on of an illustrious father, the charming handsome energetic anchor makes mornings of the television watchers pleasant with his articulate presentation on DD Kashir’s famous morning show Good Morning J&K.
Azhar Hajini still in his early thirties is a household name in Jammu and Kashmir carries a larger than life legacy of his great father Dr Aziz Hajini, who recently passed away after battling a health issue.
When he was growing up in a small hamlet, Hajin, in Bandipora, North Kashmir, Azhar Hajini wanted to become a star. Gifted with a handsome face, an athlete’s physique and a deep, pleasant voice that enthralled all, Azhar wanted to flee to Mumbai to try his luck in films. But due to certain reasons and his mother’s will he couldn’t make it happen. But he didn’t lose heart. He crafted a space for himself and grew as a popular TV, Radio and Stage Host.
“During the early years of my schooling, the situation in Kashmir worsened. The newspapers every day were littered with gory stories of violence, and most parents would not let their children be away from their eyes for even a day. That’s when I realised I would never make it to Mumbai, where I wanted to attend high school and also train myself in acting,” Hajini recounted.
What transpired next was a telling account of the triumph of will over fate. “There were no talent hunt events or training institutes in Kashmir, so I decided to self train. Tariq Jamil’s programme, Aapke khat, aapke geet on the Commercial Broadcasting Service of All India Radio was a rage in the 1990s. I used to listen to him attentively, learn from his style and hone my speaking skill. On days he would read out my letter, I’d be thrilled. Such little instances of recognition kept me going at a time when the youth in Kashmir was coping with the loss of hope,” Hajini told Good Morning Kashmir.
Continued success in district level debating and elocution contests earned him his first break. He was invited by Doordarshan to anchor a children’s programme Baaman. “That was when I had just finished 12th,” reminisced the media freelancer, now based in Srinagar. “Luckily Baaman was a huge success and it landed me with offers to host shows for FM Radio, the commercial wing of Prasar Bharti. Next came shows on CBS 102.6 FM and Radio Kashmir (AIR Srinagar) such as Sabras, Aaj ki Surkhiyan. I starred in serials on Doordarshan such as Tehkeeq, Yim Koem Zolaan, Ibn-e-Adam which were all very popular.”
The noble intent culminated in a landmark radio show in 2013, called Mujh Main Bhi Hai Kuch Baat. Hajini encouraged the youths across the erstwhile state to call him and record a two-minute performance on the phone, which could be either mimicry, singing, poetry recitation or any other activity. This was a one-of-its-kind radio initiative with no precedent anywhere else in the country.
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“The calls poured in. The youths from different districts would record their voices in what were month-long talent hunts. At the end of the month, I would call the best performer in our studio, coach him/her for a programme, and give him or her the opportunity to perform on TV. We would also present the winners a prize-cheque,” Hajini recalled joyfully.
Azhar besides being a senior member of theatre group Wahab Cultural Society Hajin is also publicity secretary of Halqa-e- Adab Sonawari (HAS) Hajin which is an elderly literary organisation of Kashmir. HAS was founded in the year 1957 and since then this literary organisation has been tirelessly working for the promotion, preservation and enrichment of Kashmiri culture, language and literature.
Azhar has produced dozens of full length Documentary films for Doordarshan on various subjects. His favourite subject in this genre however has been the life of people living in difficult but very adventure filled situations especially those of nomads.
Hajini has a good following on social media platforms and is very famous among Kashmiri youth. Most of the posts on his Instagram account ( @azharhajini ) are about his works and the events he has been attending. His Instagram posts are filled with the comments of praise and apperception from his long list of more than 15,000 followers.
Hajini has completed his PG in Journalism and Mass Communication, besides, a certificate course in photography, and Prasar Bharati’s Vani course.
He is currently looking after the publicity of the Department of Youth Services and Sports J&K. His efficiency and proficiency in getting the information related to the activities of the Department widely publicized in the print, electronic and social media has helped him earn apperception from his seniors and officers in the Department.
Azhar is committed to carry forward his late father’s legacy by devoting himself for the promotion and preservation of Kashmiri language and culture.
Azhar Hajini has compiled two books about his father viz Aziz Hajini- The Man And The Mission and Aziz Hajini-The Indelible which are soon being released at a function by Halq e-Adab Sonawari at Hajin. “With the help of famous Kashmiri singer Raja Bilal and my father’s good friend music maestro Kishan Langoo i’m working on a Music Album called ‘Safar Loluk’ which would be carrying some beautiful poems of my late father which are sung by melodious Kashmiri singers,’’ Azhar stated