August 29, 2006
For award-winners, standing room only
A group photo in Star of Mysore (Aug.29) features 10 achievers in Urdu journalism and literature, honoured with awards instituted by the Urdu Academi. The photo, showing the award-winners along with those representing the Karnataka Urdu establishment, was taken shortly after they were presented with the awards at a Kalamandira function.
Seated upfront in the photo are CIIL director, Maulana Azad National Urdu University vice-chancellor (who presented the awards), chairman of the Urdu Akademi (which instituted the awards), a former Minister, and registrar of the Akademi. Behind them are seen lined up, and standing, the award-winners, in whose honour the function was held. Maybe no one thought of this, least of all, those who set up the photograph. Maybe, the award-winners took the back row because they outnumber the organisers. But I sense in the setting of the group photo , what I would call, our ‘mai-baap’ syndrome. It is not that we honour Urdu achievers less, but we are given to respecting our establishment biggies more.