By the Way

Slot bidding racket

Dalit-bashing-in-Prasar-BharatiPrasar Bharati is surprisingly gung-ho about the scheme of rehabilitating private producers who were dropped for not meeting financial parameters and whose litigation resulted in un-estimated loss to exchequer. It was a cartel of Mumbai based producers who made serials in 1990s for DD Metro and DD National who failed to pay their dues. The elongated litigation resulted in nothing and Prasar Bharati succumbed to the diktats of the syndicate of producers, advertisers and some insiders. It was well known in media circles that the inclusion of these blacklisted producers was plotted to buttress their dwindling fortunes. It began at the policy drafting stage itself, where the CEO, Prasar Bharati, allegedly tried influencing the Acting DG, Doordarshan, to incorporate a line in policy document favouring erring applicants for slot bidding. The doughty officer stood his ground on propriety and principles. The result became obvious when Ms. Aparna Vaish was shifted to All India Radio. It was sad that the CEO who often asserted himself as the ‘only-brain around’ seemed unaware of implications of the forced clause ‘can be considered’ that gave enormous leverage to those who did not qualify but could yet be adjusted. Ms Aparna Vaish, then the Acting DG Doordarshan, who did not want to go beyond Eligible and Not Eligible clauses thought it wise to deny any such manipulation. How else could cash-rich Balaji Television (Ekta Kapoor and her father Jeetendra), Numero Uno (Sanjay Khan), Cinevista (Sunil Mehta), Creative Eye (Dheeraj Kumar) among others be given a reprieve at the cost of the public exchequer.

VOL. 10, ISSUE 4 | JULY, 2016

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