The magic that is Radio
World Radio Day is celebrated on February 13 every year. For any old-age romantic, radios — like railways — hold a special place in the heart. This year marks one century and one decade of radio across the world.
As students of media, we were told that radio is the most effective way of delivering information. It was a free, democratic, and trusted source that we turned to in times of crisis or turning points in our history. Mark Tully and BBC World Service gave us the news when all else failed in the days of General Zia.
With the creation of Pakistan, one of the most memorable moments was the announcement, Yeh Radio Pakistan Hai, made at 12AM August 14, 1947. The announcer was Mustafa Ali Hamdani and a similar announcement in English was made by Zahoor Azar. It made Pakistan a reality for millions. Both announcers became household names.
But at the time of Partition, there were only three radio stations in Pakistan — in Dacca, Lahore and Peshawar. Then capital Karachi had no station, recalled Aga Nasir, a pioneer in the field. This was addressed on a priority basis. Radio Pakistan Karachi was brought up under the leadership of Zulfiqar Ali Bokhari or ZAB as he was called. He was the director general of Radio Pakistan. With his golden voice and deep passion for drama, he not only produced and penned plays for radio, but also performed in them.
Shamsuddin Butt, a quiet, reserved person, was the first Pakistani selected by an American University for a master’s degree in radio drama. The title of the incredibly popular drama series, Studio Number 9, which was broadcast live from the Studio No 9 of BH, was his brainchild.
My late mother would tell me stories about another famous radio personality — Shakil Ahmad whose golden voice lifted spirits of the people and those fighting on the front lines because of his unique style of news reading that left deep imprints on the minds of the listeners during wartime in 1965.
Content retrieved from: https://tribune.com.pk/story/2284145/the-magic-that-is-radio.