RADIO VERITAS ASIA (RVA)
The Hindi Service of Radio Veritas Asia known as Satyaswar, which means the voice of truth, has earned an important place among the International Radio Broadcasts. Over the last 24 years, it has become an important name in the list of the international radio broadcasting stations that makes a difference in the lives of thousands of listeners. The India central province of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) has taken the responsibility to cooperate with RVA in preparing the programs. The “Satyaswar” programs are prepared under the leadership of Most Rev. Chacko Thottumarickal SVD in Satprakashan Sanchar Kendra, Indore and the Jesuits’ Communication centre Ravi Bharti, Patna.
Catholic Church in the Hindi area is a missionary Church, engaged in educational, evangelical and developmental activities amidst a population that is almost 98%non-Christian. There is very minimum use of media in the Church’s various activities. Therefore, the Church hierarchy in the Hindi region saw a place for a Catholic broadcast along with other Christian broadcasts. A Catholic radio service in Hindi could make a definite contribution to the evangelical, educational, and developmental activities of the Church in the Hindi area and RVA was the only Catholic Radio station in Asia that was best suited to meet the need of the Catholic Church.
The Hindi Section of RVA went on the air for the first time on July 3, 1988 on the feast of St. Thomas the apostle of India. Since then it has been broadcasting programs daily for the past 29 years till 2017 on Short Wave. Th 1st June 2017 is a big land mark for the RVA Satyaswar as it switched over to online broadcasting. From one hour broadcasting it has gone into 24/7 online broadcasting through the website and RVA App together with Facebook Page, Instagram, Twitter and other social sites. RVA Satyaswar has become a Global entity where it has its thousands of audience all over the world. It has been an instrument for thousands of its listeners in molding their lives, bringing awareness of their situation and empowering them mentally, spiritually and socially. It has become an effective instrument for human development through its variety of programs through the years. True to its vision and mission, it is making earnest efforts to turn in every stone so that the programs have sure impact on its listeners. It continues to broadcast uninterrupted and can be heard from any part of the world.
It is so heartening to hear that the Hindi Section of RVA Satyaswar has thousands of listeners. The encouraging comments of its listeners make the producers proud and happy. But when one turns the pages of history, one realizes that to start the Hindi Service of RVA was not that easy. In the `70s, the Church in Asia was looking for a powerful medium for the spread of the Gospel. That search was accomplished by establishing Radio Veritas Asia. The first official broadcast of Radio Veritas Asia went on air on 11th April 1969.
It is good to note that Radio Veritas Asia, in its early years of broadcast, had very good response from its listeners. As a result, many other Asian languages were included.
Sadly, the Hindi Service was not yet included in the first two decades of Radio Veritas Asia’s existence. Those responsible in the planning of the Hindi broadcast were well aware of the potential of the language service in reaching its audience effectively. The primary reason for the delay in the transmission of the broadcast was mainly technical. Those responsible for providing the technical infrastructure could not avail of an antenna that could reach the northern part of India.
Bishop Patrick D’Souza
When the antenna was finally secured, Bishop Patrick D’Souza of Varnasi doubled the efforts to commence with the Hindi broadcasts. Navjyoti, Patna shouldered the responsibility in preparing the programs for the broadcast. June 1978 was the target year for the Hindi programs to go on air. The operation of the Hindi Service was confronted with two major problems. Finding trained and talented producers to do the programs was not easy. Equally difficult for the Hindi Service was that it was confronted with severe technical difficulties. In 1982, Fr. Sebastian Kannekatil, SJ who was then the Director of Ravi Bharti, Patna attempted to make another go for the Hindi broadcast. This time, financial problems pulled down once more the efforts to give the Hindi Service a push in its attempts to undertake its radio apostolate.
In the 1980s, Fr. Joseph Kayanni SVD was then in Manila, Philippines pursuing his Masters studies in Communications at the University of the Philippines IMC. His thesis was about the feasibility of transmitting a Hindi broadcast from Radio Veritas Asia. It was at this point that the broadcast of Hindi programs from Radio Veritas Asia took its solid roots. Armed with his thesis knowledge about the need for a Hindi broadcast, he undertook continuous contacts with his superiors in Central India, Indore as well as with the Management of Radio Veritas Asia, Philippines.
Bishop George Anathil SVD
The Bishop of Indore, Bishop George Anathil SVD, together with the Central Indian Provincial and Fr. Clarence Srambical, SVD who was the Director of Satprakashan Sanchar Kendra, Indore combined their efforts to work on the Hindi Service Project. Satprakashan Sanchar Kendra, Indore and Ravi Bharti, Patna were given the responsibilities of producing quality programs for the Hindi broadcast. Finally, on the 3rd of July 1988, the first Hindi program successfully went on the air.
Indian society is divided into three major races, namely: Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, and Mongolic. These races speak 325 languages and 1,652 dialects. Hindi dialects are spoken by 422,048,642 (41.03%) Indians. They mainly believe in Hinduism (83.4%), Islam (10.7%), Christianity (2.4%), Sikhism (1.8%), Buddhism (0.7%) and Jainism (0.4%) (India census 2011). Further, Hindu society is divided into four castes: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras. Because of all these divisions, India, like most societies, has been marked by acute practices of social discrimination and exclusion. At different periods of history, protest movements arose against caste, gender, and religious discrimination. Yet prejudices remain and often, new ones emerge. Therefore, there is an ever growing challenge for ‘Satyaswar’ to be the voice of human development emphasizing freedom, equality, solidarity and tolerance for all. Although, the vision and mission statements of ‘Satyaswar’ emphasize the messages of evangelization and social harmony, other areas of concern were given adequate space in its programming.
‘Satyaswar’, the voice of truth, broadcast very relevant programs on scientific knowledge, spirituality, inspirational personalities, problems and pains suffered by modern persons as well as their remedies, and all developmental and progressive messages related to human development. In the face of growing regionalism, communal violence, social intolerance, economic gaps between the haves and have-nots, problems of globalization and environmental degradation, Satyaswar focused its vision and mission in proclaiming development and progress for all.
It has maintained its special place among other broadcasts as it is not influenced by modern commercial values. Instead, it promotes the Gospel values, culture, inter-religious harmony, and overall human development. In its vision and mission statements it states:
Vision Statement of ‘Satyaswar’
“Satyaswar, the voice of truth, will always remain the harbinger of truth, justice and peaceful co-existence among the Hindi speaking people.”
Mission Statement of ‘Satyaswar’
“Satyaswar, Hindi service is committed to proclaim the message of peace, harmony and brotherhood through all its programs based on ‘Vasudhaivkutumbkum’ the universal brotherhood.”
|File Name||Duration (60 min.)||Local Time (IND)||Hindi Programs|
|0600_MON.mp3||60||06-07||Word of God, weekly special programs|
|0700_MON.mp3||60||07-08||Agriculture, Legal AId, Global Village and Drama|
|0800_MON.mp3||60||08-09||Interview, Youth Empowerment and Communication|
|0900_MON.mp3||60||09-10||Interreligious Dialogue, Women Empowerment, Mind Mirror and Environment|
|1000_MON.mp3||60||10-11||Bible Drama, Health and Children|
|1100_MON.mp3||60||11-12||Agriculture, Legal AId, Global Village and Drama|
|1200_MON.mp3||60||12-13||Interview, Youth Empowerment and Communication|
|1300_MON.mp3||60||01-02||Interreligious Dialogue, Women Empowerment, Mind Mirror and Environment|
|1400_MON.mp3||60||02-03||Bible Drama, Health and Children|
|1500_MON.mp3||60||03-04||Agriculture, Legal AId, Global Village and Drama|
|1600_MON.mp3||60||04-05||Interview, Youth Empowerment and Communication|
|1700_MON.mp3||60||05-06||Interreligious Dialogue, Women Empowerment, Mind Mirror and Environment|
|1800_MON.mp3||60||06-07||Word of God, weekly special programs|
|1900_MON.mp3||60||07-08||Agriculture, Legal AId, Global Village and Drama|
|2000_MON.mp3||60||08-09||Interview, Youth Empowerment and Communication|
|2100_MON.mp3||60||09-10||Interreligious Dialogue, Women Empowerment, Mind Mirror and Environment|
|2200_MON.mp3||60||10-11||Bible Drama, Health and Children|
|2300_MON.mp3||60||11-12||Agriculture, Legal AId, Global Village and Drama|
|0000_MON.mp3||60||12-13||Interview, Youth Empowerment and Communication|
|0100_MON.mp3||60||01-02||Interreligious Dialogue, Women Empowerment, Mind Mirror and Environment|
|0200_MON.mp3||60||02-03||Bible Drama, Health and Children|
|0300_MON.mp3||60||03-04||Agriculture, Legal AId, Global Village and Drama|
|0400_MON.mp3||60||04-05||Interview, Youth Empowerment and Communication|
|0500_MON.mp3||60||05-06||Interreligious Dialogue, Women Empowerment, Mind Mirror and Environment|
|Weekly Special Programs|
|Tuesday||Drama||Life of Saints|
|Saturday||Youth Empowerment||Mind Mirror|
|Sunday||Children’s World||Church News|
The broadcast programs can be classified into five categories of messages: evangelical, social development, economic development, human development, and environment preservation.
Evangelical messages: Evangelical messages included six segments of the programs. They are Word of God, Sunday homilies, bible dramas, church news, lives of saints and hymns. In total programming for the day, 32 % of the broadcasting time is allocated for this segment.
Social development messages: The major thrust of the vision and mission statements of ‘Satyaswar’ is social justice, peace, and harmony, along with evangelization. Therefore, in this category, segments deal with social harmony and universal brotherhood. This comprises 31 % of the total airing time every day.
Economic development messages: Economic development is very important to achieve overall human development. For this segment 14 % of the total airing time is allocated.
Human development messages: Segments under this category are inspirational to imbue citizens with human values accepted and cherished all over the world. A total of 11 % of the airing time is allotted for these segments. They emphasize freedom, equality, solidarity and tolerance for all. These segments also impart information on health-related issues and create awareness about personal health and hygiene. Programs describe various diseases affecting the people and prescribe available remedies. Further, it gives information on people’s physical, mental, and overall holistic health.
Universal brotherhood (Vasudhaiv Kutumbkum): Vasudhaiv Kutumbkum is an Indian philosophical concept that sees the whole universe as a family. The Indian nation-state is socially and culturally one of the most diverse countries in the world. It has a population of about 1.2 billion people, the second largest national population in the entire planet. These billion-plus people speak about 1,632 different languages and dialects. As many as 18 of these languages have been officially recognized and placed under the 8th Schedule of the Constitution, thus guaranteeing its legal status. Regionalism in India is rooted in India’s diversity of languages, cultures, tribes, and religions. It is also encouraged by the geographical concentration of these identity markers in particular regions, and fuelled by a sense of regional deprivation. Indian federalism had been a means of accommodating these regional sentiments.
These cultural differences are accompanied by economic and social inequalities. Measures to address the inequalities or injustices suffered by one community sometimes provoke opposition from other communities. The situation is made worse when scarce resources – like river waters, jobs or government funds – have to be shared.
The national and international happenings, principles and concepts are presented in this segment in such a way that the listeners develop an attitude of the whole universe as being one family. This universal brotherhood concept encourages them to respect each other and share human and material resources with others.
World news (Samachar): News aired by “Satyaswar” are collected and selected based on their authenticity and the relevance to listeners.
Interviews (Ek Mulakat): Individuals who have done distinct contributions in different walks of life are interviewed. The queries raised during the interview highlight their fields of expertise whereby the listeners gather knowledge and information useful for the betterment of their lives.
Drama (Natak): This is an entertainment segment that highlights family problems and difficulties as well as values guiding family life. Along with entertainment, they stimulate the listeners to bring about the needed changes in the family, society, and national politics.
Listeners’ pad (Shrota Srijan). The segment is based on the literary writings of the listeners who are encouraged to take part in the broadcast by their contributions on various issues and subjects in the form of articles, poems, and short stories. These entries are selected and broadcast. The best entry is given a prize every month. In this participatory segment, the listeners’ issues on development are expressed in their own words.
Let’s come together (Patra Mitrata): This segment promotes brotherhood and understanding among the listeners by encouraging them to write letters to each other and to share their impressions on the programs and give feedback to the production canters. The requested postal addresses are read out during the broadcast and they are encouraged to make pen pals.
Mail box (Apka Patra Mila): Feedbacks from listeners in the form of letters, emails, phone calls and now instant feedback on face book page or website are encouraged. In this particular segment, listeners’ queries and requests for information are answered. The program also helps the program keep in contact with the listeners and get their pulse of their taste and interests.
Legal aids (Kanuni Gyan): Ignorance of their constitutional and human rights make rural illiterate flocks of the country the victims of corruption and oppression. Legal aids give information about the rights and privileges of the marginalized classes, underprivileged, farmers, women, the aged, and children.
World of agriculture (Krishi Jagat): Over 600 million in India live in rural areas and they depend directly on agriculture. This segment addresses their needs for technological information to protect, preserve, and enhance the quality of their farming. It highlights new inventions in the field of agriculture, government aids, agricultural laws, and marketing opportunities. The segment also encourages the youth to take up agriculture as a profession.
World of communication (Yug-Sanchar): India is known all over the world for its contributions in the field of information and communication technologies. This segment highlights new developments in this field, job opportunities, and general information on various forms of media. It also gives the positive and negative effects of communication technologies on children, the youth, women folk, families, and society at large.
Women empowerment (Naree Sashaktikaran): In a patriarchal or male-dominated society, women had been the victim of oppression and violence. This segment discusses issues concerning the academic growth, rights and privileges, career, livelihood, and other issues related to the overall development of women in society. It guides the women folks especially those from the rural areas to be empowered and fight for their rights and privileges and to challenge their persecutors in the court if needed.
Youth and development (Yuva or Vikas): The youth are the future anchors of development and prosperity of any country. This segment aims to make the youth a solid base for a healthy society and for a strong country. Therefore, it includes information on academics, career and livelihood choices, and competitive examinations. It also discusses problems and obstacles faced by the urban and rural youth in achieving their goals, and guidelines in achieving success by following the footsteps of some successful youth in the country. Further, it endeavors to amend or bridge disparities created by religious, territorial, and cultural differences and guide the younger generation towards wider dimensions of development.
Inter religious reflection (Sarva Dharma Vichar): India is the land and origin of many faiths. The mission of ‘Satyaswar’ is to create harmony between the people of various faiths in India. The basic teachings, the human values and special programs on major feasts of all the religions are aired. Religious harmony in India is used as an example in other countries.
Children’s world (Baal Jagat): This segment is specially prepared to teach social and religious values to young listeners in an entertaining format.
Mind the mirror (Man Darpan): Mind the mirror segment is based on the psychological issues affecting the present generation. It emphasizes how to manage emotional problems and to live a stress-free life specially in this age of new and social media.
Environment (Paryavaran): The listeners are encouraged to work for the protection of the environment and to promote a healthy atmosphere in their locality. Regular quiz contests are conducted to generate interest among the audience.
Health (Swastya): This segment imparts information on health-related issues and creates awareness about personal health and hygiene. It describes various diseases affecting the people and prescribes available remedies. Further, it gives information on the physical, mental, and overall holistic health of the people.
Note: Special programs on special occasions like New Year, Republic Day, Holi, Good Friday, Easter, Anniversary of Satyaswar, Raksha Bandhan, Independence Day, Idul-Fitre, Dashahara, Diwali and Christmas are produced by Satprakashan.
Fr. Dominic Emmanuel SVD became the first Coordinator of the RVA Hindi Service in 1988. The first producers were Mr. Jose Payapillil and Mrs. Sheesha Jose. Ms. Alka Nirmal Prasad, Rebecca Roberts and Victor Vincent joined him later as producers.
Next to lead the Hindi Language Service was Fr. Deepak John Sulya SVD from 1992 to 1999. The new producers who joined him were Mr. Anand Kishore, Ms. Mary David and Ms. Snigdha Kishore.
Replacing Fr. Deepak John Sulya SVD was Fr. Norbert Herman SVD who became the coordinator of the section for four years from 1999 to 2003.
Fr. John Wakhla SVD replaced Fr Norbert Herman SVD as Coordinator of the Hindi Service. He replaced Fr. Norbert Herman SVD in June 2003. During his term, Mr. Bernard Bhuriya, Ms. Cinderella Joseph, Mrs. Vandana Bhuriya and Sr. Manju Lakra SSPS helped in the production of programs. All of them provided their invaluable services to the Hindi broadcast.
Fr. Herman Bandod SVD replaced Fr John Wakhla SVD in September 2010. He was the last coordinator staying in Philippines when RVA team decided that the programs can be produced in the respective countries and sent to RVA team for uploading. Sr. Ganga Ravat SSPS, Fr John Wakhla SVD and other talent producers helped him in the production of “Satyaswar” programs in Philippines and later Mr. Nilesh Bakhla, Ms. Nisha Sulya and other producers helped Fr. Herman Bandod SVD in programs production, website maintenance and linking Hindi programs for 24 hours streaming in Satprakashan Sanchar Kendra, India.
At present Fr Babu Karakombil SVD, the Director, Fr. Anthony Swamy SVD, the Coordinator together with Mr. Akash Jangra, Mr. Charles, Ms. Priyanka, Mr. Suresh and other program producers are helping in producing the programs and broadcasting online 24/7 together with mainainting the other social media such as: Website, RVA App, Face Book, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.