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A young content creator on a mission to promote Kashmiri language 
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A young content creator on a mission to promote Kashmiri language 

The multi-talented youth's  social media channel, 'MuneerSpeaks' has become a household name in Kashmir 

Post by Irfan Yattoo on Thursday, December 8, 2022

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Srinagar, Dec 07: As regional languages are facing a threat around the globe, a young Kashmiri content creator is on a mission to promote and preserve his mother tongue along with the rich cultural heritage of Kashmir valley. He aims to bring back  valley's fading cultural assets through his inspirational and interactive content.
Muneer Ahmad Dar, hailing from Khag tehsil of central Kashmir's Budgam district, has become a popular household name in the valley with immense popularity of the content he creates.
From extracting Nadur (Lotus Stem) in Dal Lake to tour of 7 storied house, Tilwein-e- Wan, and making Pulhor (a slipper made of grass) in Bandipora village, he has an exception in explaining the cultural assets in pure Kashmiri language.
Dar is among the finest young content creators, who speak mother tongue (Kashmir) fluently, and for which he has earned a special audience. He has got good experience in explaining the background of Kashmiri proverbs. His social media channel, 'MuneerSpeaks' has become a household name in Kashmir.
Over the past one year, he has earned 3 lakh followers on Facebook and more than 28K subscribers on the @MrKoshur Youtube channel.
In 2021 during the lockdown, the multi-talented content creator started his journey with hashtag ReviveKoshur campaign during holy month of Ramdhan, in which he used the sayings of famous Sufi Poet Sheikh-Ul-Alam (RA) and explained his Shruks in 30 videos series.
“Each day, I used to recite Shalook (Shruk) of Sheikh-Ul-Alam each day and then I would translate it into Urdu and it got positive feedback on social media,” he said.  Adding that their artistic work encompasses informal education.
Muneer Ahmad   started another series of Kashmiri riddles (Tohond Hess, Soen Prach) comprising 15 videos that were posted on social media in June 2021. 
“This series got 6-7M minute views on his Facebook page and made him popular among the local audience,” he said. It was followed by another series comparing the past with the present (Teli Te Azz).
Dar said initially, his language used to fumble but with time he improved his skills. “Our topics are research-based. Sometimes people also give suggestions for new topics which are important,” he said.
“Over the past one year, we have made dozens of videos on cultural heritage and old traditions. We have explored many places in Kashmir about which even locals were unaware of,” he said.
Dar has recently added 2 to 3 people to his small team. Research is done by Ubaid Manzoor and the camera is handled by Shakir Fayaz and is managed by his wife  Zohrah Jabeen. Before them, he would manage his social media platforms and edit content single-handedly.
“I must thank them though they are not paid that much. We are trying to explore every format of content creation and are hopeful that people will continue to love our content,” Muneer said.
To keep the resource persons motivated, Dar, a teacher by profession, pays a minimal amount to those who get featured on his channel. “Before shooting any video, we take consent from the concerned person,” he said.
Dar said his content is based on peoples' contribution to society. “For me, the preservation of language is not less than worship,” he said.
“When our future generation will watch this content after 10 years, they will not think that the video was uploaded without a specific reason and not just for earning  money,” he said.
On average, his channel gets more than 10 million minute views per month but most of the videos are not monetized as the content is mostly in Kashmiri language, which is not yet recognized by Facebook. Secondly, his viewership is regional.
“We put our content in Urdu or Hindi language category on Facebook but most of the time, it works for 48 hours or week, or month, then all of sudden Artificial Intelligence of Facebook traps it and then we lose an entire monetized amount,” he said.
Dar said, although, there are minimal benefits for him but in future he said it will be the biggest contribution for the Kashmiri language. If our content had been in Urdu or Hindi, there would have been great monetary benefits on the number of views we get in Kashmiri, "he said.
Most of Muneer's team members remain busy in researching new things and they have around 12 to 13 videos that are yet to be uploaded.
From childhood, Dar was inclined towards Radio Kashmir ,now All India Radio (AIR), Srinagar Unit and Doordarshan, where he got mentorship under renowned personalities that helped him to hone his orientation skills.
On April 06, 2007, he joined the AIR with the help of his teacher Syed Ashiq, who was an announcer at that time. “It was difficult to enter the radio station as it was regarded as a powerful medium and people also used to listen to it with full concentration,” he said.
Dar said he changed various platforms during the course of time and has always desired to speak fluently. “I used to be very enthusiastic about those programs and over a period of time, this inner talent changed its shapes in me,” he said.
Dar has hosted Season 2 of the popular talent hunt singers’ program ‘Milay Sur' at DD Kashir and also SMS Dhamaka at Yuva Wani.
“I still remember my seniors at Good Morning Kashmir used to say to me that I should focus on my mother tongue and rich cultural heritage as compared to other languages,” he said.
After getting popularity in these programs, Dar decided to quit Television and Radio. He started preparing for Civil Services. He appeared twice in JKPSC interviews but couldn’t make it to the final list. He had also written the mains paper for the UPSC.
“My family has always supported me especially when I was confused for any work. Then Almighty also helps you to achieve the target, one should have faith,” he said.
In his message to young content creators, Dar said talent does not matter but hard work, dedication, commitment, and consistency matter always and it pays off.

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