RJ jokes bring MPs to grief

New Delhi :  The tolerance threshold of our parliamentarians is indeed low: Now, they have taken umbrage at radio jockeys of private FM channels lampooning MPs.

Raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha, Jaya Bachchan said the ‘‘objectionable” language of the jockeys was not “palatable” and they should not mock the country’s leaders. “The language used by radio jockeys on private channels is extremely objectionable. Now they’ve started giving news of Parliament and they mimic some MPs. I want to know whether the government will do something about it,” Bachchan said.

“I am not against satire but I am objecting to their language… it is not palatable to me,” she explained.

While Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar also lamented the trend, especially the use of double-entendre, and said the media monitoring centre was looking into the matter, Minority Affairs Minister Najma A. Heptulla did not think much of Bachchan’s objection and said people should learn to laugh at themselves.

“Humour cannot be acquired, it is inborn. One should be able to laugh at oneself. It shows that the person is confident,” she said.

Congress leader Manish Tewari agreed with Heptulla: “Those in public life should have a skin thick enough to take a ribbing. If at all the RJs are doing something which entertains their audience, so be it.’’

There was another query in the House on the issue of forced retirement of RJs upon attaining the age of 35 years by All India Radio, Kolkata.

Javadekar said the order had been stayed as soon as the matter came to his notice. Raising the issue, Derek O’Brien (TMC) said he could not understand what “great biological changes” happen after RJs attain the age of 35 years.

Agreeing with him, Javadekar recalled Ameen Sayani whose voice enthralled listeners of All India Radio for decades and said, “It’s nothing to do with age.”

The Minister also said the government was considering allowing private FM channels to broadcast “AIR news clips”.

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