When the valley got its first dedicated regional Kashmiri language satellite channel, the general response to it was optimistic, however, since the inception of DD-Kashir in 2003, the channel is lagging far behind in quality and content of programmes broadcast as compared to other regional language channels in India.
While over the years every other regional channel has evolved in both quality and content of programming, yet DD-Kashir continues to remain banal and boring at large. Baring few phone in live programmes like ‘Hello Doctor’ and ‘Sitaron se aagay’, DD-Kashir is said to have failed at large in grabbing the viewership through the age old soap sagas.
It is said that the purpose of DD-Kashir, being the regional service should be to showcase Kashmir as a whole which includes the culture, tradition, languages, customs and the development.
However, given to the content of DD-Kashir, it is believed by many that the channel usually misrepresents the Kashmiri culture at large.
“The moment I come across this particular channel of ours, one question always strikes my mind i.e. is this what we really are, is this what Kasheer is all about? DD-Kashir is strictly concerning rouf, chakker, band-e-pather and some nonsence serials. Whenever, I surf my T.V set and by chance I come to watch DD-Kashir, this is what goes on every time. All I mean to say is that rouf and band-e-pather alone is not Kasheer, it’s just a miniature part of it. We Kashmiri’s have a richer tradition & culture and I personally am very proud of it. However majority of Kashmiri people lack the awareness regarding the affluent ethnicity they inherit”, Rakshanda Nabi, a post graduate in history, said.
With the age-old concepts and serials being repeated over and over again, DD-Kashir is not being acknowledged the way it is today especially by the younger lot of the valley. For many local youngsters, DD-Kashir is either a source of embarrassment or a thing to laugh out loud at.
For Zamaan Ashraf, a 2nd year Arts student at Shri Pratap College, DD-Kashir serves as a source of amusement. As per twenty one year old Ashraf, DD-Kashir is the best example of how to make fun of our own culture. “DD-Kashir is a disaster, I tell you. The programmes are all based on archaic concept. The sound effects are the most killing yet funny. The actors, the sets, the dialogues, the costumes are such that one cannot stop laughing. Imagine ‘Ahad Raaz’ who was popular in 80’s when I was not even born can still be seen on the T.V”, Ashraf said.
For Ashraf, DD-Kashir is not only a source of hilarity but embarrassment as well. Ashraf says that he was embarrassed to the limit when his cousins who had come to the valley from overseas somehow came across the daily news broadcast daily at 7 in the evening.
“I was embarrassed in front of my cousins. I always keep them telling that Kashmir is progressing in every single way. The look they gave me after watching the news was enough to insult me. We have same old news reader on our T.V screens; he struggles and goes on narrating from a piece of paper, no expressions, no catchy material, lack of confidence. I have been watching the daily news since my kindergarten days and I have witnessed not a lone modification ever since, be it the way of presentation or the habit of reading through paper,” added Ashraf.