This refers to the editorial, ‘More mann ki baat’ (March 24). One may or may not agree with the views expressed by the PM in his occasional radio talks on various topics, but it cannot be denied that radio is a popular medium for both entertainment and news. The Indian radio network is weak and needs to be upgraded so that one can listen clearly one city’s radio station in another city—Chennai in Mumbai and so on. Foreign radio stations like the BBC, Voice of America, Radio Beijing, Deutsche Radio, etc, have clear transmission and they are available even on MW apart from the SW frequencies. The beauty of radio is one need not pay monthly cable charges. There was a time when one had to pay an annual licence fee of Rs 15. Soon after Independence, the government banned film songs on radio on the grounds of morals and the void was filled by Radio Ceylon with the most popular RJ of those days—Amin Sayani. Binaca Geetmala, a one-hour popular programme was a great hit on Radio Ceylon and people like me grew up with it. Later on, film songs came back on Vividh Bhararti. Now,there are private FM radio stations, and they may be allowed to carry news under the government’s recently approved guidelines under FM Radio Phase-iii. When we have private television channels for news, then the same should be extended for private radio FM channels. Radio is still a very popular medium in far-flung areas, and Vividh Bharati has a request song programme everyday.
Deendayal M Lulla, Mumbai
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