The Central government of India is currently considering multiple proposals to air TV shows on state-owned Doordarshan (DD) Kashmir that will promote ideas of secularism, peace and patriotism, a senior home ministry official said on Monday, a report by Hindustan Times said.

A report By Hindustan Times said that the ministry of home affairs (MHA), with Doordarshan, is also considering introducing Kashmir’s own version of popular TV game show Kaun Banega Crorepati and other singing and dancing talent shows that will be judged by domain experts, the official said.

While the game and talent shows will solely focus on providing entertainment, the ministry is also considering shows that will expose Kashmir’s audiences to “different cultures of India”, HT quoted an official saying.

Koun Banega Crorepati file image

These shows, the official said, will be themed to promote democratic values of India, national unity, communal harmony, merits of secularism, patriotism and also highlight the perils of fundamentalism. They will also show security forces in a positive light and highlight the development work undertaken by the government in Jammu and Kashmir.

“These proposals are currently being discussed, nothing has been finalised yet but introducing such TV shows will definitely have positive effects on the society,” said the official adding that the ministry has held multiple meetings with DD representatives in this matter, reported Hindustan Times.

“Other than the promotion of democratic values, these shows will also revamp DD’s approach towards its audiences. In Kashmir, the channel had started airing latest Bollywood films which had raised its viewership. We are hoping the proposed TV shows will serve a dual purpose of raising viewership and providing content that encourages ideas of peace,” the official said.

While government officials are hoping that the new shows will usher in social change, experts and former government officials say the move has to be coupled with a serious effort on the ground.

Hindustan Times quoted the former home secretary GK Pillai, who has overlooked similar projects, saying, “One of the challenges is a limited viewership of the channel… But most important is the effort undertaken on the ground. You can keep talking about developmental work but if ground realities reflect something different, the entire project will fall apart,” Pillai said.

Security expert Ajay Sahni said that while it was part of DD’s mandate to promote ideas of national unity, the projects have mostly failed in Kashmir. However, he added, such efforts were important for the “articulation of Indian secularism” in the valley, reported the Hindustan Times.


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