Music rings change in Tihar

Music rings change in Tihar

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain’, is a famous song by Bob Marley.

And this is one of the many posters hanging on the walls of this FM station. Sharing wall space with the legendary Marley are the posters of Beatles, Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Sonu Nigam, A R Rahman and Shreya Ghoshal.

Pristine white walls, a small table with a music console along with a desktop and a microphone is all this station boasts of, and playing in the background of Tihar Jail no. 2’s FM is Party Sharty Karenge from the Akshay Kumar and Asin-starrer Boss.

Inaugurated on May 26 by Vimlaa Mehra, DG, Tihar Jail, this FM station currently has only two RJs’ – Jeetay Sanof Suresh and Sandeep Ratan Lal a.k.a Sandy and runs seven days a week from 6-7 pm.

Managed and operated by the jail inmates, previously the radio station had four jockeys, but two of them are out on parole right now.

The FM Radio has been established to meet twin objectives of ‘entertainment’ and ‘training of prisoners as radio jockeys’ (RJ).

If other prisoners want to listen to their favourite songs, they send their request written on a piece of paper in advance to the RJs so that they can be aired.

Talking to Metrolife about his experience as an RJ, Jeetay, who is doing time in prison for murder, since the past four years, said, “I feel really good to see others happy when I play their favourite songs. I am thoroughly enjoying my task here as an RJ because I was always fascinated with this. When I came to this jail, I didn’t even know how to operate a computer, but now I have learnt it. Pehele se ab tak zameen aasmaan ka farq hai mere mein. I have also done a typing course for one-and-half years in this jail only.”

Jeetay who is now 25 years old was just a Class X pass when he came to this jail. But now he has done his Bachelor’s Preparatory Programme (BPP) under IGNOU.

With a month-long training and an audition, he is now the only source of entertainment in the jail, except the television sets in the cells.

So, what kind of music do inmates like to listen to?

“Mostly they like old songs of Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, R D Burman and Asha Bhosle. We have a huge database of songs in the computer and as per their (inmates) request, we play the songs.”

The inmates also get the facility to make calls to their loved ones everyday. But, the duration is fixed – five minutes/day, which is 35 minutes a week.

Talking about his family, Jeetay, said, “They are ofcourse not happy as I am in jail after all. But they are at least satisfied because I am working and studying here. Even if they are sad, I can’t help, I have to be here only. So, I smile as much as possible.” As an RJ in the Tihar radio station Jeetay draws Rs 2,000 as salary.

The young RJ was in Jail no. 8 previously where he also tried his hands at painting and art and the first painting he made was of his father. Differentiating between the world outside and inside the jail, Jeetay, said, “Yahan aake maine insaan pehechanna seekha hai. Both worlds are the same and people fight for all possible reasons.”

The other RJ, Sandy who was busy preparing to host the fashion show in the jail also found some time to speak to Metrolife.

“It is a life-changing experience for me and such opportunities makes us learn a lot of things,” said Sandy, who is convicted for kidnapping and has been In the jail for
eight years.

Surprisingly, Sandy spoke in fluent English and has done his training in ‘VJ-ing’ from Mumbai. “I am just utilising my skills here because of my training in VJ-ing,”  Sandy said.

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