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India on community radio: we are getting no complaints (so far)

Radio Rights WatchGood news (or at least sort of) on the India community radio front. That country’s Rajya Sabha (Council of States) recently received some kind of report-back from India’s Minster of State for Information and Broadcasting. According to India’s Business Standard, the Minister said that “so far” his office has received no formal complaints about the “misuse” of Community Radio stations. Mr. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore reported 188 such stations as active around the nation.

“However, a few instances came to the notice of this ministry of violation of All India Radio Code, which are being examined,” Rathore added.

The question is who asked for a return on possible “misuse,” and what would the Council of States define as misuse, and why were they asking in the first place? I raise these concerns because of late the government has ordered India’s community stations to send their broadcasts to them as MP3 files and fill out security clearance forms with the Ministry of Home affairs.

Evidently mistrust of the India community radio project runs high at this moment (at least in high administrative circles). In happier news, Doko Radio has released this charming YouTube of its broadcast of a Mayur Dance from the Tharu Community in Nepal.

Doko Radio (literally “suitcase radio”) gets its support from the Antennae Foundation Network, and journeys around Nepal putting people on the airwaves. The Tharus live in the southern foothills of the Himalayas, both in Nepal and India. Both countries recognize them as an official nationality.


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