Monday, March 8, 2021
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Zee Bangla: Connecting Diaspora to their homes

When Chirag Biswas relocated to the US from India, one of the things he missed most was being able to watch his country’s native TV channels. Through his new locale offered access to hundreds of networks, shows, and TV streaming services, he longed to watch his favorite channel from back home — Zee Bangla.

Fortunately for him, watching India’s Zee Bangla TV online is not only possible — it’s free, and the channel maintains a vast library of video-on-demand content.

Zee Bangla first launched in 1996 as India’s first Bengali-language cable channel. Since then it has grown to be one of the most popular broadcasters in the country, with a programming lineup studded with hit shows. Some of the biggest favorites are Didi No. 1, Rashi, Raikishori (a “passionate love story”), and Boyei Gelo.

It’s not only Indians living abroad that tune to stream full episodes of their beloved Zee Bangla shows. According to Mr. Biswas, second-generation Indians born in the US, but who speak Bengali as well as English, watch the channel online to get a taste of the country they may never have visited but which is a part them and their history.

“It’s so great to watch Zee Bangla from here [in the US],” Mr. Biswas said. “It takes me back to home, and one day my children I hope will love watching it too.”

India has a diverse and dynamic selection of TV channels. One of the reasons there are so many — aside from the fact that the country’s population is robust and rising — is because of the number of different languages spoken. When a channel launches in a language like Bengali or Telugu or Hindi or Urdu it has a built-in audience waiting to check it out.

With so many India TV channels streaming online — many of them offering a live stream, like 24 Ghanta, and others like Zee Bangla providing full episodes of shows on demand — anyone can see what the country’s TV has to offer.




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