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How a radio programme changed the outlook of youth

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The program is a favorite among students and youth though others also tune in to it

Mushtaq Hurrah

Radio Kashmir Srinagar has a unique distinction among all the affiliated radio stations of all-India Radio for sending the first live radio gameshow on air almost two decades earlier. Yes, you have got it right, I am talking about “Dhadkan” the live radio gameshow which goes on air, every Sunday at 10:30am from radio Kashmir Srinagar.
The program is the brain child of legendary broadcaster, counsellor, commentator and former director of radio Kashmir Srinagar, Syed Humayu’n Qaisar. I still remember the first episode when someone from Hazratbal area of Srinagar namely Mushtaq Misgar was declared the winner of the first episode.
The day marked a new beginning in the glorious history of radio broadcasting. The show won a lot of public accolade that it became the number one program of youth within no time. Those days were my teenage days, and like other teenage boys, I was passionate enough to participate in the program. But, Alas! there was no mobile phone connectivity available in our conflict hit state then.
BSNL landline connectivity was confined to some towns only. Finally, I made my first call to the program in 2004 when BSNL landline was installed in my home, and it was not lesser than a dream coming true for me. Making a call in the first round of the show is immensely difficult, given the number of callers trying their luck.
The program has seen many people as its compares. The likes of Danish Iqbal, Nissar Naseem, Rashid Nizaami, Javaid Sofi and now thundering Ishfaq Lone have run the program with their finest qualities and energies. But, the dynamic and the most popular Syed Humayu’n Qaisar has been the soul of this program. This man has made it so popular that this program is heard across the globe. The magnetic voice of Syed Humayu’n Qaisar is instrumental in the success of this gameshow.
The program is a favorite one of students and youth though others also tune in to it. It is not a mere gameshow. Besides quizzing- music , counseling, opinions of listeners, interviews with achievers, teachers, youth icons and role models , makes this program more than a gameshow.
Some years earlier, prestigious examinations like IAS, KAS, IFS etc… were considered exams of elite and financially affluent people only. Dhadkan has changed this outlook and mindset of our youth. I remember many Dhadkan participants who have qualified such prestigious examinations. Even many have taken one step ahead. Shabir Hassan from Pulwama was a regular partipants who is now a scientist at the renowned Harvard Medical school. Dhadkan has become the virtual heartbeat of our youth.
The gameshow had some minor hiccups when it went off air for some months. But, the listeners insisted for its resumption because Dhadkan is next to our heart, and we can’t live without it. Dhadkan has almost completed seventeen years of its glory, and continues to be popular and favorite among Radio listeners.
Kashmiri youth owe a lot to visionary Syed Humayu’n Qaisar and to his brain child, Dhadkan. Besides spreading knowledge with entertainment and pleasure, he cemented the self-belief of Kashmiri youth in their capabilities and skills. Kashmiris particularly from rural backgrounds lacked exposure and counseling. They didn’t know the path to tread on, for converting their dreams into reality.
This program connected aspirants with the people who became their guides and mentors. Many young people write the questions asked in this show and maintain dairies of general knowledge. Many who crack different examinations of SSRB , give credit to this gameshow because questions asked in this program cover almost all the fields. I remember Syed Humayu’n Qaisar saying that general knowledge should not be a subject rather a habit. Besides knowledge and information, this program counsels our youth about smart reading. “What to read and how to read” is very instrumental in cracking a competitive examination. Dhadkan has done it so well. It has generated a passion for reading among its listeners
Dhadkan has greatly expanded our friend circles. We are connected to new acquaintances and friends via this game show. This gameshow has enabled us to explore our own state . People from different states of India participate in it. Even some participants take part in it from foreign countries. Internet has eased out the burden of Dhadkan lovers because , now, they can tune in to it from all India Radio app anywhere in the world.
With the retirement of Syed Humayu’n Qaisar, the program has begun to loose its sheen though Ashfaq Lone is putting in his 100% to maintain the already set standards of the gameshow. Some voices in the show have become too monotonous to hear. One voice can’t monopolize the show for so many years. The one-man hegemony has made it humdrum. I request the incumbent director of Radio Kashmir Srinagar to introduce new voices in the show. We have talented people in abundance around us.
Let’s have a talent hunt to introduce new voices in the show. Why should not we have a female voice in the show? Induction of Mansoor Parray, the young and vibrant media voice, in the show, is welcome move. Hope that my voice reaches to the concerned stakeholders, and an appropriate action is initiated to save the show from monotony.. Dhadkan is not the ancestral property of any person. Its decorum and popularity is dependent on its listeners.
We request director Radio Kashmir to have a look. We don’t want to eliminate the person from the Radio neither have we any personal grudge with him but we want him to take a break from the show for some time. He can be made a part of any other program. Hearing a solitary voice in a program for decades together, makes it dull and boring. We want new voices in our own gameshow.

(The writer is a Teacher and a Columnist)

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