June 16, 2008

Why Punjabi language media lags behind?


You must have been wondering why donn't you have a successful punjabi language channel or radio ? Marketing logic would suggest that it would make a good business sense to create a great paper, radio, tv or digital channel in punjab. Punjabi community has the buying power to attract advertising dollars.

Punjabis have the right kind of attitude towards spending & living that would be of great attraction to the investors. Then whats wrong, why donnt we have a successful media business in punjabi language? One unteneable logic generally propogated by the so called specialists is the proximity or likeness of punjabi with hindi language.....then why bhojpuri, marathi, gujrati is thriving within the hindi belt? Certainly most of those dialects do not have a market consumption profile completely suited for attracting advertising dollars. We hardly have two punjabi newpapers ajit and jagbani, others like desh sewak, punjabi tribune, spokesman, chardikala etc have hardly have significant base to talk about. All papers are morning dailies. It is generally said that punjabis have no reading culture..but what about listening and viewing culture?

Punjabi media suffers from lack of differentiation. Donnt you agree that punjabis have significantly diffrent culture and lifestyle? Why donnt the media reflect it? Punjabi media must recognise the punjabi ethos and touch the punjabi soul..the success may not be far.

A punjabi tv channel can get eye balls with classic love stories of heer-ranjha, sassi-punnu, serialisation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's story, bring the sofi poets alive on small screen, develop kamagatamaru to current escapes of punjabis to lands that offer better life etc. There is enough content to sustain a build and market a great punjabi channel. All we need is a determined investor who is in love with punjabi language and takes genuine pride in punjabi ethos.

Let us hope some educated punjabi business person may see the logic of serving the cause of punjabi culture and backs a media project to promote it. If Punjabis change thier habits and become more like gujratis who would buy new fancy cars on shoe string budgets? When punjabi culture gets diluted marketeers would have to search for a new early adaptors segment and the businesses would have longer break even period. Do you wish it to happen in next 5-10 years?

Punjab based political party Akali Dal definitely requires to promote punjabi language to maintain its grip over its supporters. Otherwise the party may face extinction in near future. Young leaders like Sukhbir Sing Badal would surely like to keep his flock together with promoting punjabi language so as to maintain their diffrentiation with BJP and Congress. And on the other hand Congress, or bjp in punjab could do well to capture the imagination of punjabis and portray themselves as promoters of punjabi culture and strengthen their political grip in the punjab region. Is someone listening!

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