Artists Protest Lack Of Kashmir Coverage By DD

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SRINAGAR — Scores of local Kash­miri artists on Monday staged a protest against over lack of cov­erage to Kashmiri programmes on the Doordarshan (DD) Kashir channel. The protesting artists included freelance pro­ducers, directors, actors, sing­ers and other persons affiliated with the production work. The artists, who are affiliated with Doordarshan from decades, said that there is a “deliberate onslaught” on Kashmir lan­guage as well as on their live­lihood as Prasar Bharti is not producing any Kashmiri pro­grammes for which the channel was created.

The channel, they said, has been turned into a platform for flop Bollywood movies “with no entertainment content for the Kashmiris.”

“The channel was launched in 2000 by former Prime Min­ister, Atal Behari Vajpayee. The aim was to cater to the Kashmiri population and also to promote local talent. Unfortunately, we artists have not been given any opportunity to work from a de­cade now,” said Shahzad Rasool, a freelance producer.

He said the irony was that the channel has been turned into a “money minting machine for Mumbai-based producers whose flop movies are run at prime time while local artists suffer.”

The artists said that the pay­ments for the work they had done over the years for DD Kashir is also pending.

Ajaz Rah, a renowned singer and actor, said the channel has not produced a single local pro­gramme in native Kashmir lan­guage for years now.

“They run decade-old stuff and are filling the airtime with Hindi movies. I myself made many Kashmir serials for which I am yet to receive the payment. We simply want DD Kashir to work the way other regional channels are working. There is nothing Kashur in Kashir chan­nel”, Rah said, adding “we are losing our culture as well as our identity.”

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