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Dismal situation of RJs of All India Radio in Kolkata
Many of the Radio Jockeys (RJs) working in the FM channels of All India Radio, Kolkata, have earned the reputation of being legendary talk show hosts since last more than 20 years and have played a pioneering role in this field.

In pursuance of a faulty policy framed by the UPA government, the presenters were subjected to a one time re-audition in 2012, which caused unexpected termination of services of some of the most popular and successful voice artists. This created quite a furore in the local as well as social media, precipitating a strong negative feeling towards the ruling coalition.

Later, in 2014, just after the new NDA government came to power at the Center, the same high officials of the Prasar Bharati, framed another policy of dropping every RJ above the age of 35 years on the ridiculous ground that voice quality deteriorates after this age. Moreover, it was done without consulting the new ministry, a move which was also opposed by RJs and their association (All India Radio Broadcaster Welfare Association) in court. The process, though still sub-judice, was brought into effect to by the high officials of Prasar Bharati.

However, Sri Prakash Javdekar, the then Hon'ble Minister of Information and Broadcasting took up their cause and announced that this move was against the policies of the new NDA government and the presenters above the age of 35 were reinstated instantly.

Now, after barely two years, the same high officials are once again making another attempt to remove the best, experienced and popular radio presenters by way of organising another set of screening measures, which is akin to the exam the presenters have to sit for when they join in. Thus, the authorities are simply negating 10, 15 and even 20 years of continuous and satisfactory service provided by the RJs, throwing their creative spirit out of gear. It should be remembered that these voice artists work for meager amounts only out of passion and their love for the radio culture. Now they are under constant threat, despite the existence of an age old practice of All India Radio.

A fresh examination, beyond this programme-wise assessment basically means nothing but another excuse to disqualify and disrepute the most successful and popular presenters with malafide intentions. Also, removing them out of their professional field will also deprive the listeners of quality entertainment. It's not that the newcomers wouldn't be successful but it doesn't mean that experienced voices should be stopped from being aired. At least they have been utmost loyal to AIR FM Rainbow and FM Gold for the last twenty years.

Surprisingly, although the order authenticating such examination is for the whole nation, but is being seriously and aggressively pursued only in Kolkata. It may also be mentioned that AIR has been introducing new voices for quite some time, at a regular intervals of 4 to 5 years, and this has never ever been objected by the said association till date.

At this point, listeners should stand by them to support their fight against untimely exit and embarrassment, constant threats and ill treatment. They have pioneered in developing the concept of radio talk show in West Bengal to popularise the FM band, also creating the backdrop for so many private FM stations to come up. They should be entitled to credit for sale of umpteen numbers of FM radio sets across the country from which the government has earned a good amount of revenue. So, should all India Radio FM presenters just be thrown at the wantonness, sweet wills and whims of some of the officials of Prasar Bharati? I personally think that it's the high time that the presenters and listeners collaborated.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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