PM Narendra Modi. Photo: PTI
PM Narendra Modi. Photo: PTI

Mann Ki Baat led to mass movements in the time of social media, says PM Modi

This radio programme is not about politics but about people, said Modi on Mann Ki Baat's 50th episode

New Delhi: Completing the 50th episode of monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about his decision to choose radio as a means of communication and outreach to people at a time when many use social media as medium to express themselves.

Emphasizing on the fact that the radio programme has remained apolitical which was a conscious decision when it first started in October 2014, Modi said since he managed to keep the radio programme outside the purview of politics with the help of his listeners who often send suggestions, it succeeded in creating several mass movements in the country.

“When we started Mann Ki Baat, it was a conscious decision there will be no discussion on politics, no mention of government, not even Modi should be discussed during the radio programme. The people have contributed immensely. This radio programme is not about politics but about people," said Modi.

Talking about the involvement of the people in Mann Ki Baat, Modi said campaigns like “selfie with daughters" became a social media revolution which led to greater debate about protection and education of girl child. He also said that when he spoke about “Swachh Bharat" (Clean India) campaign, he had not anticipated that the issue of cleanliness will become a social movement which will be promoted by school children. Modi said youngsters and school children have taken it upon themselves to promote the Clean India mission.

Analysts believe Modi understands the power of radio as a medium to communicate and is also keeping the general public involved through the monthly radio programme.

“Radio is certainly relevant and the medium delivers on two counts—it has a wide reach which reaches remote media-dark regions (villages, small districts and towns) as well as it can be leveraged to influence illiterate underprivileged population which cannot consume television or print. I feel voice is the internet of the poor. Using the audio medium, one can deliver targeted messages which can have deep impact on the listeners," said Sandeep Goyal, media veteran and chairman, Mogae Media, a Mumbai-based marketing and communication agency.

“In my opinion, Prime Minister Modi, an extremely media savvy person, understands the power of radio as a communication vehicle," he said.

Saumya Tewari and Pretika Khanna contributed to this story.

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