Every year on July 23rd, India comes together to celebrate National Broadcasting Day, a momentous occasion that pays tribute to the pioneering role of radio broadcasting in our country. This day holds historical significance as it marks the inception of India’s first-ever radio broadcast, carried out by “All India Radio (AIR).” To commemorate this milestone, All India Radio organized a symposium in New Delhi, delving into the profound influence of broadcasting in shaping India’s modern society and exploring the diverse communication mediums that continue to shape our lives.
The roots of radio broadcasting in India can be traced back to the British colonial era in 1923, when the Radio Club of Bombay introduced radio broadcasting services. In 1927, India’s first-ever radio broadcast took flight from the Bombay Station under the Indian Broadcasting Company. This marked the beginning of a transformative journey for broadcasting in the country.
On July 23, 1927, the “Indian Broadcasting Company Ltd (IBC)” was founded, which laid the foundation for what we now recognize as All India Radio (AIR). This significant date served as the basis for the establishment of National Broadcasting Day in 1936. Eventually, on June 8, 1936, IBC underwent a transformation and became the renowned All India Radio (AIR). To honor its rich cultural heritage, the name “Akashvani” was officially adopted for AIR, inspired by the renowned poet Rabindranath Tagore’s 1938 poem titled “Akashvani,” meaning “voice or announcement from the skies.”
Throughout its history, radio broadcasting in India played a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s destiny. Prior to gaining independence, radio stations like Azad Hind Radio, led by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, and Congress Radio served as influential platforms, inspiring and mobilizing Indians against British colonial rule. Even during the 1971 war, Akashvani played a crucial role in supporting Bangladesh’s liberation struggle against repressive Pakistani forces. These historic contributions highlight the immense impact of radio broadcasting in shaping India’s history and cultural identity.
As we commemorate National Broadcasting Day, we pay tribute to the power of broadcasting and its role in bringing our nation together, amplifying diverse voices, and fostering unity amidst diversity. All India Radio’s legacy continues to resonate across the nation, making it a cherished part of our collective cultural heritage.