ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: All-India Radio: Caught Lying

Vol VIII, No 48  DECEMBER 1, 1973

Atal Behari Vajpayee may be indulging in hyperbole when he threatens that his party will soon begin to run a parallel broadcasting network in the country, but somebody in New Delhi ought to take notice of the fact that the Jan Sangh is not the only political group which feels provoked by the manner of dissemination as well as the content of the news — not to mention the comments — by All-India Radio. Discontent with the ruling party’s near-absolute monopolisation of the official broadcasting organisation is by now widespread. It may lead to all kinds of explosions if the Government will not be persuaded to raise its highly partisan policy and practice in this respect. […]

What the AIR is demonstrating can he extremely shortsighted policy on the part of the Government. In recent weeks, despite the Prime Minister’s assurances, prices have risen over a wide front, mainly because of administrative decisions on the part of the Government itself. People’s discontent will be out; some of it will take the form of agitations and bandhs. Irrespective of whether or not one sympathises with such agitations, attempts to black out their news would prove only counterproductive. If All-India Radio, under instructions from above, persists with its present pattern of behaviour, sooner or later there could be others who share the Jan Sangh view that clandestine broadcasting is the appropriate answer to the ruling party’s brand of authoritarianism. With so many unemployed engineers and technicians about, it should not be difficult to set up a network of transmitting stations, at relatively low cost, across the country. The younger people who may help to establish such networks will, of course, run the danger of incarceration. But since, over the entire country, there already are 25 to 30 thousand young men and women in prison, it is not improbable that a few more thousands will be perfectly willing to join them.

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Updated On : 2nd Dec, 2023
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