There may not be too many teaching positions for Urdu scholars,but those thinking out of the box can mint money.
Mushrooming news and FM radio channels have produced a steady stream of aspirants eager to polish their Urdu speaking skills and diction. At Jamia Milia Islamia (JMI),a few Urdu scholars make up to Rs 1,000 an hour teaching media professionals how to get the accent and intonation right.
Mohammad Adam,pursuing a doctorate in Urdu at JMI,coaches them regularly. One of his former students is now a radio jockey in Ranchi,while another is working with a news channel in Delhi. Adam says while Urdu is being increasingly portrayed as a preserve of Muslims in media,the language is emerging as the new form of communication in television,radio,Hindi films and film songs.
Urdu is a beautiful language with a certain romantic lyricism that makes it pleasing to the ear. Radio jockeys and television anchors urge us to teach them the right diction, he says. Apart from working as a radio jockey,Adam is at present teaching Urdu to theatre artists,a sculptor and an American student at JMI. He says he makes enough to meet his needs.
Anwarul Haq,who is also a Ph.D student and Jawaid Hassan,an M.Phil student of Urdu,teach diction to actors and foreigners.
While none of them have taken up tutoring as a full-time job,Hassan says he might go on to open an institute if he finds partners. There are certificate courses for learning Urdu as a language,but none specifically for diction. Teaching brings in steady income and at a seminar held at JMI recently,many people stressed on the need for institutes to train non-Urdu speaking people, he says.
Anis Azmi of the Urdu Academy says entertainment magazines are a good alternative. Urdu magazines may not pay as much as the English ones but they are popular among their target group, he says. Urdu Duniya,Homa,Pakizah Anchal and Umang,the last one being Urdu Academys popular in-house publication for children,are some of them.