Sumanth Raman has been the host of the BSNL Sports Quiz show since 2002, with 873 episodes under his belt.

Sumanth Raman alleges he was dropped from DDs sports quiz show for unpalatable political viewsYoutube Screenshot
news Controversy Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 18:14

After 17 years and over 800 episodes, television anchor and commentator Sumanth Raman, who was the host of the BSNL Sports Quiz on Doordarshan Podhigai, announced that he will not be hosting the show anymore. Posting the news on his Facebook page, he said that the decision was allegedly taken due to his political views.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Sumanth Raman said, “Have been informed that I will no longer be hosting the BSNL Sports Quiz on Doordarshan Podhigai. Apparently some of my political views are deemed to be unpalatable to a certain political party and so I must not be permitted to host even a Sports Quiz show on a Government controlled channel.”

Alleging political interference in his removal, Sumanth wrote, “Over the last 3-4 years there have been multiple and repeated attempts made by those affiliated to or supporters of the BJP to oust me from the program because of me airing my political views on national and regional channels.” He alleged that in 2014, the then Director of Doordarshan Kendra Ramachandra showed him a text message that referred to state office bearers of the BJP ordering Sumanth’s removal due to his political leanings. However, on that occasion, he writes that Ramachandra laughed it off saying he had no intention to fire Sumanth.

He goes on to write another such instance took place in 2017 and at the time he wrote a letter to Delhi explaining his stance, which ended the matter. However, while he came to know around two weeks ago that “instructions” had been sent to replace him, Sumanth says he was not formally informed of this decision. “This week I was not even formally informed of the decision to replace me. A note had been issued saying that another person would be hosting the Sports Quiz. Apparently they had instructions from Delhi to do so,” he states in his post.

Speaking to TNM about the issue, Sumanth Raman says, “Any program has to come to an end one day. But the manner in which it has come now is bad. Honestly, I don’t see myself as pro-A or anti-B. I take it on issue by issue basis. In fact in Tamil Nadu, I am called as a BJP stooge. Even assuming my political view as what they are, I am doing a sports show on this channel, I am not doing a political show.”

Adding that he was not bringing anything controversial to the show, he called the move unfortunate.

“I want to thank my fans for this huge support for so many years. It is very rare that fans be loyal to and supportive of a program for so many years. I also want to assure them that I will be meeting them soon in another platform. I am exploring other options,” he said.

Despite TNM’s attempts, the CEO of Prasar Bharti remained unreachable. 

BSNL Sports quiz was launched in 2002 with Sumanth Raman as its host and has aired 873 episodes till date. It entered the Limca Book of Records as the longest running weekly show on television in India. Sumanth Raman was known for his unique way and speed in shooting questions.