Television: Why Doordarshan Is Always On Peoples Radar!

When private channels break a news that has no factual basis and withdraws it after sometime or make some obvious mistakes people just laugh it off or make a mention about it to friends. The matter ends there. When Doordarshan, run by India’s Public Service Broadcaster Prasar Bharati and the electronic media of the Government of India, does so the matter begins there. If Doordarshan (DD) makes a mistake or shows something or does not show something, big or small, there is a nationwide outrage with people from all age groups decrying mocking and what not. The universal dictum of ‘to err is human’ gets entirely forgotten in such outburst of genuine feelings or derisive pleasure against the national broadcaster. It is also a curious fact that newspapers always highlight high ad revenue generating glitzy and glamorous shows of private channels, but criticize DD without end if the latter missed to show an event or a news of the people. Why?

People from all possible communities of all possible cultural or social or religious or linguistic lines expect DD to represent them and showcase events or news related to them most positively and without fail. This expectation is irrespective of what DD could be trying to do at that particular time—maybe it is planning an excellent coverage of a very big national or regional event or trying to launch a serial of huge national or regional dimensions. Nope! Their news must go. Else face a national outrage again. Why?

People get easily impressed by the all techno innovations and gimmicky shows done by the private channels and go gaga over it helping the channels to earn huge ad revenues. And they expect the same from DD failing to understand the responsibilities of a Public Service Broadcaster and the consequent constraints of resources or generating revenues. Not getting it, people indulge in deriding decrying demeaning DD. Why?

Because, Doordarshan that celebrated its 50th Anniversary on 15th September, 2009 still runs in the bloodstream of every Indian—old, middle aged, young or child. Irrespective of what they tend to utter about it. They just cannot ignore this huge reserve of quintessential Indianness—the cultural or social or religious or linguistic bond of unity that is India. It is because of this bond that they expect the world from DD at any eventuality, at any cost. If DD does very well about something they take it granted and do not bother about appreciating, but if DD happens to make an error they cannot take it or tolerate it. On DD News they take every news as word of God once it is shown and at the same time castigates it for being slow failing to understand the pains it takes to confirm every possible news first. Similarly, if one particular community does not find a news that it considers to be of paramount importance they go berserk.

Basically, it all plus for the Public Service Broadcaster and it is something only to be proud of. The pains or efforts that go into the process of setting things right are just part and parcel of being Doordarshan. In short Doordarshan is of the people, for the people and by the people.

Doordarshan Zindabad!


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