For 12 days now, it’s back-to-back songs and no shows on all five major FM radio channels in Kashmir, in the wake of the complete communication blockade, including the Internet.
Vijdan, a Radio Jockey (RJ) with ‘Radio Mirchi,’ is waiting for the restoration of the Internet to get connected with his fan base again. “It’s difficult to reach office due to security restrictions. With Internet and phones down since August 5, it is impossible to produce shows. We are running back-to-back songs for now,” Vijdan told The Hindu.
There are five popular FM stations in Kashmir valley. All were started to provide entertainment to the young population of the Valley, where cinema halls were closed down in 1990s. Though there was a bid to reopen cinemas in 1999, it failed to take off.
RJ Nasir of FM Tadka used to run a popular show, ‘Srinagar Local 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.’ The show would run songs on listeners’ demand. “I would receive around 50 calls from listeners for my show. These are difficult times to reach out to our audience base. The absence of Internet ‘derailed’ my ‘Srinagar Local’ too. I check the Internet connection every day but feel sad to see the red light on since August 5. My show completely depends on the Internet connection,” Mr. Nasir told The Hindu.
In an indication of the ground situation, the government-run Doordarshan and Radio Kashmir too have had to discontinue with popular debate shows, as the offices remain out of bounds for civilians and participants because of extra security deployment around these installations.