Mann Ki Baat: Behind the radio programme – scripting, translating, and weary nights

Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the crew of All India Radio at the conclusion of the 100th episode of Mann Ki Baat on Sunday morning, stating that they “record this entire programme with great patience.”

While the Prime Minister was in Karnataka speaking at election-related rallies, the prerecorded message was broadcast to listeners across the nation at 11 a.m.

On Sunday, residents of Bareja village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad witness a live broadcast of the 100th episode of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s’Mann Ki Baat’address.

In actuality, the programme is typically recorded on the last Friday of each month, and it is transmitted on the AIR and Doordarshan networks at the designated time two days later.

“This also gives them time to ensure that the entire recording is error-free and can be translated for simultaneous broadcast,” an AIR official who has worked on the show for years told The Deccan Era.

Live broadcast of the 100th episode of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s’Mann Ki Baat’ address.

A small crew from AIR, consisting of seven individuals including technical support, programming officers, and programming heads, visits the studio built inside the Prime Minister’s residence on Fridays at a predetermined time, according to an official source.

On Saturday, the government released a video demonstrating how the Prime Minister records his radio programme. Before entering the recording studio, the Prime Minister is seen interacting with a group of technicians in the video. He subsequently addresses the nation without a script.

“The Prime Minister enters with a compact diary containing a few bullet points. “He speaks spontaneously and fluently, without hesitation or pauses,” the source said.

According to the source, the Prime Minister’s Office determines the content of the address, and AIR has no direct participation. By the 20th of every month, they compile listener feedback on the previous episode and submit it to the “Mann Ki Baat Cell” at the PMO.

Oftentimes, radio listeners also write to the PM about what subjects and topics they want him to discuss in forthcoming episodes; this information is also passed on weekly, according to the source.

Before concluding the Sunday morning show, the Prime Minister thanked the AIR team as well as the translators who translate Mann Ki Baat episodes into various regional languages in a very limited amount of time. As soon as the address concludes, it is transmitted in respective regional languages on AIR and DD channels.

In Mumbai, Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais met with Madhuri Dixit, Shahid Kapoor, and others. (PTI)

Previously, it would air on regional DD channels at 8 p.m. on Sundays, but after the first few years of Mann Ki Baat, it became apparent that they were losing regional listeners of AIR and viewers of DD, particularly those in southern India who do not understand Hindi. “Therefore, word arrived to air the regional telecast once the main Hindi telecast concluded at 11:30 a.m.,” a source said.

In actuality, the true race against time for the AIR team begins once the recording session with the PM concludes. “The footage is divided for transcription and scripting, which typically takes a great deal of time, typically lasting until 2.30 or 3 a.m.,” the source explained.

BJP president J P Nadda in Honnali, Karnataka. (PTI)

The script is then compiled, proofread for errors, checked for omissions and duplications, and forwarded to regional translation centres.

The final script is also sent to Doordarshan on Saturday morning so that visuals, such as those of changemakers mentioned by the prime minister, can be broadcast alongside the programme.

In parallel, the final recording is returned to the PMO for approval. If adjustments are necessary, they are made at this juncture. Several times, the Prime Minister was asked to repeat a sentence or two for greater clarity, and he was glad to comply.

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