Date Started: November 1, 1975
Tamil service of Radio Veritas, under the umbrella of Radio Veritas Asia, was started in 1975, November 1. Over the past 35 years, the Tamil service has been guided by great people such as Mr. M A. Samy, Fr. Sebastian, Fr. Jagath Gaspar, and Fr. Singarayan, Fr. Dennis Vaiz whose outstanding pioneering work has nurtured and consolidated the growth of Radio Veritas. Mr. M.A Samy made Veritas a fraternal participant in the life of a listener. The period of Fr. Sebastian witnessed a rapid growth in the number of our listeners. It was during his period that the Tamil service tackled human rights issues and other issues of social concerns. The period of Fr. Gaspar has been seen as the expansion of Veritas Tamil service, including collaboration with radio stations in other countries. Fr. Singarayan continued the work with the same zealousness and enthusiasm. The short period of Fr. Dennis witnessed marvelous changes in the history of Radio Veritas with the introduction of digital recording. In fact, the contribution of Fr. Dennis for introducing digital recording in the station is enormous.
Based on the Latin word ‘Veritas’ which stands for “Truth”, the Tamil service bravely tries to live up to its name. Radio Veritas Tamil service in its unique and brave mission to proclaim the word of God, to propagate the truth and to advance the traditions and culture of the Tamil race has been very much appreciated by the listeners around the world. Particularly, the Sri Lankan Tamils have been looking up to the Tamil service of Radio Veritas for refreshing their lives and sustaining their links with their motherland. It has guided the Tamils by its mature and incisive political analysis as well as sustained their emotions with genuine feelings of pride for their land and compassion for their suffering brethren.
Tamils in Tamil Nadu and around the world were for a long time strictly divided as Hindus and Christians or politically camped as pro and contra are made to move by the vision and inter- religious understanding of Tamil service to a point of convergence and mutual understanding. This assumed major significance against the backdrop of the political emergence of militant Hindu communal forces using religion as a strategy for aggressive political mobilization and social disruption.
RADIO VERITAS ASIA, the Missionary of Asia, was inaugurated in the year 1961. Though the broadcasts were started in the year 1969, the history of its origin traces back a few years earlier.
When His Holiness Pope PIUS XII proposed the need for a Catholic radio station, the South Asian Bishops gathered in Manila in 1958, and decided to establish a radio station.
In 1960, The Arch Bishop of Manila sought the German Government’s assistance to build a Radio Station. The German Government granted the assistance upon the request of the Archbishop of Manila, in the year 1963.
After six years, in 1969, RADIO VERITAS ASIA was inaugurated and test broadcast for various languages were conducted.
It was on 12th July 1976 – The TAMIL SERVICE of Radio Veritas Asia was inaugurated. The broadcasts started in the same year from 1st of November. During the chairmanship of Most Rev. Dr. Michael Bosco Duraisamy, TNBC Commission for Social Commission selected Mr. Arockiasamy to be the first producer of the Tamil Service of Radio Veritas Asia. He resided in Radio Veritas Asia, to broadcast the Good News.
Later his family who went on to serve for almost 12 years, until 1988, joined him. Mr. Rabi Bernard, Ms. Flora Rani, Ms. Celine Mary the son and daughters of Mr. M. Arockiasamy were very instrumental in strengthening the foundation of Radio Veritas Asia, Tamil Service.
They were followed by Mr. M. Arockiasamy and Rev.Fr. Sebastian who served as the coordinators of Tamil Service from 1989 to 1995.Sr.Celestina, Sr. Ruby, Mr. Raisal and Mr. Carmel were the other team members during Fr. Sebastian’s six-year term. Rev. Fr. Jegath Gaspar followed Rev. Fr. Sebastian to serve as the coordinator of Tamil Service from 1996 to 2002, when Most. Rev. Dr. Marianus Arockiasamy was the chairman of TNBC Commission for Social Communications. Under the able guidance and support of Most Rev. Dr. Marianus Arockiasamy, the Tamil Service spread its wings to reach the Tamil people beyond the Asian region. Sr. Anto, Rev. Fr. Hilarius, Ms. Agnel Hema, Mr. Sagayaraj, Sr. Fatima Simon and Mr. Antoni Cleetus were the producers during the 6 years term of Rev. Fr. Jegath Gaspar.
The TNBC Commission for Social Communications, under the Chairmanship of Most Rev. Dr.Marianus Arockiasamy, selected Rev. Fr. A. Singarayan to succeed Rev. Fr. Jegath Gaspar to lead the Tamil Service. Accepting the changes of the time and challenges of the technological developments, the Tamil Service is evolving itself to contribute positively to the lives of the Tamil People.
The present team of Tamil Service is lead by Fr. A. Singarayan with Sr. Joshitta and Mr. Amal Eroniemose as the programme producers, under the able guidance of the Chairman Most Rev. Dr. Antony Devotta.
- To proclaim the good news of Christ
- To be the voice of Truth
- To inform and educate the listeners with truthful information and news
- To enhance and facilitate the process of human development
- To defend the political, civil and human rights of Tamils
- To promote justice, peace and reconciliation
- To promote the emancipation of women and protection of Nature
- To Discuss ethical and normal challenges posted by modern science and development
- To present truthful news, information and views to the listeners
Veritas Tamil Programs have been touching and attracting the ordinary, poor semi-literate or the illiterate Tamil persons. Quality programming, keen perception and right response to the signs of the times, empathy for suffering community, dynamic contacts with grass root level listener clubs and community leaders, personal contact with the listeners are some of the important reasons for the success of radio Veritas Tamil.
Of all those mentioned, programming is the most important. The person of Christ is the central principle of our programming. We present Jesus as the ultimate expression of humanity and compassion. Deep feelings of humanity and compassion are the fundamental spiritual elements of Asian ethos and they strike resonant chords in Tamil consciousness. That is why our programs such as “Waves of grace”, “In search of Light” and “Triumphant Trumpet” have been receiving overwhelming response from the listeners. The spiritual aura enveloping the service, which always begins with prayers and devotional music, gives a sacred and soothing feeling to the listeners who thirst for peace and truth.
Socio- cultural elements is another important strategy of the Tamil service. Appreciation of the fine elements of Tamil culture– its religion, history and language attract our listeners closely towards us. The programs “Proclaim loudly”, “Feast of the masterpieces” are very much aimed in that direction.
Societal awareness and human development are the next important priorities in our programming. Women’s literacy, empowerment of women, eco-awareness programs, media education and above all themes on family and children are receiving good responses from our listeners.
Our programs have got a great impact on the lives of the listeners. Irrespective of caste and creed, our listeners organize themselves as clubs doing a lot of charitable works in their respective places. The listeners are in touch with Tamil service through Emails, SMS and writing letters. Radio Veritas Tamil service will continue to be the voice of truth, justice and peace and to be a uniting bond among the Tamils around the world.
|Day||0030 – 0057 UTC
|1400 – 1427 UTC
|Thursday||Kithu Gee Sara
Mail Box (Once a month)
|Sunday||Sadaham Suwanda||Sadaham Suwanda|
* Golden saying
* World News
Intaya naal Antaya nigazhvu
* Historical events
* One Minute Story
* World News
* Listeners’ birthday wishes
TAMIL CULTURE AND TRADITION
Tamils have a great tradition of heritage and culture that developed over 2000 years and still continues to flourish. This great cultural heritage evolved through the rule of dynasties that ruled the state during various phases of history in Tamil Nadu, a state in south India. The rise and fall of a number of dynasties and empires in Tamil Nadu had influenced the magnificent temples, sculptures, architecture, dance forms, art and literature. In this Program, we are presenting the influence of various dynasties on Tamil culture and heritage. For this program, we always interview Tamil pundits.
Tamil literature has a rich and long literary tradition spanning more than two thousand years. The oldest extant works show signs of maturity indicating an even longer period of evolution. Contributors to the Tamil literature are mainly from Tamil people from Tamil Nadu, Sri Lankan Tamils from Sri Lanka and from Tamil Diasporas. The history of Tamil literature follows the history of Tamil Nadu, closely following the social, religious and political trends of various periods. The secular nature of the early Sangam poetry gave way to works of religious and didactic nature during the middle ages. A revival of Tamil literature took place from the late nineteenth century when works of religious and philosophical nature written in a style that made it easier for the common people to enjoy. Nationalist poets began to utilize the power of poetry in influencing the masses. In this Program, we present the social, political and religious trends of various periods portrayed in the Tamil literature. Currently we are dealing with Silapathigaram, one of the epics of Tamil literature. For this program, we always interview Tamil pundits.
We interview children of the listeners. Every year we choose a particular district of Tamil Nadu Region. We ask them about their performance in their studies, about their skills and talents. This is creating a healthy competitive spirit among children, when a particular student is singing well or delivering a speech very well. This program brings the whole family to listen to our Veritas programs. All those children who participate in this program are given prizes during our annual listeners’ meeting. From 2010 January onwards, Sri Lankan Tamil children will participate in this program.
MAIL BOX PROGRAMS
We have two mail box programs, one every Tuesday evening, and another every Wednesday evening. On Tuesday evenings, we read the comments of our listeners about our programs. We are always happy to know that they really benefit from our programs. In their letters, some listeners write about their petitions. So this program is always followed by special prayers for our listeners. On Wednesday, we read the creative productions of our listeners like poetry, personal thoughts, jokes, medicinal use of different things and new particulars about different things around the world. We also have another mail box program followed by the productions of our listeners namely ‘Question and Answer’. In this program we answer the questions of our listeners.
LISTENERS IN THE SERVICE OF OTHERS
We have nearly 60 listeners club in our main target areas namely Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. We are not only able to assess the number of listeners correctly in the target areas since many people have lost the habit of writing but they always listen to our programs. In 2008, we have received 14, 605 letters from the listeners. These clubs in the target areas are doing so many charitable works. They send us the reports about their activities. We always read their reports. It is an encouragement for the other listeners too. Usually, the clubs help the school going children. Sometimes they also get involved in the relief work, if there is a natural disaster.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF GREAT PEOPLE
In this program, we interview people who are contributing a lot in different fields of human endeavor like music, drama, medicine, science, writing etc. The young people always get encouraged to listen to nice stories of their achievements. This year, we have interviewed so many great people. Sometimes we invite them to our annual listeners’ meeting.
LET US SAVE OUR HEALTH
It is a health awareness program. We always interview doctors on different health issues. The listeners also participate in the program by clarifying their doubts over phone to the doctors. Usually, one interview will last for a few weeks.
Dr.Kanagarai – Use of herbal medicine in our daily lives.
Dr.Srinivasan- On diabetic diet using herbal medical system
Dr.Sumathi- On diseases concerning only women
Dr.Kartheeban- On orthopedic treatment
Dr.lakshiman- On drinking and smoking habits
Dr.Ellearasi- On physiotherapy
GLORY TO WOMANHOOD
In Tamil society, gender discrimination continues to be an enormous problem. Traditional patriarchal norms have relegated women to secondary status within the household and workplace. This drastically affects women’s health, financial status, education and political involvement. In Tamil society, women are commonly married young, quickly become mothers, and are then burdened by stringent domestic and financial responsibilities. They are frequently malnourished since women typically are the last member of a household to eat and the last receive medical attention. Women receive little schooling and also suffer from unfair and biased inheritance and divorce laws. These laws prevent women from accumulating substantial financial assets, making it difficult for women to establish their own security and autonomy. In the current year, we have been dealing with the above issues. For some issues, we have interviewed women activists. In the coming year-2010, we would like to concentrate on Media and its impact on women and Laws that protect the rights of women.
BRIDGE OF LOVE
It was the most famous and useful program some eight years ago during the height of the ethnic war in Sri Lanka. This program helped the displaced people to communicate with each other. Now we mainly focus on family relationships namely relationship between husband and wife, between parents and children, between families etc.
TOURING AROUND THE WORLD
In this program, we take up a particular art, an issue or profession and explain its global or regional impact on the lives of the people. In 2008, we explained the history of Tamil music and this year we have been presenting on Tamil cinema and its impact on the people. The cinema politics nexus in Tamil Nadu, for instance is quite interesting. All five chief ministers who have governed Tamil Nadu since 1967 have been associated with cinema. The immense popularity of film as an entertainment form and its emergence in Tamil Nadu as a major cultural preoccupation underscores the significance of the role of audio- visual communication in Tamil society. Our critical analysis of Tamil movies and the social impact of Tamil cinema on their lives are very interesting and useful, according to our listeners.
In this program, we always take up a hot political issue of the week. In our analysis, we do not make any compromise with any political parties and any political leaders. Though our listeners are belonging to different political parties, they very much appreciate this program because they know very well that we are neutral in our position. In the past, we gave more importance to Sri Lankan ethnic conflict. Now we take up any issue concerning regional, national and international politics.
IN SEARCH OF LIGHT
The program dramatizes biblical events and stories. Last year they dramatized Old Testament and stories. This year, they are dramatizing the teachings and parables of Jesus. This drama directly brings the knowledge about Jesus to the listeners. Recently this program has been divided into two parts, in the second part; there is a skit of application.
WHERE ARE WE MARCHING?
It is a drama on human values like forgiveness, love, justice, humility. This drama always ends with a short reflection. Though the dramas end with a positive note, the opposite values that create conflict in the human relationships are developed interestingly in the plot of the drama.
EXPERIENCE AND SCENE
This drama is divided into two parts. In this program, people belonging to different walks of life are interviewed where they may share a problem regarding work and family. In the second part of the program, that problem will be developed as a script and dramatized.
This is a social and political drama. Mostly they deal with current events.
The structure of the liturgy as follows:
Introduction to the readings
Reading of the gospel
Narrating one bible story
ANALYSIS OF WEEKLY EVENTS
In this program, we take up the important events of the particular week from news papers and magazines and give our analysis about them. Since we use colloquial language and talk satirically, this program is attracting so many listeners. Usually we choose five events. At the end of the analysis of each event, we play a song for a minute related to the event.
In order to promote inter-religious dialogue, RVA Tamil service always presents special programs during the major festivals of both Hindu and Islam religions. We also present special programs during the national days of Indian people such as Independence day, republic day etc. In a year, totally, we present about 30 special programs wherein we interview people and the listeners also get to participate by asking questions.
Fr. A. David Arockiam
Director Santhome Communications
Secretary for TNBC Commission for Social Communications
Executive Secretary for RVA Tamil Service.Fr. C. Joseph
Sr. Nirmala SSA
RVA Tamil Service Co-ordinator
Sr. Roselet CIC