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'Peace and Patriotism' on Mind, Kashmir Gets its Own 'Kaun Banega Crorepati'

The concept of KBC Kashmir was first thought of by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which aims to promote democratic values and secularism in the Valley through such shows.

Aakash Hassan | News18.com@Aakashhassan

Updated:April 30, 2019, 8:08 AM IST
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'Peace and Patriotism' on Mind, Kashmir Gets its Own 'Kaun Banega Crorepati'
KBC is hosted by Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchcan.
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Srinagar: With an aim of promoting ‘peace and patriotism’ in Jammu and Kashmir, the local Doordashan channel aired the first episode of the state’s version of the popular television game show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ on April 29. The idea was initially conceived by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

KBC Kashmir will be broadcast on DD Kashir, a regional subsidiary television station of the government-owned Doordarshan in the state from Monday to Saturday at 8 pm. The show will run from April 29 to July 6.

KBC is based on the British programme ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ hosted by Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, the programme first aired on Star Plus for its first three seasons from 2000 to 2007. Since 2010, it has been telecast on Sony TV.

“KBC Kashmir will be akin to the KBC hosted by Mr Bachchan, except the host will be Kashmiri actor and comedian Rayees Mohiuddin and the language will be Kashmiri,” said a top official at Doordarshan.

In March last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs came up with the idea to air television shows aimed to promote democratic values, national unity, communal harmony, merits of secularism and patriotism, and also highlight the perils of fundamentalism.

“They (the programmes) will also show security forces in a positive light and highlight the development work undertaken by the government in Jammu and Kashmir,” a newspaper report published in March 2018 had said.

Soon after, the work on the show started.

“People who can speak Kashmiri, hailing from any part of the world, can participate in the show,” officials said, adding that around 1,20,000 people have already registered.

“Fifteen thousand participants were shortlisted after they passed,” officials told News18. These participants had to later appear in a written test and answer 20 objective-type questions. Those who passed made it as the final contestants.

More than 30 people were shortlisted as hosts, official said. “We held auditions on March 30-31 in which the host was selected,” they added.

KBC Kashmir has been shot in Delhi, while most of the staff is from Kashmir.

“We have hired Kashmiri people who are working in Bollywood and fresh media graduates. Most of the staff is from Kashmir,” officials said without revealing the number of those who have been hired for the show.

The participants are taken to New Delhi and their travel and accommodation expenses are covered.

Officials at Doordarshan said this is for the first time that a show based on an international format is being aired on DD Kashir.

“This is for the first time that we are producing such a show in Kashmir. Earlier, our shows were produced by private firms and were conventional,” said a Doordarshan official.

Kashmir has been on edge over the last five years, with a rise in local militancy. Such shows will deviate the youth’s attention and expose them to other cultures, which will help in bringing peace to the Valley, officials said.

“We are looking forward to producing more such shows,” they added.

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