When I&B Minister barred Hindi film songs from AIR
AIR didn’t broadcast Hindi film songs from 1952 to 1957
The first I&B Minister of India B.V. Keskar decreed that All India Radio (AIR) wouldn’t air film songs. It happened in 1952 and the excuse given for this draconian law was degeneration of film songs due to westernization.
Meet B.V. Keskar
Balakrishna Vishwanath Keskar was born in 1903 in Pune. A staunch Brahmin and a classical musical purist, B.V. Keskarwas trained in Indian classical music by Hari Narayan Mukherji of Banaras. He completed his early education from Kashi Vidyapith and received D. Litt from Sorbonne. Before joining politics, he worked as a lecturer at Sanskrit Vidyapith, Banaras. Also, he’s the largest serving Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting in independent India. He served I&B Ministry from 1952 to 1962.
What was the impact of the law?
B.V. Keskar wanted AIR to work for the cultural growth of a young nation. He further argued that classical music is on the verge of extinction due to decreased appreciation for the traditional music. He objected to the film industry using erotic words and western themes for making songs.
AIR started screening of the songs according to I&B Ministry order and followed a quota of 10% of all program time. B.V. Keskar also discontinued the practice of announcing the title of films with their songs for he considered it marketing. Only singer’s name was allowed with a song.
B.V. Keskar also banned cricket commentaries and harmonium in the AIR. The entire film community was up in arms against the law but it remained in force until 1957 when the government unanimously decided to lift the ban.