RadioandMusic
| 29 Nov 2021
Radio Mirchi lets music take a back-seat for Arvind Kejriwal

MUMBAI: On Wednesday morning, 3rd December, Radio Mirchi will sound like a talk radio when RJ Rohit hosts ‘Mirchi Dialogue' with Arvind Kejriwal. Rohit will recharge his listeners with issues relevant to Delhi, from 7 am to 11 pm.

The initiative ‘Mirchi Dialogue' is inspired by ‘Delhi Dialogue', informed Radio Mirchi AVP and cluster programming head Akash Banerjee. "Everyone started claiming that the initiative is like ‘Mann Ki Baat' by Narendra Modi, but in reality it is different," he said. The show ‘Mann Ki Baat', is aired primarily on All India Radio and other private FM radio stations, and is a one-way conversation with the Indian Prime Minister. However, Radio Mirchi states that ‘Mirchi Dialogue' is a dialogue where listeners mail queries to the radio station and the station will ask Kejriwal selected questions. He will have to reply to the questions while on Radio Mirchi, making it more of a discussion rather than a one way conversation.

Banerjee further stressed it was necessary to have a program like ‘Mirchi Dialogue' which would require listeners to understand the city more in-depth before they went out to vote. "We always asked our listeners to vote but we never thought about discussing the issues Delhi is facing. That is when we saw that Kejriwal has already initiated a discussion called the ‘Delhi Dialogue'." For this initiative, Kejriwal will travel across Delhi trying to understand the topics concerning the city, which will be included in his manifesto.

From question about educational issues, electricity problem, water shortage, corruption, traffic and anything that concerns the city, to reasons why Kejriwal quit the office in 49 days, a number of topics will be discussed on the show. The ‘Muffler Man' campaign on social media, will also be given importance during the discussion. Former news television anchor Banerjee said, "Kejriwal will have to present a solution to the problem that exists in the city."

Banerjee has maintained that Radio Mirchi is a medium for people to communicate, and it is simply trying to achieve that rather than support the views of any political party. "If there were any Chief Ministerial candidate for BJP or Congress, we would have asked them as well. ‘Mirchi Dialogue' is open to any political party as long as the person is prominent, and anyone who can answer questions related to Delhi is welcomed," Banerjee stated in a conversation with Radioandmusic.com.

To ensure the show goes smoothly, Radio Mirchi's programming team has decided to reduce the music element during the show, or play music that would suit Radio Mirchi and Kejriwal's taste of music. Explaining the critical step of decreasing the music on radio, he added, "This is a novel concept for Radio Mirchi." The station has also received personal comments directed towards the AAP leader and his decision to dissolve the government.

During the last election, more than six stations in Delhi played AAP's message as part of the paid advertisement. But this time around, the AAP leader has crossed over to the editorial/ programming section in radio. It is reported that AAP ran an entire radio ad campaign for about two months and that the party had a provision for Rs. 1-1.5 crore for radio ads. The radio campaign by the party helped radio stations as well.

Kejriwal played a crucial role in building up the reputation of radio amongst political parties. "Radio had been away from politics which is such an important conversation in Delhi. Then there came Kejriwal who used the innovative tool, which has not been used before, to actively get his message across the local population and especially to people who already have access to television." Banerjee strongly believes that "Kejriwal forced other parties to follow him on radio."

Banerjee, who is the author of the book ‘Tales from Shining and Sinking India', concluded saying that whether you love him or hate him, you cannot ignore him; that is what Kejriwal's role is in politics.

The radio show will be broadcast on Wednesday, 3rd December, and repeated on Saturday, 6th December only for Delhi audiences.