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‘If agencies work at BJP govt’s behest, public will lose faith’, says Urdu press after Raut’s bail

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 release of Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut from jail, the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold 10 per cent reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and the by-elections held earlier this month kept Urdu papers buzzing this week.

The week began with the Supreme Court’s 3:2 split decision on upholding the 103rd Constitutional Amendment, which provides for a 10 per cent reservation to the EWS in education and government jobs. 

However, the bail granted to Sanjay Raut, who’s been accused of corruption in the Patra Chawl redevelopment project, soon became the talking point. While news stories covered a Mumbai court’s excoriating remarks made while granting bail to the fire-brand Rajya Sabha MP, editorials accused central law enforcement agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of working at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government. 

In addition to these, the upcoming elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the ongoing Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath Temple legal tussle, and the sixth anniversary of demonetisation also found coverage on the front pages of the Urdu press. 

ThePrint brings you a roundup of the week’s headlines and editorials from the Urdu press.

Also Read: ‘BJP trying to drown out talk of inflation & unemployment’, says Urdu press on Gujarat UCC panel

Sanjay Raut

Much was made in the Urdu papers of the release of Raut, with many criticising the ED with respect to the circumstances of his incarceration.

On 10 November, Inquilab’s reported on its front page that Raut had been released on bail, the ED had been pulled up and the Shiv Sena is celebrating.

In its editorial on 11 November, Siasat wrote that central investigative agencies need to do their work in a professional and non-partisan manner. If the agencies continue to work at the instance of the central government, it said, then the faith that people have in them, which has already suffered a jolt, could become zero. 


The approaching elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and the civic polls in Delhi remained on the front pages throughout the week. 

On 6 November, Inquilab’s lead report was about Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s claim that he was approached with an offer that, should the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) not fight elections in Gujarat, its jailed leaders would be released.

On 7 November, Roznama Rashtriya Sahara’s front page lead reported that there was a “special focus” on women in the BJP’s poll manifesto in Himachal Pradesh. This includes reservation in government jobs for women and a provision for cycles for girl students, it said.

The paper also carried a separate report on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s roadshow in his home state Gujarat.

On 8 November, Sahara’s front page reported that there were no Muslim candidates in the Himachal Pradesh elections.

The next day, Siasat reported that Gujarat saw the death of 1.5 lakh voters in the Covid pandemic.  

In a separate report, the paper said that the window panes of a train on which All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and Lok Sabha Member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi was travelling in were broken when it was pelted with stones.  

On its front page on 11 November, Siasat reported that 67 companies of paramilitary forces were deputed in Himachal ahead of voting Saturday. The paper reported that the state is expected to see a tough contest between the incumbent BJP and the principal contender Congress.

Elections for the 68-seat Himachal assembly will be held in a single phase on 12 November while the 182-seat Gujarat assembly will take place in two phases on 1 and 5 December. Votes will be counted on 8 December.  

Ahead of the next year’s panchayat elections in West Bengal, BJP state leaders have started making noises about the Citizenship Amendment Act (whose rules are yet to be framed). 

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s characteristically aggressive assertion that she would not let the Act be implemented in her state got front-page coverage in both Siasat and Sahara on 10 November. 

The papers also noted the BJP’s triumph in the by-elections held earlier this month. The party won 4 of 7 assembly seats that went into polls in six states on 3 November. 

In its editorial on 9 November, Inquilab said that projecting these wins as a “big victory” is unfortunate. The editorial argued that while there may be a debate on the matter of vote percentages polled, the outcome makes little material difference. Hence, it’s wrong to describe this as a BJP wave, the paper wrote.

Also Read: ‘BJP trying to whip up hate before Gujarat polls’ says Urdu press on Bilkis convicts release row


Urdu newspapers continued to cover the ongoing Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath Temple row. In addition, the papers also covered another ongoing temple-mosque row, this one from Mangaluru. 

On 9 November, Sahara reported on its front page that a fast-track court that is hearing the maintainability of a plea asking for a ban on the entry of Muslims within the mosque premises has deferred its decision until 14 November. 

On 10 November, Inquilab reported on its front page that a Mangaluru court had rejected a petition challenging a plea calling for the survey of a mosque allegedly build on a temple site in the city’s Malali area. 

The petition, filed by Hindu organisations, asks for a survey of the Malali mosque, which it claims was built on the site of a Hindu temple. 

Inquilab said that the Third Additional Civil Court in Karnataka’s Mangaluru had a plea by the mosque’s management committee challenging the maintainability of the original suit. The court will hear the original suit in January 2023, it said. 

Also, on 10 November, a small news item on the front page of Siasat reported that senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, and Uma Bharti were granted relief in the case related to the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition. 

For context, the Allahabad High Court Wednesday dismissed a petition challenging the acquittal of the three leaders along with others accused of having been involved in the mosque’s demolition.

The same day, the paper also reported that Hindu organisations “won”, after a court hearing the Malali mosque dispute had rejected the Muslims’ contention that the case should be heard by the Waqf Board. The Muslims had argued that the Waqf tribunal should hear the case because the dispute pertains to Waqf property. 

On 11 November, both Sahara and Siasat carried news of the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Gyanvapi case scheduled that day. The newspapers wrote that the court will hear arguments for extending an interim order for securing the area where a Shivling was claimed to have been found. 

EWS verdict

The Supreme Court’s EWS verdict also figured prominently in the Urdu press. 

In its lead story on 8 November, Sahara said that the Supreme Court had put its stamp on the EWS reservation. In an inset the same day, the newspaper reported that the Congress welcomed the decision while its ally Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) opposed the decision. The BJP, too, had welcomed the decision, it reported. 

In an editorial on 8 November, Sahara wrote that the 10 per cent EWS quota should have been instituted much earlier. But in embarking on that route, even with a little delay, the government took a step that is in the interest of the nation, the editorial said.  

Inquilab also took the EWS reservation decision as its lead story.   

In an editorial on 10 November, Sahara wrote that this decision was a means to ensure social justice. Yet this “simple measure” to ensure fairness to a segment that has “faced inhuman and unfair treatment” for years is repeatedly questioned, it lamented. 


As the central government’s demonetisation measure marked its sixth anniversary, it yet again made front-page news this week.

On 10 November, Sahara reported on its front page that the Supreme Court was upset with the central government for having failed to file detailed affidavits on petitions challenging its 2016 decision.

On 9 November, Inquilab reported that six years after demonetisation, the opposition parties criticised the move as being bad for the Indian economy. It quoted Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh as calling demonetisation the biggest organised loot of Independent India and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 8 November speech had been etched in people’s minds. 

This is not the sixth anniversary of demonetisation but the anniversary of the day when the dream of many Indian youngsters was destroyed, Vallabh was quoted as saying.

The paper also carried a statement by Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on demonetisation. In his statement, Yechury said the move was a result of Modi’s and his government’s arrogance.

In its editorial on 10 November, Inquilab said one of the several stated reasons was to eliminate money. But did the black money end, the paper asked. The question was answered within a few months when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that the money that was in circulation had returned to the bank, it said. 

This meant that black money had turned white and re-entered the market, the paper said, adding that experts had warned that black money is never usually in the form of cash and that it’s converted into real estate. 

While the exercise turned out to be ineffective, the black money that’s now been turned into real estate will continue to be, the editorial said. 

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

Also Read: ‘Rising atrocities against Dalits under BJP rule’: Urdu press decries killing of family in MP



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