17-May-2024
HomeENGLISHZoona Dab: Kashmir's Iconic Radio Drama That Stood the Test of Time

Zoona Dab: Kashmir’s Iconic Radio Drama That Stood the Test of Time

In the crucible of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, radio emerged as the primary vehicle for mass communication and information warfare. All India Radio’s Srinagar Station, formerly ‘Radio Kashmir Srinagar,’ took center stage. In 1964, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s visit marked a turning point, sparking conversations with Director Nand Lal Chawla.

Wotul Buji: Countering Propaganda Through Artistry

In response to Radio Pakistan’s potent propaganda, local artists, both Hindus and Muslims, united to birth ‘Wotul Buji.’ This Kashmiri-language program, a propaganda countermeasure, aired during the war but faded into silence with its conclusion.

Zoona Dab Emerges: Bridging the Gulf Between Public and Authorities

Post-war, Director Chawla, in collaboration with assistant producer Somnath Sadhu, conceived ‘Zoona Dab.’ Launched on October 3, 1966, this 15-minute daily radio feature endured for 19 years, offering a unique blend of public discourse and entertainment.

Navigating Challenges: Zoona Dab’s Impact on Governance

Despite political discomfort, ‘Zoona Dab’ persisted, exposing administrative shortcomings. Chief Minister Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq mandated government officials to heed public grievances aired on the program. The dedication of broadcasters Somnath Sadhu, Pushkar Bhan, and Marriyam Begam earned them the prestigious Padma Shri in 1974.

Scripting Society: Zoona Dab’s Format and Characters

Sadhu and Bhan crafted scripts centered on a Kashmiri family, addressing societal challenges. The lead characters, including Aga Säb and Aga Bài, became iconic representations. The show, using the wood-paneled balconies of traditional Kashmiri houses (‘Zoona Dab’), tackled diverse issues, from personal grievances to civic problems.

Recognition and Legacy

Zoona Dab’s impact extended beyond the airwaves. In 1981, key contributors received the Sadiq Memorial Awards. The show’s legacy endures, immortalizing characters like Aga Säb and Mama Pipji, who resonated with audiences, reflecting the pulse of Kashmiri society.

For a detailed story, please visit: Awaz the voice

Also Read: India’s Global Leadership: G-20 and Development

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