Muslim Media: Birth and Death
I remember when Moulana Abdul Kareem Parikh Sab (late) in his inaugural speech of Islamic Voice, English monthly in January 1987 (30 years ago) shared an incident. He said that when he was in Surat, one day early morning a lady vegetable vendor carrying vegetables had in her vegetable basket a Gujarati news paper stuck to her basket.
Out of curiosity, I asked her “do you know to read Gujarati”?. She replied, “no I do not know”. Then I asked her, “why did you buy the newspaper?”. Her answer astonished me: “she said it is my paper, if I do not buy, then who will buy?”.
In the same breath, Moulana said: “Our Muslim media’s death is sure, but it is a matter of time because we do not find such passionate Muslims like her who own responsibility to buy. It is a matter of priority”.
Many ventures in the media have failed like the ‘Nation and the World’ and ‘Mean Time’ and so on. Media cannot sustain on sponsors and donations, it has to sustain on its readers, once the readership dies, the death of the paper is certain.
In 30 years, I have seen many Muslim journals taking birth and having a silent death and this game is still going on.
When we bring the paper in English, we are asked, why cannot you bring it in Urdu and visa versa, but willingness to buy is missing, at least buy for the children and grandchildren to read. It is the parents who should have the priority to buy several Muslim journals to educate their children, develop reading habits in children. Today, children and parents are lost in their virtual worlds !
Change of priority is the only solution!