I may have a decent English vocabulary but I don’t listen to English radio stations. I listen to Tamil radio stations – THR Raaga and Minnal FM. Lately, I’m discovering a disturbing trend in both radio stations, with the weight leaning heavily on THR Raaga. It is something that young Malaysian Indian listeners are completely unaware of.
Besides the pardonable surplus of ads, repeated songs, censored lyrics and Deejays’ irritating yak, THR Raaga glorifies the heroism of Tamil movies actors like Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan, Vijay, Ajith, etc, making them Malaysian Indian matinee idols. The deejays celebrate the birthdays of the aforementioned celebrities, air songs of the movies they acted the whole day and have listeners calling them up to wish the likes of Rajini happy birthday.
Naatuku rombe mukkiyam, THR Raaga
YB Karpal Singh passed away on 17th April 2014 in a horrifying accident and it was only on news on both THR Raaga and Minnal FM. THAT WAS IT. Karpal Singh is a Malaysian icon in his own right and he is a towering Malaysian with an illustrious career as both lawyer and politician. The man has contributed so much to this country and there was not even a mention about him or his legacy in both radio stations! Sure, Rajinikanth contributed more to Malaysia than Karpal Singh.
One can argue that THR Raaga serves as solely as an entertainment media. I can accept that but not for Minnal FM. The latter is directly proportioned to infotainment. When MH370 went missing and later was declared that her journey ended at the Indian ocean, Minnal FM mourned for a day only. It got into its cheerful self later. THR Raaga mourned for a week – airing sad songs and doing all kinds of mawkish stunts , rubbing the tragedy in. That was not entertaining – it was sickening. And, this snub of Karpal Singh is sickening as well. Radio stations should be socially responsible and informative besides entertaining.
Ten years back, Rajini’s birthday was never an issue in both radio stations – this is a recent phenomenon which is disturbing to say the least. Misplaced priorities and impressionable young Indians who listen to THR Raaga fall for it so easily. This fad is now chronic – fans of Vijay fight with fans of Surya for instance on who is greater.
While it’s understandable that mainstream media is controlled by the government, hence DAP veteran Karpal not being eulogized, both THR Raaga and Minnal FM overlook the birthday of the Tamil iconoclast Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathiyar which falls one day before Rajini’s birthday. Now, for the Indian fraternity, Barathiyar is in the league of Leonardo Da Vincci.
Gone were the days when Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathiyar’s poems or songs were recited and his ahead of time ideas of women’s rights, women equality and basic human rights were recounted. That only happens in Tamil schools now. What about those Malaysian Indians who go to national schools? Pretty soon it will be Bharathiyar yaaru? Aayiram Periyar vantha kude unggaleh thiruthe mudiyathu. Periyar yaaru nu teriyuma? Teriyatha? Then, isn’t it the responsibility of Tamil radio stations here to promulgate those great souls who played vital roles in uplifting Indians and keep their ideals fresh and relevant? There is no need to delve deep; just succint descriptions of their contributions would suffice.
THR Raaga, you need to reshuffle your programs
I know that its all about rating and viewership in the media nowadays. I do know what is expected and what is not in media and advertising industry. Rajini is undeniably a great personality and human being. He is the epitome of modesty. He is humble and down to earth, a very austere man, grateful to those who have helped him in his early stages of life and charitable. He had worked hard to be where he is now with grit and determination generously incorporated and applied.
It would be great if the disc jockeys expound the literal biography of Rajini – the disclosing of his rags to riches story. But THR Raaga enna pannethu? Hire a mimicry artist who then apes Rajini on the conductor turned actor’s birthday and have him thanking his fans for all the wishes and professing all the punch dialogues Rajini says in his movies. Now, come on THR Raaga..
What kind of message is being sent by these two local Tamil radio stations, specifically to THR Raaga‘s listeners, especially youngsters? The decay had set in – already our youngsters are fighting over who is mass, Ilayathalabathy or Thala. If a person says, “Vijay ode padam yellam orey kathey than, with different titles,” that’s it, sande than. “Nee epdi Vijay pathi apdi sollalam, you son of a b****????!!!” We are trying to emulate India here. Ithu nallathukku illeh and THR Raaga is playing a major role in propagating this hero idolizing in Malaysia.
THR Raaga, instead of censoring song lyrics like ‘ganja vecche kannu’, ‘sex’, ‘thooku’, ‘rum il oore podu’, ‘trouser avurum’, ‘quarter’, ‘beer’ and whatnot, stop celebrating the birthdays of actors from Kollywood and adulating them. That is the last thing our community needs. As though young Indians here are all pache pulleh – words like ganja, quarter, beer, sex lam keata kettu poyiruvangge. THR Raaga is trying to be socially responsible in all the wrong and superficial ways; it’s priorities are all messed up. Unless THR Raaga changes for the better, ithu yengge poyi mudiyapotho teriyileh..