HILVERSOM, NETHERLANDS, April 17, 2015 (Volkskrant): John van der Starre, the government appointed interim director of the OHM religious TV and radio broadcaster in the Netherlands, has a mission. According to him the account books and the doors of the organization’s headquarters and studio will be closed for the final time on December 31st, 2015.
A small group of representatives of the Hindu community still cherishes a hope that the broadcasting can be maintained in its current form. They have started a petition titled “OHM is ours.” But “those people do not realize that their effort is too little, too late,” van der Starre explains.
The ‘Organisatie Hindoe Media’ (OHM) was established in the early nineties by five Dutch Hindu organizations, with the aim of spreading knowledge of Hinduism to a wide audience. [ HPI adds: Article 2.42 of the Dutch media law (the Mediawet) allows for faith-based radio and television broadcasters to operate as part of the Netherlands Public Broadcasting system.]
From OHM’s inception there were programs on important Hindu festivals and reports about Hindu culture and society. The organization was receiving a US two million dollar grant each year from the government. Its most recent broadcast schedule was a half-hour of television and two hours of radio per week.
Serious ongoing internal disputes and legal tangles, along with financial accounting irregularities, caused the government’s Media Commission to step in and remove OHM’s director Jagdish Rambali and appoint John van der Starre in his place in early January. The government has discontinued its subsidy of the operation. Without subsidies it is the end of the story for OHM, van der Starre concludes.