Pakistan 2nd Biggest Digital Audience Of DD And All India Radio

Pakistan 2nd Biggest Digital Audience Of DD And All India Radio

With India’s neighbour Pakistan featuring in the top digital audience of DD and All India Radio of Prasar Bharati, let us look at some stats revealed by the latter as well as one notable incident regarding India, Balochistan, Pakistan and All India Radio.

Crux of the Matter

Before We Start
Prasar Bharati is the statutory autonomous body functioning as India’s Public Service Broadcaster. It consists of All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD).

100% Digital Growth

  • Digital channels of Prasar Bharati registered more than 100% growth in 2020.
  • Prasar Bharati app (NewsOnAir) added more than 2.5 million users in 2020 as well as received more than 300 million views.
  • Channels across Doordarshan and Akashvani received more than 1 billion digital views.
  • Most popular digital videos included Prime Minister’s interactions with school students, Republic Day parade 2020 and a rare video of mathematician Shakuntala Devi from DD National archives.

Audience From The Neighbourhood

  • Pakistan was the 2nd largest “digital audience” for DD and AIR content after people inside India.
  • The US was the 3rd largest digital audience.
  • One notable incident of AIR also associated with Pakistan and its annexation of Balochistan.

Balochistan In 1947

  • As per the Foreign Policy Centre of the UK, most of Balochistan was known as Kalat before 1947.
  • Remained independent for 7 months after Indian independence and partition in 1947.

Infamous Menon Declaration

  • 27 March 1948: V P Menon, Secretary in Ministry of States, made a statement on All India Radio.
  • Menon claimed that Kalat “was pressing” to join India but the latter rejected it.

2 versions exist:

  • King of Kalat had never discussed joining India and was in touch with both India and Pakistan to prevent invasion from the latter.
  • Kalat wanted independence but asked to join India amidst Pakistani threat, which India rejected.

Damage Done

  • Either way, the damage was done.
  • Sardar Patel immediately denied that any such request was put, and so did PM Nehru.
  • However, it proved a bit too late, as the AIR broadcast was heard by King of Kalat and also reported by Pakistani Government.
  • In less than a week, Pakistani Army annexed Kalat and captured the King.

Balochistan has since been a part of Pakistan. However, both share a strained relationship due to reported violent suppression by the latter continuing even today.

  • The Prasar Bharati Act provides for the establishment of a Broadcasting Corporation, to be known as Prasar Bharati, and define its composition, functions, and powers. The Act received the assent of the President of India on 12 September 1990 after being unanimously passed by Parliament. It was finally implemented in November 1997.
  • Akashvani is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘celestial announcement‘ or ‘voice from the sky/heaven‘. ‘Akashvani’ was first used in the context of radio by M. V. Gopalaswami in 1936 after setting up India’s first private radio station in his residence; Akashvani was later adopted as All India Radio’s on-air name in 1957; given its literal meaning in Sanskrit, it was believed to be a more than a suitable name for a broadcaster.
  • Krishi Darshan debuted on Doordarshan on 26 January 1967 and is Indian television’s longest-running program. In 2015, it was shifted from DD National and airs on DD Kisan, but also airs on the former channel.

From Balochistan to Islamabad – Pakistan’s Internal Turmoil

Protest in Balochistan

Pakistan witnessed protests against army in Balochistan with a simultaneous undermining of the democratic power and security in the country, part of which many attribute to the government’s handling of Covid-19.

Crux of the Matter

Unrest In Balochistan
Protests in Balochistan turned severe as the Pakistan army was forced to abandon its check posts as protesters pelted stones. The actions have come in the light of the murder of a 4 year old child with his mother, done by terrorists allegedly backed by Pakistan army.

History Of Balochistan
Balochistan is situated in the western part of Pakistan. It was under British rule at the same time as India. After independence in 1947, it wanted an independent existence. Eventually, the demand changed to ‘union’ with India. On 27 March 1948, it was announced on India’s All India Radio that Balochistan “was pressing” to join India but “India would have nothing to do with it”. On the same day, the Pakistan army marched to Balochistan and forcefully annexed it.

Karachi Blackout
On 9 June 2020, an alleged blackout was observed in Karachi. The blackout came as a result of the spotting of some jets near the city which was reported on social media as imminent invasion by the Indian Air Force. However, later it was revealed that the jets belonged to the Pakistan Air Force and were merely patrolling.

Army Strengthening – What It Means?
As civilian disapproval of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan increased due to the country’s handling of Covid-19, several experts have claimed that the army is now ruling the country with Imran Khan merely residing on paper. Many defence analysts even say that Gen Qamar Bajwa is the real power behind Imran Khan’s throne.

The claims came out after the appointment of 3 military officers in major government roles in the last 2 months, increasing the tally of army officers in government roles to 12. The claim is further strengthened by the assigning of important projects like the recent China-belt road to senior military leaders.

By appointing an increasing number of current and retired military officials in key positions, the government is ceding what little space civilians had in developing and executing policy in the country.

Uzair Younus, nonresident Senior Fellow, the Atlantic Council
  • Operation Lyari is a Pakistan Government crackdown against local gangs and other crime syndicates and a part of the greater Karachi Operation. Notorious Lyari gang leader, Noor Muhammad alias Baba Ladla was killed in Lyari during a shootout with Pakistani Rangers.
  • The Port of Karachi is one of South Asia’s largest and busiest deep-water seaports, handling about 60% of the nation’s cargo (25 million tons per annum) located in Karachi, Pakistan. The administration of the port is carried out by the Karachi Port Trust, which was established in the nineteenth century.
  • Benazir Bhutto was a Pakistani politician who served as Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996. She was the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim majority nation. Posthumously, she came to be regarded as an icon for women’s rights due to her political success in a male-dominated society.

Baloch Activists Seek India’s Help for Freedom Struggle

Balochistan freedom activists expressed their solidarity with India on independence day. Accusing Pakistan military of human rights violations and genocide, the Balochi activists appealed to India for support and to raise the issue in the UN.


Human rights violations in the Balochistan province of Pakistan have drawn concern in the international community, being described by Human Rights Watch (HRW) as having reached epidemic proportions. The violations have taken place during the ongoing Balochistan conflict between Baloch nationalists, terrorist and the Government of Pakistan over the rule of Balochistan, the largest province by land area of modern-day Pakistan. More Info -Wikipedia

Curated Coverage
  • Hindustan Times – ‘Jai Hind… help free Balochistan from Pakistan’: Baloch activists to India on Independence Day
  • Outlook India – ‘Balochistan Is Bleeding’: On I-Day, Baloch Activists Exhort India To Raise Issue In All Forms
  • Deccan Chronicle – ‘We need India’s support to free Balochistan from Pak,’ say Balochistan activists
  • Opindia News – ‘Jai Hind’, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’: Baloch activists seek India’s support to free Balochistan from Pakistan