Scam-Ridden DD Kashmir’s Popularity Nosedives

SRINAGAR — The popularity of the programmes of scam-ridden Prasar Bharati operated regional channel DD Kashmir has nose­dived as it is compromising on the quality of the content and has ignored local producers in the making of the programmes.

The DD Kashmir is weathering a worst period since its inception in the year 2000 and though in the begin­ning it had produced some “qual­ity programmes and developed a niche audience but now its rating has fallen.” “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 sources. The corruption had been revealed in early 2004 when it came to light that the DDK is facing corruption cases of over Rs.30 crore as well as “multiple complaints from private professional for non-payment of their dues.” These private profes­sionals earlier demonstrated in front of DDK Srinagar which have continued now 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 local lan­guage entertainment programmes sourced from its archive 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,” said sources. They added that the 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 made it impossible to apply for producing programmes for DD Kashir. 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,” they said.

“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.

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