BBC Asian Network accused of ignoring Gujaratis after it drops Parle Patel show
By Barfi Culture Team
19th May 2018

After making a name for himself on YouTube, it didn't take long before London born Parle Patel was picked up to present his own show on the BBC Asian Network.

Now the national radio station is being accused of ignoring Gujarati listeners and culture after it was abruptly axed on May 13th.

The station has had a broader shake-up in programming. Award-winning journalist Mobeen Azhar will host a new talk show while Indian music producer Nucleya will host a new show on Sunday evenings.

The rapper Swami Baracus was early to voice his annoyance.

He wasn't alone.

Asjad Nazir, the long-running showbiz columnist at Eastern Eye, took a stronger swipe at the radio station.

"The Gujarati community in the UK has been massively under-represented on UK radio and that is why the BBC Asian Network is making a huge mistake by getting rid of Parle Patel's show," he wrote in a recent column.

"It seems like it is going back to the bad old days of disconnecting itself from the grassroots of the community," he added.

While Nazir is well known for his criticisms of the Asian Network, his column struck a chord.

Mita Mistry, a columnist and mindfulness teacher, told Barfi Culture it wasn't just the BBC Asian Network. "Gujarati culture is ignored across the board from TV & radio to newspapers and online."

She added: "When you forget about the grassroots culture they are forgetting and disrespecting elders in the community and taking something important away from the younger generations."

Parle Patel did not respond to a request for comment.

A BBC spokesperson told Barfi Culture in response: "BBC Asian Network celebrates all forms of music and culture including Gujarati throughout the schedule, both in daytime and specialist programmes."

The BBC also pointed out that the station's Sunday programming focused on more specialist music of British Gujarati origin and music from Gujarat.

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