Radio is an instrument of future: Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley said that Community Radio is playing a crucial role in providing a platform to people for expressing their views.

Congratulating innovators in the field of Community Radio, India’s Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting, said that the Right to Freedom of Speech truly belongs to the listeners. “The fact that the Right to Freedom of Speech belongs to the broadcasters is a partial truth. The full truth is that it belongs to listeners,” he said.

Speaking at the 5th National Community Radio Sammelan in New Delhi, the minister said that Community Radio is being instrumental in furthering the idea that people exercise their right of expression to the fullest. “Radio was instrument of the past and it is also the instrument of future,” he said.

The Sammelan is being organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in partnership with OneWorld Foundation India. The theme for this year’s Sammelan is Community Radio for Good Governance.

Bimal Julka, Secretary, Minister of Information & Broadcasting, said that Community Radio has evolved as a mechanism to enable inclusive growth through social change. “The minister has been guiding the movement from time to time. There has been a paradigm shift in the role of the Ministry of I&B and the transition with the help of new media is phenomenal,” he said.

Julka also mentioned that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put an emphasis on the role of radio, and the role of communication, with his monthly address through a programme Mann ki Baat on All India Radio.

The secretary opined that in the times to come, the public broadcasting sector will compete with the Community Radio. “The Community Radio Stations are operated by the communities they serve. In many parts of the world, they serve as a means of participation between civil society and the government,” he said.

The secretary said that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had issued orders (LoIs) for over 400 Community Radio Stations across the country. He expressed hope that feedback from such national seminars would be useful for strengthening the Community Radio movement in the country.

The minister also gave away the fourth Community Radio Awards in five categories. Radio Kissan from Orissa, won the first award in the Thematic Category, for its programme on farmers, We are with you. Radio Shyamlavani from Tamil Nadu won the second award in the same category on a programme wherein young brides in a village share their stories.
Radio Media Village from Kerala was adjudged third for its programme on loneliness of elderly people.

The three day Sammelan will see participation from 165 Community Radio Stations from across the country. The participants will discuss the role of Community Radio Stations in good governance, sustainability, content sharing and programming for development.

Source: OneWorld South Asia