04 June, 2007

Vividh Bharathi or FM radio?

Finally, after much propaganda, 3 FM channels were launched in Bhopal city on 1st June.It is somewhat akin to cable TV channels mushrooming these days. I too was obvioiusly excited at the launch of new FM channels But my excitment is fast turning to disillusionment. For all its media hype, the FM channels are dishing out pure CRAP 24 x 7!!!

Shocking isn't it. Everyone was so eagerly awaiting the launch of FM channels for the past 1 year or so, in order to "teach a lesson" to the AIR. The same AIR which appeared so drab with its oft repeated public service message (quotes of Gandhiji, Vivekananda etc!), the insipid style of news reading (Yeh akaashvani hai....), those programmes for farmers on how to get a better yield for your potato crop, the programmes in afternoon for housewives (Sakhi saheli), the film music on demand for lay public (Man chaahe geet, with demands from Jhumri talaiyya, kaanta toli etc!), the "Fauji bhaiyon ka programme - Jaimaala", the list is endless. With such boring programmes being aired, your mind yearned for something fresh and tangy. In come the FM channels with their peppy hosts, zany ads, traffic updates, phone in talks etc. Yet what happens next - it all fizzles out in no time at all! No doubt, the broadcast is stereophonic, which AIR cannot replicate, I will stand by my Vividh Bharathi.

Why did this happen? Mind you, the public is still enjoying it. Its only yours truly thats complaining. So please read on for my list of grouses -
1. For me, the primary reason that FM channels couldn't hold my attention is UTTER LACK OF VARIETY. From morning till late night you get to hear only one type of music on and on again - latest film songs or remixed old songs set to crazy beats. In fact even the beats in all these FM channels hear the same every time you switch on your radio / moble set.
2. Second reason why FM channels couldn't match Vividh Bharathi is that the FM channels cater to the taste of only one generation i.e. youth whether they be college going or jobbers. What about Old people, housewives, employees in police, defence, government servants, lower middle class section like tailors, dhabawalas, truck drivers, barbers, burchers etc?
3. Thirdly, there is no thought given to different genres of music. All you get to hear is "Dhakchik dhakchik" type of beats and unpronouncable lyrics! What about devotional
music, classical (you got to be joking man!), old film songs, folk songs, etc?
4. Fourth grouse is NO SERIOUS CONTENT. There's no analysis of current affairs. In the name of news you get to 3 headlines!

Die hard FM enthusiasts will argue that for news, and other variety of music you can always go back to AIR. Well then, I AM going back to my beloved Vividh Bharathi and I'm not coming back. For me the day begins with devotional music, foloowed by some classical music and then to GOOD film songs old or new. Its just impossible to rock 24 x 7 with the latest songs like Abhishek does in the Motorola