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Freedom struggle on air

bhopal Updated: Mar 25, 2013 13:04 IST
Shahroz Afridi
Shahroz Afridi
Hindustan Times
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When Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose first broadcast a message for his countrymen on March 25, 1942 on Radio Azad Hind, perhaps he would not have imagined that his powerful voice that moved the entire nation would be aired again and again and that too on Radio Azad Hind itself.

"We decided to launch Radio Azad Hind on March 25, 2012 as Subhash Chandra Bose aired his message for the first time on this very date in 1942. The name of this community radio is also dedicated to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose," said Shriram Tiwari, director of Swaraj Sanshthan.

"The community radio also serves as a good platform for research students, who are studying the freedom movement as well the role Madhya Pradesh played in it. We have a good collection of authentic documents, documentaries and rare recorded voices of renowned leaders like Swami Vivekanand, Subhash Chandra Bose, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and many others," said Ila Shankar Guha, consultant, Radio Azad Hind.
Radio Azad Hind has categorised its programme on letters, speeches, biographies, songs and trials of freedom fighters.

'Hum hain iske malik, yeh Hindustan Hamara' (we own India), the famous marching song penned by Azim Ullah Khan, that was the most popular song during the first war of Independence (1857) is part of the 800 songs, which were banned by the British during their rule, but is now aired with pride on Radio Azad Hind in its programme titled 'Vatan Ke Rag'.

"Hum hain iske malik, yeh Hindustan Hamara is one such song, which the British rulers detested, so much so that if they found someone carrying its text in his pocket, he was hanged to death on the nearest tree," said Guha.

"It requires a lot of research work to make authentic programmes on freedom fighters- specially those who are not so well-known. Material collected and research done by Swaraj Sansthan is proving very helpful to develop various programmes for our radio," said Guha.

At present a programme based on trials of freedom fighters in the British courts is in the offing. A seven part series on Bhagat Singh's trial was aired on his martyrdom day on Saturday. Work on another interesting trial of Bal Gangadhar Tilak is being carried out, in which Tilak spoke for 21 hours to present his side of the case. Another valuable cache of 7 seized plays (by the British regime) was obtained recently from the National School of Drama, who had obtained it from a museum in London, said Guha.

Another programme based on letters written by Nehru, Gandhi, Bose and several other freedom fighters is also being lauded by the listeners. Another series on 100 years of cinema would start from May 3- the day the first talkies was released in India.

The radio station's success could be judged by the fact that it has shared its content with more than 165 radio stations throughout the country. Radio Azad Hind that is being broadcast for 10 hours at present aims at increasing its schedule to 16 hours.