Scores of television artists Tuesday adopted a novel way to protest alleged delay by Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar in releasing their payments.
The artists assembled at Press Enclave here under the banner of Television Professionals United Forum (TPUM) and staged a play to highlight their plight. Senior artists including Zameer Ashai, Umar Imtiyaz, Ghulam Muhammad Wani and others were part of the protest.
They were demanding release of payments against works executed by them in DD Srinagar, commissioning of new programmes and appointment of full-fledged Director to the Kendra.
In the play, the aggrieved artists pleaded their case before court. The court, in this play, convicted government and delivered the judgment that fans of these artists would decide the quantum of punishment. The play attracted various commuters including fans of various artists.
Addressing mediapersons, the artists said that their payments have been withheld from past five years.
"We have been facing the official apathy from last five years. We have brought our grievance and demands into the notice of authorities from time to time. However, the government has failed to redress our grievances," said Zameer Ashai, Chairman TPUM.
He said that union authorities are not releasing funds for making of new programmes. "Even, the payment of programmes which have been broadcast much earlier, is yet to be released, causing immense hardships to artist fraternity," Ashai said.
"DDK Srinagar has been the torchbearer of culture and literature in the state. By slashing and withholding the funds, the authorities have pushed artist fraternity to the wall. It is sole source of our livelihood," he said.
The artists threatened to stage similar protests in other states in case their demands are not resolved.