There are conversations overheard among people about how newspapers are going to die soon and will be completely replaced by digital alternatives. Here we are talking about printed newspapers.
But did you know that there exists a handwritten newspaper in India that sells for 75 paise as of today? The Musalman, a newspaper that first began in 1927 still survives in Chennai.
Its office that is located near Wallajah mosque, does some amazing things that are rarely heard of in the 21st century. The Musalman is the world’s only handwritten newspaper that is written with the use of calligraphy.
Unlike how it works with typing, a minor mistake of spelling results in re-writing the entire page. According to a report in the Khaleej Times, there are three calligraphers working for the Musalman out of which, two are women. There are also three reporters who cover various beats for the newspaper. They do not get bylines.
Syed Arifullah, who is the editor, is carrying on his grandfather’s legacy. His grandfather, Syed Azathullah began the newspaper.
Arifullah told The Hindu while talking about the calligraphers and the difficulty of finding good ones today, “At that time, my father conducted calligraphy tests, analysed their handwriting, and hired them. They have remained with us all these years — we’re like a family.”
Since its inception, the newspaper is printed using a printing plate after making a negative of it. The staff, who have been around for over three decades now, are skilled in what they do.
Written in Urdu and in black and white, an exception of colour is made for advertisements. The newspaper does not only cater to Chennai but to various subscribers across India. It has around 21,000 copies and is four-pages long.
The focus of the newspaper is on Islam and Islamic teachings and they do not cover breaking news. But they have non-Muslim readers too.
How amazing is this?
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