Studying the Lotus position reveals much to beshaken up

Published Jul 21, 2011


BEING the most accessible medium to cater for Indian culture, Lotus fm plays an important role in directing the mind set of the Indian population. Given this mandate, it is only just to showcase the North and South Indian cultures, equally.

If the station fails to research and playlist a song, how will we know of its existence? While it has a capable person to source the latest desirable Bollywood releases, no such person exists for South Indian music. The majority of songs featured on South Indian chart-shows lack appeal. Proof of this is in the low number of Top 20 South Indian songs featured in prime time shows.

The Lotus fm listener has been conditioned to think that there isn't much contemporary Tamil music, yet it exists in abundance. This is apparent when requests are made, only to be told more than 50% of the time, “We don’t have it.” This misconception also extends to movies. Such is the power of radio and within that, lies the power to correct misconceptions.

Attempts to finalise a 50% North Indian, 40% South Indian, 10% English playlist show that management's only conclusion was that Hindvani had won over a chunk of their Hindi listenership. What wasn’t considered is the percentage of South Indians who are either switching stations or to their personal collections. Looking at the graph featured in the POST(15/06/11), Lotus fm enjoyed its highest audience when it came closest to striking a balanced ratio.

Even though informative content is provided, some presenters get caught up in ‘backyard bleating’ whilst others scramble for witty punch lines, ending links in masses of waffle. Absence of originality and creativity is apparent in the usage of mediocre jokes from messenger services, an indication of a script being premature or non-existent, or that the producer is incompetent.

Radio etiquette is often annihilated with unsavoury pronunciation, enunciation, grammar, inflections and diction, dead-air and crashing of song vocals. At times, I wondered if the presenter was even present as songs were linked to be automated, without drop-ins. Technicians who lack fluency are engaged, resulting in remarks like, “The only thing women know how to go round and round in, is “malls!”

Callers are allowed to ramble on. Recently on the Desi Drive, a caller extensively listed and expressed her love for her body parts, totally contradicting the topic. A complaint then followed only to be arrogantly shot down.

The Bieber Blog aka Morning Rush, would rather feed 'Western' 'Teen' entertainment to its '30+' 'Indian' audience while information like the South FilmFare Awards will go unmentioned.

In the 20 hours that I spent listening to Lotus, the week prior to 3 July, there wasn't a single mention of Mala Lutchmanan’s live crossing from the awards. Even quizzes are Bollywood biased.

If the response is that this information is not popular, my response is that, it can only mean you are not doing your job. I wonder how many on air presenters have knowledge of the latest South Indian Cine news? As an Indian entertainment broadcaster, should priority not be given to such information instead of rumours of Justin Bieber knocking-up Selena Gomez?

My question to management is, “Are these on air presenters not conscious or subconscious switch-off factors?”



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