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Malegaonian represents India at International forum with four others

Friday, July 31, 2009 09:55:38 AM, Aleem Faizee

Imtiyaz Khalil in US

Imtiyaz Khalil…

Imtiyaz Khalil’s is again a rags to riches story that begins under the shadow of poor economical condition combined with tough challenges with his early education from an Urdu medium school run by the Malegaon Civic Body. Though coming from a modest family, with the help of the determination that has always been part of his persona he completed graduation and post graduation from a local college. After post graduation in MA English, he joined KC College in Mumbai for the post graduate diploma in Journalism. Once completed the course there was no looking back for him.


Without much of an effort he landed himself a job at ETV Urdu, one of the very few Urdu TV channels in India, the country which is next only to Indonesia in terms of the Muslim population. At ETV Urdu, Imtiyaz due to his skills in the language and in depth knowledge of Urdu literature soon established a personal rapport in almost whole of the Indian Muslim community. After a successful tenure of more than three years at ETV Urdu, he joined ‘Voice of India’, a newly launched TV channel.


When Sahafat, a recognized Urdu daily in North India before the 2009 general elections decided to launch its Maharashtra edition from Mumbai, the publishers hired Imtiyaz, who swiftly created a team of experienced and talented journalists for its successful launch.


Today working as Deputy Editor and next only to Hasan Kamal - the ultimate name in Urdu journalism, Imtiyaz Khalil is no less than a backbone for Sahafat Mumbai.

Mumbai: A journalist hailing from Malegaon, the Muslim dominated textile town in North Maharashtra represented India with four others for United State’s International Visitor Leadership Program that culminated July last week. The program was organized and sponsored by the US State Department, and was coordination by various American centers working in different Indian metros.


Imtiyaz Khalil, a young journalist from Malegaon, who is working as Deputy Editor at Sahafat, a Mumbai based Urdu daily is just back in the country after winding up the 22-day US tour where he was supposed to visit the major media houses, radio stations, broadcasting centers and universities to have firsthand experience of US media. For this tour he was accompanied by John Brittas (CEO and Chief Editor Malayalam Communication), Saba Naqvi (Delhi Bureau Chief Outlook), Meghna Dhoke (Senior Sub-Editor Lokmat Magazines) and Ramachandrareddy Patil (Principal Correspondent The Week Bangalore).


Part of the US sponsored International Visitor Leadership Program, the tour to study ‘The Role of Media in a Democracy’ was aimed at providing a live demonstration of how the US Media actually works and to compare that with rest of the world.


United States regularly sponsors such programs that include the International Visitor Program, Full Bright Scholarship and Seeds of Peace among others. However the International Visitor Leadership Program has its own importance under which normally the top notch politicians, Human Right activists, Religious leaders and other renowned individuals from all across the world are invited to have direct interaction with the people in United States on different topics.


Imtiyaz Khalil’s inclusion for the tour becomes more sounding considering the fact that while all his companions are attached to big media houses of the country, he was not having any such backing when he was selected in the high profile team.


Back home, sharing the details of the US tour exclusively with, Imtiyaz Khalil termed it as an experience of the lifetime and very valuable to judge how the media works in United States and in other parts of the world.


“The media houses in United States are neither owned by the state nor any individual with vested interests. Moreover, they do not rely on advertisements for their survival”, he says before adding, “The result is that the bias and prejudice against someone and favour extended to others, normally witnessed in Indian media and the media in other parts of the world is not visible in United States.”


In reply to a pointed question he says, “Media in US is normally owned by the NGOs and various communities that regularly contribute to make them sustain and maintain their independence.”


“Furthermore”, he says, “Those who cannot extend monetary support to the community media, work voluntarily for two to three hours every day and do whatever work that is assigned to them.”


The crux of the entire tour was, he says, a responsible and free media, whether Electronic, Print or Internet, is key to a better society and strong nation.


"During the entire tour visiting various places and meeting people from different walks of life, we had a personal experience of the effect of the free media in US life", he says.


Malegaon delighted

Meanwhile Malegaon is going gaga over Imtiyaz Khalil’s achievement. In a public meeting on July 19 organized to felicitate him, speaker after speaker showered praises to congratulate the young journalist.


Stating that Imtiyaz Khalil is just another example to show to the world in general and to the Indian government in particular how potential the Muslim dominated town Malegaon is, Maulana Abdul Hameed Azhari in his presidential address observed, “Owing to the talent that the town has one expects from the government to extend its support so that more and more people from the town play their roles in making the country proud. However the irony is that while the government continues with its lackluster attitude towards the town, the town remains an easy target for the communal forces who hobnobbing with the inept local administration kept Malegaon on tenterhooks first by a series of communal riots and of late by masterminding terrorist attacks on its soil.”







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