At the beginning of India’s liberalisation, the question a great many economists and columnists (like Tavleen Singh) asked was: should the State be running bakeries instead of looking at the big things in life? The allusion was to Modern Foods, a state-owned company that made bread. Eventually, the company was sold to Hindustan Lever.
A similar question could now be asked: Should the State be in the television business, i.e., should it have its own television channel and should it have its own cable operators to provide cable and satellite TV connections to the electorate to whom it has already provided free television sets using taxpayers’ money?
That’s the question that should be asked in Tamil Nadu where the war between the ruling political family of M. Karunanidhi (and his sons M.K. Stalin and M.K. Azhagiri) and the media family of Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi Maran has now taken on a new hue.
The Marans, whose Sun TV empire fell out of favour with their grand-uncle and cousins after the demise of their father ‘Murasoli‘ Maran, have now offered monthly Direct-to-Home (DTH) services–75 TV channels and 15 radio stations for just Rs 75 a month—to combat the competition posed by the launch of the state-sponsored “Kalaignar TV” (Kalaignar is the nickname of Karunanidhi).
But the “State” is, if nothing else, unrelenting in its drive, desire, determination and dedication to provide opium to the masses.
The state’s chief secretary L.K. Tripathy says the DMK government is also considering the launch of DTH and IPTV. “But now we are content being a Multi-Service Operator (MSO).
Read the full story: Sun TV, Kalaignar TV battle for eye balls