Monday, March 13, 2006

$1/Rs.50 Radio Station in Trouble

A BBC story about an FM radio station run by Raghav Mahato in Mansoorpur village in Vaishali district of Bihar received much attention a couple of weeks back. Raghav set this up with transmission equipment that cost him about fifty rupess, and for close to 12 hours each day, informed and entertained villagers in a 20-km radius.

Amarnath Tewary writes for the BBC:

"Good morning! Welcome to Raghav FM Mansoorpur 1! Now listen to your favourite songs," announces anchor and friend Sambhu into a sellotape-plastered microphone surrounded by racks of local music tapes.

For the next 12 hours, Raghav Mahato's outback FM radio station plays films songs and broadcasts public interest messages on HIV and polio, and even snappy local news, including alerts on missing children and the opening of local shops.

Sad news is, this station is now in trouble. Raghav's attempts at broadcasting is illegal under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1933, which stipulates: no person shall possess wireless telegraphy apparatus except under and in accordance with a licence issued under this Act. If BAG Films, a company that has now obtained a licence to operate in Muzaffarpur, decides to report/sue Raghav, "hecould be punished with "imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both" (

Image credits: BBC


  • India needs to rethink the old laws. How would they treate the internet based radio?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/10/2008 11:27 AM  

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