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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