People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 17

April 25, 2004

Urdu Monthly Shabtaab Is Out



THE first issue of Urdu monthly Shabtaab (April 2004) is out. The magazine, a broadbased forum of secular and democratic opinion, is based on 48 pages plus four pages of cover in two colours, and is priced at Rs 10 per copy.


After an editorial outlining the necessity of bringing out this publication, it has an educative column titled "Last Month" which surveys and comments upon the main events in the preceding one month. Then follows an article by CPI(M) general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet on why the BJP and its allies should be defeated in the coming polls. Articles on communalism, the current round of Indo-Pak dialogue, the aspects of globalisation, on "honour killings," on the discrimination against Urdu, and on the slogan of a "Muslim secular party" are the main attractions of the issue. Most of the contributors of these articles are well known names in Urdu. Some of these articles are accompanied with poems (or stanzas from poems) on the concerned themes, which adds to the beauty of presentation. For example, poem "Aurat" by late Akhtar Shirani goes with the article on "honour killings" while two poems on the need of Indo-Pak friendship, penned by late Sardar Jaffri, complement the article on Indo-Pak dialogue.


A satirical piece, a short story by Asghar Wajahat on communal problem, and poems by late Makhdoon Mohiuddin and late Shakeb Jalali are additional attractions of the issue.


An "Our Legacy" column concludes the issue and, in this particular issue, the document carried is the "Preface to Dreamland," penned by martyr Bhagat Singh, whose martyrdom day (March 23) was observed when the issue was in press.


The last cover page carries a satirical poem "Ab Tu Bhi Good Feel" by Sant Mehar Das, which is being appreciated far and wide.


As per an announcement in the issue, the next (May) issue of the magazine will carry articles and poems on the anniversary of 1857, on May Day, on the martyrdom day (May 4) of Tipu Sultan, on Marx birth anniversary (May 5) and on the second death anniversary of Kaifi Azmi.