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#AirWaves: Barack Obama to join Modi on radio show to reach out to masses

US President Barack Obama and Indian leader Narendra Modi will next week take to India’s radio airwaves, the main source of news and information for a vast majority of the country’s peoples, to get their message out.

Mr Obama, who will be the chief guest at New Delhi’s showpiece Republic Day military parade on Jan. 26, will join Prime Minister Modi on a special edition of the latter’s radio programme next Tuesday.

Listeners have been asked to pre-submit questions by Sunday to the leaders on the programme “Mann Ki Baat,” or “Talking from the Heart”.

“This month’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ episode will be a special one, where our Republic Day guest @BarackObama & I will share our thoughts together,” Modi tweeted on Thursday.

Modi makes radio speeches at least every month to communicate with two-thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people who regularly listen to the radio.

He has previously talked about a cleanliness drive, tax evasion, and drug abuse among others on his show.

Obama’s decision to appear on the show during his visit is a sign of the bond the two leaders share.

In a unique departure from protocol, the US president accompanied Mr Modi on a motorcade drive from the White House to the memorial honouring U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. during the leader’s visit to Washington last year.

The two leaders also issued a joint editorial before that trip, a first for an Indian leader, according to the Indian media.

It is not clear whether Modi will speak in English or in Hindi, as he usually does during his broadcast.

Modi’s radio show is recorded at Race Course Road, the official residence of the Indian prime minister.

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