ABOUT THE BOOK:
This book has emanated from an extensive and intensive research, as to how media plays immensely significant role in safeguarding the strategic interests of both the Government and the masses by addressing the core issues concerning the welfare and security of a nation.
Given that Kashmir has remained a bone of contention between India and Pakistan, these findings, as such, are based on a doctoral study in terms of the pivotal function performed by Public Service Broadcaster like Radio Kashmir during the times of both peace & war since 1947. How assiduously it attempted to weave a cohesive social fabric, and diligently countered the malicious propaganda of Pakistani media from across the border, which camouflaged its territorial ambitions, and fought three wars with India!
How Radio Pakistan and its notorious Radio Trarkhal, between 1947 and 1989, beamed vicious misinformation against India to create unrest in the minds of Kashmiris while trifling with their sentiments and identity! How under 'Operation Topac' ISI launched more radio stations, mostly along the Indo-Pak border to bombard airwaves with hostile ranting! And in addition to Jammu and Kashmir, Radio Pakistan had a meticulously planned coverage to target certain communities living in Indian cities, including New Delhi, Jaipur, Kanpur, Bikaner, Ambala, Saharanpur, Meerut, Aligarh, Farrukhabad, and parts of Nepal, rousing anti-India feelings.
How Radio Pakistan and Radio Azad Kashmir acted as a bridge in establishing communication channels between the infiltrators and their masters! These messages, colloquially called Taranas, were most often in Gojri, Pahari, Urdu and Punjabi, spoken on either side of LoC and even in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
How Radio Kashmir has earned the unique distinction of serving people and the nation, in this conflict-ridden region, promoting and strengthening cultural and democratic institutions in the State, as also promoting 'people to people' contact between the citizens of the two nations through drama and music broadcast over Radio Kashmir in Urdu, Punjabi and Gojri languages!
The author draws attention towards the neglect of Radio, especially during proxy war launched by Pakistan in 1989, when its propaganda machinery was at at its peak in spreading anti-India canards in Kashmir. And hence, he pitches for the imperative need to have a concrete media contingency plan; a mechanism to plug the loopholes to restore the pristine glory of Radio in Jammu & Kashmir amidst numerous attacks on media men and media organizations in the state.
Further on, this volume dwells upon certain tactical measures and techniques that could possibly mitigate that gnawing friction through this medium, and facilitate a more constructive and creative communication in bringing these two nations closer, more so, as India and Pakistan share a cultural lineage. As Radio is a repository of rich cultural ethos with a mass base, it could and should ably lend a hand in border areas and tough terrains, to redefine the future relationship of India and Pakistan.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Rajesh Bhat hails from the apple-rich Sopore town of North Kashmir. Besides a Master's in Mass Communication and Journalism from University of Kashmir, he has also taken the National Eligibility Test conducted by the University Grants Commission in Mass Communication and Journalism.
His thesis on Strategic Interest and Media, is a major policy document and premier research work, highlighting the role of Indian Media, including All India Radio, in negating the nefarious and incessant anti-India propaganda unleashed by Pakistani media in Border States. He has penned more than 250 academic research papers and articles.
Dr. Bhat commenced his career as a journalist with Kashmir Times in 1988, and subsequently joined Daily Excelsior, Jammu, as a Special Correspondent and functioned as a Senior Member on its Editorial Board. He has also contributed to The Tribune, Chandigarh, and in these three decades exhaustively covered issues of human interest, problems faced by security forces in the militancy-hit State of Jammu and Kashmir, and tribulations of the citizens including migrants in the wake of ongoing insurgency.
Proficient in English, Hindi, Urdu and Kashmiri, he has served at Radio Kashmir Jammu in the 1990s, and at present, he is posted in the Policy Division of Directorate General, All India Radio, New Delhi.