February 07, 2007

Cultural apartheid

Bangla is a language of 230 million people. Of which about 140 million people reside in Bangladesh and almost all the rest resides in the state of West Bengal of India. Being a neighboring country the language and the culture are similar between West Bengal and Bangladesh. But sadly the cultural exchanges are diminishing to an alarming extent. This has created some mistrust among the both nations.

Media can play a great role here. Through media nations can assimilate beyond borders. However, in this era of Globalization it is sad to see one nation blocking another nation's media. I have written a couple of years ago that the Bangladeshi TV channels are not getting access in West Bengal where these are very popular. In contrast the Indian TV channels are earning a huge amount from the Bangladeshi cable TV operators selling their content.

Bangladesh has now more than 10 private TV channels and one state channel. The competition has increased the quality of productions. Now worrying news comes from India that the Indian Telecom regulatory authority has made a list of TV channels to be broadcast in India through cable networks barring Bangladeshi TV channels. If any cable operator try to distribute Bangladeshi channels, the Indian authority will take punitive measures.

It is really sad to impose this kind of cultural apartheid by a democratic government. Bangladesh government may in turn block Indian channels. This will only create distance between the two nations.


Post a Comment