Sunday, December 25, 2011

Indian minister opposes allowing Bangladeshi TV channels

Despite repeated blank promises by Indian authorities, including the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, government of India has no intension in real of allowing Bangladeshi television channels to enter the national cable network in that country. Two weeks back, when the issue of allowing Bangladeshi TV channels into Indian cable network was raised in the Parliamentary Committee, the proposal was outright rejected as most of the members of the Parliamentary Committee opined that, "Bangladeshi TV channels contain anti-India content and it also contains provocative materials, which would disrupt the internal security of India".

Minister in charge of Ministry of Information and Broadcast, Ambika Soni vehemently opposed the proposal of allowing Bangladeshi television channels within Indian cable network saying, "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a large number of policymakers from Indian National Congress are against the idea of allowing Bangladeshi television channels within Indian cable network."

When the Indian minister for Information and Broadcasts Ambika Soni was reminded that, Dr. Manmohan Singh made personal commitment of allowing of allowing Bangladeshi TV channels in India as well Bangladeshi foreign minister Dr. Dipu Moni told reporters after her Indian trip that authorities in New Delhi have specifically committed to allow Bangladeshi television channels in India, the minister said, "no such commitment was ever made."

It may be mentioned here that, during the recent past Bangladesh tour of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, it was repeatedly said that Bangladeshi private television channels will be allowed within Indian cable network "soon". But, similar as most of blank promises made by India, this commitment of allowing Bangladeshi TV channels have also become visibly false.

Bangladesh allows most of the Indian television channels including some of regional channels within cable network in the country. Indian pay channels earn millions of dollars every month from Bangladesh and some of the Indian TV channels are even selling "time chunk" to Bangladeshi program producers on a regular basis. Recently Zee TV has also started selling Bangla Program Chunk to local program makers.

Commenting on government's failure in even getting Bangladeshi TV channels allowed in India, a source within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, seeking anonymity told Weekly Blitz, "Dr. Dipu Moni is not working to protect interest of Bangladesh. Her behavior and activities are like a petty Indian deputy minister if not a second ranking officer of the Indian foreign ministry.

"The current government has already allowed import of Indian films, which is a clear attempt of killing the Bangladeshi film industry. It is trying to do anything to ultimately transform Bangladesh into a mere province of India.

"Owners of Bangladeshi TV channels as well as program producers, directors and actors need to raise strong voice on the issue of allowing Bangladeshi TV channels in India, or they should force the government is shutting down all the Indian channels from Bangladeshi cable network."

The foreign ministry source said, "Because of bankrupt diplomacy of Dr. Dipu Moni, we have already given almost everything to India, as per their desire, while in return, we got nothing."

It may be mentioned here that, Bangladeshi drama, Bangladeshi folk music etc have huge public demand amongst Bangla speaking population in India. It is anticipated that the owners of Bangla TV channels in India as well as program producers and actors are continuing to oppose allowing Bangladeshi TV channels within their cable network. Some of the popular Bangladeshi television channels are: Channel i, ATN Bangla, NTV, EKushey TV, Diganta TV, Desh TV, RTV, Bangla Vision, Boishakhi TV, ATN News, Somoy TV, Mohona TV, Bijoy TV and Channel 9 while a large number of television channels such as Ekattur, GTV, SATV etc are expected to commence broadcast soon.