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Loot and incompetence in DD Urdu

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New Delhi: Congress-led government started 24-hours DD Urdu Channel in order to promote Urdu but the fact is that the quality of its programmes is so bad that the viewers are greatly disappointed. Their common opinion is that it would probably bee better if whatever is being shown in the name of Urdu is withdrawn. It is understood that the annual budget of DD Urdu is to the tune of Rs 100 crores but so far, when the financial year has virtually come to an end, even less than half of this amount has not been spent, with the result that after the end of financial year on 31 March, the unspent amount will be returned to the exchequer; and for the next year, as of rule, a budget equal to the amount actually spent will be sanctioned. As against this, if the allocated amount of Rs 100 crore would have been usefully spent, the budget for the next year would have been increased for better performance.

Among various programmes telecast on Urdu Channel there are hardly any which are prepared in DD Urdu’s own studios. In other words, DD Urdu does not do in-house production and all its programmes are done outside on contract. The reason probably is that if these programmes are prepared in its own studios, there is no scope for ‘extra income’ or bribery because in this way all payments are made by cheques, and secondly all goods and materials needed for making the episodes or programmes are available in the studio itself and nothing is to be obtained on rent. In both these cases, there are no chances of making ‘extra income’. The question, therefore, arises: when everything is available in-house, what is the need of getting programmes done from outside and why in-house production is not being done?

Because of the absence of in-house production, no Urdu producers, directors, actors, artistes etc. have so far been appointed and Urdu programmes are done in Hindi studios. One may reasonably ask why? Independent observers agree that the programmes telecast on Urdu channel are not attractive and popular among the viewers. Those manning Urdu programmes themselves do not appear to be either competent or sincere enough to make these programmes popular among the viewers. If good actors, producers, directors, writers and story writers etc. are employed, obviously their fees and salaries would be equally ‘good’ but instead of failing to efficiently utilise the funds allocated for DD Urdu channel and returning them as unutilised, it would have been far better if these were used for improving the quality of programmes and making them attractive and popular among viewers by employing good and experienced actors, producers, directors etc.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 April 2011 on page no. 21

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