ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Radio Days

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I enjoyed the article “All India Radio’s Glory Days and Its Search for Autonomy” (EPW, 15 September 2018) by Coonoor Kripalani. Having been born in preindependence years, I recall how much we relied on All India Radio (AIR). It was nostalgic to remember those days when a nationalist spirit reverberated all over the country. Stalwart musicians performed for AIR, including members of my own family. My mother’s brother-in-law S Gopalan was deputy director of AIR. I was asked once to talk on women’s issues by AIR and I saw how the recording was done.

Likewise, Doordarshan was another memorable event in our lives. I still remember television programmes like Buniyaad, Hum Log, and Nukkad. Shyam Benegal’s Bharat Ek Khoj and the stories from our regional literature, dramatised in Ek Kahaani, were real treasures. Much later, there were short 10-day episodes full of suspense. Thanks to commercialisation, we have numerous programmes today on regional channels that run for years, insipid and pointless. Had we not succumbed to control by a ministry, but established an independent, autonomous broadcaster like the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), we would have had real progress. The BBC’s outreach programmes on nature, history, etc, are immensely watchable and enlightening. Recently, the series on China’s geography helped us see parts of that country that we would otherwise not be able to visit.

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Updated On : 28th Sep, 2018

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