In this age amidst the unending chatter of the social media, let’s go back in time and reminisce the good old days when the only source of “noise” was that of the radios. And mind you this “noise” was welcomed by all!
The days when only an elite few had the luxury and the privilege to afford a radio transmitter, listening to a radio used to be a community thing, a social event. Clustered around a small machine people used to feel connected with the whole world.
This remarkable feat of “connecting people” (well before Nokia took credit of that 😛 ) was an achievement of an Italian scientist named Guglielmo Marconi. Sometime around the start of the 20th century, Marconi developed the first apparatus for long distance radio communication and on 12th December in 1901, the world’s first ever wireless message was sent!
And since then radio has played an integral role in mass communications and technological developments all through the centuries.
Despite being over 100 years old, the radio is one of the most popular ways of mass communication and educates people all over the world. Radio is still the most dynamic, reactive and engaging medium there is, adapting to 21st-century changes and offering new ways to interact and participate. It has played its part in nation-building, helped people and various freedom struggles, saved lives during natural or human-made disasters.
Well…in India too radio has played an important role in nation building. All India Radio (AIR), officially known as Akashvani (literally, “Voice from the sky”) is India’s National Broadcaster and also the premier Public Service Broadcaster. The institute is truly living up to its motto – ‘Bahujan Hitaya: Bahujan Sukhaya’ (translates to “for the happiness of the many, for the welfare of the many”). The moto is a Sanskrit dictum or aphorism enunciated in the Rigveda.
All India Radio is the largest radio network in the world and one of the largest broadcasting organizations in the world in terms of the number of languages broadcast and the spectrum of socio-economic and cultural diversity it serves. AIR’s home service comprises 420 stations located across the country, reaching nearly 92% of the country’s area and 99.19% of the total population with programs originating in 23 languages and 179 dialects!
The idea of World Radio Day was first proposed by Spain’s Radio Academy in 2010. Later in 2011, UNESCO declared that World Radio Day will be celebrated annually on February 13th. The date was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the United Nations Radio, the UN’s international broadcasting service, which was established on February 13th, 1946. The first World Radio Day was officially celebrated in 2012.
This day celebrates the radio as a way of educating people, providing information, and promoting freedom of expression across cultures. This year’s theme “Dialogue, Tolerance, and Peace” aims at providing a platform for dialogue and democratic debate over issues! It’s all about audiences’ participation and engagement.
So…participate people, make your voice and opinions heard, bring communities together and promote positive dialogue for change. Let’s celebrate the impact of radio in pursuit of a more peaceful and tolerant world!
© 2019 Ashwini Nawathe, Kaleidoscope of My Life
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