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All India Radio Guwahati in a soup over poem
Published on 28 Nov. 2009 10:55 PM IST
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The All India Radio obviously cannot have problems in mentioning names of political leaders and even leaders of outlawed underground groups. But when these names figure in poems recited in a women’s program, and that too with the poet accusing a minister of murder and asking for death penalty to another, Akashvani is definitely inviting trouble. According to a report in Sinlung, it happened with Akashvani Guwahati when “Aidewr Buloni” - a popular women’s slot aired on Sunday afternoons - broadcast poems containing names of several politicians and even ULFA leader Paresh Barua on November 15. One of the poems recited in the program allegedly refered to state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma as “a killer of children”, while a reference was allegedly made about hanging former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta. The poem apparently addressed to the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) also contained the name of Paresh Barua, commander-in-chief of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA). The poems were composed by one Dimple Bora. The news about these poems, carried by a couple of local newspapers here, meanwhile, has evoked sharp reactions from both former chief minister Mahanta as well as Sarma. “This has exposed the irresponsible behavior of Akashvani officials,” said Mahanta, adding that he would take up the matter with Information & Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni. Meanwhile, Dinsh Das, station director, Akashvani Guwahati, on Friday apologized for the “inadvertent” mistake and expressed regret. “If the contents of the said poem had hurt the sentiments of some individuals, then we humbly accept it as our fault. There was no intention whatsoever of lowering the image of any individual by broadcasting this poem. In fact, we consider it as beyond the laid-down policies of Akashvani,” Das said in a statement. Meanwhile, the authorities have kept the script and tapes of the program under lock and key. A departmental inquiry is expected to be instituted in a few days.

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