Window Seat: 2023-2024

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | December 31, 2023 IST

New year 2024

Mrinal Chatterjee 

The time gap between today and tomorrow is 24 hours. It could be one minute at 23.59 today. And it could be one year when it is on 31 December. I just discovered that is another way of looking at time, day and year. Ha! That is some self-praise at the end of the year, which saw megalomania at a much larger scale.

From Putin, relentlessly pounding of Ukraine to Trump, relentlessly trying to impose himself on the world (for America, according to him is the lord of the whole world) to many such persons in sadda Bharat, we have no dearth of megalomaniacs- thinking themselves to be the centre of the universe.

Will 2024, the birth centenary year of Harishankar Parsai, satirist par excellence in Hindi, who in his writings lambasted megalomaniacs see more of that variety? Time will only tell.

100 years of Radio Broadcasting in South Asia

Since the first broadcast in South Asia in June 1923, radio, one of most potent protean medium, has been remixed, fragmented, diverted into apps and a growing audio broadcast industry. In June 1923 the Radio Club of Bombay (now Mumbai) made the first ever broadcast in the country. This was followed by the setting up of the Calcutta Radio Club five months later.

Radio Ceylon in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) became the first radio station in Asia in its earlier avatar Colombo Radio launched on 16 December 1925. It was followed by one in In Kabul by King Amanullah Khan in the same year.

It is interesting to note that radio made its entry in South Asia in India, the first radio stations were set up in SriLanka and Afghanistan; and the first community radio Radio Sagarmatha was established in Nepal in 1997

 In undivided India, Indian Broadcasting Company (IBC) came into being on July 23, 1927.  It was liquidated in three years. In April 1930, the Indian Broadcasting Service, under the Department of Industries and Labour, commenced its operations on an experimental basis. Lionel Fielden was appointed the first Controller of Broadcasting in August 1935. In the following month Akashvani Mysore, a private radio station was set up by K. Gopal Swami, Professor in Psychology in Maharaja College. On June 8, 1936, the Indian State Broadcasting Service became All India Radio (AIR). It was renamed Akashvani in 1956 on the suggestion of poet Pandit Narendra Sharma. However, both the names were used till recently.

Interestingly Radio, unlike print and television media, made the journey from analogue to digital without much difficulty or friction. As a medium it finds itself as intimate, versatile and flexible in the digital ecosphere as it was earlier. It is as creatively challenging as ever. Digital technology, especially AI (artificial intelligence) has of course thrown new challenges and provided exciting new opportunities.

I have had a long association with radio beginning in early 1980s when I was a casual announcer in AIR, Cuttack. As the radio broadcast turns 101, here is wishing it a very bright future.

Maruti@40

Remember the first indigenous ‘people’s car- Maruti 800, the little hatchback. The first batch of these cars rolled out from the factory Maruti Udyog Limited located in Haryana, close to Delhi December 14, 1983. India, then was still under the licence raj. As India gradually opened up its economy, Maruti, the frontrunner, became a beneficiary of liberalisation.

The tiny ‘people’s car’, revolutionised personal mobility and served as a link between the old and new journey that India undertook. Interestingly it was in 1983, that Indian cricket team under Kapil Dev defeated the mighty West Indies at Lords in England against all odds.

Curiously there is a similarity between these two completely different incidents.  As Maruti shook up the then sleepy passenger vehicles market in India, challenging the duopoly of Ambassador and Premier Padmini and soon became the symbol of aspiration for millions of middle class Indians, Kapil’s devils showed India ‘can do’.         

Displacement

We are all displaced at some time or the other. The issue is: whether you are displaced forcefully against your will and how well you cope with the displacement.

If you are displaced forcefully, then the pain will remain for a long time. That is trauma.

Displacement brings with it loss of identity. That is probably more painful than material loss. Nostalgia remains through generations. My mother land remains in my blood. As I continue to live the old blood cells die gradually, new blood cells take birth. If this happens in a favourable condition- the country I am in- becomes my motherland in two generations. If done forcefully it does not and the pain remains.

Swapnamoy Chakravorty’s 2023 Sahitya Academy award winning novel ‘Jaler Upar Pani’ is a depiction of life in a refugee colony in West Bengal. It talks about loss of identity and taking on or morphing into a new identity.

Tailpiece: Happy New Year

Q. Why did the man sprinkle sugar on his pillows on New Year’s Eve?

A. He wanted to start the year with sweet dreams.

(Courtesy: Social Media)

Disclaimer:

This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with www.prameyanews.com.

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