Srinagar: A prank by Srinagar-based radio jockey of Red FM, Rayees Mohiuddin, has come under severe criticism after it was perceived as mocking and deriding a specially-abled person on his radio show.
An audio of the prank, which was splashed on social media by Red FM, drew widespread condemnation with many demanding legal action against the host of the show.
Mohiuddin, who is a well known radio presenter and mimicry artist, can be heard in the audio talking to a delivery executive on phone along with a female, the two of them pretending to be husband and wife. As the female starts to talk about the delivery of her parcel, insisting to the delivery executive to deliver it secretly, Mohiuddin pops into the call and begins making fun of the delivery executive for the nasal tone of his voice.
“Che chukhi pipe manz kath karan (Are you talking through a pipe)”, Mohiuddin sayd with disdain, to which the delivery executive, whose name is Umar, replies in a very sober tone, “Bi haz chus yethuy (I am like this since the beginning)”.
Later, in the ten-minute conversation, Mohiuddin goes on to disparage the delivery executive again, saying “your voice still comes out of the pipe” while terming the tone his voice similar to that of a sheep. As the delivery executive continues to reply in a good manner, the radio presenter keeps shouting at him loudly.
Throughout the conversation, the radio presenter is adamant over receiving the parcel at his home. As the drama continues over the delivery of parcel, with Mohiuddin joining the call periodically and interrupting his pretence wife during the phone call, the delivery executive is unable to respond well, at which Mohiuddin shouts at him, “I’ll throw the parcel along with you out of my home.”
Pranks are common on FM radio, but this time one has gone seriously wrong. Many specially-abled people expressed shock at what they called humiliation just to derive amusement.
Several netizens demanded that the radio-presenter apologise publicly and desist from doing such acts in future.
“This is not done. This is disgusting and distasteful. Attacking and making fun of a particular community has never been part of Kashmiri culture. We always respected every community, and showed equality with everyone. The RJ should apologise publicly and never think of doing this again”, wrote Haseeb Ahmad on his Facebook timeline.
Specially-abled Javaid Ahmad Tak, who leads the Humanity Welfare Organisation Helpline J&K, told Kashmir Reader that they were seriously hurt by the episode and were going to take up the issue with the Secretary, Social Welfare, who holds charge of the Disability Commission. He said that the Disability Act disallows hurting or humiliating a person and this is a punishable offence.
“Nobody can humiliate a person or highlight his disability. It is a punishable act. The media’s role is to encourage us, not humiliate us. It is unfortunate that people laugh at our disability. Disability is not in our hands. It is natural and can happen with anyone at any time,” Tak said.
He demanded that Mohiuddin tender an apology publicly.
The government department meant for social welfare was yet to take cognisance of the matter.
District Social Welfare Officer Ashraf Akhoon said that he wasn’t aware about any such audio and couldn’t speak on the matter. “I haven’t come across any such audio, so I am not in a position to comment on this issue,” Ashraf told Kashmir Reader.
Meanwhile, Rayees Mohiuddin responded to the issue on Tuesday, saying that his “pranks” were meant to entertain people and there wasn’t any intention to hurt public sentiments.