Crowds flock to see India’s first TV show | Latest India News


Television arrived in India on Tuesday when President Dr. Rajendra Prasad officially launched from the auditorium of Vigyan Bhavan the first television channel established by All India Radio in New Delhi.

Thousands of men, women and children in Delhi and nearby villages witnessed the inauguration across nearly two dozen sets set up by the government and a commercial enterprise.

In places, the crowds were so dense that facility managers struggled to maintain order. At the Paharganj Social Education Centre, the crowd got out of hand and all the doors had to be closed. Later the police had to be called to stop the crowd from crashing.

Nearly a thousand people attended the program thanks to a stage set up at the community hall on Panchkuian Road. They sat in breathtaking silence, but when the sound mechanism temporarily stopped working, once or twice, they shouted and booed.

Judging by audience reactions, what seemed to have drawn them in was the novelty of the show rather than any particular interest in the program. At least some expressed great disappointment and said they were bored. Some wanted more songs and dances than dialogue. “There’s too much talk and little action,” said a middle-aged office worker, who attended the show with his wife and two children.

But for two scooter-rickshaw drivers, it was more attractive than commercial. They refused the tenants to listen to the program.

In his inaugural address, the President said the launch of the television marked “an important milestone in the progress of broadcasting and telecommunications in India”.

He said: “I remember the excitement it caused when broadcasting was brought to this country. One can well imagine how much more intriguing this new means of mass contact would be for ordinary people in India.

He expressed the hope that television, apart from its cultural value, “will go a long way in broadening popular perspectives and aligning people with scientific thinking.”

Welcoming the President, Dr BV Keskar, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, said the opening of a television station in the country was “a fitting culmination for the overall and continued development of Indian Broadcasting.

Television, as a medium of mass communication, said Dr. Keskar, is decidedly superior and more effective than radio because it is audio-visual.

But the minister warned against the medium becoming undesirable at a later stage. “It would be disastrous to allow it to distort children’s study habits,” he said.

Dr Keskar said that due to currency difficulties, it was only possible to start a television service in the country on a small scale and warned that it could continue to be so for some time to come. . However, he remained hopeful that it would be possible to expand the service further during the third five-year plan.

Mr. JC Mathur, Managing Director of All India Radio, regretted that the people of Old Delhi had been deprived of the opportunity to watch television programs in public as no sets could be installed partly due to technical difficulties and in administrative part.


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