Rajeshwar Singh ‘Raju’
Once Radio had been a craze. There is no doubt about it. Even today FM Channels have been very popular but owing to music contents only. Now music does heal the soul but the music that has been dominating at present is not that sort of music that will survive for long and cast a positive impact on body and soul. Melody has been missing in musical compositions these days.
However, if we talk of radio then the craze had not been for music only, there had been other programs also that had huge listenership even beyond boundaries.
It’s a proud feeling that Radio Dramas being broadcast from AIR Jammu in the past had huge fan following from adjoining areas within reach of radio frequency in Pakistan also. The performers still recall those everlasting memories when regular correspondence from across the border enamoured them for the efforts put in the production. The writers, actors and the directors felt amused with such an encouraging response. One of those established actors of yester years and very much active even today at the age of more than 93 years is Jagdish Chander Bharti popularly known as J .C. Bharti.
J. C. Bharti hailing from Basohli was born on November 06th ‘1928 in the family of Nathu Ram Abrol and Amar Devi at his maternal grand parents’ home at Chamba in Himachal Pradesh.
An eminent media personality having proved his worth as a versatile actor in so many Radio Plays, Theatre and Tele-Productions, Bharti is of the view that Art is an inborn talent. One can’t become an actor, writer, musician, singer over night by merely having technical expertise. Though the artists polish their talent with proper teachings and trainings but the spark for the same has to be there within. If the foundation is solid then there are no worries. He advocates that every actor should opt for theatre to learn the basics of acting as its only Theatre that makes one a complete actor.
J. C. Bharti who has been Prabhakar in Hindi (1958) and Adib in Urdu (1949) retired as a KAS officer from Accounts & Treasuries Organization, Department of Finance, J & K Govt. He started participating in radio plays way back in 1949 when station started temporarily in a portion of Ranbir High school building. He being a veteran actor has more than 700 Radio plays to his credit which include more than 300 plays in Dogri language that have been broadcast from AIR Jammu & Srinagar.
He has the privilege of having worked with celebrated Radio Producers of the likes of Jatinder Sharma, Vishnu Bhardwaj, Pran Kishore, Bashir Bhat, C. Parwana, K.K. Duggal, S.K.Gadru, K. C. Manhas, and Sanjeev Sharma, Shiv Mohan Sharma etc.
He started Dogri-Pahari dialect in Dogri Plays in 1968 with Prof. Santosh Sharma. The first radio drama was written and produced by Vishnu Bhardwaj and then he acted in MURGAI written by Prof. Madan Mohan Sharma and produced by Vishnu Bhardwaj. Thereafter a number of plays were produced by Vishnu Bharwdaj and C. Parwana which were adorned with Dogri-Pahari dialect. He had been the lead actor in those plays which are still talked about.
J. C. Bharti, who despite being a very busy person during his service career has always worked with all dedication and devotion for art. His acting career started with Krishna Dramatic Club, Basohli when he got an opportunity to perform the character of a girl in a play written by Agha Hashar Kashmiri. Then he joined National Cultural Front, Moti Bazar Jammu in 1948 and participated actively in numerous plays like_ Ravan, Chandershekhar Azad, Manzil Ki Taraf, And Bawa Jitto directed by Dinu Bhai Pant. Thereafter he joined Kashmir Cultural congress in 1954 and performed a significant role in another play SAILAB in 1954 and toured almost half of the Kashmir valley staging the play in almost every important town.
In 1962, when C. Parwana started Jammu Arts Club in Jammu he became an integral part of the group and worked in numerous productions under its banner. The major ones include__ Jab Tak Chamke Sona, Ashad Ka Ek Din, Kavi Ki Shadi,Koun Mata Koun Pita, Under Secretary, Insaan Jeet Gaya, Nayee Rahein, Budh Kaam Shudh, Paisa Bolta Hai, Hamsafar, Bade Aadmi etc.
Then he joined Saraswati Dramatic Club, Panjtirthi Jammu and played role of Dashrath in the epic Ramayana for more than 18 years. He has also supervised the Ramleela shows as Chief Director of the club for the 7-8 years.
In addition to Theatre and Radio plays J.C. Bharti has also worked for numerous tele- productions for DDK Jammu, DDK Srinagar, DDK Jallandhar and DDK Kashir etc. He, being a veteran actor and director admits that glamour might inspire so many to try their luck in art field but the focal point remains that nothing is beyond self judgment. One should have self analysis and only then try to explore one’s potential for a particular field.
He is of the view that if you are well assured that you can mark a niche in a particular medium of expression, only then you should devote your valuable time for it. Otherwise there is no fun of wasting precious time which will yield only frustration and ultimately leading to depression. Now, if you have the potential and guts to struggle hard then why not to put in best of efforts and be patient about the outcome. Talent has to get exposure one day or the other.
For new entrants in the field he has valuable suggestions. He advocates for never being in depression for failures as success and failures are a part and parcel of artist’s life. One day you might be at peak and on a bad day you might be nowhere. Hold your nerves during that crucial time and emerge victorious from the critical phase of life. One should seek lessons from the sportspersons who rely daily on good day and bad day experiences.
In recognition and appreciation of his contributions to Theatre, Radio and Doordarshan, Radio Kashmir Jammu and J&K Academy of Art, Culture and languages have jointly conferred award on him in a special programme ‘Jharokha’. At the same time he has also been honored by various Government and Non- Government organizations for his colossal contribution as an actor in all forms of expression.
While concluding I will like to add that J. C. Bharti’s plus point is that despite being a veteran and an inspiring performer with quite a lot of experience, he still likes to learn and experiment so as to polish his creative and innovative input whether as an actor or director. He is a true exponent of art in real terms which demands all humble approach and an urge to seek more and more knowledge and expertise from all possible sources. The artists like him have been role models for new generation.
Rajeshwar Singh ‘Raju’