Walking protest for BBC Asian Network
Wednesday, May 19 2010, 12:25 BST
By Andrew Laughlin,

A musician has confirmed plans to walk backwards from London to Birmingham in protest at the proposed closure of the BBC's Asian Network.

Ranvir Singh Verma, frontman of the Universal Taal Project, will start the four-day, 120-mile march on May 22.

His journey will begin at the BBC's London headquarters and finish at The Mailbox in Birmingham, where the Asian Network is based.

The walking protest is designed to raise support for the campaign to save the digital station, which is facing closure under BBC director general Mark Thompson's strategy review.

The review, which has also proposed the axe for fellow BBC radio network 6 Music, is under public consultation at the BBC Trust until May 25.

Speaking to Asian Image, Verma said: "I came up with the idea of walking backwards after hearing about Lotan Baba, Indian's famous 'Rolling Saint', who has rolled over 18,000 miles across India in a bid for unity and peace. His belief in penance is what encouraged me to devise this challenge.

"The BBC's decision to close BBC Asian Network and 6 Music is a backwards step in their support for music, and that's why my walk is so symbolic. I am doing the walk alone but will welcome anyone that wants to join for all or part of the journey. This is all about coming together and making a stand against corporate decision-makers."

The campaign to save 6 Music has also confirmed another day of protest outside BBC Broadcasting House on May 22. Last week, the station recorded an almost 50% increase in its weekly listeners to 1.02m.