Government’s music advisory to flights, airports

NEW DELHI: The recent advisory from the Ministry of Civil Aviation to airlines and airports to play Indian music has elicited both amusement and concern.

It invites domestic air carriers and airport operators to “consider playing Indian music on planes operated in India and at airports following the regulatory requisites,” according to a letter sent out on December 27 by Joint Secretary, Usha Padhee.

The letter, which was written in response to a request from the Indian Council of Cultural Research, makes no mention of the type of music that will be performed. Is it Hindustani classical music, instrumental music, Rabindra Sangeet, Bollywood music, or folk music?

The caution also failed to mention that most of the country’s main airports, including the one in Delhi, are “silent airports.” To reduce noise pollution, these airports only broadcast necessary notifications, such as gate changes.

Industry observers were amused by Padhee’s letter, with many questioning why the government needed to make such an advisory.

Several others, like one former senior civil aviation official who did not want to be recognised, were left wondering what would happen next, despite the fact that it was only an advise. Is there any advice on how the crew should dress? Should women wear sarees or salwar kameez and males wear simply kurta pyjamas? Will the government also make recommendations for what foods and beverages can be served? Will there be a directive that all announcements be made only in Hindi?

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