‘Annoying with ‘terrific’ videos and really bad quality of programs’
is how the local channels provided by the cable operator in Kashmir started off. The programs, the hosts, the songs – everything was ridiculed. And a lot of it is ridiculed even today.
But over time the local channels including Sen Channel, JKChannel, Take One Channel, and the Vaadi TV have today come forward as an avenue for the Kashmiri ‘awaam’. The channels (including the much ridiculed songs televised in Botanical garden for e.g.) reflect on complexities, the contradictions that have formed the part of the society that we live in today.
The local artistes make their presence felt – be it the melodious voice of Wahid Jeelani, the songs sung by renowned singers like Rashid Hafiz, Ghulam Hassan Sofi, Abdul Rasheed Farash, or the various forms of songs sung by the likes of Ajaz Rah.
Unfortunately a lot of these songs are directed in a typical bollywood style – and the directors fail miserably to even do that. You would see unsynchronised extras dancing for no good reason in the middle of tourist resorts and parks.
Despite the fact that most of the educated class would find it annoying to have such a depiction of the so called ‘Koshur’ culture, the truth remains that the majority of the Kashmiris have become bollywood-wanna-be’s – and the TV shows just reflect on that. High time we expect reality as it is.
Besides these kashmiri songs, there are (as expected) the hindi movie songs – latest and the oldies playing on TV at all times. And ofcourse Hindi movies — something Kashmiris cant live without.
These all go towards providing ‘entertainment’ to the koshur masses.
Entertainment is provided in the form that majority of the masses find entertaining.
But more importantly, the local news channels are acting as a media connecting Kashmiris.
There was a time when Kashmiris used to listen to BBC urdu broadcast, or Voice of America to know what was happening in the next locality, as the DD Kashir telecasted news that was monitored and send over from Delhi.
Today, each of the news channels not only have detailed news service that reflects on the big and small incidents happening in the state, but also have interviews with the people who call media persons to see their problems – which could range from no electricity, bad roads to just about anything.
One of my favourites has become Take 1 channel’s “Ayeena”..
“Ayeena dikhayay ga har chehrah,
har chehra saaf nazar aayayga.”
where the well known Talha Jahangir not on;y provides the news as it is, but using satire and analysis he holds responsible the ones who fail to take their responsibility.
I see the local channels connecting the divided masses in Kashmir.
Maybe just as the railways made by the Britishers connected the Indians making them strong, the local news channels would connect us… showing us where we stand.
Hope is what I see.