This December, the Radio Kashmir Jammu turned 70 years old. Starting on December 1, 1947, it was set up to counter virulent anti-India propaganda by Pakistan being broadcast by Lahore and Peshawar radio stations.
Here are some quick facts about the first radio station of the state:
- Jammu Radio Station of the RKJ was inaugurated on December 1, 1947 by Maharaja Hari Singh in presence of Sardar Patel.
- The radio station started its operations from three classrooms of the Government Ranbir High School.
- The very first announcement on the radio was made at 6:30 pm by the Maharaja himself.
- Subsequently, the Srinagar Radio Station started from July 1, 1948.
- The name, Radio Kashmir Jammu was intentionally given as an answer to Pakistan’s Radio Azad Kashmir.
- One popular item on the radio those days was a Dogri qawwali, Qabali Maare Iyyan, Bhiddan Maarne Jiyyan; meaning ‘the Qabalis are to be killed like sheep’.
- Since families usually could not afford expensive radio sets then, the State Government purchased and set up radio sets for community listening in parts of Jammu and Srinagar.
- From 1948 to 1950, radio sets were installed at Jullahaka Mohalla, Mohalla Ustad, Kacchi Chhawni, Chowk Chabutra, Rehari, Mast Garh and Parade Ground in Jammu. Sets were also installed at Samba, Janglot, Parol, Khakyal, Hiranagar and Kathua city, Akhnoor, Poonch, Sunderbani, Mangal Dai, Darhal, Thanna Mandi, Budhal, Arian Klethar, Ujan, Saron, Rajouri town, Doda, Kishtwar, and Bhaderwah.
Read also : Cover your ears– radio is polluting Jammu!
Despite such a significant history and some people’s inclination towards private FM radio stations, Radio Kashmir Jammu is still a companion of many people of the state living in remote places where private FMs do not reach.