Dont’ view Mann ki Baat under narrow prism: Prasar Bharti CEO tells BBC
New Delhi, July 24: The objective of Prime Ministers Mann ki Baat should not be viewed under the narrow prism of revenue generation when the objective of the programme is not commercial revenues but citizen engagement, Chief Executive Officer, Shashi Shekhar Vempati has told the BBC.
The Mann ki Baat is a monthly radio programme by the Prime Minister which focuses on issues of Public and National interest. Through this programme, the PM has over the past few years raised both national and global awareness on issues of social importance such as empowerment of the girl child, water conversation, climate change, etc, Vempati said.
"I would like to highlight a unique aspect of Mann ki Baat that the BBC should appreciate and take note of. In the entire series of more than 75 episodes of Mann ki Baat there is not a single instance of the programme being used for political purposes. Every episode has been citizen-centric with several questions and comments of citizens on the issue of public interest being taken up by the PM.
Through Mann ki Baat, the PM during the pandemic engaged with health workers and others at the forefront," Vempati also wrote.
"I want to bring to the attention of BBC the fact that Mann ki Baat as India's first televised radio programme has an audience base that accounts for a plurality of broadcast audience in India across private television channels and radio stations going beyond Doordarshan and All India Radio. As per estimates available with Prasar Bharti through the television ratings system as many as 111 television channels across India have broadcast Mann ki Baat during the year 2020-2021 with more than 140 million viewers tuning in," Vempati also added.
"The universal values celebrated by Mann ki Baat and its ethos of sustainable development for greater global good ought to be a subject of greater interest to a global broadcaster like BBC than this fallacious line of thought of linking commercial revenues of the Indian Public Broadcaster to the mass appeal of the national movement that Mann ki Baat has become over the past several years. I hope the BBC reflects on these aspects of Mann ki Baat in your reportage," the Prasar Bharti CEO also said.