Thursday, 25 April 2013


The saga of J&K’s first community radio

Radio Sharda links thousands worldwide to their language and culture Sharda Devi, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom, has her centuries-old decrepit temple still standing across the river Kishen Ganga on Muzaffarabad-Athmuqam Road in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Incredibly, a Luton-based Mirpuri Muslim from the PoK inspired a Kashmiri Pandit (KP) to create something in the name of the Goddess that would never crumble against a conquest. Earlier this month, Ramesh Hangloo’s Radio Sharda completed a successful year of its operation while operating from its 700-square-foot premises near Muthi — the first settlement of the displaced KPs in Jammu. During his 2007 cultural visit, Mr. Hangloo learned from PoK immigrant Zulfikar how the Mirpuris had established a radio station near London to keep their community “connected.” Back home, Mr. Hangloo lost no time in seeking the licence of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for a community radio to keep the over 3,00,000-strong displaced population linked to their language and culture throughout the world.

1990 migration impact
“The migration in 1990 left us bereft of our home and hearth. Soon we realised that we were getting uprooted culturally and linguistically – something that could never be salvaged by our posterity. We desperately wanted something that could keep us connected, in addition to the obituary page of the [well-circulated Jammu-based newspaper] Daily Excelsior ,” Mr. Hangloo told The Hindu . Founded by him in 1999, Mr. Hangloo’s non-profit Pir Panchal Cultural, Educational, Social, Environmental and Sports Organisation (CESES) became the licensee of J&K’s first Community Radio station in 2011. Radio Sharda finally went on air on April 6, 2012 though Chief Minister did not attend the inauguration and police ignored a written request to provide security for the station.
It has a 14x16-ft studio – a state-of-the-art digital recording facility and standard microphones – a front office and a pantry with a petite washroom. Donated by a Good Samaritan, a noiseless generator lies out on the courtyard of the building leased out by the Jammu and Kashmir government. The 120-foot tall transmission tower has been adjusted on the front. The staff comprises two recording engineers, one manager, one accountant and one attendant. Anjoo (26), who continues to live at Tral in Kashmir and has completed MBA after her B.A. from Government Degree College of Tral, works as announcer and presenter of most of the programmes. She is jubilant over the fact that Radio Sharda broadcasts more programmes than any of the state-run Akashwani stations in J&K. Radio Sharda runs non-stop on FM 90.4 MHZ from 7.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. It is available round-the-clock in any part of the world on Internet.
The graphics on the Internet are symbolically in Sharda, an extinct script as old as Sanskrit. But Anjoo’s scripts are all in Nastaleeq Kashmiri. “I had Urdu [as] my subject up to Class 12. I picked up Kashmiri fast as almost all of our programmes are in our mother tongue,” Ms. Anjoo said.
In the very first year, Radio Sharda has shelled out its tight “community” tag. “We had begun it for the KPs but a large number of our listeners are now Kashmiri Muslims. While in Jammu, many of the Kashmiri officials and their families listen to Sharda on FM, in the Valley, they get it by Internet. They call us frequently and request the songs of their choice,” Mr. Hangloo claimed while asserting that there was no room for propaganda or political programmes. “Fifteen thousand families listen to us by FM in Jammu city. We have currently a total of two lakh listeners.”
Poets like Prem Nath Shad and Jawahar Lal Saroor participate in Moharram and Idd-e-Milaad programmes. Kashmiri Muslim singers have contributed over 400 Bhajans — 200 of them by Shazia Bashir, a promising female singer from Srinagar. Interestingly, Deepawati Watal and Vijay Malla are the choice of most of the Kashmiri Muslims listeners. Radio Sharda’s morning show ‘Wangij Wour’ has been conceived on the pattern of Zuna Dab, Radio Kashmir Srinagar’s most popular programme in the 1960s and 1970s. “Mothers and their children listen to it regularly in most of the KPs’ kitchens every morning,” Mr. Hangloo said and narrated how the station had linked thousands of its listeners on Shivaratri. “For the first time, they celebrated Herath together.”
Source: The Hindu

Why CAG reports in J&K Assembly on last day of session?
The annual audit reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India [CAG] on different departments and Public Sector Undertakings [PSUs] of the State government have been tabled in the Assembly invariably on the last day of the budget session in the last four years of the Omar Abdullah government. Authorities are bound by Article 151 of the Constitution of India to submit the CAG reports to the Governor on any day of the financial year. These are subsequently required to be tabled in the bicameral Legislature. “We are helpless in the matter as there is no binding of a date,” Principal Accountant General in J&K, Dr. Subhash Pandey, told journalists at a recent press conference. Many among the insiders and outsiders believe the ‘pattern of delay’ was the executive’s discernible exercise to prevent the Assembly and the media from holding a discussion on the irregularities and embezzlements during a particular session. “It’s true,” a top functionary of the State Finance Commission, that carried out a comprehensive exercise and submitted an exhaustive report on the State’s economic resources, endorsed.

Sources in the Department of Finance confirmed to The Hindu that “a little bit of delay” was deliberate.  The CAG reports tabled on April 5, the last day of the session, had been signed by the PAG on February 22 and subsequently counter-signed by the CAG on February 25 — days before the budget session commenced. Where were these for the next 40 days? “The reports reached us around the first of April. As April 5 only was available as the day of government business, we tabled these on that day,” Secretary of Assembly Mohammad Ramzan maintained. He added: “But, it does not matter. Even if tabled on the day one, there had to be no discussion on them. House committees on Public Accounts, PSUs and Estimates alone consider these reports and enforce corrective measures in coordination with the officials in a long-drawn process.” “No rule makes it compulsory to present the CAG reports on the last day. Admittedly, these have to be processed by the three committees but the members are not barred from raising the CAG findings in the Assembly,” said a ruling National Conference MLA.

He pointed out that the last thee years’ reports had also been tabled on the concluding days — March 30, 2010, March 31, 2011, April 4, 2012. “These reports pass through so many stages from Delhi to the Raj Bhavan. It takes a lot of time to make the gist of the findings for Governor’s and Finance Minister’s study. We forwarded these to Assembly without any major delay,” Director-General of Accounts and Treasuries, Ravi Magotra, asserted. Principal Secretary to Governor, Navin Choudhary, however, insisted that the Raj Bhavan would never retain such reports even for a day.  “We send even the Money Bills, which need Governor’s approval for introduction, within two or three days. Reports like of CAG, which don’t require Governor’s approval, go to the Civil Secretariat within hours. There is no question of delay at Raj Bhavan,” Mr. Choudhary said.
Source: The Hindu

Army organises medical camp
JAMMU, Apr 21: As part of winning the hearts and minds and civic action initiatives, the Rashtriya Rifles, Sarh, orgainsed a free medical camp at Village Lancha in Mahore today.
The camp was as part of the Operation Sampark to address the genuine medical requirement of the local populace belonging to the remote areas.  According to a handout issued here by the organizers, the Lancha village is devoid of any medical facilities and locals have to travel large distances all the way to Mahore for basic medical facilities. So, the mini medical camp organised by the Army was a big relief to the locals. The patients were examined by the Medical Officer and Nursing Assistants of the Rashtriya Rifles Battalion. Over 300 people, including children availed the facility of the free camp. Free medicines were also distributed to the patients, after their examination by the doctor.

168 militants killed in JK in last 2 years
New Delhi, Apr 22: A total of 168 militants were killed by the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir in the last two years, Defence Minister A K Antony informed the Lok Sabha today. In a written reply to the House, Antony provided the figures relating to militants killed in the state along the Line of Control (LoC) and the hinterland. In 2012, 73 militants were killed with 10 of them being killed along the LoC. The remaining 63 were killed by the Indian Army in the hinterland. In reply to a question whether the pickets near the border are lying vacant, Antony said, “Posts along the LoC are occupied based on terrain and tactical consideration. Few specific posts in higher reaches are vacated in winter owing to high snow levels and increased avalanche threat."
The Union Minister said that surveillance and domination of these areas during this period is ensured by maintaining an effective vigil by employing helicopters and other aerial methods. "These posts are re-occupied as soon as feasible, once the snow level recedes," he said. On whether reports of militants trying to capture these pickets have come to the notice of the government, Antony said, "Attempts by terrorists to infiltrate from across the border and cause damage continues. Surveillance and dominance is ensured to defeat the designs of infiltrators."

17 PoK guests reach Valley
Seventeen residents of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) arrived here this afternoon while five Kashmiris crossed over to other side of the Line of Control (LoC) to meet their relatives, separated in 1947. As many as six returnees also cross side at Kaman post, the last Indian military post, on the LoC in Uri sector, official sources said here. They said 17 PoK residents, highest number so far during 2013, arrived at Kaman Post after crossing the Aman Setu, peace bridge on foot this afternoon. They included five women and two children, sources said. The earlier highest number of PoK guests was nine on March 25 and April 15. They said three Kashmiris, including a woman, who had gone to PoK also returned in the Karvan-e-Aman bus after completing stay across the LoC with their relatives, separated during partition.
Five Kashmiris crossed over to other side of the LoC in the bus, operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad since April 7, 2005 when Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh flagged off first bus service from here despite militant threat. Three PoK residents, who were here, also returned to their homes today after completing stay here. So far 68 PoK residents and 134 Kashmiris have crossed sides to meet their relatives since January this year. (UNI)

पाकिस्तानी हिंदुओं ने बयां किया दर्द
Wed, 24 Apr 2013 जागरण संवाददाता, नई दिल्ली : पाकिस्तान से आए हिंदु शरणार्थियों ने मंगलवार को जवाहर लाल नेहरू विश्वविद्यालय में ताप्ती छात्रावास में अपनी दर्द भरी दास्तां को बयां किया। पाकिस्तान में हिंदुओं पर हो रहे अत्याचारों को सुनकर छात्रों के होश उड़ गए। पाकिस्तानी हिंदुओं की व्यथा नाम से आयोजित गोष्ठी में एक पाकिस्तानी हिंदु महिला ने बताया कि उसके 21 वर्षीय बच्चे का अपहरण कर तालिबान भेज दिया गया। उसका बेटा अभी तक वापस नहीं आया। बच्चे की मृत शरीर की तस्वीर उसके जेहन में बार-बार आती है। वहीं राज्यसभा सांसद तरुण विजय ने भारत सरकार को जल्द से जल्द पाकिस्तान में हिंदुओं पर हो रहे अत्याचारों के मामलों में दखल देने की बात कही। उन्होंने कहा कि पाकिस्तान से किसी भी प्रकार की सदभावना सदाचार की अपेक्षा करना बेमानी है। वो जल्द ही पाकिस्तान में हिंदुओं पर हो रहे अत्याचार के मामले को संसद में उठाएंगे। वहीं विश्व हिंदू परिषद के मीडिया प्रमुख विनोद बंसल ने बताया कि 1947 में पाकिस्तानी में हिंदू आबादी कुल जनसंख्या की 30 फीसद थी। यह आंकड़ा 1951 में घटकर 21 फीसद तक पहुंच गया। जबकि वर्तमान में कुल आबादी में हिंदू जनसंख्या 1 प्रतिशत है।

JKCA Leh organizes Ladakh Book fair
Leh, April 23 (Scoop News) -First time in the history of Ladkah a ‘Ladakh Book Mela’ in conjunction with the ‘International Book Day’ was organized by the J&K Cultural Academy Leh today at Indoor Stadium in which 30 government and non-government organizations, various local publications and schools participated exhibiting nearly 4000 books in the Mela. To heighten the significance of the Mela among the public along with the book exhibition a colorful traditional dance and music programme and an archery event was also presented throughout the day.
The Ladakh Book Mela was inaugurated by the eminent historian and scholar  Aba Tashi Rabgyas who sharing his knowledge said that the history of Ladakh’s literary  has developed from last 1400 years resulting from its close affinity in religion, culture and language with Tibet. Calling 21st Century as a period of transition, Aba Tashi Rabgyas laid the responsibility of preserving the existing records in literary field on the younger generation, thus urging them to build the habit of reading and writing. He also emphasized on the importance of book review by critics as that will maintain the authenticity and quality of the books.
In the afternoon, EC Agriculture Sonam Dorjey the present  acting CEC, LAHDC, Leh presided over the function as chief guest and highly appreciated the maiden effort put by the J&K Culture Academy, Leh  headed by Tsewang Paljor Special Officer for Culture by successfully organizing this book mela and for their constant  endeavour in preserving and promoting Ladakhi art and culture. EC on the occasion assured extended support from LAHDC in carrying out such novel initiatives.  
Addressing the students of various schools present on the occasion EC Sonam Dorjey urged them to inculcate the habit of reading books and news from today onwards that will go a long way in getting them success, name, fame, power and a chance to serve the people  of the region. As a piece of advice he stressed upon the students to have strong determination, do hard work and take inspiration from renowned personalities of Ladakh in different fields.
On the occasion the message on international book day 2013 was presented by Prof. Jamyang Gyaltsan in regional language ( Boti), Mipham Otsal in sate language Urdu, Sonam Angchuk Sr. Lecturer, CIBS in national language Hindi and Abdul Ghani Sheakh in international language English. In an honoring ceremony, EC Sonam Drojey honoured Abdul Ghani Sheikh awardee Academy’s best book in English, Urgain Rigzin awardee Academy’s best book in  Ladakhi and Jigment Dorjey ( Khayal Ladakhi) for maiden publication of poetry in Urdu by a Ladakhi with khataks.  The EC along with ADC, Leh Tsering Murup also releases a book of Academy’s Ladakhi publications  2012 and folk song album, talent hunt 2012. The function was attended by Councilors of LAHDC, officers, eminent scholars, writers, poets, artists and students

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