The 60th Republic Day has special connotations for every India, coming after the Mumbai terror attacks and heightened Indo-Pak tensions. Various TV channels are gearing up with special offerings to commemorate the occasion. exchange4media takes a look at what’s on offer on various news channels in the country this Republic Day.
English and Hindi news channels
CNN-IBN and IBN7 began their special programme line-up from January 22, which will be continued till January 26. This includes shows like ‘State of the Nation Poll’, ‘India Rocks’, ‘Republic at Work’, ‘Breakfast with India Special’, ‘Republic Day Quiz’, ‘Zindagi Live – Kargil Heroes Special’ and ‘Zara Yaad Karo Qurbani’.
Speaking about the special programming on Republic Day, Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, IBN Network, said, “As we witness the 59 years of Indian Republic, CNN-IBN is all set to give the discerning viewers an unforgettable family viewing experience. Our wide-range programming on the Republic Day is especially designed for viewers, which will present news and views with a touch of entertainment. We are certain that our viewers will find the special shows refreshing, thinking and forward looking.”
Ashutosh, Managing Editor, IBN7, added, “IBN7 being one of the India’s leading national Hindi news channel, reflects the views and standpoint of contemporary India. We believe in celebrating the past, in pragmatic present and looking ahead at opportunities and challenges of India in the coming years. We feel confident that viewers will appreciate the shows and IBN7 will be successful in truly making this Republic Day a memorable one.”
Likewise, NDTV will have a show called ‘Jai Jawan’, which will be aired on NDTV 24x7 on January 24 at 8 pm, with a repeat on January 26. The same show would also be aired on January 26 on NDTV India at 8 pm and 11 pm, and on NDTV Profit at 1 pm and 7 pm. The show is anchored by MS Dhoni, which sees the Indian cricket captain spending a day with the soldiers of the National Security Guard (NSG), who amply demonstrated their skills and valour during the Mumbai terror attacks. Dhoni also gets a taste first hand of the rigorous training that these elite commandos undergo, while he gives them some special cricketing tips.
Zee News’s Republic Day line-up includes showcasing India as a modern military power in their special morning band on January 26, which will also cover the history of Republic Day, its importance this year, the ceremony at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, the Republic Day parade down Rajpath in Delhi. Zee News’ ‘Zara Sochiye’ show also has some special coverage lined up about how Mumbai changed in the last 60 days (since the November 26, 2008 attacks), plus a prime time programme on stories of bravery and martyrdom.
Star News will also have special shows with the umbrella theme of ‘Shahaadat ko Salaam’ running throughout the day on January 26. There will be a special half-hour special on the martyrs of Mumbai in the afternoon; ‘Jaanbaaz’, a half-hour programme in the afternoon on the kids who are being be honoured for their acts of bravery, and a Republic Day special edition of ‘Saas Bahu aur Sazish’.
UTVi will intersperse its regular shows with special programmes showcasing India as a Republic.
NewsX will run a special show from 8 pm onwards on January 26, titled ‘State of the Republic’. The show will deal with four themes – ‘India’s changing geo-political stature and challenges’, ‘Is 2009 going to be financially tougher for the average Indian?’, ‘Growing regionalism and its impact on the idea of India’, and ‘The aspiration of the nation: Where do we want to go from here?’.
Marathi News Channels
Regional channels, too, have come up with their special line-ups for Republic Day. Among Marathi news channels, Star Majha will air a special programme on patriotic songs by well-know Marathi singers like Awadhoot Gupte and Vaishali Samant, among others. The channel will also have a live call-in programme, ‘Shrutinna Milale Swatantrya’, where viewers shall get answers from an eminent and senior music expert Dr Vidhyadhar Oak. The programme is related to the improvisations in the musical instrument harmonium.
Zee 24 has joined hands with the Thane Janta Sahakari Bank and Dombivali Co-op Bank for a programme titled ‘Desh Maza Me Deshacha’. This programme, to be aired on January 26, will feature Marathi celebrities like Sachin Pilgaonkar and Awdhoot Gupte, along with singer from ‘Saregama Little Champ’ (Zee Marathi’s show in Maharashtra), who perform and sing patriotic songs at a special function in Thane. The programme also commemorates all those bravehearts of Mumbai police, who laid down their lives and fought against the terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The banks will also donate Rs 25 lakh to the families of these martyrs on the occasion.
IBN Lokmat’s special line-up includes ‘State of the Nation Poll’, morning show ‘Salaam Maharashtra’, interviews with a cross-section of people, and factoids on Republic Day. The channel will also cover all major events related to Republic Day celebrations from across the country. The theme for the day is ‘10 things that unite our country’ and ‘Right to Information Act’. There will be interviews, stories and factoids running throughout the day on the themes.
Besides this, there will be a special programme remembering the heroes of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage. IBN Lokmat will also bring to its viewers a line of activities from CNN-IBN’s flagship bi-annual nationwide poll, ‘State of the Nation’, with over 20,000 respondents, from January 24-26.
Commenting on the programme line-up, Nikhil Wagle, Editor, IBN-Lokmat, said, “IBN-Lokmat is celebrating our democracy with a variety of shows. Being truly committed to the cause of the Marathi speaking fraternity, not only in Maharashtra or India, but abroad as well, we want to showcase the strengths of our democracy to our viewers, particularly the youth. We strongly feel our viewers will appreciate our program of Republic Day.”