Humayun Qaisar: the famous Kashmiri broadcaster who connected young people to radio
Sayed Humayun Qaisar, former director of Radio Kashmir Srinagar has become the name known in Kashmir for his broadcasting skills and is considered a man behind the introduction of innovative programs to the valley.
It has been associated with radio for over three decades and has gained popularity primarily among young people through youth-oriented programming. Qaisar has produced more than ten thousand programs to his credit.
The seasoned broadcaster was trained at the DuestcheWelle radio training center in Germany. He has also attended over a dozen media and broadcasting workshops around the world.
Speaking to Rising Kashmir, Qaisar said he started his journey at Tyndale Biscoe School, Amar Singh College, University of Kashmir, and then Delhi School of Economics. He was followed by a diploma in public relations.
After completing his studies, Qaisar worked for a time as a senior researcher in the Srinagar Soil Conservation Department on a project of national significance.
From there he moved again to Economic Development Associates (EDA) in New Delhi (MLC) and worked as a social science researcher, dealing with overseas projects of several international agencies.
“At that time, while working at EDA, I saw an advertisement for 235 Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) positions in one of the major newspapers regarding recruitment at Radio and Doordarshan. I too applied, took the exam, passed the interview and then qualified him, ”he said.
Recalling his memories, the veteran broadcaster says his father told him he had three months to decide whether he wanted to return to Kashmir or continue with the existing job.
“I made the decision to come back and joined Radio Kashmir in 1991 as a program manager (official executive position),” he said.
Qaisar who is known for introducing an innovative radio program to the valley said, every day he listened to the radio station around the world.
“Even in my previous job as a consultant, I listened to the radio whenever I traveled to other parts of the world. I used to take a radio with me because I listened to English from the BBC and never missed the commentary on the special test matches, the special Sunday programs, ”he said. declared.
He said when he came on the radio; he did not have the baggage of tradition with him. “I started doing things from the ground up because no one was coming on the radio these days. Radio was traditional, but a successful business.
“I went to university hostels to connect with students, people and raised their concerns through the radio. Within 6 months, hundreds started to visit the radio and even we couldn’t have time to eat.
He said Yuwawani was popular for the songs but not for the content of the people. It was he who initiated the new trends in broadcasting in Kashmir.
Qaisar said that by involving young people in the programs, we gave them a good platform to nurture their skills in all kinds of broadcasting.
“I also felt the need to connect with young people who weren’t on the radio. This is where I started to organize mentoring and counseling sessions with young people, ”he said.
“During this time, I am extremely grateful to my superiors, especially my first director Nazki Sahab, Kabir Sahab, Riyaz Sahab and others. They all accepted all the innovations I came up with and the trends were popular with people as well, ”he said.
The veteran broadcaster said that by the 1990s most of the staff migrated to Jammu and each of us was doing over 50 shows in a month. He also carried out the first telephone program in 1996, which also became popular among the people of Valley.
“We had a great legacy of great broadcasters and there’s no question about that, but at the same time, we also had a legacy of being very dismissive of young people. I saw it myself and when they visited the radio they were discouraged, ”he said.
Later, Qaisar changed him and managed the Yuwawani section. “A lot of people say I brought informality to the radio shows,” he said.
Qaisar is popular among the young people of Kashmir. One of his best shows, which he presented on the radio every Sunday, was “Dhadkan”, which he started in 2002.
“The idea behind Dhadkan’s success was to connect with young people. It was KBC that sparked the idea in my mind and I thought we must have the same on radio too. When I started and it was in February 2002, there were several rounds in the game and every Sunday a winner, ”he said.
Qaisar said the response has been overwhelmingly positive and between the live game show there have been several segments including counseling sessions, songs, guests and a quiz contest to get young people involved.
“We started with text messages, then e-mails and with each passing day his participation increased. I never thought it would become so popular for Dhadkan to become a movement. Then there will be Dhadkan clubs and the questions asked in the game shows will be shared in prayer assemblies in schools and colleges, ”he said.
“Unfortunately, once I left radio in 2018, the live game show Dhadkan could not be maintained and was shut down by management after 17 years,” Qaisar said.
Regarding FM2, Qaisar said that she was born in 2012 and RuksanaJabeen was the director of Radio Kashmir and that she wanted someone to start it and not many people were interested.
“She asked me, will I do it?” I told him what has already been written for FM2. If I have to do it, I won’t. I will do something on my own and she told me that you have the freedom to write it in your own style, ”he said.
“The first thing I did was give up on advertisers, there were no advertisers and there was no interconnection. The main focus was on youth and the content was mostly on information and entertainment and it clicked a lot and it was a huge hit in Kashmir.
He is also a media trainer and consultant to the BBC World Service Trust, the Ford Foundation and Panos South Asia. Qaisar is a visiting professor at several universities across India, including Academic Staff Colleges.
Outside of radio, Qaisar is a former First Class Cricketer (Ranji Player). He has also played cricket for the J&K Under-19 and Under-22 teams, in addition to being captain of the University of Kashmir team.
“The interest in cricket came from the family. My older brother Sayed Parvez was playing cricket and I too started playing and represented my school in 9th grade when I was 15 and played for J&K schools on the under team. 19 years old, ”he said.
Qaisar said there was an interesting story, before joining Amar Singh College Srinagar. “I was about to go to college but the 11th and 12th started in schools, but I didn’t want to go to school anymore because I wanted to play cricket at a higher level”, a- he declared.
The veteran broadcaster said he chose topics such as geology and geography that were not available in schools. The subjects were only available at Amar Singh College and performed for the college, then represented the University of Kashmir for six years.
During the 1990s, he gave up cricket and concentrated on radio. He has also won the State Prize for the collections of paintings presented by the State Academy for the past four decades. He has received more than 50 awards for broadcasting, painting, consulting and in the field of sports.
Qaisar is also a licensed sports commentator and analyst. He has made dozens of “live” match commentaries on various sports and other events. He has also covered major sporting events including the Olympics for All-India Radio in England, the Asian Games, the World Military Games and the Commonwealth Games (CWG).
He has mentored hundreds of young people who have succeeded in various fields including public service, education, sports and media.
Regarding his message to young people, Qaisar said they should focus on three T’s: talent, technique and temperament. They should be positive about things even though their surroundings may be negative. There may be things that you find hopeless, and if you can’t change them, you can improve yourself, he said.
“Keep your antennae open and learn to develop an opinion on things and don’t take everyone’s opinion. Start asking questions and learning from everything, ”he said.
From UPSC aspirants to cricket stars, Qaisar has inspired the young people of the valley. He started hosting tips, sports webinars for students and teachers, as well as teachers.
The seasoned broadcaster is always connected to his audience through his YouTube channel SHQRadioActive.