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Muslims ask Catholic radio to modernize

Muslims ask Catholic radio to modernize
A group of Muslim and Hindu listeners of Radio Veritas Asia during a Listeners Meet in Siliguri
Julian Das, Siliguri

February 28, 2011

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Muslim listeners in a northeastern Indian state told a Catholic broadcast agency from the Philippines to keep pace with modern technology. Technology is far more advanced today, and we cannot be content only with radio programs on the short wave, said Asraful Haque, one of the 200 people who attended the annual meeting of the listeners of the Bengali service of Radio Veritas Asia. Bengali is one of the 14 language services the Manila-based radio broadcasts for one hour each day. Haque, 24, said the Catholic radio should also use the internet and mobile devices to broadcast its programs. Jesuit Father Joseph Pymbellikunnel, who directs Chitrabani (sight-sound) which produces the Bengali programs, said the service caters to 70 percent Muslims and 30 percent Hindus in Assam and Tripura states, besides West Bengal. Many participants at the February 27 meeting in Siliguri, West Bengal, lauded the Bengali service programs. Umesh Regmi, a listener from Nepal, said he appreciated the radio’s efforts to get feedback through email, instead of snail mails. “The greatest gratification for us is to receive a reply from the broadcasters or production centers in Kolkata or Dhaka,” he added. Abdus Salam Siddique, a Muslim from Assam, has listened to the Bengali service for the past 25 years. He recited a poem he wrote praising the service at the meeting. Saiffudin Sabuj, producer of Bengali programs at Banideepti (light of the word) archdiocesan media center in Dhaka, agreed the need to improve the technology. He called for revamping the service’s website to pod cast its programs. Bishop Gervas Rozario of Rajshahi in Bangladesh and Bishop Joseph Surin Gomes of Krishnagar, India also attended the meeting. IE13457.1643

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