Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation

Mann Ki Baat – an Extraordinary Outreach and Bridge: a perspective from a listener

By Tanmoy Chakraborty

Mann ki Baat – An Extraordinary Reach

History repeats and at times it acts as a nexus between the past and the future. It never fades –at times it freezes only to melt at a later time. The radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’, as started by our Prime Minister is an event which, if determinedly continued will help to acknowledge the centrality of our culture and thus help us to draw the circumference accurately. ‘Mann ki Baat’ can perhaps turn the thoughts of losing traditional culture in digital modernity of 21st century. It can transform from an anecdote to a movement of national communication. It is symbolism meeting substance.

‘Mann Ki Baat’ can have the great power to unify India’s vast multitude faced with from common challenges and with the PM acting as a counsellor it can prove to be a direct moral boost to the middle class Indian.

The Reach and the Platform

Being one among the millions of Management Graduates and having read a vast array of Corporate Governance Cases, I feel nothing can act as a better example as our Prime Minister’s innovative steps. He is the Prime Minister and the Tea Seller, a Manager and a Servant, a Technocrat and a Theorist – he is modernity wrapped in tradition.  At the same time, he seems to be the First Servant and the CEO of the Nation. His governance has modified the structure of Politicians and Administrators, or probably has melted them both in the same pan!

In the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme, there could not have been a better application of Hambrick and Fredrickson five element framework – Arena, Vehicles, Differentiator, Staging and Economic Logic all seems perfect in the programme. Imagine a scene, where a helpless mother in an agricultural village in Punjab seeks to rehab its drug addict son or a father who is concerned with her daughter’s board exam, these generic issues addressed by PM will definitely empower and embolden every household to take on the issue.  It empowers them directly with motivation and administrative capabilities that the Government offers.

Mann Ki Baat is a discourse between reasons and rights. It creates an idea of social inclusiveness and nothing would have as deep a penetration as Aakash Vani – All India Radio.

THE History & Revival of Aakash Vani

As a child of the 80’s, Aakash Vani always holds a special corner. From cricket commentary to latest songs people used to wait for programmes to start. In those days Radio and Aakash Vani was like I-Pad and 3G. Those days a radio was a prized possession and a perfect way to spend time. Aakash Vani used to unite the family. It was like an elixir of mass media, a form to provide a sense of discovery and belongingness.  It was a constructive combination of concern and emotion and today, in the digital era where internet has become a household item, Prime Minister’s address via Aakash Vani is truly emphatic. With a reach to about 99% of the country’s population, this programme through Aakash Vani creates a direct connect of the Centre with every corner of the country. Under PM Modi All India Radio is proving to be an affable tool in disseminating fundamental social messages and articulating the challenges and infinite possibilites through communication.

New Revival and Possibilities

PM’s Mann Ki Baat has infused new energy in the AIR which had, over the years been neglected and had lost a considerable part of its share in the communication medium. Ever since PM’s dynamic usage of the medium Aakash Vani has seen rising consumer figures and has been reaping profits. The fact that 137 million people hear the programme and with advertisement rates for 10 seconds having risen to as high as 2 lakhs from the general rate of Rs 1500 demonstrates the popularity of the programme. It has already created a bridge to the citizen. Also by the PM taking up important social issues faced by every house hold of the country, Mann ki Baat has become a powerful tool. It is a direct connect from Sansad to Sadak. PM Modi’s attempt to revive Aakash Vani is opening a discourse from the past to connect the future.

As languages enjoy immortality only because of the elegance with which the speaker enhances the quality – PM Narendra Modi, with his ardent speaking quality throws extra weight in it. Further, I feel this programme should be cast with the native language of each state to encompass a wider platform. It will then act as a voice of Unity and a voice that connects the diversified nation with similar hope.

Aakash Vani is like Swadesi Seva. Through the power of his language, thought and conviction PM is contributing immensely towards weaving and strengthening the social fabric of this great nation.

(The author is an executive with a steel company and takes keen interest in national interest causes, governance and political issues.)