“You are requested to provide recordings of all programmes broadcast on daily basis from the date of receipt of this letter along with the logbook and the Q sheet. Please provide the recordings in MP3 format.”
Signed, India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry (MIB) on April 30, 2015.
“There is a need to be vigilant about the possibility of misuse of CRS by anti-social elements,” an IMB Secretary declared some months before this went out.
Oh what fun. Speaking personally, it seems to me that if India Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government wants to snoop on community radio outlets, why not do it USA National Security Agency style? Hire a bunch of operatives to set up a remote recording system and log and monitor the content themselves. First, this will guarantee that the job will get done (I’m guessing that some of these stations don’t even have web sites, let alone the gear to digitize their content 24/7). Second, it will provide more employment for Indian civil servants.
To be fair, after the MP3 memo was published, somebody at MIB said it was released without his knowledge and wasn’t about censorship. But now, in addition to the MP3 files, community radio stations must apply for security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs. This involves filling out a form that lists all governing board members, plus their names of their parents (warning: your mom may be an anti-social element).
On top of that, apparently India’s state government of Odisha has set up a whole “monitoring committee” for community radio consisting of police, representatives from All India Radio, and personnel from Doordarshan, India’s public television system.
All India community radio stations whose licenses will expire by March 31st have to get that mom and dad intel to the MIB by December 31.
Just one dollar a month makes you a patron of Radio Survivor. Help us through our Patreon Campaign!