--------------‘Good morning J&K’----------
DD’s centre of fame turns into centre of shame!
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Sep 10: In a brazen outrage of the social and cultural sensibilities of the ten million people of Jammu and Kashmir state, Doodarshan’s Additional Director General incharge North India, Ashok Jailkhani, and Director of Doordarshan Kendra (DDK) Srinagar, Shammi Shair, have asked a tainted female anchor to continue to host the daily morning show ‘Good morning J&K’.
Even after the anchor, according to FIR No: 110 of Police Station Hazratbal, was caught red-handed in a comprising position with a former MLC of the ruling National Conference (NC) while consuming liquor at a public place at Nageen Lake in the evening on September 9th, she appeared at DDK Srinagar today and hosted the one-hour multi-segment programme without an iota of shame.
According to well-placed informed sources, the female anchor called Director DDK Srinagar, Shammi Shair, over telephone in two hours of his arrest by Police late in the evening on September 9th and revealed to her that she had been detained. The communication was all the more important as none other than DD’s Additional DG, Ashok Jailkhani, was scheduled to be the guest in the morning transmission on September 10th. It was decided between the three that Mrs Shair herself would host the programme in absence of the regular anchor.
Thus, it was for the first time since the programme was launched these days last year that Director DDK Srinagar anchored Good Morning J&K (GMJK). Jailkhani, who happens to be a Kashmiri, had come all the way from
to organize a drama festival at SKICC besides getting his book on theatre released by Governor N N Vohra. During his presence in Srinagar, DDK Srinagar fell from its grace as the station’s most sought-after lady anchor was arrested by Police and a criminal matter of ‘making obscene act at a public place’ was filed against her and her alleged male partner under section 294 RPC. New Delhi
With the pause of just one episode, the tainted female anchor appeared on the show as usual, evoking invectives and criticism and surprise from thousands of DD’s viewers. Interestingly, even the headlines from today’s local newspapers were a feature of the programme. Headlines were read out obviously while skipping the news of shame about the programme’s anchor.
“This has happened never before. Previously, one would die of shock, commit suicide or at least disappear from public appearance till the people would forget such an incident. Now, DD is bravely putting up a bold face!” was invariably the reaction from hundreds of callers to the Director and Producer of the GMJK, Mrs Shair, and other DD official while they were in a routine programme review meeting in the forenoon.
Enquiries revealed that in the evening on September 10th, the detained anchor succeeded in getting bail from a judicial magistrate. Lodged at Women’s Police Station Ram Bagh, she was released and sent back to her home on an undertaking that she would cooperate with Police in the investigation, as and when required, and called. Immediately after her release, telephonic conversations ran into hours between senior officials of DD and the tainted anchor on the question whether or not to continue her as the host of GMJK.
Sources revealed that Additional DG, Mr Jailkhani, expressed his desire that the anchor be continued without gap as her “performance” had been always impressive. Consequently, Mrs Shair contacted the anchor, who lives in her neighbourhood in Harwan area, and asked her to come prepared to host the programme regularly and continuously from September 11th. She was told that a vehicle, engaged by DDK Srinagar, would pick her up from her residence and drop her back at her desired location after signing off the show at 9.00 a.m. Thousands, or may be hundreds of thousands of DD’s viewers, were taken aback when they saw the same anchor hosting the show without any signs of nervousness on her ‘bold face’.
As exclusively reported in today’s issue of Early Times, this controversial female anchor has hosted almost all the high profile public and television shows, including those of Prime Minister, J&K Chief Minister and UPA Chairperson in the last eight years. While working as a Consultant with Hindustan Construction Corporation (HCC) during its
Mughal Road execution, she has also anchored over a thousand of musical serials for DDK Srinagar and DD Kashir besides a number of the promotional programmes of the state Power Development Department and Public Health Engineering Department.
Neither Mr Jailkhani nor Mrs Shair could be reached over telephone for their comments as calls to them failed to mature. However, some of their subordinate officials said on the condition of anonymity that the tainted anchor had been advised to continue hosting GMJK even if new guests refused to appear on the show and the old segments would have to be repeated.
Meanwhile, scores of artists, script writers, private producers and directors, who have been associated with DD for 10 to 35 years, expressed their dismay and shock over the way Mr Jailkhani and Mrs Shair had got the tainted anchor back to the show within 24 hours of her arrest in a criminal matter and asked her to continuously host the morning transmission.
“This was a centre of fame for decades since its establishment in 1972. It has created great personalities in the field of film and television production and broadcasting. It has now lost all of its sheen and credibility and become a centre of shame”, observed a famous actor and senior producer-director.
“Recently, a former Director of DDK Srinagar has been placed under suspension on account of his largescale loot of the public money. CBI is investigating two FIRs against the same official separately. Three deputy directors and producers are also facing serious allegations of favouritism and indulgence in corruption. To cap it all, the station’s key anchor has been trapped in a criminal matter that is threatening to surface as another sex scandal. Who would like to visit this station or view its programmes?, asked another actor-director whose drama serials once broke all records of popularity of a television programme.