Frustrated with the alleged apathy of FM radio stations in promoting local language and culture, the Karnataka Audio and Video Owners’ Association (KAVOA) on Wednesday warned of an agitation to pressure them into broadcasting Kannada songs.

Setting a month’s deadline to the radio stations, it said failure to comply would lead to a massive agitation with the active participation of pro-Kannada organisations, writers, film personalities and all wings of the music industry.

No Kannada songs

Addressing presspersons, KAVOA president Lahari Velu said despite repeated reminders, radio stations were not prepared to broadcast Kannada songs, a gross violation of Clause 11.5 of Grant Permission Agreement of the Prasar Bharathi (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act.

Under the clause, “permission holder shall generally guided by the objective of generating local and variegated or heterogeneous content and make available quality programmes with a localised flavour in terms of content and relevant”, he pointed out.

Naming two FM stations, A. Mohan of Anand Audio alleged they broadcast only English programmes, totally ignoring the local language.

Detailing plight of audio music firms in the State, Bharat Jain of Jhankar Recordings said of the 30 FM stations in the State, a majority were apathetic to local language and culture.

Over 750 film songs were being recorded every year in the State and over 2 lakh songs are available, but the radio stations were not prepared to broadcast them. “When we approached station heads, the response was cold,” Mr. Jain said. “But the situation is not same in the neighbouring States where radio stations give priority to local language and culture.”

Noting that audio companies were fighting for their rights from radio stations, Mr. Velu alleged they were being paid a pittance as royalty.

“We have been paying huge sums to Kannada film producers to buy the rights. FM radio stations play Kannada film songs by collecting promotion fee and earn lot of revenue through advertisement, but they pay only 2 per cent of the net revenue,” said Mr. Mohan.

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