Kashmir Indepth

DD Kashir witnessing free fall due to malpractices

Srinagar, Jan 9, : National public broadcaster Prasar Bharati operated regional channel DD Kashir may not have seen worst days than now. The channel is going through the worst period since its inception in the year 2000. After its initial rise the channel went in to a free fall and has not recovered till date.

 Though in the beginning DD Kashir produced some good programmes and developed a niche audience but it quickly fell to the vice of greed and soon became synonymous with corruption. “The channel has been beset with constant and consistent reports of corrupt practises by the staff particularly within Doordarshan Kedra (DDK) Srinagar the main hub of programme production for DD Kashir,” said insiders.

 The curse of corruption at DDK Srinagar became evident sometime in early 2004 and has made itself permanent. The Kendra is beset with corruption cases to over a tune of Rs.30 crores and is facing multiple cases from private professional foe non-payment of their dues. These professionals have been demonstrating in front of DDK Srinagar for past several days.

 Local producers and other professionals have raised several issues including non-payment of dues, lack of work opportunities, and absence of local language programmes and assault on regional culture through dubbed programmes and excessive telecast of Hindi feature films on the channel. Currently DD Kashir is showing Hindi feature films everyday which has shrunk the scope for local programme which anyway are not being produced. The channel is currently showing archival local language entertainment programmes that are more than 10 years old and have been repeated so many times that viewers have now memorised the dialogues. This is primarily because Prasar Bharati has not provided DD Kashir with any money to commission new programmes. In fact the last programme commissioning was done way back in 2012.

 But hopes of local producers were rekindled when DD Kashir decided to invite proposals for commissioned programmes. But the commissioning guidelines left producers from Jammu & Kashmir frustrated and angry. The tough conditions, they claim, made it impossible for them to apply for producing programmes for DD Kashir. Their allegation was that the conditions for commissioning guidelines were deliberately kept stringent to exclude local producers and benefit deep pocketed outsiders. Some of them challenged the guidelines in the J&K High Court.

 One would have dismissed the entire episode as a regular matter of conflict between two parties but for one fact that started a chain of events.

 In the month of August 2017 High Court partially vacated the stay in the case and Prasar Bharati swung into action to make some big ticket programmes for DD Kashir.

  Insiders said that DD Kashir remains a den of greed, a tool of corruption that too with active participation of Prasar Bharati.

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