DD Urdu channel starts beaming

MUMBAI: Doordarshan’s Urdu channel -- DD Urdu -- was officially launched on 15 August to coincide with India's 60th Independence Day.

With its launch, DD Urdu now becomes the second service after ETV Urdu, managed by the Hyderabad based Eenadu TV, to have a 24-hour channel dedicated to the language.

DD Urdu was officially launched by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who said that with the combined force of globalization and television, which would reach every nook and corner of the world.

The advent of this channel will strengthen the civilisational foundations of the country and would promote unity, Singh said.

Urdu is a symbol of rich, cultural and literary mosaic of our country and the new channel would help take this role of Urdu language further forward, he added.

In a speech laced with poetry and erudition, the PM dwelled on the social and literary achievements of Urdu and celebrated the language’s contribution in the cultural journey of the nation, according to an official release.

Information & broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said the new channel will fulfill the media needs of over 50 million Urdu speaking people in the country. The UPA government is committed to this cause and will provide all support in this regard, Dasmunsi stated.

Referring to great Urdu poets like Mirza Ghalib, Mir Taqi Mir and Firaq Ghorakpuri, Dasmunsi said that Urdu language and literature have had a deep impact on our culture. "During the freedom struggle, famous Urdu slogans motivated and inspired the youth. Urdu had brought about a new culture and promoted the concept of unity in diversity," he added.

In his welcome address, Prasar Bharti chairman MV Kamath described Urdu as a pan Indian language. He said that DD Urdu would preserve and promote the great cultural heritage and literary aspect of this rich language.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, several Union ministers, personalities and senior officials of the I&B ministry and Prasar Bharti were present on the occasion.

DD Urdu channel has been conceived as a heritage channel, which will have segments on entertainment and enrichment for culture and information. It will initially have a daily transmission of seven hours which would subsequently be extended to 24 hours per day.

It is worth noting here that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), has been scouting for joint venture partners for launching television news channel services in Urdu, beside Hindi, in India.

Sahara news network, which manages a bouquet of news channels, had also targeted to launch a Urdu news and information channel on 15 August. But, the channel is likely to be on air by the end of the current year.

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