“History repeats itself, that’s one of the things that’s wrong with history.” -Clarence Darrow

The Genius of Radio Kashmir Srinagar is in Peril

by | Oct 29, 2010 | Blog

Farooq has some advice for those at the helm of an cultural icon that not only promoted talent among budding Kashmiri youth but also played a significant role in fabricating literary and cultural milieu of the valley

(Dr Farooq Fayaz, 56, was born in Sathu Barbar Shah Srinagar. He did his post-graduation in History and Kashmiri Literature from Kashmir University in 1976 and 1978 respectively. Making brief stints in School education department and All India Radio, Dr. Farooq finally joined Kashmir University in 1992, where he was awarded his M.phill and Ph.D degrees. Currently Dr. Farooq is working as Senior Associate Professor in the post-graduation department of History in the same University. Farooq Fayaz has authored seven books in English ad Kashmiri of which his recent publication entitled Kashmir Folklore—- A study in historical perspective won for him the best Book Award for the year 2009-2010 by the State Cultural Acadamy. Dr. Farooq is a regular contributor to Print and Electronic media and writes on wide variety of themes pertaining to Kashmir History, Literature, Folklore, Contemporary politics and Kashmiri Culture. Dr. Farooq Fayaz has attented several national and international seminars on oral history which is his area of specialization. He is recognized as a specialist across the country on Kashmiri Folklore.)

Radio Kashmir Srinagar: Past and Present

The history of broadcasting culture in Kashmir dates back to 40’s of the last century, when in 1948 Radio Kashmir was established during the period of great historical crisis. The organisation though established a year later from the commissioning of Radio Kashmir Jammu but within a short period the organisation won immeasurable applause and appreciation for its in-depth production and broadcasting mettle.

Though, initially, established with a predominant objective to counter the crafted propaganda of Radio Pakistan during the war time emergency, the organisation soon excelled in different broadcasting domains and succeeded in emerging as one of the leading broadcasting houses of the country. The organisation has at its credit scores of national level awards and trophies won at different intervals for best productions. True to the rich literary and cultural traditions of the valley, Radio Kashmir Srinagar through it’s variegated programmes not only promoted talent among budding Kashmiri youth, it also played a significant role in fabricating the contemporary literary cum cultural milieu of the valley. In the absence of journalistic endeavour in vernacular print, the news unit of the organization fulfilled the gap and discharged the societal role by disseminating information to the people about the day today happenings .To rectify the social wrongs and cultivate among masses the true spirit of civility and citizenship the most popular family serial of Radio Kashmir Srinagar “Zoona Dab”, served as a desired household product for years together.

But it is painful to document that the organisation which once served as the mirror of societal and intellectual decency has for some time now become an object of acute criticism. The truth stands that the criticism is not being levelled for bad quality productions but the internal bickering and crisis through which the organisation is going for the last three months. The present Director has a distinction of having worked with the legendry broadcasting giants and by close association with them, he has attained exemplary proficiency in discipline. Immediately, after assuming new office, Bashir Arif attempted to give new colour to programme and production format. With the introduction of new programmes, there started renewed interest among wide circle of radio listeners towards the radio programmes. In his endeavour to bring the past glory of radio back, the entire team of programme officers and other supporting staff provided him their full support. Sure, he has accumulated enough technical experience with reference to variegated shades of broadcasting craft but these things hold little ground in discharging the administrative management.

Radical changes have been brought in the programme format; in the recent past, it seems clear that Bashir Arif intends to broaden the range of Radio listeners by introducing or recasting programmes which aim to address the likening of various shades of radio listeners. In his attempt to bring radio back to its past glory, he has received active co-operation of his programme staff. The question may be asked as why there erupted a void between the present Director and the rest of the Programme staff? The truth stands that both the parties misconceive each other’s frame of behavioural application. Any move initiated by the Director to set the organisation in tune with administrative decency and codal dictates should not be taken by subordinate staff as an attempt to discredit their talent and professionalism. In the same spirit, the official capacity of the Director doesn’t empower him to doubt the every intention of his staff as irrational and illogical.

The Radio is a unique organisation which demands for a team coherence to see a programme go on air to the best satisfaction of the listeners. The Director in complete isolation may not be in a position to achieve this societal goal. If he fails to carry his team along with him, he can’t expect positive result of achieving excellence in latest cannons of broadcasting culture. Therefore in the wider interest of the organisation, it is imperative for the Director as well as his Programme officers to develop a congenial climate; wherein trust, dignity and professionalism outclass personal like and dislikes and the egoistic dispositions.