Focus

Finally, it’s time to say Khuda Hafiz…

Seventeen years is a long time in the life of people and institutions. The Milli Gazette, started in January 2000, kept appearing without fail during these past seventeen years. Thrice we seriously thought of closing it down during this long period due to continued financial losses. The last time was when we wrote a note in this space in our issue number 401 (1-15 October 2016) when we said, this is “not an easy decision, especially in these days of Hindutva onslaught and paid-media vilification and misinformation about our community.”

Paucity of material resources in an environment of ever-rising costs, my own advancing age and bad health as well as my eagerness to finish some books before the last call comes, are basically responsible for this reluctant decision.

We were ready to continue to bear the financial burden should we find a suitable journalist with a minimum of print journalism experience and satisfactory knowledge of the Indian Muslim community issues. Despite many advertisements, we failed to find a suitable replacement.

Hence, this issue will be the last print edition of the Milli Gazette. However, our website (millligazette.com), facebook page and twitter account will continue. In fact, our website will receive more attention now and will offer better coverage of issues of Muslim interest in India and abroad. We will also remain in touch with you through our extensive e-newsletter service.

I am aware that a number of our readers are very upset and want us to continue MG despite all odds. I thank them for their concern and value their sentiments but I would like to tell them that sentiments alone are not enough to keep any project going. We are not averse to restarting MG in future should we get a capable editor and enough resources to sustain it on the long run.

During these past seventeen years, despite offering a fine and balanced coverage of Indian Muslim issues, we failed to get the support of the community both in terms of subscriptions and advertisements which would have ensured MG’s survival and continued publication.

We are satisfied that in these times of paid news and selling media to the highest bidder, we have set an example of sober, serious, sincere and faithful publication. We have rejected many enticing offers that came our way during this period. We have rejected pressures to publish or not to publish certain material. Our conscience is clear — we have not sold ourselves or our community. Despite all our internal problems, MG today is a respected name at home and abroad. It is quoted by Indian and foreign publications as well as by researchers, human rights and many official organisations all over the world. Our reports are routinely translated and published by many publications in India and abroad. Our issues are a faithful register of the challenges and travails faced by our community during these past seventeen years.

We hope someone will stand up soon and fill the void left by the MG print edition’s closure. News portals are increasingly making inroads into the media business but print editions have their own charm, respectability and longevity. The Indian Muslim community needs to make a lot of effort to occupy its place in the field of media so that it is heard and it can refute the misinformation being constantly disseminated by media and others, especially by Hindutva groups and Islamophobes. In the meantime, please keep visiting our website and facebook page and subscribe to our e-newsletter which will offer you a lot that concerns our community. Your continued feedback, support and patronage will help us do things better. Khuda Hafiz.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 December 2016 on page no. 1

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