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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Everlasting Radio ......



Amongst various modes of communication, radio has been there for almost a century now. The television, cable and the internet era came later and tried to fling the radio almost into oblivion. However radio survived this invasion and in fact there has been a resurgence of radio thanks to some of the ‘never to die’ old stations and also the introduction of FM radio and its rise throughout the world. Transmission over the frequency modulation bandwidth has resulted in radio becoming privatized, commercialized and nearly individualized for a particular area or a particular community. With variety of programs presented in the most informal way as well as the live transmission advantage, radio has reemerged as a liked medium by the masses and same can be judged by the ever increasing number of FM stations being granted annually.

Kashmir is a place where a sizeable population works sitting at home, be it a carpet weaver, a shawl artisan, a papier-mâché worker or many such like. Moreover many from the farming and fruit sector work for a particular time of the day after which they get to sit idle. The limited working hours and the overall conditions prevalent in the valley make most Kashmiri’s get back home quite early and cling to some form of media entertainment. Many of these especially TV and radio are a must to kill the long evening hours and also to keep people abreast about the happenings in the state. The frequent power cuts, cuts down on the TV viewership. Radio being handy and the cheapest means of communication is liked by many. So most Kashmiris while sitting or relaxing or commuting for duties do listen to radio very eagerly.

There are a number of radio stations airing in Kashmir. We do have the ever eternal Radio Kashmir that has stood the test of time in being very popular amongst the masses. Radio Kashmir has been continuously broadcasting from the city center since its inception and even briefly was aired from the hills during the floods of 2014. It has been pivotal in bringing Kashmiris abreast with news, views, day to day affairs, drama, poetry and cinema. It has kept Kashmiriyat and Kashmiri language alive despite all the odds. It has been a medium to bring problems faced by the general public into limelight and get noticed and solved by the government. It has been the medium through which all the famous writings and writers have been introduced to the common man which otherwise was not possible. Those famous programs nobody would/will miss. Be it Zoondab, Ghami Bhaiu key liye, Monday drama, Pragash, Khat key liye Shukriya, Shaharbeen, Payaami Subah, etc . Radio Kashmir has been entertaining, educative, concerning and informative.

It has withstood bureaucratic and political interference and can claim to be apolitical to a large extent barring the news that has some governmental restricts. A sister concern is the previously called Vivdh Bharthi station (now renamed FM 102.6) which has most of the programs aired as decided by the All India Radio (AIR) and few programs like Sheehij Boen, Hello Bazme Khawatein, Alamdar, Morning show, Hello Doctor, Naawahe Subhu done regionally. Despite the present dynamic officials in charge of its affairs who are trying their best to bring in better and innovative programs, Radio Kashmir being a under Prasar Bharti has its limitations of progress in its constituents and horizons.

There are 2 FM stations besides FM 102.6, one of them FM 103.5 broadcasts from the Radio Kashmir division for 7- 8 hours per day and later continues as FM Gold through most of the day. It has wonderful array of live phone in, SMS or mail based programs to offer among which worth mentioning are Dhadkan, Gil mil Sitaray, Muje kuch kahna hain (public grievances) and radioactive. Another FM channel is the now famous FM 92.7 which has been on for last few years and has redefined and reinvented radio because of new budding and live on air radio jockeys. However it has more of a commercial tinge and is more filmy in its entirety except for some duration in the morning and evening during which it brings various public issues to fore and tries to get the answers from the concerned officials. But other than that it is a commercial venture and has more of filmy songs and musical stories to offer.

Noteworthy and praise worthy I will put an FM channel (more of a community radio) from Jammu which have besides its commercial potential being very successful in keeping Kashmiriyat alive and the Kashmiri pandits united in their language and being. Radio Sharda FM 90.4 has been there for some years now and has been a success. Kashmiri pandits have put up a good show and have relived various golden programs that were aired previously from Radio Kashmir. Dramas, new Kashmiri songs, poetic programs and informative bulletins are aired so that the community is well kept within the framework of Kashmiriyat. Also the commercial aspects of the channel bring its own rewards. 
Because of the security concerns and the uneasiness that they can bring to the government the idea of setting up community radio stations is not possible in near future in the valley. However a new FM channel on the same pattern as Radio Sharda could be launched in Kashmir to add on the already famous and successful Radio Kashmir. This could help us to bring back many a miss programs from Radio Kashmir and also allow new talent to showcase their worth. This would be a platform for bringing up people problems, their solutions and redressal and also have unrestricted talent being discovered which otherwise is dormant. This could be done by many stalwarts who have retired from radio and television; they can come up with their loads of experience and expertise. People like Ghulam Nabi Khayal, Ruksana Jabeen, Bashir Arif, Abdul Rehman Bhat, Ghulam Hassan Gamgeen, Mohd Roshan Khayal, Shamshad Kralwari who have vast experience in Radio broadcasting along with luminaries like Prof Rehman Rahi, Mohd Zameer, Naseem Shifai and Rafiq Raaz, to name a few, can help in creating such an opportunity. Of course they will have to abide by many a restrictions that would be imposed by the authorities as it may be deemed to be too independent. Many a successful businessmen and media houses can help these stalwarts in this venture. With GK communications already spearheading the print media, their coming into the radio and television is long overdue and I can say without any doubt that this will be a service they can render successfully. And for that matter any big business house can start this endeavor of great service and commercial potential. Let us try to come up with our very own new FM Radio Saada on the same lines as Radio Sharda so well done by our pandit brothers.

(Dr Muzafar Maqsood Wani is Consultant Nephrologist, SKIMS, Soura)

Source and Credit :- http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/opinion/story/241742.html
Forwarded by :- Shri. Jainendra Nigam PB News Desk,prasarbharati.newsdesk@gmail.com

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