The issue of radio jockeys (Rjs) making fun of MPs and cracking crude jokes was raised in the Rajya Sabha today with the government saying content aired on radio channels was being monitored and promised action to curb such practice.
During Question Hour, actress-turn-politician Jaya Bachchan sought to know whether if I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar was aware of language used and jokes made by RJs.
"They are absolutely objectionable, very bad and the latest thing is that they have started giving news of Parliament and they mimic a lot of MPs who have spoken. So, are you going to do something about it because this is really not palatable," she asked.
Javadekar termed the issue as "serious" and informed the House that there were complaints of private channel RJs using "double meaning" talks.
"... Regarding commentary, what she (Bachchan) has said is absolutely serious and and we have an Electronic Media Monitoring Centre, which is monitoring this. We are contemplating how to rectify this rising trend after monitoring the reports at the earliest," he said.
To a query by Derek O'Brien (TMC) on the issue of Rjs being asked to retire after attaining the age of 35 years, Javadekar said the order was stayed.
"... As soon as it came to my knowledge that some Rjs, particularly, in Kolkata are asked to retire voluntarily at 35, we have already held it up, and we have stayed it," he said, adding RJs will not be removed on basis of age.
Recalling Ameen Sayani, whose voice enthralled listeners of All India Radio for decades, Javadekar said, "Voice should be vigorous and pleasant, it has nothing to do with age."
The minister also said government was thinking to allow, AIR news clips on private FM radio channels.
Meanwhile, noted lyricist and Rajya Sabha MP Javed Akhtar said one should not be extra sensitive as long as it was not vulgar.
Speaking outside Parliament here, he, however, said that things should also not cross the level of decency.
Asked for his reaction on RJs mimicking Parliamentarians, he said, "As long as it is not vulgar, it is not crude, it is not insulting anybody, one should not be extra sensitive about this thing. If it is funny, if it is in good humour then one should laugh it off."