PATNITOP, (RAMBAN) Sept 2: Union Minister of State in PMO with Independent charge of North Eastern States, Dr Jitendra Singh today made a scathing attack on Pakistan aided and sponsored agencies for spreading misinformation to instigate masses for violence and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of inauguration of 10KW Transmitter of All India Radio (AIR) here today, Dr Jitendra Singh said the Radio is such a medium of communication which can counter misinformation and all such rumors aimed at creating public unrest and violence in the State as Ra-dio has mai-ntained its credibility and people rely on its news by taking it as authentic information.
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Dr Jitendra Singh said that misinformation spread by Pak aided agencies is meant to instigate masses in the State and to counter it there is need of an effective medium of communication which is prompt, credible and proactive also. The Radio is most suitable and the best means of communication to disseminate the correct information among the masses and counter the misinformation spread by the anti national elements, he added.
The Union Minister said that there has not been sufficient information from Indian point of view in these remote and hilly areas and with the setting up of Transmitter by AIR at Patnitop the Radio signal will be available in the four districts of Udhampur, Ramban, Doda and parts of Anantnag in Kashmir valley now.
He said for dissemination of correct information among the masses, Bhaderwah Station will also be upgraded and Udhampur Radio Station which is under construction will start functioning by ending 2018.
Dr Jitendra Singh said anti-Indian propaganda was being unleashed by some channels and news portals working at behest of Pakistan in the State and recently the Governor has banned such anti India channels following the incidents of violence due to the false propaganda made by them regarding the incidents relating to stone pelting, counterinsurgency and so called accesses committed by security forces.
He said establishing of transmitters in far flung, remote, peripheral and militancy infested areas is the decision taken by the Narendra Modi Government as these areas have become vulnerable due to misinformation campaign launched by the anti national and anti social agencies funded and supported by forces from across the border.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that Prime Minister takes up one or other subject of development for the remote areas every time. With the establishment of the transformers in remote parts of the country, will also enable the Man Ki Baat of Prime Minister Narendra Mopdi to reach such remote areas, he added.
Without naming any party or leader, Dr Jitendra Singh said that “those who support and side with terrorists for vote bank forget the proverb that those who support terror are some day themselves consumed by it”.
He said terrorism is a challenge to all of us and not to any single party so it should be combated jointly on political as well as at social levels.
Dr Jitendra Singh, while giving full credit to Modi for taking personal interest in development of this hilly and border State like the States of North East said that soon after the formation of Modi Government at Delhi in 2014, the AIR had decided to stop the Yuvawani service of Jammu and he took up the issue with Arun Jaitley who was holding the charge of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at that time also. “Without losing a single minute, he ordered extension of Yuvawani service on my intervention”, he added.
He said later he kept the demand before the Union Government for establishing of Radio Station at Udhampur which was a long pending demand of people since 1971 Indo-Pak war. The issue was taken up many times by former MLA and veteran BJP leader, Lala Shivcharan Gupta with the Government but the Government at that time had other priorities and they did not pay attention to the demand.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that during the budget presented by the Finance Minister soon after this Government took over at Centre, he took up the issue with Finance Minister and got the Radio Station for Udhampur sanctioned. He also gave credit to Director General AIR, Fayyaz sheheryar who also is the son of the soil for taking personnel interest in establishing of Radio Station and extending whole cooperation in this regard.
Earlier Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated 10KW transmitter of All India Radio at Patnitop. The transformer will provide services to people living in a radius of around 60 Km (aerial) in various districts. While inaugurating the FM transmitter, Dr Jitendra said that with the commissioning of the relay transmitter at Patnitop the high reaches and remote areas of the State in various districts like Ramban, Doda, Udhampur, Anantnag and parts of Jammu would now be able to listen to the radio for entertainment and information more clearly. He further said that the commissioning of the relay transmitter had fulfilled the long pending demand of the local people who were earlier left with no option but to listen to the programmes broadcast from across the border. Neelam Langeh, MLA Ramban and Director General, All India Radio Fayyaz Sheheryar were also present on the occasion.
While appreciating All India Radio for coming up to the expectations of the people in the era of tough challenges and competitions from private TV channels, Dr Jitendra Singh said that AIR can play a key role in countering the malicious and fake propaganda being unleashed from across the border and by some anti -national elements and mischief mongers.
He said that in the era of social media where misinformation spreads quickly, the credibility and trustworthiness of AIR serves as an alternative yet accurate source of information for the audience. The medium is prompt, credible and instantaneous and has continued to remain so despite the fast changing media landscape.
The Union Minister, while referring to radio as a medium of information as well as entertainment, said that the medium is still relevant and its reach is greater than other types of media. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it engages us even while not disengaging us from the work we are doing. The medium, its use and applications have changed over time, but it continues to remain relevant. Citing example, Dr Jitendra Singh said that use of the radio for education (Tele-education) have opened new niche for the applicability of the medium in the modern digital age.
While highlighting the important role played by the public broadcaster towards the socio-economic development of the country, Dr Singh said that the FM Transmitter would provide people access to information related to developmental initiatives of the Government and will open a new chapter in the developmental journey of the region.
MLA Ramban while expressing gratitude on behalf of the people of the district for the installation of the FM transmitter at Patnitop said that it was a historic development for the physical as well as emotional connectivity of the remote areas of the district.
Earlier in his address, Director General All India Radio, Fayyaz Sheheryar said that the installation of the 10 KW FM transmitter at Patnitop was a landmark achievement for reaching out to the people in remote areas of the State by the public broadcaster. He expressed gratitude towards the Minister who, he said, made efforts for getting special funding for the project that was not a part of the 12th Five Year Plan. DG AIR expressed the hope that the Station at Udhampur would be commissioned before the end of current year and ensured that steps would be taken for augmenting the reach of the public broadcaster in difficult areas of the State.
The 10KW Transmitter will help cover an ariel distance of 60 km in nearby districts of Doda, Ramban, Udhampur and parts of Jammu and even across the border. It will be available in the frequency of 101MHz. It will provide services in districts of Ramban, Doda, Udhampur, Anantnag and parts of Jammu and will also be heard across the border especially in and around Sialkot.
The others who spoke on the occasion included Additional Director General, AIR, O K Sharma, Deputy Director General (Projects), AIR Aditya Chaturvedi and Deputy Director, DD News, Neha Jalali (IIS) Giresh Sharma, Deputy Director Radio Kashmir Jammu and Ravi Kumar, Deputy Director Doordarshan Jammu were among others present.