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Falling circulation of Urdu newspapers

The total circulation of Urdu newspapers in the country is continuously falling. It appears that the 21st century holds little hope for Urdu newspapers. The latest report of the Press Registrar titled Press in India 2002 shows that in 2001, which is the latest survey of this office about Urdu press, there has been a fall of more than one million. In 2001 the circulation was 5,116,182 as compared to 6,120,317 in the year 2000.

Last year among the 19 major languages, the circulation of Urdu newspapers was at 4th position after Hindi, English and Malayalam. But in the latest survey the circulation of Urdu newspapers has come down tothe 7th position. In addition to Hindi, English and Malayalam newspapers, Marathi, Bengali and Gujarati newspapers have now higher circulation than Urdu. In 1999 total circulation of Urdu newspapers was 8,028,072. An state-wise analysis shows that at least in seven states, Urdu press has lost its previous popularity. These states are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The comparative figures are given below:

States Circulation
AP 327,116 506,731 179,615
Bihar 682,805 817,212  134,407
Delhi 1,143,454 1,287,496 144,042
J&K 99,489  159,793 60,304
MP  77,397  162,529 85,132
Punjab 66,556 74,356.00 7,800
UP 2,024,675  2,499,859  475,184

In 2001 the total number of Urdu newspapers in the country was 2906 of which only 275 had supplied detailed particulars to the Press Registrar. One of the reasons for the heavy fall in the circulation was carelessness and bad management on the part of the publishers of these newspapers. But the most important factor for the decline in the circulation is lack of basic facilities for Urdu education all over the country because of which the number of new readers is declining. (GD Tandon, Rashtriya Sahara (Urdu daily), May 11, 2004)

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