New Delhi: At first glance, NaMo TV resembles any other news channel. Watch a little longer, however, and it lives up to its name — throughout the day, the channel does little else but showcase Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Its content in a 24-hour cycle revolves only around the prime minister — his election rallies, television interviews, speeches in Parliament, interaction with BJP karyakartas, a film based on him and even a 3D animation of him practicing yoga.
The only other BJP leaders to share screen space with him, albeit minimally, are BJP president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The channel is also advertisement-free, barring the “Vote for BJP” video clips that play at half-an-hour intervals.
ThePrint watched Namo TV, which the Election Commission (EC) has ruled should be subjected to content certification regime like all other political advertisements, for a full day (12 pm on 1 May to 12 pm on 2 May) and this is what it found.
On Wednesday, 1 May, Modi addressed rallies in Kaushambi and Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh and Jaipur in Rajasthan. NaMo TV broadcast live all these rally speeches in full, including the introductions.
BJP president Amit Shah held rallies in West Bengal and Delhi, which were broadcast live by the channel. NaMo TV reserved two hours for Shah’s rallies.
The Modi interviews
Also, through the day and into the night, NaMo channel also broadcast various interviews Modi has given to other news channels recently. These included interviews with Times Now, CNN News 18 and Akshay Kumar’s ‘apolitical’ chat of last week for ANI.
The only other BJP leader to figure on NaMo TV in the 24 hours was Jaitley. The channel broadcast for an hour Jaitley’s interview to Zee News’s Sudhir Chaudhary on 26 March 2019, in which the finance minister called Modi a “game-changer” and said the Indian economy was in “good hands”.
PM’s party interactions
PM Modi meeting with BJP karyakartas at the ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ event on 31 March in New Delhi was another highlight of Wednesday’s schedule. Again, this was telecast in full, without any breaks. Modi was shown interacting with the BJP karyakartas and talking about the achievements of the ‘successful Indian air strikes’ in Balakot.
Modi was also shown interacting with BJP workers through video conference in the BJP campaign “Mera Booth Sabse Mazboot”.
The short film
Chalo Jeete Hain, a short film based on the childhood of the prime minister, was shown by the channel at 5 pm. The film has been directed by Mangesh Hadawale and had premiered on 29 July 2018 on the Star Network and Hotstar. The film showcases the caste prejudice prevalent in the country and its impact on Naru (a young Narendra Modi).
Asanas of the virtual kind
A 3D animated series has Modi demonstrating several yoga asanas — oddly this was aired at 11 pm when few people would be awake to follow the instructions.
An animated Modi performs Surya Namaskar, Vrikshasana, Trikonasana among others. The display shows asanas and the different health benefits associated with each of them.
The prime minister has always been a great advocate of yoga, even assigning 21 June as the International Yoga Day, in his first year in office.
ThePrint found out that this is the only show on the channel that is regularly broadcast at the same time every day.
24 hours timeline: ( 12 PM 1 May to 12 PM 2 May)
12 PM: Narendra Modi’s interview with Akshay Kumar
1 PM: Shah rally in North 24 Parganas, West Bengal (Live)
2 PM: Modi rally in Kaushambi, Uttar Pradesh (Live)
3 PM: Jaitley’s interview with Sudhir Chaudhary of Zee News
4 PM: Modi’s last speech in Parliament and BJP manifesto release video
5 PM: Modi at the Global Business Summit, Modi rally in Itarsi, Madhya Pradesh (Live), Shah rally in Hoogly (Live)
6 PM: Modi at Global Business Summit, Modi’s last speech in Parliament
7 PM: Short film Chalo Jeete Hain
8 PM: Modi rally in Jaipur (Live)
9 PM: Amit Shah in Delhi (Live), Main Bhi Chowkidar
10 PM: Main Bhi Chowkidar
11 PM: Yoga with Modi
12 AM: Mera Booth Sabse Mazboot
1 AM: Main Bhi Chowkidar
2 AM: Modi Global Business Summit
3 AM: Jaitley Zee News interview
4 AM: Shah rally in Delhi (rerun)
5 AM: Modi rally in Jaipur (rerun)
6 AM: Modi’s speech at the Global Business Summit
7 AM: Shah rally in Hooghly (rerun)
8 AM: Main Bhi Chowkidar
9 AM: Modi interview on CNN News 18
10 AM: BJP manifesto release, Modi interview on Times Now
11 AM: Modi’s speech at Global Business Summit
12 PM: Modi’s last parliament speech
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