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August 14, 2014

Trinamool raises the issue of forced retirement of Radio Jockeys in Rajya Sabha

Trinamool raises the issue of forced retirement of Radio Jockeys in Rajya Sabha

Trinamool raised the issue of forcedretirement of radio jockeys today during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.Party's Chief Whip Derek O'Brien asked the Union Minister of Information andBroadcasting why some radio jockeys were sent on retirement at the age of 35.

“What great biological changes take placeat the age of 35 that these young boys and girls have been asked to retire?” heasked.

All India Radio (AIR) has terminated theservices of around 100 casual RJs above the age of 35 years at its Kolkatastation. Apart from jockeying, these presenters are also engaged in sounddesigning, script writing and production. Many of them have been with thesechannels right from the beginning of FM.

“It is absolutely irrational toterminate our services just because we have crossed 35. There is no scientificreasoning that says that once a person crosses 35, the voice modulation ceasesto sound good. Moreover, most of us feed our families from our income. About85% of us are women,” said Avantika Ghosh, honorary general secretary, AIRBroadcasters' Welfare Association, Kolkata (AIRBWAK).

“There is a mystique to the voice, and thischarm of radio is tainted by the knowledge of what the presenter looks like orhow old he is. Unless there is tremor in a voice, how can you guess the age?”asks Sunil Varma, a part of the fraternity opposed to the move.

Responding to Mr O'Brien's question, theMinister assured that he will take action in this regard.

Fulltranscript of Derek O'Brien's speech:

Sir, spreading messagethrough FM or on smartphones and other such devices is very good.  The people who actually spread the messageare the Radio Jockeys or the RJs. Is the Minister aware, and if he is, what isthe solution to this, that in some stations across the country young men and womenhave been asked to 'retire' after they reach the age of 35. What greatbiological change takes place that RJs across the country are asked to retire? RJsare the people who take radio message across to millions of people.  What is the reason to retire all these youngboys and girls at 35, as we read in the media in last two weeks?

Thank you Sir.