Adoor: All India Radio (AIR) assistant director Parakkod Unnikrishnan is the Malayalam voice of prime minister Narendra Modi. With the PM’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme completing 50 episodes, Unnikrishnan has translated every single one into Malayalam.
Unnikrishnan gained popularity through ‘Prabhatabheri’, a programme that was started on July 17 in 1988. He continued to handle the show till 1993. “Though I have done numerous popular programmes on AIR, I am most proud of being the PM’s voice in Malayalam,” said Unnikrishnan. Modi’s typical start to the show “Pyare desh vasiyom” was translated to “Priyappetta nattukare” (Dear fellow countrymen) by Unnikrishnan.
A total of 420 AIR stations across the country transmit the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme in Hindi on the last Sunday of every month. This is later translated into regional languages.
“Translating the PM’s addressing of the nation is a difficult task,” testifies Unnikrishnan. “The PM’s tone raises and falls throughout the programme. I try to sound like the PM while presenting the translation to bring the same feel,” admits Unnikrishnan.
It must be noted that the monthly programme has been free of politics. Even an independent agency that checked the 50 episodes word by word said politics was not mentioned in the programme.
Besides ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Unnikrishnan also handles a diverse array of programmes including ‘Ganasallapam’, Phone-in-programme and audio presentation of selected stories of popular writers.
Unnikrishnan’s wife Sapna is a teacher at National Institute of Speech and Hearing. Their daughter Gowri is pursuing MBA at Jamshedpur after completing engineering.