O P Sharma
The long-pending due demand of an exclusive satellite channel in regional Dogri and local language must now be met during the post-370 Article when this part of the country has become a Union Territory. While it is now urgently needed to preserve, promote and further project the vibrant and distinct cultural heritage, actively involve the people in the peace process for faster all round development and above all to effectively meet the challenges of “fake news factory” and countering poisonous anti-India propaganda from across the border. The Dogras have a proud past with distinction of having consolidated and secured the nation’s boundaries against any hostile activity. Their varied rich cultural heritage and deep –rooted democratic spirit and development aspirations of the people living in the hilly and border areas of Jammu and Kashmir by deploying the modern means of vital medium of communication through a Satellite Channel for stirring them up for forward movement in the new environ now emerging in the country. This is a must-do task before the now.
There is already Kashir Channel doing well its job in Kashmiri and Urdu language in the Valley but there is dire need for providing an exclusive satellite Channelfor very high population spread over vast areas in Jammu region and beyond in PoJ&K. The Dogri language, already in the 8th Schedule of our Indian Constitution, is spoken widely along with Gojri, Pahari and other languages both within and across the Indo-Pak order. It is challenging task and rightly a litmus test before the Prime Minister NarndraModi and the Central Government in the Jammu and Kashmir in the present context . It is needless to recall that the people of Jammu region have solidly stood and supported the party in power and it is fervently expected their legitimate demand will be concededsooner than later.
The rich composite cultural heritage and providing massive developmental thrust in this part of the country, can be best served only by an exclusive channel for the people who have suffered injustice and miseries for over seven decades mainly due to unprovoked heavy firings and assault of poisonous anti-India propaganda from across the border. The Satellite Channel will be a befitting tool to answer the false propaganda emanating from the enemy camps, both within and outside.
This urgent demand has stoutly been campaigned by the general public as well as different social, cultural, literary and other organizations in Jammu region for a long period. The Doordarshan Approved Drama Artists Association (DADAA) and every other social-cultural organizations and numerous prominent citizens in Jammu province have raised their voice for it for years. The DoorDarshan Kendra, Jammu can be upgraded suitably to meet the challenging task of standing up to anti-India propaganda. This issue has now caught the imagination of the people especially during in the changed situation in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The Dogras too have been advocating the necessity of satellite Channel to remain in touch with latest developments and also safeguard their cultural heritage, ensure their social-economic advancement, harmony and further enrichment of vibrant democratic values. For this, their demand for potent telecast medium is really genuine needing immediate consideration and action.
Well Argued Case
The people in this part of the country have always been deprived of their legitimate rights and suffered much hardships and sufferings. A satellite Channel at Jammu is must and fulfilled now as tomorrow will be too late. The Central Government and the Governor’s Administration must move fast in this pivotal matter and start on priority basis the SatelliteDigital Channel by upgrading the present D D Kendra, Jammu and turn the tide against malicious propaganda and fake news unleashed at this crucial moment of our history.
Jammu region’s literary, social and cultural activities are not given due coverage and exposure in terms of time slot, space or attention. The DD Kendra, Jammu, headless for a long time, with minimal telecast duration having meagre fund allocation. It is noteworthy that DD, station, Jammu has the basic infrastructure as well as abundance of local skill and talent which can be fully explored and exploited for optimal results. This station must be upgraded and made operational as satellite channel in Jammu and Kashmir. The think tank in I&B Ministry, the PrasarBharti as also at Mandi House authorities must join hands to start the Jammu satellitechannel for yielding more tangible results.
It is worthwhile to mention that in addition to Dogri other sister languages like Gojri, Mirpuri, Punjabi, Pahari, Poonchi, Bhaderwahi, will be given full opportunities. It further adds weight to the demand that in order to counter malacious Pak propaganda, this channel would serve the cause in far more effectively covering nearly 32,200 sq. kms in Jammu as well as some parts of PoK for TV telecasts..
Admittedly, the Dogras do have valid and fundamental right to have a Duggar Channel. Jammu and Kashmir has two state Capitals: Jammu and Srinagar. The big question is why not have two channels in this strategic and sensitive State having different cultures, languages, topography and other social factors?
Voice of Masses
Prof LalitMagotra, ex-president, DogriSanstha, has stressed the urgent for a full-fledged digital satellite channel at Jammu to adequately cater not only to the Dogri language but alsoHindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Pahari, Gojri, Bhaderwahi, Mirpuri,Balti etc which are widely spoken within and across the LoC/IB.
The major task is to counter the false Pak propaganda and to educate the people about multi-pronged strategy to root out menace of terrorism, which is worst enemy of entire humanity. A satellite channel at Jammu can play a decisive role in this regard and alsol highlight the composite and harmonious culture of this part of the nation.
A well-known scholar, Prof Ved Ghai, a livewire social activist and former HoD, Sanskrit, Jammu University asked why not a channel that would give a boost to developmental efforts in this sensitive border part of the country. Definitely, people’s demand should be met as early as possible, she emphasized.
PadamShriJitendraUdhampuri, an eminent writer, asserted that this genuine public demand must be met as all the sections of society stand solidly behind this movement.
Balwant Thakur termed this demand as highly genuine and it will help in integrating the nation and will represent the variegated variety of different artistic expressions in varied regional languages in addition to Dogri and other sister languages, mesmerizing folklore and vibrant traditions. At a time of globalization, this demand must be executed as top priority of the Government.
Prof Veena Gupta, ex-HoD, Dogri , Jammu University and an exponent of Dogri held that long-pending need for identity of the people of Jammu region must be met now without further loss of time.
A cross-section of people has also strongly supported this demand. A youth Dalbir Singh Jamwal, a P-G student of Jammu University, lamented that Dogri language and Duggar’s culture are discriminated and their voice throttled. Let them have justice at least during the changed present regime and situation. MsHarpreetKaur, a house wife in Kathua expects a new local DD channel as a matter of right. Feroz Ahmad, an artist spoke about the need for exclusive channel for utilizing the vast latent artistic talent and professionals in this part of the country. MsAarushiVerma , a school teacher called for Dogri Channel to promote education, health , cultural and moral values among students in their mother tongue. Prominent writers, poets, drama artists, TV film producers, social activists, politicians, ex-servicemen, doctors, lawyers and other professionals too have pleaded for a satellite channel at Jammu.
The I&B Ministry as also the Parsar Bharti must concede this demand without further loss of time as much of basic infrastructure is available at DD Kendra, Jammu which can be utilized efficiently and effectively to meet the challenge of anti-national tirades from across the border with facts and figures in a more striking manner as also educate and enlighten our own people for participation in development endeavours.
Prompt Action Needed
All the people from Jammu province, irrespective of religious faiths, political ideology, social considerations have come forth in one voice for this noble cause. It is high time to awaken, arise and rest not till the demand for Satellite is not fully met.
(Starline Syndicate Service)
O P Sharma