New Delhi, Nov 2 (UNI) A 24-hour Urdu channel of Doordarshan will start functioning from November 14.
The much awaited announcement was made to Urdu lovers by Minister of Information and Broadcasting Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi here today.
The occasion was the release of veteran journalist Gurbachan Chandan's book on the history of Urdu journalism-- 'Urdu Sahafat ka Safar'.
The Minister said earlier attempts to extend the DD's Urdu channel to a 24-hour business channel could not succeed because of the lack of software, but now everything was ready.
''I have just returned from a meeting of Prasar Bharati, where a final shape has been given to the plan,'' he added.
Mr Dasmunsi said Urdu was a very powerful and beautiful langauge loved and spoken across the country.
He also said there was no conflict between Urdu and Hindi and both were complementary to each other.
Lauding the contribution of Mr Chandan to journalism, he said he had done a commendable job by chronicling the history of Urdu journalism.
The author, now 85, has had a long association with the Press Information Bureau, which he joined after independence. He retired in 1980.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of the Sahitya Akademy and eminent Urdu litterateur Prof Gopichand Narang recalled the role of Urdu journalists in the freedom movement.
''Urdu journalism was in the mainstream of the freedom struggle, and even today, it is robust and impacting a vast section of the country's population,'' he said.
He said an artificial rivalry was sometimes created between Urdu and Hindi, but the fact was that both languages were each other's strength.'' Urdu is a mirror of our composite culture,'' he added.
Dr Narang said Mr Chandan was a fearless and very active journalist in his young days and was still pursuing the profession despite his advanced age.
In his book, he has made a dispassionate appraisal of Urdu journalism, he said.
'Urdu Sahafat ka Safar' is a compilation of 17 articles spread over 300 pages telling the story of Urdu journalism right from its birth in 1822, when the first newspaper in the language was brought out from Kolkata, to the present times.
The function was presided over by Union Minister for Power Sushil Kumar Shinde.
The All India Urdu Editors Conference presented a citation to the author recalling his contribution to the field.