But, it is not easy for the small players to survive in the market and maintain their identity since big newspapers are ruling the roost. Many old newspapers that served the nation during the pre-liberation era have either waned or are standing on the verge of shutting down.

Calligraphy was used to make newspapers during the times when modern technology was not available.

But now, the printing and publishing industry has whole-heartedly adopted the latest equipment and machinery.

Even in these advanced times there is one local news paper ‘The Musalman’, published from Triplicane High Road, Chennai. ‘The Musalman’ started in 1927 and has been conserving the art of calligraphy writing. It is one of very few hand-written newspapers in the world and perhaps the only one in India.

In the digital era, ‘The Musalman’ conserves the fine art despite facing many adversities, including financial issues.  One of the oldest Urdu-language dailies published from Chennai, it is an evening paper with four pages.

The newspaper was founded by Syed Azmathullah and inaugurated by Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, the President of the Madras session of the Indian National Congress.

Now, Syed Azmathullah's  third generation, his grandson, Syed Nasarulla is publishing the news paper. This 4-page newspaper is published daily by a team of six members. Four of them are katibs – writers dedicated to the ancient art of Urdu calligraphy and surprisingly, one of them is Hindu.

While talking to me over the phone, the current editor Nasarulla said that currently the daily publishes 21,500 copies at a price of just 75 paise.

Written by Raju Kumar/JPN

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