The closure of two more monthly Urdu digests has not been noticed in mainstream Urdu press, as they were magazines that catered to popular interest.
The two Urdu digests, “Sadha Rang’ and ‘Talash’ ceased publication. Earlier, Chahar Rang, Hazar Rang, Aalami Digest, Aatish-e-Gul and Nikhat-e-Gul disappered from the market due to decline in readership.
Now Huma remains the only digest along with Pakiza Anchal of the same group. Two other women-oriented digests Mashriqi Anchal and Mashiriq Dulhan are still publishing. But the trends suggest that their days are also numbered.
In the 80s, suddenly digests had appeared in the market and due to the collection of international stories that were translated in Urdu, they achieved success. In the past there were Shabistan and Mehrab among other digests.
Critics may not take these magazines and digests seriously but it is Jaraem, Pakiza Anchal, Khtoon-e-Mashriq, Biswin Sadi and similar popular magazines that are the first step of reader towards acquiring the literary taste.
Even literary magazines are gasping for breath. Among the few surviving are Ajkal, Aiwan-e-Urdu, Shair, Insha, Kitabnuma, Naya Daur, Naya Waraq and Zehn-e-Jadid. Though Sahara group’s ventures and the publication of Arindam Chaudhary’s The Sunday Indian in Urdu have brought fresh hopes.
But the sad truth is that unless there is a commercial viability, nobody is going to publish Urdu magazines. The cost of paper is rising and advertisements re hard to get for Urdu periodicals/newspapers. With fewer Indians (read Muslims) familiar with Urdu script and the figures dwindling fast, the future is not at all bright for Urdu publications.