In the online age, print version magazines are on the verge of extinction. Most of the magazines and newspapers in the developed world have online editions instead of print editions. When a typed magazine is under threat, there is some curiosity about handwritten magazines.
A complete handwritten magazine called ‘The Muslim’ is being published in tandem with the times. Corona’s outburst did not deter the magazine.
The Muslim was first published in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is known that the magazine published since 1926 has already crossed 94 years. The name of the person on whose initiative this magazine started its journey is Syed Azmatullah.
According to him, it is important for the Urdu-speaking Muslims in India to have a talking magazine. Originally, he took the initiative to run the magazine as a symbol of non-communal consciousness. From that idea he started publishing the magazine. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, one of the leaders of the Indian National Congress and President of the Madras Session, inaugurated the first edition of The Muslim.
The newspaper’s office is located at 324 Triplicane High Road, Chennai. Chennai was not spared from the terrible outbreak of Corona in India. But even then the whole team of The Muslim continued. Despite having corona, their number of subscribers has not decreased. The newspaper has reached everyone in time even in the midst of severe lockdown.
After the death of Syed Azmatullah, his grandson Syed Arifullah took over the management of the newspaper. He has skillfully led the magazine’s mission to preserve this calligraphy journalism and calligraphy tradition. There are currently three reporters working for The Muslim. The reporters are all men.
They collect almost all the political, cultural, sports news. And there are three scribes or writers for the work of calligraphy. Among them are two women. They have been involved in this writing profession for about 25 to 30 years.
The four-page magazine is originally published by folding the magazine published in the spreadsheet. The first page contains local and national news, the second page editorial and international news and the third page contains verses of Quran. Almost all types of news including advertisements and local news are published on the very last page. The magazine is written in quill pen and ink.
It takes a calligrapher about two hours to write a page. Even if there is a mistake, the whole page has to be redone. The written copy is then converted into a negative and from there the magazine is sent directly to printing. The whole magazine is arranged in white and black letters. The price of each magazine is only 75 paisa.
However, The Muslim is not only a magazine for Muslims but also for many Hindu subscribers who know and practice Urdu.