DD looking for distributors abroad

NEW DELHI: Ethnic media is an important and credible medium for communication between India and its diaspora on one hand, and the Indian public and foreign communities on the other.

Delivering the keynote address yesterday at a symposium on "Entertainment, Ethnic Media and Diasporic Identity" held as a part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj suggested an interaction and exchange of ideas between the leaders of the Indian Ethnic Media, both print and electronic, and their counterparts and opinion makers in India.

Stating that each entertainment and media icon of the Indian diaspora remains 'our unofficial ambassador abroad', she called upon the ethnic media to convey the correct and true image of the developments taking place in India to reflect the diversity in religion, language and opinions.

Inviting the NRIs (non- resident Indians) to invest in joint ventures in India, Swaraj related some very important policy initiatives taken by the Government, including the granting of industry status to the entertainment sector, opening the print media for the FDI, privatization of FM Radio, community radio, opening of KU Band, DTH and the liberalized Uplinking policy. She said that Prasar Bharati is further strengthening the DD India Channel so that the best of Doordarshan can be shown to the Indian diaspora. DD is looking for distributors abroad.

"A very important role is played by Indian diaspora in nurturing the Indian entertainment and media globally and in growth and value creation process. We must join hands and bring out more interesting and better products, which not only find markets among the 20 million strong NRIs but are also designed to capture the imagination of other communities," she said.

She asserted that apart from reminding the NRIs (non-resident Indians), especially the younger generations, about the strong and vibrant Indian cultural identity, this media articulates a viewpoint without a foreign bias of the foreign mainstream media.

She saluted these leaders and assured them of conducive policies to facilitate their endeavours. She recounted the recent waves created by films like Devdas, Lagaan, Jamila, Amaar Bhuwan, A Dog's Day, Monsoon Wedding, Warriors, Bend It Like Beckham and Hollywood Bollywood and said that the entire spectrum of the entertainment sector has created an awareness as never before, about India all over the world.

The exports of the entertainment industry from India, which in 1998 was $ 40 million, have crossed $ 180 million in 2001. This entertainment and media explosion has brought India closer to our diaspora and the geographical division between Indians in India and abroad is blurring if not disappearing altogether, the minister said.

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