Today, as we celebrate World Radio Day, let’s remember the time when Ameen Sayani and his Binaca Geet Mala ruled the airwaves. Entire India used to come to a standstill at 8.30pm with everyone glued to their radio sets to listen to the countdown of songs from Hindi films. And then as the song by Buggles says “Video killed the radio star”. The advent of cassettes, television, VCR etc killed the radio which used to occupy a prominent place in every household.

The birth of FM made it clear that radio, far from being a fad, had limitless possibilities for reinvention. Today, radio has become such an omnipresent backdrop to our daily lives that it’s taken for granted, like electricity or tap water or convenience stores. In 2001, India’s first private FM station – Radio City, Bangalore – came on the air, ending an era of state broadcasting that began in 1930. In the past two decades, FM has not only become the king of airwaves again but also churn out many radio stars like RJ Naved ….

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Asif Ullah Khan

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