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The last Urdu calligrapher of Delhi

Technological and political pressures threaten centuries-old Indian art form

Calligrapher Mohammad Ghalib, 60, creates a work for a customer in the bookshop where he works in the Old Delhi district of the Indian capital. (Photo by Mehran Bhat)

NEW DELHI -- After four decades working as a katib (calligrapher) in Delhi's Urdu Bazaar, Mohammad Ghalib sees himself as guardian of a dying tradition.

The bazaar, known for its rich literary culture, especially in the Urdu language, was for centuries one of India's key centers of printing and publishing where books, booklets, cards, telegrams and postcards were written for customers by professional calligraphers.

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