After about a half-century of starting half-and-hour programme on agriculture—Krishi Darshan—Doordar-shan is gearing up for an exclusive channel, DD Krishi, for agriculture. It is basically the dream project of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. In the present Budgt Rs 100 crore have already been announced for it.
The question is why Modi wants a channel for farmers? The answer can be traced from his speech that he delivered before a gathering of the agricultural scientist at 86th ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) Foundation Day in Delhi.
In that speech he exhorted the scientists to work towards a two-fold objective of enabling the Indian farmers to feed the nation as well as the world and farming should be profitable enough. Emphasising on this point, the Prime Minister clearly said if the farmers feed the world and their pockets remain empty, we cannot achieve the objectives that we have visualised for the nation. This message is equally important for the official broadcaster, Doordar-shan, too.
It is a well-known fact that if we want to build Bharat as a strong nation it is necessary to strengthen the farmers and villages. On this issue, Modi’s vision is very clear. That is why he took the initiative to start a much needed Kisan Channel.
To achieve this goal it is necessary for Doordarshan that the Kisan Channel should not become another channel in the kitty of Doordarshan or another channel in the crowd of hundreds of channels already operating in India for different purposes. It is more important for Kisan Channel that its presence is recognised worldwide as the Discovery Channel enjoys. To fulfil this aspiration, Doordar-shan has to evolve a new work culture and come out with new ideas, so that it can attract a wide spectrum of viewers across the boundaries. Some points which can be useful for this purpose are as follows:
Kisan Channel should work as a mission to enhance productivity, production and farmers’ income in such a way that a villager can become self-reliant and regain his/her self-confidence that he/she had lost for many reasons. It is not improper
to mention here that Green Revolution was the result of farmer’s confidence. But contrarily to it, several incidents of farmer’s suicides across the country were the result of their depression and loss of confidence.
If we want to strengthen the villagers and the nation as a whole, it is necessary that farmers regain their self-confidence.
In last, but not the least it is appropriate time for Doordar-shan to reduce its distance from the viewers and come closer to the farmers in particular and the villagers in general.
-Dr Ravindra Agrawal (The writer is a senior journalist)