27 October, 2020

Autonomy Be Damned

Mahajan rides a new DD channel into battle

Autonomy Be Damned

In these recessionary times, a 24-hour news channel from an already overstretched Doordarshan stable can only be a recipe for disaster. But caretaker information and broadcasting minister Pramod Mahajan couldn't care less. For it isn't commercial profit that the bjp leader is after. Never mind his protestations to the contrary, what he is aiming for is a pliable, if not viable, platform to promote his party's electoral cause. Hence the haste to get the new satellite channel off the ground.

According to Prasar Bharati CEO Rajeeva Ratna Shah, the Independence Day soft launch of Mahajan's pet project marked the beginning of a dry run that will culminate in the advent of a full-fledged official news channel in two to three weeks. In time, perhaps, for the first round of voting.

One member of the Prasar Bharati Board,writer Rajendra Yadav,has openly questioned the timing of the launch. Mahajan insists he has no intention of misusing the official electronic media ahead of the polls. The decision on the channel was taken well before the government fell. The idea is to meet the...



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