Almost all political parties in Tamil Nadu have a TV news channel to reach the living rooms of their cadres and constituents. But such a powerful tool is lacking for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as it makes a massive effort to make political inroads in the Dravidian party dominated southern state.
In April, the BJP will have its own channel with the launch of Janam Tamil Television, an extension of Janam TV which serves as the mouthpiece of the saffron party and its ideological source RSS in Kerala.
The project, which is personally overseen by Tamil Nadu BJP leader K Annamalai, aims to provide a counter-narrative to the Dravidian ideology that has dominated the state’s political landscape for five decades.
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The channel will be launched in time with Annamalai’s proposed statewide yatra to seek BJP support in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections by publicizing Narendra Modi government’s “welfare measures” and by “exposing” the DMK government in the state.
“The yatra will be Janam Tamil TV’s first major mission,” an insider told DH, adding that a TV station that propagates the views of “nationalism” and that of the BJP is “the need of the hour”. in Tamil Nadu.
BJP insiders have said that television is a powerful tool to reach the homes of millions of people and that almost all television stations in Tamil Nadu propagate the ideals of the Dravidian movement.
“A television channel which will not only provide information but analyzes from a nationalist point of view is necessary. And we think Janam TV will be helpful as the party takes an aggressive stance on several issues. We need a 24/7 channel to convey our ideals to the people of a state like Tamil Nadu,” a BJP insider said.
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The BJP is perhaps one of the few parties that does not have an exclusive TV channel. Kalaignar TV run by the first family of the DMK serves as the mouthpiece of the ruling party, while NewsJ is the official channel of the AIADMK led by Edappadi K Palaniswami. Jaya TV, which was the mouthpiece of the AIADMK for about two decades, is now the propaganda arm of VK Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran.
Even smaller parties like Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) have exclusive channels in Tamil Nadu. AIADMK is the most recent to have its own TV channel. DMK has Kalaignar TV, Mega and Vasanth TVs are owned by senior Congress leaders, Captain TV is owned by DMDK founder Vijayakant and Makkal TV (PMK).