Kashmiri artists protest against discrimination

Doordarshan artists during a protest demonstration at Srinagar on Monday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Doordarshan artists during a protest demonstration at Srinagar on Monday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Dec 24: Scores of local Kashmiri artists today held a protest against extinction of Kashmiri programmes from Doordarshan (DD) Kashir channel.
Scores of artists included freelance producers, directors, actors, singers and other persons affiliated with the productions assembled at Press Enclave here and raised slogans against the Prasar Bharti, Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar and other concerned authorities.
The artists who are affiliated with Doordarshan for decades alleged that there is a “deliberate onslaught” on Kashmiri language as well as on their livelihood as Prasar Bharti is not producing any Kashmiri programme for which the channel was created.
They said the channel has been turned into a platform for flop Bollywood movies with no entertainment content for the Kashmiris.
Shahzad Rasool, a freelance producer said the channel was launched to showcase the local programmes but unfortunately, the programmes are not telecasted anymore, instead feature films are being shown.
He said the irony is 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 protesting artists alleged that the payments for their work they had done over the years for DD Kashir are 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 and instead feature films are being telecasted that are hardly being watched by the locals here.
“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.”
He said several artists have spent their hard earned money on the programmes but they have not been telecasted yet and their payments have not been released.
The protesting artists demanded that the local programmes should be telecasted again to revive the glory of this channel and the pending payments be released as soon as possible.