'Namaste Telangana,' credited to be the first Telugu newspaper of Telangana region, has hit the stands all over the region on Monday with a record initial print run of 750,000.
The newspaper, a brain child of Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K Chandrasekahr Rao, was formally launched in the presence of thousands of Telangana supporters by the parents of two students who had committed suicide for the sake of Telangana. The paper has 12 pages of broadsheet main section and 16 pages tabloid.
Published by Telangana Publications, in which KCR and several others are partners, Namaste Telangana is the latest entrant in to an already crowded Telugu newspaper market with giants like Eenadu (of Ramoji Rao) and Sakshi (of YS Jaganmohan Reddy) leading the pack of eight dailies.
But given the continuing agitation in support of Telangana state and the common grouse that other Telugu media owned and controlled by 'Andhrites' was not giving due coverage to the fight for the separate state, the new daily had the potential to emerge as a leading player in the region.
Addressing the launching ceremony, Chandrasekhar Rao hoped that Namaste Telangana will play a key role in the struggle for Telangana state by giving voice to the voiceless people of the region.
Lashing out at the existing Telugu newspapers, he said that they have not only neglected Telangana but have distorted its history. "They insulted the people of Telangana by saying that there is no history of Telangana", he said.
Chandrasekhar Rao announced that a Urdu daily Rahbar-e-Telangana will also be launched on August 2, coinciding with the start of the holy month of Ramadan.
"Telangana region has two languages, Telugu and Urdu, and we will have dailies in both the languages to give expression to the aspirations of all the people," he said.
He exuded confidence that with the launching of the newspaper, Telangana state has become one step closer. "We are going to achieve our goal", he declared.
KCR already has a 24 hour news channel T News in his armour.
Allam Narayana, the editor of Namaste Telangana, said that it will not be less than any other newspaper in terms of technology and other aspects and will be better than others in its content. He said that this will be a new weapon in the fight for Telangana state.
Strongly criticising the existing Telugu newspapers and the TV channels for their bias against Telangana, he said that they always tried to suppress the news of Telangana movement and distorted the news in a manner to damage the Telangana cause.
Telangan Joint Action Committee convenor Prof Kodanda Ram said that Namaste Telangana should become the symbol of the people of Telangana. "Now when people meet they introduce themselves by saying that they were from Telangana. Now holding this paper in hand will be enough to introduce them," he said.
Telangana ideologue Prof K Jayashankar, several journalists including Ramchandra Murthy, editor HMTV and K Srinivas Reddy, editor Vishaal Andhra, educationist Mahboob Alam Khan, Telangana non gazetted officers union leader Swami Goud were among the others who spoke and expressed good wishes for the venture.