All India Radio (AIR) Chennai, Madras will celebrate its 80th birthday in June. The station started its journey as the first broadcasting service in India, and the first Radio was established in 1924 named as V Krishnaswamy Chetty’s Madras Presidency Radio Club. They first made broadcast from Holloway’s Garden in Egmore on July 31. The Club got over its financial difficulties in 1927 by Madras Municipal Corporation which ran it until AIR establish their roots in Madras.
AIR celebrated 80th birthday of its naming last year. An Oxonian from the BBC, Lionel Fielden, landed in India in 1935 to look after what had been set up in 1930 as the Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS). He believed that the name is not appealing enough but to change a Viceroy-approved name was not considered the right thing. As a controller, he wrote an article for a renowned newspaper ‘The Hindu’s supplement to mark the beginning of AIR (Madras). At that time, Hindi classical music was given a lot of importance and people feared that Indian music will be forgotten in upcoming years. The problem with the history of Indian music is that Sangit Vidwans refused to accept the necessity for any action of adaptation or any sort of change and were stuck to the contention that Indian music has reached the perfection.
By: Swati Kaushal