National Broadcasting Day is observed in India on 23rd July. It was on this day in 1927, the Indian Broadcasting Company started its Radio Broadcasting from Bombay. This was the first organized broadcasting in India, inaugurated by Viceroy Lord Irvin in Bombay.
In the month of September of 1935, broadcasting began in the state of Mysore with the name Akashvani. This broadcasting was carried out by Dr. Gopalaswamy, a Professor of Psychology at Mysore University, with a 30 Watt transmitter from his home.
The Delhi station was inaugurated on 1st January, 1936, from its studios at Alipur Road.
The name All India Radio (AIR) was adopted by the Indian Broadcasting Company on June 08, 1936, and from then on the name has stuck.
Today, AIR is India’s National Broadcaster, being its premiere National Public Broadcaster. It is among the largest broadcasting companies in the world, with programming in 23 languages and 146 dialects. AIR’s home service comprises of 420 stations, which are spread all across the country, covering nearly 92% of the country’s area and 99.19 % of the total population.
AIR logo – Akashvani
AIR Broadcasting House
We all are familiar with AIR caller tune that has been heard by millions from the time it was composed in 1936. It was composed by Walter Kaufmann, a Jew refugee, who found a haven in India, from the Nazis.
Walter Kaufmann (middle)
So, what exactly is Broadcasting?
Broadcasting, Unicasting and Multicasting
As per the simple definition, Broadcasting is the distribution of audio or video, to audience at varied locations through electronic mass communication. Radio and television are examples of Broadcasting. In short, it is One to All transmission.
Audio, Visual, Audio-Visual
Broadcasting content may be,
- Audio – Visual
This is in contrast to Unicasting, where the transmission is One to One, as in the case of telephone and telegraph. It is a One to One transmission
In this tech savvy age, Multicasting has become popular with the computers and internet, where by One to Many communication is possible, simultaneously, over a network. In other words, it consists of One to Many, and Many to Many transmissions.
Dakshinamurthy and Broadcasting
In the traditional ritual parlance, Shiva is considered a great teacher and this is famously symbolized by the Dakshinamurthy form.
Dakshin means the southern direction. Dakshinamurthy is the form of Shiva, as a knowledge giver, one who gives the knowledge of the ultimate Truth, cosmos and Creation, that can help man overcome the cycle of birth and death.
Dakshinamurthy is depicted as a young knowledge giver with 4 Rishi at His feet imbibing this knowledge. While Dakshinamurthy is depicted as a young man, the 4 Rishi, who receive the knowledge from Him are older in age. The 4 Rishi ask their questions in silence and receive their answers in the same mode, i.e. in silence.
This brings forth to us that subtle knowledge cannot be expressed in words, but is imparted to the knowledge seeker in subtler meditative forms.
This legend of Dakshinamurthy highlights this subtle form of Broadcasting, Multicasting, in ancient times.
Similarly, there are many instances of Rishi, Sadhu, communicating their message and noble thought to multiple people, at once through silence.
More on Dakshinamurthy and His form of communication in our book and film, “Understanding Shiva”.
Suta Romaharshana spoke 18 Purana from Naimisha Aranya forest, to 88000 Rishi assembled there, by banks of Gomti river.
How was it then possible, without a public address system to broadcast to an assemblage of 88000 Rishi, sitting over a large assemblage, who hearing the Purana, recording it and taking it to their native places, shared this knowledge with the local populace?
This would have been through siddhi and strength of mantrashabdh, for however loud the voice of Suta might have been, to reach out to such large gathering requires a medium beyond the presently known mediums of modern science.
Suta Romaharshana broadcasting to the Rishi
Next Big Challenge
Unravelling this aspect of subtle broadcasting would be the next big challenge, before science. On this National Broadcasting Day, let us explore this form of passing information, so that our scope of communication is broadened even further.