CAPITALISM, ENTITLEMENT & COMMUNALISM vs CREATIVITY
"Where Capitalism Crushes Creativity… When Entitlement Ends Entertainment… When Communalism Camouflages as Community!"
8 years of community building, 8 solid years of the love of music and entertainment, 8 years of sheer magic and all it took was less than 8 weeks and less than 8 people to suffocate, shun and eventually stomp out the very creators of the entertainment programming in the Indian media space on a platform that we helped build with our blood, sweat and toil.
“Yes, Bandhujan, there, I said it!”
What began as a wondrous, explorative journey in October of 2009, with our multi-talented Mahima ji at the helm of our rather tiny boat, grew into a nice-sized sailboat, some would even say, a beautiful ship that was powered by the love of bandhus over the years; a ship that with bandhu love, navigated through rough waters, in 2011 as we sailed into interim ports at 96.1 FM and 1450 AM when we were displaced by insecure, competitive strategies and then were ushered back to 1170 AM, when they went off air, by the original management of the station, Principle Broadcasting.
May 31, 2017 of this year, KLOK changed ownership and moved into new management, and after weeks of agonizing over the direction and value-conflicts over what our community seeks vs. what is provided, over what is valued more - content over commercial, entertainment over infomercial, over the integrity of the spoken word, on August 1, 2017, with the heaviest of hearts, Team Mahima and Radio Dehotties bid adieu and sailed away from KLOK 1170 AM into the ports of a smaller, yet warm and welcoming home at Radio 1310 AM and also 92.9 FM (Fremont/ Union City/ Hayward).
Questions are aplenty about what transpired, what brought about this sudden decision. The decision was far from sudden. It was a well thought-out, deliberate decision that our team at Media Mahima made after realizing that the new direction of this station or its management was in complete conflict with that of our programming. Accounts being poached, barriers being presented to us being in business, contracts not being honored, our show content being taken for granted, disrespect being meted out in client settings, content rights being encroached upon and unfair business practices of quoting excessive airtime fees were all contributing factors, but what was the clincher was the fact that our very own cheer and joy was constantly being clouded by actions of certain parties that yelled disrespect and eroded our trust. We knew we had to move on even if it meant having to struggle with having to start from scratch, moving to a totally different signal, and having to deal with more backlash from the parties in question, as a result of us leaving.
Now, "how has it been?" It has not been easy, but like our Mahima ji used to tell us - “Easy come, easy go… “; we are in this for the long haul and what is fueling us is the love of #bandhus. Many find it hard to understand, hard to comprehend that people are actually capable of so much love, empathy and appreciation for someone they just hear on the radio that they would “change stations”, “follow” or go “looking for us”. To quote someone whom we considered a bandhu, “people will not stop listening to ‘xyz Radio’ just because you are not there - it is the signal they listen to, so I don’t think your move will work”. There were some whom we have done business with for over 8 years who witnessed the disrespect, the disregard and then chose to stay mum, and in turn, severe business ties with us, because they wanted to keep their programming on the xyz radio. There were some who were, very matter-of-fact about how it was about business and they would not consider moving from said radio, since the rates being offered there since our departure were now much lower. It was hard to hear and even harder to have our trust and integrity called into question, based on the misrepresentation of facts about the situation being sent out to our clients and especially since we hold our content and people who support the same in such high regard. It was devastating to think that our content, our bandhutva mattered so little to these "business people". We had never been so conflicted in life and I have never missed Mahima ji so much than in my entire life.
Then, amid all these nay-sayers, the shadow casters, the fair-weather acquaintances, the power of bandhutva came shining through - there were those who stood by us and encouraged us stating that this did not change a thing about how they felt about us, how this was wonderful that we were expanding and that it was business as usual since we always took care of them. Bandhus came looking for us; callers poured in shocked at not finding us on air on the other station, and our social media following increased dramatically, our app downloads went into thousands in just one week, without any promotions either “on air” on the old station, or anywhere except on our own social media sites. New bandhus are joining the fold, while old bandhus renew their love and faith in us. It is not all about money - it is about people, it is about love! If this is not the “Mahima of Bandhutva” - what is, I ask ?
We are NOT in this business for the “glory” or the “drug of the mike”; We are NOT in this business to run infomercial content of the highest bidder; We are NOT in this business to make millions. Then what, why ? you ask …… We are IN this business because our "community" and no, please do not think of parochial or communal connotations of the word, but for everything beautiful that “community” represents - the bandhutva, the brotherhood, the universal love - to give this “Community” a voice - a voice that is not tainted by prejudice, pretense or pompousness. There is something that is pure - Love, Joy and Gratitude and that is what matters the most to us and hence we will prevail and we will persist !
Thank you to everyone who has brought us to where we are today. May the Mahima of Bandhutva reign !