For close to two decades, all that the people of Kashmir got to hear was the boom of gunfire. Now, the Valley is alive with the sound of music and youngsters are more likely to pick up the microphone than the gun. Blame it on the radio revolution that's taking over the state.
The first FM channel in Kashmir, Big 92.7 FM, is already a big hit. Operated by Adlabs Films and the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, Big 92.7 FM is only in its second month here but already has many diehard fans. The day it started operations on December 18, 2006, its Srinagar station received 900 text messages. It is just as popular in Jammu.
With the entertainment industry here in tatters - there is only one movie hall in Srinagar today, thanks to a ban by militants, and satellite TV is under constant threat - the FM channel is a welcome break from monotony. And Big 92.7 FM is taking its job seriously. According to 24-year-old radio jockey Manas Sharma, the channel isn't only dishing out entertainment. "We are also counseling youth on careers, making them think big, dream big and achieve big," he says. The channel has devotional programmes and laughter shows too.
While setting up shop, Adlabs Films chief operating officer Tarun Katial had announced that Big 92.7 FM would bring about an FM revolution in the state. Not many had taken him seriously then. But his words are coming true. More FM stations are expected to come to Kashmir and Jammu University is also hoping to launch its own station in spring.
It’s time to let the music take over.