20 November, Siasat carried a report on former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti’s “hopes” about restoration of the Article 370, which was scrapped in August 2019.
In another page 1 report on 25 November, Siasat carried Mufti’s statement that to ensure restoration of Article 370, unity in Parliament would be very important.
Meanwhile, Inquilab in its lead report on the same day, drew broad parallels between the agitation by farmers and Shaheen Bagh protests (December 2019-March 2020) against the CAA. The front page of both Inquilab and Roznama Rashtriya Sahara carried the statement of Maulana Arshad Madani, president of one of the leading Muslim socio-religious organisations Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, on repealing the CAA.
Trinamool Congress dharna
The Trinamool Congress’ dharna at North Block Monday against the alleged attacks on party leaders in Tripura made headlines on the front page of Urdu dailies.
While Inquilab led with the news of the dharna and the subsequent meeting of West Bengal MPs with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Siasat’s headline on page one was about Shah telling MPs that he would seek a report from the Tripura government on the matter.
Mamata Banerjee’s three-day visit to the national capital and senior leaders joining the Trinamool continued to be prominently carried in the Urdu media. It was the lead report in Roznama Rashtriya Sahara Wednesday, a day after Congress leaders Kirti Azad and Ashok Tanwar and former JD(U) MP Pavan Varma joined Trinamool.
The daily also carried a small report on the “understanding” on seat-sharing between RLD and Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh. The report also made it to the front page of Inquilab.
AIMPLB’s calls for amity
Soon after being elected vice-president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), Maulana Arshad Madani called upon madrasas of repute to start inviting non-Muslim locals to their programmes to present the message of peace given in the Quran and by Prophet Muhammad.
Madani’s statement was carried by Inquilab on its front page on 25 November. It carried another front-page report Friday on religious leaders across sects supporting his statement.
Siasat, on 25 November, played up Madani’s statement that there is more hatred in northern India. In its editorial on the controversy over namaaz sites in Gurugram, Inquilab blamed it on the deliberate indifference of the district administration, linking such incidents in general to electoral benefits. It also lauded citizens who had come forward to offer their own premises for namaaz.
At the same meeting in Kanpur in which Madani was elected AIMPLB’s vice-president, the organisation urged governments and courts to steer clear of religious issues, opposed the Uniform Civil Code, and asked for a law against sacrilege. It was on the front page of most Urdu papers on 22 November.
(Edited by Neha Mahajan)