Till 2014 Radio was extinct or till man ki baat मन की बात happened. Credit goes to our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji.
Years back someone asked me to record market price analysis on Radio. Gone were the days when people used to wake up early in morning and tune in for AIR-All India Radio morning prayers, often it started with Vande Matram. My talk on market price analysis used to be broadcast on 6 AM back in year 1997 at AIR Port Blair. I asked the AIR correspondent Mr Srivastav ji to record my talk via Telephone instead of asking me to come to studio for recording. They agreed. Thus began my connection with AIR. They would telephone me and I delivered my talk-analysis via phone and they recorded it.
Myself also forgot hearing Radio in last almost 15 years. When I was at Delhi, the FM channel had just started becoming popular. In 1995-96 I bought a two-in-one, a radio and tape recorder from market near malkagunj. I think it was THOM(P?)SON. That time FM used to air program upto late night and I think it was for 24X7. I heard many good programs on FM radio. Such type of programs were not aired on AIR or Akashvani. Though vivid bharti another radio channel had multifaceted programs.
I remember that in 1972 we used to hear famous tune of HAWA MAHAL at around 8 or 8:15 pm. The music itself was such that everybody in vicinity would immediately come to know that its 8 in night. I mean clock time was set just by listening to that tune of hawamahal हवा महल।
I was particularly fond of chaupal, Bhoole Bisre Geet, Cibaca geetmala, of Amin Sayani earlier it was Binaca. This was the brand name of toothpaste. ANURANJANI (If I am correct?) there was a program at 7.15 or 7.30 AM in that one film song and one classical bandish based on a raag was aired.
At 3 or 3.15, 3.30 anuranjini (or such program) was aired. It had some folk music followed by the classical music. See I have forgotten even the names and timings also of my favourite programs. Within my lifetime radio lost the place which it had till advent of TV. This was the time when National broadcast started. Thanx to ISRO and INSAT etc. and Doordarshan, which was synonym of TV. It was often joked as SANJAY ka Kaliyugi Avatar.
In 1982 we saw the national broadcast. There was one programe on Immortal men(singers) immortal melodies. There were various stars. Great Noorjahan sang Awaaj de Kahan hai? Great Naushad sahib was standing there and controlling the music. Rajkumari ji also sang, that time only I saw her in on TV.
There used to be a program called Bajm-e-Maushiki and national program of music on AIR late night at 10.30 or 11.30 or so. I heard almost all great musicians of that time. Even Bade Gulam Ali, Rasoolan Bai, Sidhdheswari devi, badi moti bai choti moti bai, Sunanda Patnaik, Sulochana Vachaspati, Omkar Nath Thakur, Mallikaarjun Mansoor, Gangu Bai Hangal, Pt Jasraj, Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Kishori Amonkar, Kumar Gandharva and others the list is long. It will be a great sin if I don’t list name of one of our greatest singer most respected Bharat Ratna Smt MS yes she was well known by just MS. Smt M S Subbulakshmi ji. She sang in almost all languages Bengali Telugu Tamil Hindi and even English.
We could hear Tabasum ji and others on Radio. There was one program where one personality used to be interviewed and songs of his or her choice were broadcasted.
In 1975 or 1976-77 I remember only one TV was there in one home in whole of that street of TYPE ONE IITKanpur campus that too a black and white one. All boys used to hang around window of that house to get a chance to watch TV, Sunday movies or chitrahaar. Strongest used to see and loosers had to contend with listening sounds only or they go to home sulking. After few years I used to walk for almost one kilometer to reach TYPE TWO near IITKanpur gate to watch TV- Sunday movie at one uncle’s house. They were very kind to allow us to watch at their home (from inside their house)
Similarly in villages, a transistor used to be a priced possession. An item of luxury too. It was a status symbol to gift radio at time of Marriage. Size and type depended on the status of persons. I had a radio of a size of small TV set. Two feet long and one feet wide one foot high. My father had bought it when he was serving in Indian Navy.
While working in agricultural fields small transistors were the sole entertainer of whole generation of farmers of our villages. If I can say so it was the only source for touch of outside world in village. But mostly at the time of cricket matches it becomes a public/community asset. Farmers-lads clunged to a small radio transistor under a tree or in a chaupal etc to hear cricket commentary.
Sadly Radio faded away from our life when TV arrived. I did try to search for a radio when Tsunami happened. That time there was no light/power, no communication with outside world then radio was the only hope that too if battery was working.
Besides that till 2014 radio was out of life. It was sitting quietly somewhere in the corner in our homes. Luckily there was a small radio lying in my home getting dust.
Thanx to our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, everywhere in India, every household did try to locate the oldest member of family of entertainment equipments in their homes.
Those who found their radio not working immediately rushed to nearest shop to get it repaired. So that they can hear first show/broadcast of “Man Ki Baat” by any Prime Minister of India.
I had heard about speech of First Prime Minister of India that happened on AIR on 15-8-1947 after that not much happened on this scale. It is only due to Man Ki Baat that this extinct radio got a fresh leash of life.
Few electrician must have got overburdened with the work order. Few of them must have got scared as to how they will fulfill demand of residents of his street or neighbors. It was the first time that Prime Minister of the largest democracy and the President of the most powerfull country came together on RADIO, Obama and Shri Narendra Modi ji.
But it is certain that Man Ki Baat has instilled an emotion of oneness (sense of unity) across the nation. From Laddakh to Arunachal Pradesh from Himanchal Pradesh to KanyaKumari and Andaman, Port Blair-Indira Point the southernmost part of country came together to hear their Prime Minister.
Elaborate arrangemens were made. Radio was to be kept at prominent place so that everybody can listen, as people started listening collectively at one point. This type of emotion I saw when Mahabharat Ramayan was aired on Doordarshan. Street used to have deserted look. People also put TV sets in such places so that large number of people can watch it.
But most amazing thing happened this time was all television channels also telecasted Man Ki Baat. Immediately started reporting the reaction of people. Often TV channels shown how people at various locations in country are listening the Man Ki Baat. This is a path breaking phenomenon in history of Television Broadcasting. BBC or any world media has not elaborated this dimension. It’s only popularity of our respected Prime Minister Shri Modi ji that attracted citizens. Everyone even his foes also want to listen what he says? So that they get masala to criticise later.
In this pic above on right corner above people are seen listening man ki baat on radio