Special Reports

First Telugu Islamic TV Channel

India, with the second biggest Muslim population in the world, has hundreds of TV channels mostly news and entertainment in almost all the regional languages but almost none to present Islam and Muslim issues.

To fill this gap, Universal Islamic Research Center (UIRC), a Hyderabad-based Da’wah organisation has launched “Ruju Margam”, the first Islamic TV channel in Telugu, the official language of two states spoken by more than 100 million Indians.

“UIRC has been working for the last ten years to take the message of Islam and remove the misunderstandings about the religion but the lack of electronic media in regional language of Telugu had become a major challenge and obstacle”, said Shaikh Sahfi, an expert on comparative religions who heads UIRC.

 “One of the biggest reasons for mounting problems of Muslims in India is their absence from the electronic media in various regional languages. Forces inimical to Islam use electronic media for negative propaganda against Islam and Muslim and thereby create hatred among the followers of different religions, he said. Now Ruju Margam is filling this gap.  While there are ten different TV channels in Telugu language spreading Christianity and Hinduism, Ruju Margam is the first of its kind Islamic channel.

 “The channel will promote peace and universal brotherhood and present true Islam in Telugu language”, says Siraj-ur-Rahman, an expert on comparative religions, who is the General secretary of UIRC. Even before launching the TV channel, UIRC had used other  media tools to reach out to the masses by producing 40 CDs on various aspects of Islamic teachings and a comparison of various religions in Telugu and other languages. Moreover, the team of preachers of UIRC was also appearing in different programs and debates of various Telugu TV channels. They deliver talks at mosques, educational institutions and religious places of other faiths.

 They also participate in public debates with the Hindu and Christian priests on various subjects to convince the people of the universal truth of Islam. In a path-breaking endeavour they also address public gatherings at Hindu temples, specially on the occasion of major Hindu festivals.

UIRC, formed in 2007, is also working to train and prepare an effective team of Daayees, many of them converted Muslims. Many such Da’yees could be seen distributing pamphlets and brochures in different languages on roads, busy intersections, parks and hotels to the passersby, explaining the message of Islam to them.  

UIRC President Brother Shafi, who studied comparative religions for 12 years, worked as communication and training specialist at Population Services International. A Masters in Medical and Psychiatric in social works from prestigious Osmania University of Hyderabad, he left his job to work full-time as a da’yee. He is also the founder president and master motivator of “Inspiration Unlimited”, a personality development Institute.

 Apart from television, The first Telugu Islamic TV channel can also be watched at www.rujumargam.t

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 July 2015 on page no. 13

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