DD Kashir Accused Of Ignoring Tribal Languages
6 September 2007
Srinagar: Gujjars of Jammu and Kashmir have accused Doordarshan's Kashir Channel of ignoring the State's tribal languages, especially Gojri, in its programmes and described it as a 'cultural aggression' against the community. 'The Doordarshan channel for Jammu and Kashmir, DD Kashir, launched by the Government of India with the objective of countering Pakistani media propaganda from across the border, has failed to serve its purpose in the tribal language Gojri spoken by nomad Gujjars of the State,' said Javaid Rahi, national secretary of the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, an organisation working for the overall development of the tribes of India. 'I call it cultural aggression against the Gujjars of Jammu and Kashmir as the channel does not telecast even a five-minute programme in Gojri, the language of about 25 per cent of the State's population, in its 24X7 telecasts and does not cover remote villages and tribal population of the State in their own mother-tongue which is most affected by militancy. It, therefore, fails to counter the massive anti-India propaganda launched by Pakistan Television through its powerful transmitters in Gojri along the border,' said Dr. Rahi. This is the only regional TV channel for which the Centre has allocated more than Rs. 299.87 crore for this year, he said, adding, 'we are demanding a 10-minute Gojri news bulletin from Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar and Jammu.' Dr. Rahi said the local television networks of the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, especially Muzaffarabad Television, have lately stepped up their propaganda programmes, especially news and current affairs programmes, in Gojri language to influence the Gujjars. 'This needs to be countered at the earliest so that they may not exploit and misguide the Gujjar tribal population of the State in the name of region or religion,' Dr. Rahi said. He said three memorandums signed by Gojri writers were submitted to President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister P.R. Dasmunsi and a strong protest was lodged against the Channel, but in vain.