FM Radios of Rajasthan - Start Rajasthani Language Programmes

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Objective of FM Channels as per Government of India: The Government of India provides FM Radio licenses to FM Channels; TRAI has elucidated the main objective as: "to attract private agencies to supplement the efforts of All India Radio by operationalizing FM radio stations that provide programs of relevance with special emphasis on local content, increase content generation and improve quality of fidelity in reception"

Local Language content on FM Radios across India: FM Radios across India are thus important stakeholders that are intended to entertain and give 'local content' as well as build local communities of the cities they operate in. Maharashtra channels have good Marathi language programmes, Ahmedabad has Gujarati, Punjab cities have Punjabi, Karnataka as Kannada, so on and so forth.

No Rajasthani language content on FM Radios of Rajasthan: Rajasthan too has a vibrant culture of Rajasthani language, with Marwari, Mewari, Hadoti or Shekhawati dialects in cities like Jodhpur, Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota, Jaipur etc; each of the cities having multiple FM Channels. Most of the local people across Rajasthan converse and relate to each other in the local dialects.

It is sad that none of the FM Channels has any significant programme in any of the Rajasthani languages. If at all there is a small one minute snippet in Rajasthani languages, it is to make fun of the language through a Marwari person being shown as an uneducated uncouth person. 

Petition: Along with Hindi Content; FM Channels must also have a couple of hours of programmes each day in the local dialects of the city that they operate in Rajasthan. There are several reasons for the request

  1. FM Channels are bound by directions of TRAI to provide 'local content'. Traffic reports and other issues don't encompass the whole ambit of 'local content'. Local content must necessarily be accessible and understandable to the local communities in their commonly spoken dialects.
  2. FM Channels must play a role in preserving the local culture of the cities they operate in.
  3. Such channels can be an engine of growth in inculcating pride in our languages across Rajasthan.
  4. Also, it is felt that more connectivity with the masses would certainly help in enhancing their revenue base at the local level with increased advertisement bookings by base level entrepreneurs.

The petition is addressed to

a) the Minister of Information and Broadcasting - for looking into the matter and policy directive please.

b) the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, (TRAI) who gives guidelines to these channels

c) CEOs of private FM Channels operating in Rajasthan.



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