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DD to offer two new music channels

Special Correspondent

`Akashvani Sangeet' CDs of M.S., Ariyakudi, Alathur Brothers released



DIVINE MUSIC: Union Information and Broadcasting Minister S. Jaipal Reddy (second from right) releases Akashvani Sangeet CDs of M.S. Subbulakshmi, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar and Alathur Brothers at a function organised by Prasar Bharati in Chennai on Wednesday. Looking on (from left) are K.S. Sarma, CEO, Prasar Bharati; M. Balamuralikrishna, veteran Carnatic musician, and N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu . — Photo: S. Thanthoni

CHENNAI: Doordarshan will soon offer two new music channels — one devoted to Carnatic and the other to Hindustani — on its free-to-air Direct-To-Home platform.

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Culture S. Jaipal Reddy made this announcement after releasing `Akashvani Sangeet' CDs and cassettes of M.S. Subbulakshmi, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar and Alathur Brothers here on Wednesday. He said the programming for Hindustani would be done in Lucknow and for Carnatic in Tiruchi.

Right now DD's DTH platform had space to accommodate 33 channels. Once the expansion plans were completed, the two new channels would be aired with digital quality sound. DD's DTH, he said, was the only such free-to-air service in the world. There was no cost apart from the initial installation expenses. One could receive round-the-clock digital quality music spanning generations.

No archive anywhere was better than that of All India Radio, and the process of converting music into the digital format was complete. Also, AIR had the largest collection of speeches of leaders from pre-independence days to the present.

While making it clear that the Government should be "divorced from interfering in the arts," he said the Government could not remain indifferent to their fate in a democracy. It had to promote all forms of art. It was here that the public broadcasters played a crucial role. AIR now had over 10,000 hours of classical music archives and a huge collection of speeches of leaders spanning more than a century.

Revival of radio on the cards

A huge revival of the radio was on the cards with the Government according sanction for large-scale expansion plans. In the near future, more than 80 cities would have their own AIR stations. A total of 330 stations would come up.

In his presidential address, veteran musician M. Balamuralikrishna, who described the uniqueness of each of the three doyens of Carnatic music, said he was glad that CDs and cassettes of the maestros were being released now.

AIR's dedication

Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu N. Ram said the print media could not hold a candle to the service AIR had done to the classical arts. The use of modern technology to preserve and propagate music, the dedicated work of AIR and good distribution all over the country ensured that the Indian classical arts would never die.

Prasar Bharati CEO K.S. Sarma said that in the last financial year, AIR made Rs. 160 crores. This revenue was earned without compromising its role as a public broadcaster. New Doordarshan studios would be opened in Coimbatore and Madurai on August 15.

AIR Director-General Brijeshwar Singh and Deputy Director-General (South Zone- 1) G. Jayalal were among those who dwelt on the contributions of the three doyens of Carnatic music.

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