Govt to ask TV channels, FM stations to mark surgical strikes
Besides an exhibition at India Gate and the UGC’s directive to educational institutions to mark September 29 as Surgical Strike Day, as reported by The Indian Express on Thursday, the Union government also plans to try and rope in private news channels and radio stations to highlight the occasion through their platforms. The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has also requested lyricist Prasoon Joshi to write a special anthem “invoking patriotism in the light of surgical strike commemoration”, according to a note by I&B Secretary Amit Khare. Joshi is chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification, which comes under the I&B Ministry.
“Keeping in view the importance of the occasion”, these are just some of the dozen-plus activities the ministry has proposed to celebrate and advertise the Surgical Strike Day. Khare’s note, on September 12, details the activities to be taken up by the ministry.
The note mentions that the Cabinet had decided in a meeting on September 5 that September 29 “may be celebrated as Surgical Strike Day involving NCC, Ex-Servicemen etc. and appropriate programmes be though of in this regard”.
In a list of 15 proposed activities, Khare mentions that “private news channels may be asked to position the commemoration as part of their programming in news segment, discussion, interface with armed forces in the infotainment model”. The note says the I&B secretary and the principal director-general of Press Information Bureau, the Union government’s chief spokesperson, will “liaise with” the News Broadcasting Standards Authority, a self-regulatory body for TV news.
The I&B secretary, Khare notes, will also liaise with the Association of Radio Operators for India, asking for radio jockeys of private FM channels to “utilise their programming schedule for highlighting the occasion through their interaction on radio”.
The ministry will also use all available social media platforms to publicise the events, and will use a special hashtag on the day.
The I&B Ministry has proposed that the Bureau of Outreach and Communications will select areas in state capitals, including the Gateway of India and cantonments, to conduct events in which it will showcase audio, visual and multimedia content based on the theme of “role of armed forces in the security of the nation”. The content will be decided in consultation with the Defence Ministry.
The note mentions that the National Film Development Corporation will “coordinate with prominent singers like Kailash Kher” to sing the special anthem, which may be “played as a video spot on private channels of both TV and radio”.
Artists, including those from All India Radio, will sing patriotic and contemporary songs and will be shown on LED screens around India Gate. Doordarshan will live-telecast the event and will also mark the occasion with “special discussion, special news bulletins, live interviews etc,” Khare notes.
Doordarshan will play “patriotic films” such as Border, Lakshya and Ghazi Attack. AIR will have special programmes such as “discussions, song segments, interviews with Armed Personnel, engagement with common citizens”.