Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz, the oldest community radio in Bangalore, launched the series, ‘My Vote, My Right’ aimed at championing for the rights of the minorities in the biggest festival of India, the ‘festival of democracy’.
The 17th Lok Sabha elections saw Radio Active turning into a mouthpiece of minority voters rights. Radio Active has always remained as a platform that has welcomed members from a multiplicity of communities, facilitating heterogenous conversations in a medium that continues to enjoy wide and deep acceptance. Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz was one of the 25 radio stations selected from the 16 states of India to partner with the UNESCO Chair on Community Media, University of Hyderabad in collaboration with the Election Commission of India (ECI) to be part of the festival of democracy project. The 12-part radio series titled ‘My Vote My Right’ produced by Radio Active raised voter awareness and became a source of fundamental electoral information.
In preparation for ‘My Vote My Right’, RJ Usha and RJ Manjula from Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz attended a three-day capacity building workshop on Community Radio and Electoral Literacy at the University of Hyderabad from February 22-24, 2019, organised by the UNESCO Chair on Community Media.
Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz chose the ‘Jagalikatte’ format to supplement the interview format of radio programming in the ‘My Vote My Right’ production series. The format was impactful because it used the template of the gathering of women in a rural setting to discuss fundamental ideas and processes involved in the topic of their choice. In relation to the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, this format was especially important because it highlighted the curiosity, understanding, involvement and community-building characteristics of the women voters of the country. The format included lively discussions and music to make the production more accessible for audiences.
The radio station produced ‘Jagalikatte’ styled interviews that incorporated the concept of the idea of democracy. RJ Padma Priya conducted an interview with Dr. Priyanca Mathur and other participants on the idea of democracy. Radio Active has always been credited with giving voice to the minorities. The interview on “Rising Feminisation of Electorate is Promising, But All Genders Need Equitable Representation” shed the light on an underlooked section of society who also have the right to exercise their votes.
Ethical voting ensures a fair election. ‘My Vote My Right: Voters Must Take a ‘No Note’ Pledge to Ensure Ethical Voting’ focused on the ethical issues related to casting votes. Favouritism and bias based on caste and religion will lead to unwise decisions when it comes to electing leaders. ‘My Vote My Right: Look Beyond Caste and Religion, Vote For Better Policies’ interview was a reminder to choose wisely for better policies to see change. An inclusive election is one that makes every section of the society feel they part of the process. The radio station’s stress on airing such kinds of programmes helped in making everyone feel part of the election process. The radio station also aired informative programmes that explained which are the kind of ID proofs that one must carry when they go for casting votes.
My Vote My Right with Sanjeev Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka was an informative as well as entertaining show where RJ Padma Priya and Sanjeev Kumar engaged in delightful conversations.
RJ Usha and RJ Manjula, Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz