Thursday April 26, 2018

Hindi publications top circulation in 2015, English occupy a distant second

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New Delhi: Registered publications in India recorded growth of 5.8 percent this year with Hindi publications claiming a combined circulation of over 25 crore followed by English at over six crore, according to the latest annual report of RNI, released here on Tuesday.

Bengali newspaper Ananda Bazar Patrika is ranked the largest circulated daily in the country.

Releasing the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) report, Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley said that the media has vastly expanded and there are different angles to the same news.

“The dividing line between news and opinion is becoming very weak. It is time for the print media to strike back,” he said, stressing the old principle was that news is sacred and opinions go on the opinion page, but now there was an explosion of TV channels where discussion is often shrill.

“The viewer looks for the real news without opinions,” Jaitley said, adding that if people get such news, the print media will continue to have a growing readership.

Noting that newspapers with 8.16 percent growth mainly accounted for overall 5.80 percent growth recorded by registered publications, he said magazine journalism was vanishing slowly as alternatives have emerged and there was need to revive it in a new form.

Jaitley said the circulation of print media was coming down globally but India was an exception as “print media here was both regional and national” and the growth in print media may be due to the growth of regional media.

According to Press in India 2014-15, the 59th annual report of RNI, there were 1,05,443 registered publications in total (newspapers category that includes bi and tri-weeklies 14,984; periodicals category that includes weeklies and other periodicals 90,459).

The number of new publications registered in 2014-15 was 5,817 while 34 publications ceased to exist in the fiscal.

The report said three largest circulated dailies were Anand Bazar Patrika, Bengali, (Kolkata edition) 11,78,779 copies, Hindustan Times, English (Delhi edition) 10,18,367, and The Times of India (Delhi edition) 9,72,180.

The Times of India, English (33 editions) was the largest circulated multi-edition daily with 46,30,220 copies per publishing day followed by Dainik Bhaskar, Hindi (34 editions) at 36,94,385.

Press Registrar and RNI S.M. Khan said the annual report is based on the information furnished by the publishers in their online annual statements as required under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 and the ministry was proposing changes in the Act so that de-registration process may be initiated for a publication which does not file returns for three consecutive years.

He said 23,394 publications filled their annual statements online for the annual report of 2014-15.

The report said that top three states having the largest number of publications were Uttar Pradesh (16,130), Maharashtra (14,394) and Delhi (12,177).

In terms of language, Hindi had the largest number of publications at 42,493 followed by English at 13,661 and Marathi at 7,818.

Total circulation of dailies, bi- and tri-weeklies and periodicals was 51,05,21,445 per publishing day – Hindi publications claimed a circulation of 25,77,61,985, and English publications 6,26,62,670. These were followed by Urdu (4,12,73,949), Telugu (2,72,01,064), Marathi (2,39,25,462) and Gujarati (2,37,42,849).

The top three largest-circulated periodicals were – Sunday Times of India, English/weekly (Delhi) 8,85,201 and Sunday Times of India, English/weekly (Mumbai) 8,65,049; Vanitha, Malyalam/ fortnightly (Kottayam) 7,31,750 and Sunday Mumbai Mirror, English/weekly (Mumbai) 7,17,374.

The report said Punjab Kesari (Jalandhar edition) is the largest circulated Hindi daily with 7,42,190 copies on each publishing day followed by Navbharat Times (Delhi Edition) at 6,69,948.

Hindi had the largest number of publications (42,493) followed by English (13,661).(IANS)

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Governor humiliated for addressing in Hindi

  Incidentally, Hindi is a very powerful language, if we go deeper. This language is so self-sufficient that it is one of the direct descendants of Sanskrit, the oldest and the perfect language in the world

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Sri Ganga Prasad was criticised for giving his speech in his native language and not English in the legislative assembly.

Salil Gewali, Shillong

  • Hindi is one of the official languages of India
  • Sri Ganga Prasad faced criticism for giving his speech in his native language
  • This makes one question if English is becoming dominant in India

Sri Ganga Prasad faced a barrage of criticism when he delivered his maiden speech in the National language in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. Even one of the legislators abruptly walked out of the assembly hall while the Governor was digression the session. Thus, the Governor was intensely scoffed at and humiliated through the social media and other news media.

Well, everyone has their right to disagree and criticize. Of course, we do not disagree that the majority of people in Meghalaya are not fluent in Hindi.  This is not a big deal. But disrespecting the language could be.

Is Hindi being ignored as the nation moves more towards English? Wikimedia Commons

This news also made many of my facebook friends abroad pretty curious.  One very learned scholar – Avital Markel from New York speaks out her mind with a dose of humor: ‘why is there so much noise when your governor delivered the speech in the language which is originally from India itself? I know another popular name of this country as Hindustan, not “Englistan”, I believe.’ Another Yoga teacher from Las Vegas — JM Palmer remarks — ‘it’s ridiculous that people can disrespect their own language. I can easily pronounce a good many Sanskrit terms. I personally have tremendous respect for India’s Sanskrit and other languages because they are the languages of Yoga and wisdom of spiritual dimension’. Mr. Palmer is a spiritual seeker who regularly visits India.

                 I think both Avital and Palmer views resonate with what the citizens of other countries feel. At least with those who have not been insanely fascinated by the English language like some Indians do. It’s much observed in the country that one without English speaking skills is obviously looked down upon.  The ‘inferiority complex’ vis-a-vis the West and its external trappings often hold many Indians back in asserting that they are Indians. This syndrome is getting more pronounced among the certain class of intellectuals and the snobbish folks. This has already taken a very ugly shape. The trait of sedition is quite noticeable amount the certain class of citizens.

                    Anyway, if we have regularly tolerated the bunches of fraudsters, rapists, and murderers in the parliaments and state assemblies in the country, why could we survive a speech of few minutes in Hindi and so on? 

Also Read: Is Hindi The National Language of India?

On the contrary, the citizens of very developed nations such as China, Russia, Germany, Portugal, France will never lose their calm when their leaders speak in the native languages. Actually, they all speak their own languages. The imperialist British till the date has literally failed to cast its spell on them. The citizens of those self-reliant countries rather swell their chests and claim their superiority and what they are due for.

                          If I am not mistaken Hindi is still recognized as the national language of the country. So, even if we are unable to learn the language, it would do jolly good if we do not disrespect it at all. Here it will be quite relevant to cite a case of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at United Nations General Assembly. I believe, nobody walked out of that international summit on 27th Sept 2014 when the Prime Minister delivered his speech in Hindi. Thank God, we didn’t have any leaders from Meghalaya who might have cringed with embarrassment and walked out! That particular speech by PM Modi in UN was so applauded that it subsequently served to motivate the member countries across the world to vote in favor of declaring a Yoga International Day for 21st June.

Harivansh Rai Bachchan, a Padhma Bhushan awardee for his contribution in Hindi Literature. Pexels
Hindi is a powerful language and ought to be used more. Pexels

                        Incidentally, Hindi is a very powerful language, if we go deeper. This language is so self-sufficient that it is one of the direct descendants of Sanskrit, the oldest and the perfect language in the world. On the robust ground of India’s Sanskrit the Modern linguistic stands. Kudos to those unprejudiced and rational intellectuals such as Sir William Jones, Johann Goethe, F. Schiller, Franz Bopp, F. Schlegel, Ferdinand de Saussure, Leonard Bloomfield, Noam Chomsky who discovered the incredible literary gems in the languages of India.

                           Finally, for those who sniff at the languages of Indian origin and the wisdom and culture associated with them, I would like to share just one opinion by their much celebrated English master. Here exclaimed the American British Nobel laureate TS Eliot: “Two years spent in the study of Sanskrit under Charles Lanman, and a year in the  mazes of Patanjali’s metaphysics under the guidance of James Woods, left me in a state of  enlightened mystification.” I think we should not walk out of the “truth”. India has for ages been enriching the intellectual treasure troves of the West. But, what is a huge paradox is that our Indians are either not aware of it all or they do not want to acknowledge it.