All India Radio

All India Radio was established in 1930

A memory from Willie Wood

Back in the late thirties in our tea garden, I use to remember this first part of this signature tune on our radio coming on first, followed with - "This is All India Radio, here's is the news."

It should bring back memories to all our seniors from India.

Derek Perry remembers :

This haunting refrain is still embedded in my memory, particularly at the time of the Chinese invasion close to the Assam Valley, 1962.  All India Radio was the only source of information keeping listeners abreast of the fighting and political developments.  If I may I would like to pass this on to our koi-hai site as I am sure it will evoke the tense times experienced by then tea planters and their families. 


History of All India Radio 

Broadcasting began in June 1923 during the British Raj with programs by the Bombay Presidency Radio Club and other radio clubs. According to an agreement on 23 July 1927, the private Indian Broadcasting Company Ltd (IBC) was authorized to operate two radio stations: the Bombay station which began on 23 July 1927, and the Calcutta station which followed on 26 August 1927. The company went into liquidation on 1 March 1930. The government took over the broadcasting facilities and began the Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS) on 1 April 1930 on an experimental basis for two years, and permanently in May 1932 it then went on to become All India Radio on 8 June 1936.[2]

On 1 October 1939, the External Service began with a broadcast in Pushtu. It was intended to counter radio propaganda from Germany directed at Afghanistan, Iran and Arab nations. 1939 also saw the opening of the Dhaka station of Eastern India, in what is now Bangladesh. This station catered and nurtured the pioneers of Bengali intellectuals. The foremost among them, Natyaguru Nurul Momen, became the trail-blazer of the talk-show in 1939. He wrote and directed the first modern radio-play for this station in 1942. When India became independent in 1947, the AIR network had only six stations (DelhiBombayCalcuttaMadrasLucknow, and Tiruchirappalli). The three radio stations at LahorePeshawar and Dhakaremained in what became Pakistan after the division. The total number of radio sets in India at that time was about 275,000. On 3 October 1957, the Vividh Bharati Service was launched, to compete with Radio Ceylon. Television broadcasting began in Delhi in 1959 as part of AIR, but was split off from the radio network as Doordarshan on 1 April 1976.[5] FM broadcasting began on 23 July 1977 in Chennai, and expanded during the 1990s.[6]

Deccan Radio (Nizam Radio 1932), the first radio station in Hyderabad State (now Hyderabad, India), went live on air on 3 February 1935. It was launched by Mir Osman Ali Khan the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad with a transmitting power of 200 Watts. On 1 April 1950, Deccan Radio was taken over by the Indian Government, and in 1956 it was merged with All India Radio (AIR). Since then, it has been known as AIR-Hyderabad (100 kW).[7]