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Gujjars demand counter to Pak TV propaganda


Jammu : The tribal Gujjar community in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Sunday demanded “adequate time slots to Gojri language” programmes on the national channel of Doordarshan to counter Pakistan Television (PTV) propaganda through its powerful transmitters set up along the border in the state.

This was highlighted in a meeting convened here by the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation – a frontal organisation of the Gujjars – to discuss “Role of Media in projection of Gujjars”.

“Gojri is one of the significant languages of India and it needs special attention and encouragement of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Government of India with due representation on AIR (All India Radio) and DD (Doordarshan) channels,” said Javaid Rahi, the foundation’s secretary.

Rahi said DD News Srinagar has failed to counter the Pakistan Television (PTV) Gojri News bulletin aired daily at 4:30 p.m. through its powerful transmitters set up along the border.

“The Gujjars and Bakerwals – who speak Gojri language and constitute more than 20 percent of the 1,20,00,000 population of the state – are thus completely ignored by the DD in Jammu and Kashmir and no proper representation is given to their art, culture, languages, customs and secular ethos for which they are known all over the world,” he said.

The other speakers at the meeting alleged that DD channels were in no way the representative channel of all communities and tribes of J&K. “DD not only failed in meeting the aspiration and expectations of tribals residing in border belts of Jammu and Kashmir but it has also failed in its much publicised aim and objectives,” one speaker said.

Rahi said the central government had allocated hundreds of crore of rupees this year for DD channels in the state “but it is astonishing that DD does not telecast even a single daily programme in Gojri – the language of Gujjars – in its 24X7 telecast of various DD channels in J&K”.

All the speakers demanded that at least one hour daily programme in Gojri should be started from DD Sringar, DD Jammu and due representation should be given to Gojri-speaking people on DD Kashir.