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Window Seat: Azad Hind Radio

23/01/2022 at 7:15 AM

Azad Hind Radio

Like many other freedom fighters of India like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subach Chandra Bose like Mahatma Gandhi and many other freedom fighters was a good communicator. He was a public speaker, wrote on contemporary socio-political issues and edited newspapers. His speeches and letters were later compiled into books. He wrote on the history of India’s freedom struggle. He was one of the prominent freedom fighters who used radio as a communication medium extensively.

The name of the radio station he established was Azad Hind Radio. It was established in Berlin, Germany. It began broadcasting from January 7, 1942. On February 19, 1942 in his first broadcast to the world over the Azad Hind Radio Netaji indicated the war aims of the Azad Hind movement. He ended his address with these words: “The hour of India’s salvation is at hand. India will now rise and break the chains of servitude that have bound her so long. Through India’s liberation will Asia and the world move forward towards the larger goal of human emancipation.”

Azad Hind Radio was shifted to Singapore and then to Rangoon. When Netaji came to South-East Asia, it was A. C. Nambiar who continued operating radio Azad Hind in Germany. He was the head of the Indian legion in Germany and then the Ambassador of Azad Hind Provisional Government.

In Azad Hind Radio weekly news was aired in English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Punjabi, Posto and Urdu. The volunteers from Indian legion in Germany  and Indian National Army were preparing and airing the news bulletin.  The objective of Azad Hind  Radio was twofold – first – to inspire people living in India and Indians living abroad to join in freedom struggle and second –  to counter the propaganda of the British government. In Azad Hind Radio  Netaji Subash Chandra Bose  once termed British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as ‘Bluff and Bluster Corporation’ and All India Radio as ‘Anti-India Radio’.

Some of the addresses Netaji delivered on Azad Hind Radio are still available in some museums across the world.

Mangrove Forests

“Mangroves are an important bulkhead against climate change: they afford protection for coastal areas from tidal waves and cyclones and are among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics.”

Mangroves play a crucial role in protecting human and animal communities from massive storms. Mangrove roots can break up the force of a storm surge, soaking up some of its energy and protecting people living on coasts from cyclone damage. The aerial roots of mangrove forests retain sediments and stabilise the soil in the areas between high tide and low tide (intertidal areas) by reducing erosion during storms and floods. The roots, trunk and canopy of the mangroves can dissipate storm surges and waves. Mangroves can also cope with sea level rise through gradual vertical growth. 

In the face of rising sea levels (in many parts of coastal Odisha and West Bengal the impact is visible) and changing climates, coastal buffering against negative impacts of wave action will become critical and will play an important role in climate change adaptation.

However, mangrove ecosystems, which make up less than 0.4% of the world’s forests, are being lost at the rate of about 1% per year (FAO, 2007); in some areas, the rate may be as high as 2 to 8% per year. From 20% to 35% of the world’s mangrove area has been lost since 1980 according to a 2007 FAO report.  The rates of loss are highest in developing countries where mangroves are cleared for coastal development, aquaculture, timber and fuel production. Experts believe that in as few as 100 years, the world’s mangrove forests may become so degraded and reduced in area that they would be considered to have “functionally disappeared”.

In this situation it is heartening that over the last two years mangrove forests in India has actually increased. As per the State of Forest Report 2021, with a total of 4,992 sq km of mangrove cover, the nation has had an increase of 17 sq km over the past two years. The maximum increase in mangrove cover was reported in Odisha (8 sq km) followed by Maharashtra (4 sq km) and Karnataka (3 sq km). The increase is not much, but increase never the less. It indicates with right policy framework and resolve, we can arrest the gradual fall of the forest cover both in area-wise shrinkage and quality of the forest. And we must do that as the climate change has resulted in a spike in frequency and intensity of cyclonic storms.

Tailpiece: The Grand Slam

World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic was recently embroiled in a visa controversy over his visa to Australia, which was termed as “messy” and “embarrassing”. It has been viewed as a clash between individual belief on vaccination vrs rule of the land. It has also created loads of jokes- mostly at his expense. Here are some samples: 

– The Aussies have banged the door shut right in front of his face. They call it a Grand Slam!

– With Twenty won, he could have made it Twenty-One, but he will now have to kiss this chance goodbye. Clearly, a Grand slam.

– By trying to preserve the (Mel)Bourne Identity and the (Mel)Bourne Supremacy, the Victorians have given him the (Mel)Bourne Ultimatum.

– One needs lots of guts to create a racket and, when tension is increased, it becomes high strung.

– A flurry of exchanges, are going on between the Balkan and Australian governments – it is called “Serb and volley”.

– No one expected ‘the one seed’ to ‘exceed’ and become a Tennis, the Menace.

-Someone overheard Djok saying “O my crown. Lost because of Omicron”.

Tailpiece: What is Haldi?

My British friend asked me ”In Indian wedding what is this Haldi ceremony?

Me: It is like getting ‘marinated’ before getting ‘roasted’.

(Courtesy: Social Media)

About the Author:

Journalist turned media academician Mrinal Chatterjee lives in Dhenkanal, Odisha. He also writes fiction and plays.

He can be reached at mrinalchatterjeeiimc@gmail.com


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

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