Battle of radio programmes on LoC

20 June 2008
The Hindu

Poonch : Enhanced infiltration attempts along the Line of Control (LoC) may have been catching the attention of the public and the media but it is the battle of radio signals between India and Pakistan that has currently drawn the focus of the people here. At a time when troops have stepped up patrols along the LoC, officials here are grappling with ways and means to appropriately meet the challenge of countering “propaganda” from across the LoC. A team of All India Radio (AIR) visited areas along the LoC to install more towers in Poonch and Rajouri. Due to similarity of ethnic and linguistic base of the locals living here with the residents living in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), many of the radio programmes aired from across the LoC are quite popular here. But the real problem, according to officials, starts when the programmes aired from across the LoC have a particular “propagandist slant,” which includes several current affairs programmes relating to Jammu and Kashmir or India’s domestic issues. It is not hard to find reasons for the people here listening to the programmes aired from across the LoC. The factor of geographical advantage is one of them. One can hear Islamabad FM station here as it is only four-hour journey from here. Receptivity of the FM stations of the PoK is even better. There is an FM station at Poonch which is the only radio frequency medium available to Poonch residents.