Sending right signals in troubled areas
government has drawn up a plan to bolster state-run broadcasting in areas
vulnerable to misinformation campaign from across the border. Such campaign
by way of radio and television content is viewed by the government as posing
a threat to national security by wrongly influencing public opinion.
What's being mulled is a
two-pronged strategy: Impeding the flow of misinformation from across the
border by blocking airwaves and strengthening the network of All India Radio
and Doordarshan in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh,
Nagaland and other border states.
The move, according to
top government sources , is aimed at connecting the local communities along
border areas with the mainstream through radio and TV programmes.
Also, with help from
states, efforts are on in full swing to jam and block unauthorised radio
channels and websites in Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Orissa and other Naxal-affected
states which are being used by Naxal sympathisers.
In Jammu &Kashmir
and Punjab, the government has identified towns to strengthen the range of
high- and low-powered transmitters of All India Radio and Doordarshan, a
move to counter satellite channels from across the border spreading
misinformation, sources added.
New broadcast towers are
expected to come up in Naushera, Poonch, Srinagar, Rajouri and Kargil among
other border towns in J&K and Punjab. In order to connect citizens in remote
areas of J&K and the north-eastern states, the information and broadcasting
ministry has also drawn up plans for freely distributing DD Direct Plus,
Doordarshan's DTH service.
Meanwhile, the Information &
Broadcasting ministry has chalked out a road map to overhaul the content of
DD Kashir and DD North East to make them more popular and appealing in J&K,
Assam, Meghalaya and other north-eastern states.
In Bihar, the
government has identified districts including Bettiah, Motihari and
Madhubani where FM stations will be set up to reach members of the local
community who otherwise access FM stations from Nepal that transmit in
Maithili language. According to reports, intelligence officials have
expressed concerns on the rising popularity of Nepalese radio stations in
large areas of Bihar which may be misused by Maoist elements to influence
“Some work is already underway.
The work of setting up FM stations will resume after the state elections,” a
Bihar government official told FE from Motihari.
According to central government sources,
the focus is on a 360-degree approach towards reaching people through the
vast network of Doordarshan and AIR. “Recently, state governments in the
north-east had requested more radio and TV stations. The government is
committed in its efforts and therefore, a large sum of money has been
allocated for the upgradation of DD and AIR infrastructure in the
north-east,” a senior government official said.
According to government sources, the Maoist
propaganda across print, radio and internet in the Naxal-hit districts of
Chhattisgarh and West Bengal has also come under the scanner. “There are
several Maoist blogs, apart from low-frequency radio stations spreading the
Maoist agenda in the tribal areas. Powerful jammers are being deployed and
IT professionals from the private sector are being put into service to
counter the misuse of these media platforms,” a senior media consultant who
advises both government and media firms in these states said on conditions
Thank you for your