SPJIMR Prof. Dinyar Patel is in conversation with Isabel Huacuja Alonso, Columbia University.
Before the internet and television, South Asia tuned in to the radio, and the radio helped South Asians forge a shared sense of belonging. Isabel Huacuja Alonso’s Radio for the Millions chronicles the history of broadcasting from the beginnings of All India Radio (AIR) in the 1930s to the heights of Radio Ceylon’s filmi music-powered popularity from the 1950s through the 1970s. Governments tried to use radio to project state power, but listeners regularly used their sets and transistors as tools of defiance or resistance. This was particularly the case after 1947 when film songs and Hindustani broadcasting helped bring together people divided by Partition.