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Tamil Nadu's first Dalit-centric channel: For Dalits, but not yet by Dalits


30 Aug 2013
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BR Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary, Tamil Nadu’s first Dalit-centric television channel, Velicham TV, hit the airwaves. Curiously, however, this channel has no Dalit reporters on its roster yet.

Velichcham TV was launched as the mouthpiece of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, a party with a strong Dalit base, whose leader Thol Thirumavalavan is a former Lok Sabha MP. According to the VCK, the channel's main motive is to provide unbiased reporting.

“Although Velicham TV will provide news of our party, we are aiming to maintain it as a neutral channel," said party general secretary D Ravikumar. "We do not want to project it as a solely pro-Dalit channel. Instead, we would like it to be a reliable source for news”

Telling a story

He added that although the channel had employed mainly non-Dalit staffers, they were looking to develop talent from marginalised communities.

The channel will feature six news bulletins, and a number of entertainment programmes as well.

“All other mainstream political parties have their own television channel; we decided it was time to start one for ourselves,” Ravikumar said, adding that the party had a 51% stake in the channel, and was being supported by Thamizhaga Cable TV Communication Pvt Ltd. The channel was also finalising talks with Tata Sky.

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