Airlines and airports in India were requested in December 2021 to consider playing Indian music on aircraft and on airport grounds. The Indian government has now clarified its position on the issue, stating that airlines and airports are allowed to play any music they wish to play.
The first suggestion
The Indian government was said to have requested all carriers and airports in the country to consider switching to Indian music during boarding and on airport grounds last year. The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) wrote to the DGCA, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), and all airlines, recommending that they consider Indian classical music.
The letter listed instances of overseas carriers playing music that is traditional to their country, as well as the different genres that Indian carriers might pick from, noting, “…music played by most of the airlines across the globe was quintessential of the country to which the airline belongs. Indian airlines seldom play Indian music in the flight, whereas, our music has a rich heritage and culture and it has one of the many things every Indian has a reason for truly being proud of.”
At a conference of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), which was attended by India's Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, the cause for Indian music gained traction.
Several well-known musicians from India's music scene attended the event, including Anu Malik, Malini Awasthi, Rita Ganguly, and Wasifuddin Dagar, who spoke with ICCR President Vinay Sahasrabuddhe about the issue.
Following the meeting, the DGCA, AAI, and all airlines and airport operators received an official letter. When asked if the government planned to make Indian music essential for all airlines, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation General VK Singh stated there was no such intention, putting an end to any conjecture over the matter.